ONE NIGHT IN THE DESERT
A young Jesus is sitting around a campfire. He's dressed in a gorgeous white pearl studded cowboy suit, white ten-gallon cowboy hat, purple chaps and a full-length purple leather 'Marlboro" coat. He is making coffee in a tin can pot. A rabbit on a stick is roasting. Barabbas, is standing off in the dark cold distance, shivering. He is still wearing a tattered, worn and soiled suit.The music to A "Midnight Cowboy" is playing as Jesus begins to pray.
JESUS: "Our Father, Who art in his Haven, and by his side, that big Black Raven, hallow be thy name's, as we try to figure out thy games, that keep us on the run untill that redemption thing be done."
A sound stirs in the dark.
JESUS: "Who goes?"
Jesus turns and stares out into the darkness.
JESUS: "Me who?"
Hopping up and down, Barabbas is attempting to stay warm.
BARABBAS: "Its me. Jesus! Come on kid, it's cold out here, fir crying out loud! Ya faddy sent me!"
JESUS: "Now wait just a gosh dang moment. Yaw said yaw name is Jesus?"
BARABBAS: "Oh boy... It's me, I said, it's me kid, that's what I said, now, come on, it's cold out here...
BARABBAS: (To himself) "Why is it always so cold?"
JESUS: "Hold yaw horses, and yaw said that yaw comes from my father, right?"
Teeth beginning to chatter, Barabbas is frantic.
BARABBAS: "Yea kid that's what I said, it's frigging freezing out here, I'm begging ya, have a heart kid. I'm coming to the fire."
JESUS: "Well alright but move real slow, into the light, and keep yaw hand's where's I can see em."
Barabbas run's to the fire and immediately, in a annoying manner, begins rubbing his hand's and then fishing about looking through some of the camping gear Jesus has about.
BARABBAS: "Hey! That's a magnificent outfit ya got on kid. Very snazzy. I bet that cost ya a pretty penny."
JESUS: "Yaw might say, I don't like to wear cheap things on my back yaw know? I mean, well, it's just that my father always said it's the cloth, that make's the man."
BARABBAS: "Yea sure kid, hey got any smokes?"
JESUS: "Nope, but there's some coffee and I bagged me a rabbit, sure looks tasty want some?"
Seeing the roasting rabbit, Barabbas is on it in a flash ripping away the major portion.
BARABBAS: "Yea, sure, thanks kid you're a real sport."
Jesus pours Barabbas a cup of coffee. He looks over at him ferociously eating and grins.
JESUS: "Ain't they been feeding yaw, where yaw come from? So what's this about yaw being sent from my Father?"
Gnawing away at the meat Barabbas is hunched down like a China man, on his hind legs.
BARABBAS: "Yea, sure, kid. … kind of... well like…
to check up on ya. Yea, that's it, to check up and see how ya do 'in that's all."
Jesus is staring at Barabbas, giving him a look over that last's for a long uncomfortable moment, while Barabbas, without stopping his eating even to glance to look over at Jesus.
BARABBAS: "Well, what's up with you kid?"
JESUS: "Well ain't yaw gonna ask me?"
BARABBAS:His mouth stuffed. "Ask ya what?"
JESUS: "Ask me how I'm doing silly bean.
Yaw said my Father sent you to check up on me and to see how I'm doing right?"
BARABBAS: "Yea, sure, how ya do 'in?"
Jesus is all excited now.
JESUS: "Well, I'm doing pretty fine, thank you. I'm getting ready to go down, taw that big city down yonder."
He points to the town lights below
JESUS: "Gonna show everybody just how they can go get a redemption, from my Father."
Barabbas is still eating, seemingly unconcerned.
BARABBAS: "Yea? How's that kid?"
JESUS: "Well yaw see I got this act I do right? I tell a story, like."
Barabbas gives Jesus a slight side-glance.
BARABBAS: "Like a story or an actual story which is it, kid?"
Jesus is overly excited now, speaking real fast. He is so intent on what he's saying that he doesn't notice that Barabbas is playfully mocking him, using his face to mimic him with comical gesture's.
JESUS: "Like that, excepts, I leave out the meaning of the story and I, just kind of, give them a story about how bad they been and let them stew in their sin, fir a while, so to speak. Then, I say he who has ears to here let em here. Sometimes, I'd x-plain it, I mean, the meaning yaw know? But mostly, I'd just say, well, you know, he who has ears to hear. What'da yaw think? It went, over, real big in Antioch!"
Barabbas, stop's eating and abruptly stand's he then begins confronting Jesus.
