A Spaceman Came a Calling
By Mick Walters
There was a knock at the stable door. Joseph rose from his wife’s side, picked up an oil lamp, and pulled open the rough, wooden door and peered into the darkness. A man in strange, white clothing stood there, garbed from head to toe. The helmeted individual then lifted the mirrored visor covering his face.
‘You are Joseph of Nazareth?’
‘I have come from a far…’ The man stepped forward into the light of the oil lamp.
‘Is this about the chariot wheels I sold to the Legatus?’
Joseph leaned forward. ‘Are you sure? He wasn’t too happy when they fell apart. ’
‘I’m not a Roman.’
‘Pull the other one: normal people don’t dress like that.’ Joseph gestured to the white outfit.
The stranger cleared his throat. ‘My name is Kay.’ He held out his gloved hand in greeting.
Joseph gave a hasty glance up and down the street. ‘Look you? I can’t be seen fraternizing with your kind. What do you want?’
Kay ignored him and extracted from a pocket a piece of parchment. He held it up and began to read: ‘Behold. Do not fear. I come from a planet a long way from here, and I bring a message for the one they call Jesus.’ He touched a button on the cuff of his sleeve. The air above them was filled with the sweetest music.
‘Who?’ Joseph asked, interrupting him. The music continued to play.
‘Jesus, your son.’
‘It’s pronounced, Yeshua!’
‘You’re not one of those wise men are you?’ Joseph held the oil lamp closer to the man’s face.
‘We had three of the beggars here earlier asking to see Yeshua. I told them to sling their hooks!’ Kay raised an eyebrow.
‘Er … no.’
‘Good. So what’s this about? He hasn’t been stealing again, has he?’
Kay looked confused. ‘I have come to see your new born infant.’
‘Oh right, why didn’t you say, I thought you were here to see his older brother Yeshua senior?’
‘The son of god doesn’t have an elder sibling.’
‘I know what you said. Just who do you think we are?’
‘You are Joseph of Nazareth married to Mary, parents to the new born Messiah Jesus Christ.’
‘Bloody cheek! My wife’s not named Mary.’
‘I’m sorry I don’t…’
Joseph interrupted him again. ‘You bleeding Romans think you know it all. Mary’s, the wife’s sister.’
‘I … er … don’t understand’
‘Go on, clear off!’
Kay turned and started to walk away,
‘Oy! Does that belong to you?’ Joseph pointed up at the bright star hovering above them. The music continued to emanate from it.
‘Er … yes.’
‘Well bugger it off. You can’t go around playing loud music at this time of night. Some of us have got to be up early in the morning.’ Joseph slammed the door,
Kay continued to walk away. He pressed the button on his sleeve cuff; a beam of light shone down from the star. For a second he was an indistinct figure bathed in a glorious golden light. Then it flickered once and snapped off leaving the street empty and silent.
‘Who was that, dear?’ Joseph’s wife asked as he sat down by her side.
‘Just another one of those nut jobs asking about your bloody sister.’
‘What did you tell them?’
‘Nothing. Just told him to clear off.’
‘I wish she’d not told everybody about how she became pregnant. Fancy saying she was visited in the night by a messenger from God.’
‘Yeah right. More like an angel wearing a toga and carrying a Gladius,’ Joseph said.
‘She was always one for a man in a uniform when she was younger.’
Her husband laughed. ‘And now she’s in her teens she’ll have to face up to her responsibilities, once this child of hers is born in the spring.’ There was a knock at the door. ‘Oh for crying out loud, who’s that now? If it’s another one of those bloody Shepherds I swear I’ll shove his sheep right up his—‘
Copyright © Mick Walters 2014