EPIPHANY

Forty days and forty nights have come to past.

Yeshuah was hungry, hot and thirsty. The desert, scorching and blazing hot. The air was suffocating and humid.

He was parched; he yearned for food and watered wine. He yearned for anything cool to soothe the onslaught of the heat.

"Yeshuah…" a voice neither female nor male had whispered, "Yael come to me…"

He whipped around to look for the source of the raspy voice. After glancing around, his brown eyes fell upon a figure robed in vibrant red. The hood obscured his face; the long cloak covering the figure from sight and from the glare of the unrelenting heat of the sun.

The figure came face to face with Yeshuah, standing a few feet away.

"Yeshuah. My, how you have grown," musing, the voice thundered animalistic, human and something Yael couldn't place.

"Who are you?" Yeshuah's throat was dry and scratchy.

"It matters not," a pause, "You are hungry and tired, are you not? Why should you ponder on my identity when you can rest?"

"How did you know that?"

"I know many things. Here, some food. I know how famished you are." The robed figure bent down and took a few stones. Upon rising, the stones have turned into loaves of bread.

"Take it."

"No thank you. I have not finished fasting yet."

"Just a bite. A teensy bite; I know how hungry you are. Come on. Don't be afraid. Take it…" sickeningly sweet was the voice.

Yeshuah, feeling compelled to take the bread, reached out a hand to take it.

"Yes…that's it…take it…"

At once, Yeshuah's resolve came snapping back. He withdrew his hand and fisted them tightly. "NO! I will not take it. It is written, One cannot live on bread alone. We must live on the Word of the Lord."

The world suddenly spun from his view. They appeared on top of the temple. The highest point of holy ground. The parapet.

Yael stood confident that this was indeed a test. The mysterious figure stood by, breathing closely to his ear.

"Jump down," a throaty laugh sounded, "Is it not written? He will command his Angeli when it concerns YOU; and with their hands they will support you lest you dash your foot against a stone…So try it. JUMP."

The voice that whispered to him was compelling but Yeshuah knew better.

"Again, it is written: You shall not test your Lord and God, the King Loreus. Is this not a test?"

The world spun from view once again. This time, they stood atop the highest peak in all of Palestine. Flashes of all the Kingdoms in their greatest glory and magnificence were showed to him.

"All these would be yours, a gift from me, if you will only kneel and come away with me to pledge your loyalty to Pyron."

Yeshuah whirled around to face the mysterious figure. His brown eyes ablaze with conviction and his hair being ruffled by the wind.

"Get away SATAN! In stone it is written and decreed that the Lord and God, King Loreus shall you worship and him alone shall you serve. Get away from here and from me Satan. You are defeated."

"I am not Satan," a dark sadistic laugh came forth, "I am not defeated yet."

The voice was familiar, as if Yeshuah recognized it from somewhere, sometime long ago.

"Remember my words Yeshuah. You are only a tool to Loreus. You are not wanted as much as he wants the adorations of all. Come with us and you will belong. You will be safe. You won't need to suffer…" bitterness was so evident.

As the figure turned to leave, there was a sudden gust of wind. The hood of the red cloak fell from the head of the "person" who he has been talking to. Only to reveal…

"Lucifer." Yeshuah whispered.

But Lucifer did not hear. He flew off, his ebony wings powerful and his silvery blonde hair glinting in the sun.

A realization dawned on Yeshuah. The reason why he recognized the voice so well was because…Lucifer was his…

"Brother…"