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Thank you for visiting Aramis Thorn's web page. Here you can find information about his books, his Blog, and scheduled appearances.
Books by Aramis Thorn:
A Roman Praetor investigates a series of crimes in first century Jerusalem. Intrigue and deception lead him in an ever tightening circle toward the plan to kill his friend, Jesus of Nazareth. Preview Here
The Foster Father of God
A gripping story that teaches through Jesus’ dad, Joseph. See Joseph’s mistakes and flaws. Revel in his small daily victories. Experience his awe of God. Gain new perspectives on one man’s impact and influence over our Savior. Preview Here
Chronicles of Thanatos the Reaper
Skeletal face, billowing cloak, scythe: visage of the Grim Reaper? Only if you are at odds with God. Thanatos; however, is a sinless, brilliant angel on a mission from God – a mission of mercy – for those who will have it.
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A Stitch in Time
Brilliant stars and an even brighter moon illuminate the landscape of a chill Judean night. Unaffected by the night air, an angel sits astride a ruddy mare. Both Polemos, the Angel of War, and Eman, his mount, are untouched by the elements and they are invisible to the eyes of man. He waits at the end of a flower field near the Jerusalem gate. The man for whom he waits enters the opposite end of the field. Polemos hastens to his side, aware that his mount will not harm any of the flowers nor leave any trace of their passage. The War Angel knows that he is to observe the man and protect him. He wonders why, but obediently takes his place beside the rider.
The rider makes his way silently across the field of Night Blooming Narcissus. Out of respect for the unknown owner, he guides his horse through the narrow path used to tend and irrigate the ocean of fragrant flowers. The scent of the Narcissus provides welcome relief from the coppery stench of blood still damp on his tunic. Checking the puncture wound between his third and fourth rib the Roman solider notes with relief that the bleeding has stopped. Pulling the arrow from his pack, he studies it under the moonlight. Looking up into the night sky, he whispers to no one in particular, “Zealots.”
The timber of his single word accusation is more anguish than anger. He knows that Rome grows weary of the lack of assimilation in this region. Even the Jews’ great celebration of Passover is a celebration of freedom from oppressors. Portimus does not view Rome as oppressing Israel, but he also knows that how he sees it did not matter to the recently dispatched band that ambushed him in the mountains near Gaza.
Having tracked them from the site of their attack on a Greek caravan, the Roman offers the four men the opportunity to surrender and live. Their response, attacking on foot against a mounted soldier, proves unwise. That this particular Praetor could best any squad of Centurions on any given day proves fatal for the untrained inexperienced assailants.
Weapons and will do not complete a fighter. The untrained Zealots have both but lack the confidence of practice and wisdom of action. The first two of them rush him, flailing their swords wildly as if to scare him. Although this tactic works on caravans of merchants and women, a sidestep with his horse, a parry, and two quick thrusts cut the number of opponents in half, literally.
The third, the one with the bow, becomes overconfident when a lucky shot pierces the Roman’s side. Portimus shifts his gladius to the hand holding his mount’s reins at the same moment the emboldened Zealot stands and aims for a second shot. With speed uncommon for his size, the mounted warrior grasps a javelin from his quiver and lets fly. The bow shot sails far over the soldier’s head as the force of javelin drives the Zealot into the rock wall behind him.
Fear shows in the eyes of the fourth Zealot. Unfortunately, bravado and rage supersede his fear. Screaming epithets, he charges Portimus, his sword raised high. Portimus nudges his horse back and to the left. The Zealot’s swing goes wide and the soldier calls to him in flawless Aramaic, “You cannot beat me. Surrender and you will live.”
The assailant screams his response. “I would rather die than receive mercy from a Roman.” He spits on the ground and charges again. Seeing that there will be no parley with the Zealot, Portimus grants his request. The soldier kicks his horse to the right and beheads the rebel as he passes. The Roman takes no pleasure in killing but has dispatched all four Zealots efficiently and professionally in a matter of seconds.
He takes a moment to carefully remove the arrow from his side and wash the wound. While not life threatening, it will need professional attention. He gathers the fallen men’s belongings, the camels, and items taken from the caravan. Returning to the place where the caravan survivors wait, he returns their belongings to them.
Bidding the travelers well, he presses on toward his assignment in Jerusalem arriving long after sunset. He knows that the gates are already closed for the night and makes his way around to the needle’s eye. This small gate is guarded but allows access to travelers only via a narrow passage. There is an opening through which animals must stoop to pass. The guards recognize the Roman’s rank and hasten to open the larger gate for him.
