Grandmother's Devil & Other Tempting Tales

Grandmother of God

Hannah writes the story of her grandson's life and excruciating death at the hands of occupying Romans, a testament to the lies of foolhardy rebels and zealots that grow ever more fantastic in the retelling.

It is searingly hot today, as if Satan has unstopped the chimneys of Gehenna. The desert air is filthier and fouler than a buzzards breath. The caves give some respite from the dust and wrath of the sun but do not provide much comfort.

When I pray these days, I am more downcast than ever.
Elahi has surely turned his back on his chosen people. The pestilent Romans He has visited upon us are as thick as flies on rotting mutton.

They harry us for sport. When they discover one of our caves, we are forced to gather our meager belongings and flee to another. No matter. We know these labyrinths far better than they.

Our men are scattered to the far reaches of the desert. We women are old now. Most of us are widows and no longer much endangered by the Romans' insatiable lust for blood and sex. In the past, when they would catch us, they would force us to pollute ourselves with each other for their amusement, on pain of death.

But such depravity only bores them now. They long for the inexhaustible pleasures of Rome: the circuses, the gladiators in the arena and the public baths, the nubile slaves and temple prostitutes with whom they can debauch themselves.

We old women now bear helpless witness to an age of abject misery and despair. Rebellions against the Romans smolder and periodically burst into flame, only to be viciously snuffed out. Tales concerning my grandson Yehoshua fuel the zeal of foolhardy rebels and grow ever more fantastic in the retelling.

And thus, I have determined to set down a record of what I have seen with my own eyes and heard with my own ears, a testament to truth which perhaps will die with me in these caves but, if it be the will of
Elahi, may be read in more fortunate times.