BARABBAS: "Antioch! Who has ears? Oh boy! Kid, you need management! Sin may draw them in at first, but the real pay dirt's always in the redemption! That's a rough crowd down there! They'll eat ya alive! I mean these guys will chew down on ya, eat ya up then spit ya out, just fir the entertainment value!
Barabbas is raising his hands in the air. Pacing back and forth. He is shouting.
BARABBAS: "Yea sure! They'll make minced meat out of ya! I mean, these guys are tough and they ain't playing around. Their robbers, thieves, murder's, I tell ya, Zealot rabble rousers, all out general bad guys."
JESUS: "Really! Wow, I never thought of that.
BARABBAS: "That's the trouble with you younger generation types, you guys don't think it through and that's exactly where I come in. Management!"
JESUS: "Management! Really? How?"
BARABBAS: "Ya know, I've been around the block, a few times, I didn't fall off some donkey-butt yesterday, I mean, I youst 'ta do stand up in Jerusalem, drew some pretty big crowds too. Played the Palladium, Temple Mont, even Caesar's and I know some people. People that could help ya. People, that could help ya, get yer act together."
JESUS: "Yea? Like who?"
BARABBAS "Like who? Like, whom don't I know? Ya see, I know these three brothers Andrew, James and John, the Dead Seabed brothers see, and their like, well, they're only like the most fantastic PR guys in all of Galilee these guys"
BARABBAS: "They once, drew this crowd, to a leper colony right. And they had this other sap put dark clay all over his body, right? Like a leper, right? And.. and, then, they make like there healing him and throw him in the sea, right?"
He laugh's uncontrollably now.
BARABBAS: "Oh, Lord! And the crowd thinks that they healed him right? They had people following them from miles around! They were renowned! Heroes! Giants among men I tell ya! Now that's what I call good PR!"
JESUS: "Wow! I reckon I could use some of that PR stuff. Hey! Barabbas, do yaw think you could introduce me to the three fellers? I mean, I know that, ..."
Barabbas's facial expression say's "Got ya!"
BARABBAS: "Sure kid. Say no more. That's why, ya faddy in His ahem…"
He look's up, with a roguish smile.
BARABBAS: "In all his "Infinite Wisdom" asked me to help ya. The first thing we do in the morning is we'll go down to Galilee and pay old Andrew, James & John a visit. Yea, sure kid, ain't got nuttin to worry about, nuttin at all, better get some sleep kid. We start at the cock's crow."
Barabbas starts to shiver and shake.
BARABBAS: "I got a lot of ideas. Why's it always so cold?"
Jesus removes his long purple leather coat and place's it over his shoulder and sing's Barabbas to sleep.
DEAD SEA BROTHERS PLACE OF BUSINESS
The brothers, Andrew, James and John are seated at a long table. Andrew is the eldest, very thin and lanky with long curly red hair. His two brothers, James and John are twins, both very short and pudgy with curly Afro hair styles and Foo-Man-Choo beards, shirtless wearing matching leather vest's, pant's and sandals. Also seated at the far end of the table is their father the notorious, Papa "D" Papa is very bald and sleeping he's leaning back in a chair snoring loudly. The brothers speak in a Yapese New York Yiddish accent similar to geese honking. There is a loud knock on the door.
ANDREW: "So? What da they vant? An in'va'tation? Come in already."
Jesus and Barabbas enter.
ANDREW: "Barabb's! So? Ya nev'a heard of a pen? James! John! It's Barabbas! Look! And he's brought a friend."
JAMES & JOHN: "He's been away so long, nev'a heard of a pen; and now, he's brought a friend?
ANDREW: "Barabbas? How longs it been? So who's counting? Aha! Aha! So who's the cowboy? Wow! What a suit! Not in this life have I ever seen such a suit! James! John! Did ya ever?"
JAMES AND JOHN: "Look at da cowboy suit! Must a cost a pretty penny."
ANDREW: "And the taxes! The taxes alone could a bought you three suit's."
BARABBAS: "This here's my…ahem… client, who I am pleased to rep alleged, in his own mind, to be the next… ahem… "New Sensation". He's going to take this town by storm. The one the only Jesus! King of The Story Teller's."
Everyone start's clapping.
ANDREW: "So what do ya do?"
BARABBAS: "I already told ya, he's a storyteller!"
ANDREW: "So? He ain't got a tongue?"
James and John begin to and snicker and giggle.
JAMES & JOHN: "Yea, ain't got no tongue?"
BARABBAS: "Go ahead kid tell them a story"
JESUS: "Well, yaw see, there was this farmer feller, who had a heap of work ta do, seeing as it was the harvest and all. And so, he goes out, look-in fir some workers."