Portimus rides through the crowded streets to the garrison. The pre-Passover bazaar makes the going slow but he is determined to clean up and assess the city before reporting to the Governor. Pilate does not mind late night chats but he prefers clean officers in his presence. The night watch at the garrison snaps to attention and salutes as he rides up. To his credit, one of them notices the blood on the Praetor’s armor and summons aid. To his further credit, he rouses the garrison commander, alerting him to the arrival of a higher-ranking officer.
Polemos moves away, aware that his charge will be well for now. The War Angel’s brothers are gathering. Something requires his attention and there is a sense of foreboding in all of creation. Whatever is on the horizon, his new interest will play a part in it.
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THE FOSTER FATHER OF GOD
So caught up is Jacob in his reverie that he misses the small caravan of men from Kerioth who move into the already teeming market place. He looks up to greet Maxim as they pass by the soldiers. Patrius and Longinus move to the opposite side of the road to inspect the caravans camels as they pass. Portimus is up the street settling a dispute between a merchant and his customer. The men leading the camels are on the same side as Jacob, Maxim, and Samuel as they pass.
The flash of the blade in the morning sun comes so quickly that it is gone before Maxim feels the pain. Fortunately, for him, the strike is not true and the slash goes wide of his heart. The blade sinks into his flesh, nicking his lung. The Zealot in the caravan quickly tucks away the knife and moves on as the gasping soldier sinks to the ground.
Patrius and Longinus notice movement where Maxim was standing and keen senses, battle hardened take over. Each draws their short two-edged gladius, and moves through a throng that parts in fear of Romans with unsheathed weapons.
Jacob sees Maxim fall and instantly drops to his side. The wound pulses blood and the carpenter grabs the linen cloth from the cart. The cucumbers spill out of the linen, one landing on the fallen soldiers chest. With one hand, the carpenter presses the cloth over the bleeding chest of his friend and with the other; he grasps the vegetable to throw it aside.
Patrius sees a man, silhouetted in the morning sun, kneeling over his commanding officer with an upraised hand. There is something in the hand. Neither knowing nor caring who the man is, the soldier drives his gladius into the target with vicious fervor. The blade bisects his torso slicing through his lung and spleen, exiting out of the front and almost impaling the prone Maxim.
Patrius withdraws his blade and draws back for a second blow when a hand touches him. He redirects the blow at what he assumes is a second assailant. Rabbi Samuel can only express shock as the soldier thrusts the sword into his chest. Samuel whispers as he sinks to the ground. It is Jacob. He is trying to help.
The Rabbi is dead before Patrius can remove the blade. As he does, a steel grip encircles his wrists. The pain causes him to drop his bloodied blade on the ground where it rests between Jacob and Samuel. As Patrius returns to the wider world outside of his targets, he sees that the entire market has stopped.
Portimus orders him to stand down. Longinus is at his fathers side and puts pressure on the linen covering his wound. While there, he looks over at the fallen carpenter, still clutching a cucumber in his hand. The murmurs of the crowed become and dangerous background to the carnage the two soldiers see. Portimus, the senior of the three standing officers orders the market cleared.
People, outraged but fearful, run in the face of angry Romans with blood on their hands. As soon as the he is sure that the market is clearing, the enraged giant turns his attention to Patrius. How can you be such a fool to strike unarmed men without cause?
The centurion attempts an answer, I thought that the man was attacking Maxim. He chooses the wrong one, Besides, they are only Jews.
Portimuss fist crashes into Patrius jaw so solidly that the young solider will not speak for a week. Picking himself up from the ground, he spits out teeth as the senior officer gives new orders. Return to the garrison and send a squad here. You remain there no matter what happens. You are relived of duty until Maxim or I determine your fate.
Patrius retreats in the face of righteous rage. It will not be the last time he encounters such. Portimus confirms that Maxim's wound is not mortal and his suspicion that the Rabbi is beyond help. He moves to Jacob who lies in a pool of his own blood gasping for breath that will not come. The dying carpenter looks into the eyes of Portimus and speaks.
You are all not like that one. Do not let this turn into something that destroys Nazareth. Portimus must lean in closer to the carpenters last words.
The squad arrives and Portimus orders half of them to carry Maxim to the garrison for care. The others load the bodies of the Rabbi and Jacob onto the cart. The soldiers order a vendor who is watching it all to cover the bloody ground with fresh sand. Assured that his father will be cared for, Longinus insists on accompanying Patrius to the home of Jacob.
