Please read and review, I would really appreciate it. Enjoy though, it's a bit weird and it would be great to hear if people do actually understand it at all!







THE LAST JUDGEMENT



Judas's suicide was unexpected, but not to me as that's why I was sent to Calvary Drive. The neighbours tried to discover what had gone on behind the steel gates of twenty-four Calvary Drive and the secrets that were hidden by the tall, wooden fence. After Judas's death, it was rare that a passerby wasn't peering into the screening jungle from the safety of the real world. Within the confines of the fence, there was a darker world, one of mystery and betrayal.

Escaping the fence was an occasional thorny vine seeking the warmth of the sun from the cold where it grew. The tangle inside the enclosure harboured a host of ancient plants, a multitude of thorns entwining themselves around each other, creating a living and growing labyrinth. A flash of crimson sometimes unexpectedly caught a passing eye as the heavy foliage briefly parted in a breeze, revealing tatty curtains and small patches of the rotting and peeling timber of the house. Tall, ancient trees towered over the property, casting black shadows over nearby houses.

It was in there that Judas took his final breath, where he died by his own hand. It was in there that he had co-existed beside Joshua and Stan. But no one knew when Judas had snapped, when he'd lost all sense of reality.

____________________________________________________________________

Judas stood in the middle of his overgrown garden, feeling the moist air seep into his tattered clothing. His dark mane was long and wild and his beard was tangled, creating an unruly black mass. His fingernails were dirty and had been chewed so short that dried blood encrusted the remaining nails. Judas, staring out from beneath his bushy eyebrows, looked around the garden, his dark eyes accustomed to the darkness under the thick vegetation. The sun used to shine into the garden, but over time the garden had become so overgrown that even the smallest ray of light seemed unable to penetrate it.

He lived in darkness now, hating the light which made him nervous and his skin prickle.

He moved into this darkness to escape the traitorous world outside, but instead found himself living between Joshua and Stan.

He had always believed there were two opposing forces of good and evil but it had never been so evident before Joshua and Stan had suddenly moved into the two houses bordering his property. Watching from the darkness of his garden, Judas often saw demons and angels lurking around his house, seemingly invisible to all but him. He knew they were out to get him and often cowered in his small bedroom in fear, covered in sweat and violently shaking.

Through the thriving vegetation and the fist-sized hole in the rotting fence, Judas spied on Joshua's house. He felt apprehensive spying, afraid that Joshua would see him and come over and talk, as if sensing the sin he had committed.

Their last conversation had been awkward enough.

"Judas, how are you? We've been worried."

"Why?"

"What do you mean why? Even after everything I'm still concerned about you."

"Sure."

"Judas, what am I going to do with you?"

Joshua had shaken his head in disappointment and walked away, managing to make Judas feel guilty about his neighbour's misplaced concern.

At night, Joshua's house shone heavenly in the dark from the lights set along the garden path and around the house, as though a protective aura surrounded it. Judas knew the lights had been installed by Joshua's Father to protect him from the evil which lurked so close by. The house was large, brilliantly white and stood tall and proud against a backdrop of lush green grass and brightly coloured flowerbeds. It was a picture of beauty, friendliness and welcoming; a picture of absolute perfection and purity. Judas often envied the tranquillity of his neighbour's garden.

Even as he recognized the perfection before him, Judas could feel himself being drawn towards the other side of his garden, the darker side, where Stan lived. He grasped a thorny vine, causing blood to run down his hands, in an attempt to withstand the temptation to visit. Even though he recognised the evil in Stan, Judas liked him more than Joshua, but at the same time he didn't feel happy around him. He could relate to Stan, as he didn't like Joshua and all his perfection either.

Stan's house contrasted with Joshua's in every aspect. It was like a black spot, a blemish on the neighbourhood and it stood in the middle of a barren wasteland. Corroding car skeletons, old piping and broken littered the ground. Grass refused to grow and only small dead patches remained. The house was covered in lifeless vines which hung brown and limp from its walls and the rusting drain pipes.

As Judas peered in through the gap in the fence he spied Stan on his haunches rocking; backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards. His black, greasy hair hung down over his face masking his emotions, but listening hard, Judas could hear muttering emerging from underneath the veil of hair. Judas watched in morbid fascination as Stan opened his hand to reveal a butterfly. However, to Judas's shock, Stan suddenly started shredding the innocent creature's wings with a small pair of scissors. Judas turned away in horror but in the knowledge that this was nothing compared to acts of unfounded cruelty he had seen Stan commit before.