The fellow's settle in for the duration and are intent on understanding the hidden meaning.
JESUS: "And they agree on a wage of… err…. one penny a day. Which was a very fair wage, back then. And so they start's a work-in bright and early the next morning, just a baling hay and milking the cows and such."
One by one they each begin to loose attention.
JESUS: "Well, that afternoon, the farmer happens to see a man standing idol, yaw see, cause he had no chores. And the farmer say's to the feller "why not go into my field and do some chores for me and after yaw done tell me what your wage is" yaw know "fir the day". And so at the end of the day the farmer went into his field and asked the man what his wage was and the man said "one penny".
Barabbas looks around the room. John and James, appear catatonic. Andrew begins to nod.
.JESUS: "And when the farmer gave it to him the others got real sore like because he had only worked a short day and they had worked a long one. And the farmer said to them "did you not agree on a fair wage?" And "have I not the right to do as I please in my, own field?" For hem's first shall be last and hem's last shall be first. He who has ears."
There is a long uncomfortable silence.
ANDREW: "Who has ears? What's this about ears? And last first? First is last? One work's long? Another work's short?"
JAMES & JOHN: "Nice story kid but what's up with ears already?"
Barabbas whisper's an aside to Jesus.
BARABBAS: "I told ya ta quit it with that ear's thing!"
ANDREW: "Jazz it up a little, make em laugh, it ain't funny! Give em the punch line kid, the one two you'll kill em."
JESUS: "Well, I suppose"
Andrew stands up and moves to the center of the room. He has on a nice black suit and a white shirt with a thin, black, necktie, which he purposely unloosens around the neck. Then he take's a bit of time to tighten the tie, for effect. After this bit of business he begins.
ANDREW: "There were these two farmer's, see and they started to converse one morning. The first say's
"My Darn donkey got the fits this morning what ya give yer's when it had em last time?"
The utter farmer he sez
"Yep gave em' arsenic and hemlock."
The next day the first farmer see's the utter farmer and he sez
"I gave my donkey that mixture of arsenic and hemlock like ya told me but mine dropped dead." The utter farmer sez;
"Yep killed mine too!"
BARABBAS: "That's why I came here remember the bit with the leper's? I really got ta hand it to ya on that one."
ANDREW: "Mud and water?"
JAMES & JOHN: "Yea! Mud and water"
ANDREW: "Actually that one was Papa "D's" number. Kicking it old school, right?"
JAMES & JOHN: "Yea, kicking it old school."
BARABBAS: "How's ya faddy anyway?"
They both look over to Papa "D" at the end of the table snoring away. The leaning chair look's a bit precarious.
ANDREW: "I think he'd sleep through his own funeral."
BARABBAS: "Well I just thought, that we would add some special effects"
ANDREW: "There's always the wedding circuit, turn some water into wine."
JAMES & JOHN: "A real crowed pleaser!"
ANDREW: "Cast out a few demon's while ya at it why don't ya?
Barabbas begins to pace the room back and forth, hand's behind him, at one point he bump's into Jesus who appears baffled by the whole scene. He lift's his head look's up, and stares Jesus in the face and then turn's to Andrew.
BARABBAS: "I had my eye on Temple Mont"
ANDREW: "Oh! Temple Mont, fancy sha-mancy. He'll need a pimp ride. I can get him a spot on "Good Morning Rome" that Louder kid owes my pops a favor."
BARABBAS: "I was thinking a donkey?"
The brother's jaws drop their eye's bug out.
(All in unison shout)
ANDREW JAMES AND JOHN: "A donkey!"
BARABBAS: "Well…err. It's just that…"
ANDREW JAMES AND JOHN: "We love it!"
All are talking together planning the next phase they talk over each other.
JAMES & JOHN: "Hey, what's the name of that leper colony?"
BARABBBAS: "Yea I figured youse would get it. Donkey-butt's understated ain't too bling."
ANDREW: "I heard that da Insurgents are back in town but we need ta work on his act."
Andrew look's at Jesus, he's playing with a finch in a cage, seemingly unconcerned with the situation.
ANDREW: "Boy do we need to work on his act. And we need something big, some thing big for the grand finally. Wait I can feel it, it's coming, something."
Suddenly a loud boom at the end of the table Papa "D" fall's back in his chair and is having convulsion's on the floor.
PAPA "D": "Raise da dead! vhy don't cha raise da dead! Ya vant a grand finale? Den vhy don't cha (shout's) RAISE THE DEAD!
Everyone turn's and then they all shout in unison.
ALL: "Get LAZARUS