As they wheel the bodies to the fallen carpenters home, Patrius asks Longinus if he understands Jacob's last words. He knew he was dying and he told me that he forgave Patrius. He also told me that a member of the caravan attacked your father. Then he said the oddest thing. He smiled through all the pain and looked me in the eye. He said, Do not fear this. My grandson will make all things right.
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CHRONICLES OF THANATOS:
One Night's Harvest
Thanatos waits for sunset on the highest rampart of Jerusalem's walls. Two kings are under his watch this evening. One, Hezekiah, King of Judah, lies dying in his besieged city. The other, Senniacherib, King of the Assyrians, stands outside of the same city, cursing the stubbornness of the besieged. The prophet, Isaiah, has told Hezekiah that he will die. Hezekiah has served the God of Abraham faithfully all of his reign. It troubles him greatly that he is unable to help his small nation against the Assyrian butchers. It is understandable that Hezekiah has the Angel of Death's attention.
Senniacherib has his attention for a different reason. Thanatos wants to destroy this God-mocking slayer of innocents. The king of the Assyrians has ordered Jerusalem ringed in like a bird in a cage. He has burned his own gods, claiming that no god can stand against him. His generals have orders to send people to the wall of Jerusalem to jeer at the people and mock their God. Senniacherib has ravished the other cities of Palestine with ease. He has no use for gods or men except as they serve to aid his conquest. He has destroyed or taken tribute from every city in his path.
Even now Isaiah the prophet makes his way toward the city with a message from God. King Hezekiah of Judah has lain ill for months. Thanatos does not know yet if he is there to collect the faithful king. Isaiah and Hezekiah are deep in conversation for some time. The sickly king understands that God cares about his kingdom, Judah. He does not understand why God has not yet broken the Assyrian siege.
Senniacherib has heard of the belief in Jerusalem that their God will save them from the Assyrians. With a cruelty matching his reputation, he orders that the army's catapults be used against the city. There were other nations who believed that their gods would protect them from the Assyrians. He is launching bloated bodies from those cities over the walls of Jerusalem. The Assyrians are mocking the Hebrew God and desecrating his city at the same time.
Senniacherib scorns the gods of all his victims. He scoffs at his own gods. Senniacherib is convinced that his fate was in his own hands. The Assyrian King knows that he is invincible before a dusty desert God. Thanatos has just heard differently and the sun is setting quickly.
As Isaiah leaves the ailing Hezekiah, he reassures him that his city is safe. The prophet tells him to rest knowing that the enemy is in the hand of God. As Isaiah makes his way toward the city gate, he glances up to the ramparts. Giving a subtle nod to Thanatos, he journeys home for the evening. Isaiah reaches his small house just as night wraps itself around the small, desert kingdom. The gentle glow of oil lamps and cooking fires dot the houses of Jerusalem.
Outside the city a confident army posts only the lightest compliment of sentries. An overconfident Assyrian king leaves his troops for an evening of leisure with his captured and concubine women. Campfires burn brightly throughout the enemy camp as it settles to sleep through the chilling desert night. An unnaturally deep sleep falls over the Assyrian camp. Thanatos steps assuredly from the rampart to the air in front of him. His dark mantle is already beginning to uncoil toward the camp.
The Death Angel begins a slow, wide circuit around the sleeping Assyrians. Instead of spreading his mantle like a blanket, it trails behind him in a growing river of malevolent darkness. A few of the sentries see the darkness and assume it is an odd cloud formation. As his first circuit around the camp is complete, Thanatos turns inward toward the camp. The ever-spreading mantle more resembles a large ring of darkness than it does a cloak. It continues to flow from his shoulders as he starts the second circuit within the first. The outer sentries die silently as he completes the third. Having spread the mantle far enough, Thanatos turns toward the center of the Assyrian camp. The night air bears an uncommon chill. On reaching the center he grabs the right edge of his cloak, pulling it across his front.
No chill can touch an Angel; their holy fire is too severe for the desert night to reach them. As the ebon mantle wraps itself around the Death Angel, the train it produces sweeps over the Assyrians. There is no sound as the sable shroud secures itself around Thanatos. Beneath its shadow lies the Assyrian camp. The Assyrians have a proverb that reflects their blood lust and cruelty. They believe that a running man can slit a thousand throats in one night. The Angel of Death has ended over one hundred and eighty thousand lives in one hour by taking a walk. Wryly Thanatos regards his work. He is so weary of stubborn men ignoring the redemptive pleas of a just God. Thinking of the fearful, faithful Hezekiah, he looks over toward Jerusalem and speaks:
"Let Senniacherib mock our God now."
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