"So you've come," a guttural voice said.

Turning back, Judas let out a startled cry at the sinister eye which had appeared at the gap in the fence; Stan's eye glowed red, hypnotically drawing Judas towards the fence. Judas blinked, and in that moment, the glowing eye returned to normal.

"I've got the money, wait here," Stan said and suddenly the eye was gone. Judas sighed in relief and sorrow, his conscience now weighing heavily on him. Suddenly a distant memory appeared amongst all his confused ones; he had betrayed someone, his best friend. Pushing his bare foot into the moist earth, he remembered, the memory hitting him hard.

They had all been very good friends as their job required the twelve of them to work together as a group. But Joshua was their group leader, easily the most popular one. Judas had always been jealous, infuriated by the way everyone paid his friend more attention than him. Why he'd betrayed his friend and accepted the money he didn't know; it wasn't worth it. Unconsciously, Judas shook himself, returning to the present.

The eye was back.

"Here. Catch!" A heavy, black bag flew over the fence and crashed through the shrubbery onto the ground near his feet, spilling some silver coins.

"Count it if you want," Stan said.

"No."

"Hey man, be cool. You did good."



Judas lay on the roof, staring up at the night sky. Dark rain clouds had appeared that afternoon and now covered the moon and stars. Judas felt unable to move, weighed down by his conscience. Although there was still time to warn him of his betrayal, Judas was unwilling to act. Was his hate that deep? He sat up and was preparing to go inside when he spied a figure standing under a dim, street light looking up at him. He knew instantly it was Gabriel. What was he doing here? Why was he staring at him?

"Go away. You know nothing. Nothing!" Judas cried, throwing a stick. He watched the stick land a few metres from the ethereal figure. Suddenly, as if by magic, Gabriel was gone.

Over the next few days no one saw Joshua, the large white house eerily dark and silent; it was as if he had never existed. No one had thought this unusual, however, as he often went days without being seen.

Finally the police came, their cars parked all around the property, the policemen and detectives walking up and down the street searching for clues and gathering information. Everyone had liked Joshua and the way he had always been the first one to help. People had flocked to his house at all hours.

Judas stood outside his gate with a young policewoman who was holding a clipboard taking notes.

"So sir, when was the last time you saw your neighbour?" she asked.

"Not sure."

"Surely you would know, Tuesday, Monday?"

"Dunno."

"The evidence we have points to a large group of people being here. There would have been a lot of noise. You must have heard something?" the young police officer insisted, scratching her head with her pen, the clipboard clutched to her chest as if to protect herself.

The questions continued but eventually the policewoman gave up and moved onto the next house. Judas sighed and watched two detectives squatting on the ground, staring at a spot next to the house. He knew it would only be a matter of time until they found the culprit.

He went inside to where the black bag lay. He had tried to return it to Stan, but he had refused, calling Judas's betrayal his own responsibility.

"I wish I'd never been so weak. What have I done?" he said as he picked up the heavy bag and threw it through the window in disgust, shattering the glass.

Judas fell to his knees, his head in his hands, whimpering like a small child. Blood pooled under him where the glass had cut his knees. He looked up and agonisingly cried, "Oh God. Please forgive me?" He staggered outside to where the black bag had caught on a thorn from a vine which looped from tree to tree. He tested its strength with all his weight. He was free.

Stan stood at the edge of his property watching the procession of police enter Judas's house waiting in fascination to see them remove Judas' corpse.

"Hey, what's going on?" Turning around he saw Matthew and Luke walking up the street.

"Find out yourself," Stan said.

"First Joshua, then Judas doing himself in like that, it's a street of blood now," said Luke, "I'd be moving out."

"Maybe."

"I heard they found a bag of money near Judas's body. Something about it going to Saint Vinnie's and he was sorry for his betrayal. Can you explain where that money came from then?"

"Nope," said Stan.

"Oh well, the police said they're investigating both incidents, so they'll catch whoever's responsible eventually."

___________________________________________________________________ Maybe I could have stopped their deaths, but I was only sent here to observe things. I walk away from where I had been watching the ambulance take away Judas's body. I notice a message has been left on my mobile phone, so I press the button and listen. The line is crackling, but I guess that's to be expected since He's calling from so far away. "Gabriel, it's time to come home."

The End ******************************************************************