in the Short Fiction contest of the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Festival. The story, a fractured fairy tale, is based on “Nailed Up.” Chris Tolliver wakes up on his Jesus Year birthday in a hotel room in Bethlehem (PA) after his re-enactment of the central myth of the Catholic faith goes off the rails. With the help of a hustler named Lance (think Longinus), and Marta, the forbearing housekeeper, he gets through it–although whether he can emerge from his cave is up in the air.
Chris, left hulking towards an absent body in the Star Suite, was engulfed in waves of remorse. He’d bent time, space, geography, history, social order, reason, morality, and judgment to fit a bogus myth. He was thirty-four and he wasn’t quite dead, just really fucking impaired. Marta looked on with pity.
Can Chris resurrect himself? Does Lance get his rate? Will Marta return to the mushroom farm? The answers to these and other burning questions may or may not be in your copy of Jesus Year.