Sa-Faire
Sa-Faire' is the phonetic pronunciation of the Aramaic word for Scribe.

Romance, intrigue, modern archeology, and avarice lead to the greatest discovery since we started adding AD after our dates.  

Did you ever wonder why Jesus, one of the most influential figures in the history of the world, never wrote anything down? Jesus read from the Holy Scriptures in synagogues as a youth, and taught from scripture more effectively than the Pharisees. He came to fulfill the Law of Moses, to revamp an entire culture, but nobody wrote anything down until the letters of Paul, 25 years after Jesus' death.

The premise of this work of fiction is that Jesus did write things down, through a personal scribe (a boyhood friend who chose law over carpentry) who went with him everywhere. The Scribe knew Jesus better than anyone, even the Apostles, and he recorded Jesus' ministry. When Jesus was crucified, the Scribe fled with Mary Magdalen, and sealed up the records to keep them from being destroyed along with Jesus and many of his followers.

The story begins when modern day anthropology students stumble onto the Scribe's cache' of ancient documents and embark on a quest of discovery complicated by highly organized treasure seekers in an adventure romp that might reveal something of the true character of Jesus, or maybe not. Only the quest will reveal what the documents might hold.

While this story shares the idea that Jesus had friends as a child, my work is nothing like "The Gospel According To Biff." My work is set in modern times and is an action adventure based on the concept that there are documents from Jesus' lifetime that are discovered by young anthropology students.

In progress...

Here is a sample:


“Hold the lamp higher, Peter! More light!” Andre shouted while he and Jacques continued digging.

“Shuush!” Jacques sprayed through clenched teeth, pausing to hold his finger up to his mouth. “We don’t want the whole countryside to know were out here.”

“Why are you whispering Jacques?” Andre shouted again. “We’re making the Devil’s own racket with these shovels and we’re bathed in light from the lantern. If there’s somebody within five miles of this place they already know were here.”

Jacques ignored Andre’s question, preferring to continue to dig. They were on a quest, seeking the treasure of Visigoth King Alaric who sacked Rome in 410 CE. Alaric’s soldiers took six days to carry away the contents of the vaults of the Roman Empire. The Visigoths hauled their spoils to the Languedoc, a part of Southern France that borders the Mediterranean Sea.

Andre and Jacques stood up to their shoulders in a hole they were digging near a crumbled stone wall, searching for buried treasure. The wall dated back to the Visigothic era, between 500 CE and 710 CE. They were digging near the present-day village of Couiza, in Southern France, at a place that one of their favorite authors, David Wood, called The Black Spot.[1]

Legends held that the treasure, or at least a large portion of it, was still hidden and many became obsessed with finding Alaric’s gold. Legends attracted people from every country and even Hitler sent treasure seekers from the Third Reich to hunt for the gold during World War II.

All three of the clandestine diggers at The Black Spot, Andre, Jacques, and Peter, were fathers and former husbands but the lure of hidden riches and the irresistible attraction of ancient mysteries broke their families apart. Following historic paths blended with uncertain legends, but on separate tracks, the men reached the same conclusions and settled in Couiza without knowing each other before.

Over time they had become a cooperative, sharing information in order to bypass inevitable duplications of effort and to reduce the time required to solve problems by a factor of three. Together, they fanned the embers that their families had tried to extinguish, and the flames of avarice roared higher and higher.

They were all professional men from Paris, at retirement age and well off enough to lounge frugally in the mysteries of the Visigoth Empire. They indulged in fantasies of massive wealth, sailing yachts, villas in the most beautiful parts of the world, and all the dreams that inexhaustible riches could bring.

They used their collective investigations to pick the place to dig and they were shoulder deep in the hole when Andre stabbed his shovel into the dirt for the thousandth time. They all heard a thump.

“What was that?” Jacques asked.

“I hit something,” Andre replied. “It didn’t feel like a rock. More like a piece of wood. Peter! More light!”

Peter leaned in from the edge above with the handle of the Coleman lantern in one hand. With the other hand he pulled the bottom back, tilting the light as if he were pouring it into the hole from a bucket. A patch of white gleamed up from the dirt between Andre’s feet. “It doesn’t look like a wooden chest. What is it?”

Andre dropped to his knees beside the object and scraped dirt away with his hands. “Up you go Jacques, you’re casting too much of a shadow.”

Jacques climbed out of the hole while Andre worked his fingers around the white object, revealing more with each swipe of his hand. An elongated shape appeared, rounded like a tree branch, and then a ball shape showed itself at one end. Andre worked his fingers under the object and pulled. In one frustrated final jerk, the thing suddenly came loose, dumping Andre on his rump with a thud. He raised the stick up to the light as they all realized at the same instant that Andre held a human femur in his grasp.

“Ahhh!” Andre shouted as he dropped the leg bone and scrambled out of the hole, now an open grave.

“Hoo boys, that gives me the shivers I tell you,” Andre said as he wiped his hands on his trousers. “I never figured to be a grave robber.”

They stared in awkward silence for a moment before Peter offered, “The Priest.”

“Yes,” Jacques agreed, thinking about the same tales as his compatriots, “Sauniere[2] dug up his own parish graveyard. It worked for him.”

Andre filled in the rest; “He went from penniless to filthy rich overnight. We all know the story.”

The three of them had not simply read Holy Blood, Holy Grail, rather, they had studied the book in great detail. They knew the history of Berenger Sauniere, the parish priest of Rennes-lelChateau village from 1885 to 1891.

Andre, still shivering from his encounter with the femur, continued, “I suppose we should expect to dig in places like this if we’re serious about finding anything. But expecting gold and getting bones, by lantern light, in the middle of the night, on a secret dig; it’s just a shock, that’s all. Peter, you let me hold the light a while, until I stop shaking,” Andre said as he reached out with his quivering hand.

Peter gave up the lantern and slipped into the hole with Jacques. Every thrust of their shovels struck more bones. As the sky lightened they understood that they had uncovered more than one skeleton.

“We’d best be getting back before we’re discovered,” Peter said. “What are we going to do with these bones?”

“Nothing,” replied Andre. “We’re going to give it all over to the Sorbonne. This is something for the Archeologists at the University.”

“How are we going to do that?” Jacques asked. “They’ll know we were out here.”

“With an anonymous call,” Peter answered. “Once they get down here they won’t care how the site was found. They’ll just want to dig it all up so they can figure out who these people were. In the meantime, we can watch the dig from up in the hills, observe them, maybe learn along with them. We’ll make friends with them so they will talk about the dig. Perhaps they’ll uncover something meaningful to us that they don’t understand themselves. After all, who has more knowledge of the treasure than us?”

Andre made the call from a pay phone in Couiza that stirred up excitement in Paris. Within a month the university had a permit and professors began digging with a team of graduate students. Nobody ever even asked the question of who initiated the dig.

[1] The Black Spot is a term coined by researcher and author David Wood in his book Genesis: The First Book of Revelations, Baton Wicks Publications, 1985, ISBN 0859361802. The Black Spot marks the geometrical center of a huge pentagram with 27-mile legs between five key landmarks. According to Wood, it marks buried treasure.

[2] Berenger Sauniere: Parish priest of the Rennes-le-Chateau village from 1885 to 1891. For a detailed treatment of Sauniere’s story see Holy Blood, Holy Grail, Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln, Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc., 1983