The time has come. For better or for worse, Judas has answered each and every question. At this time, I must thank the wonderful League of Scribes, who took the time to submit these thought-provoking questions. All of them. In numbers so great, that this interview must be split into at least 2 separate posts. But hey, that’s why we love them! Below, you will find both the transcript and my own personal account of everything that occurred during this interview… and I do hope you enjoy it more than I did.
I stand awkwardly outside the interrogation room of the Raven Falls Prison, where a guard fumbles with his keys. I chose this location for its relative safety… but only now do I realize how greatly I underestimated the creepy factor of it. The cold, damp stone walls lend a foreboding edge to this God-forsaken place, where footsteps echo from deep and hidden halls, the occasional tortured scream shatters the looming silence, and the cruelest side of humanity has soaked into every square inch of dirt and rock. The very place Mr. and Mrs. Resnik spent the last 8 years of their lives, hidden from all eyes, assumed dead, and certainly wishing they were. A small shiver reaches down my spine. Let’s just get this over with I think to myself.
The guard finally succeeds in opening the door, and stands aside as I hesitantly step inside the darkened room. There, directly opposite me, sits Judas, a large scowl across his scarred face, hands cuffed behind the chair. As the door shuts loudly behind me, I brace myself. What on earth was I thinking, coming here?
“Well, hello Judas. I’d like to thank you for agreeing to meet me he…”
“Oh, cut the meaningless platitudes. It’s not like I had a choice. Let’s just get this over with, before the gang misses me. I have a cover to uphold, you know.” He cuts me off, and I sigh. “Can’t believe you had them handcuff me…” he grumbles. This is going to be a long interview.
“Okay. Before we begin, I’d like to remind you that this interview will be hidden from any of my characters with whom you are under cover – as much as I hate to – in order to protect you. Do you have any questions?” He stares blankly at me.
“I’ll take that as a solid no. Your first set of questions comes from the beautiful Emily Bradburn. Her first question is: Why did your mother name you Judas?” I can see by the sudden shimmer in his eyes that the thought pains him. It’s all I can do not to feel sorry for him, because I know why. But at the same time, this calm reaction tells me that I am currently in the presence of Jude, his gentler personality. This relaxes me a bit. I’m safe… at least for now.
“My mother was a lover of literature. The walls of our old ranch house, and later townhouse, were covered by shelves upon shelves of books. Among all the poems and stories we always found her knee-deep in, she felt disheartened that a name whose Greek origins mean “praised” could have gained such a negative connotation. When she had me, she decided to try her hand at changing that.” His voice is broken, regret filled.
“If only she could see you now.” She would have done better naming you something harmless. Like Bob. It’s hard to be evil when your name is Bob. Instantly, I regret speaking the words aloud. Fury fills his eyes, his muscles tensing, looking like a caged lion ready to pounce.
“What was that?!” He shouts, causing me to shuffle nervously in my chair.
“Oh, um… nothing, nothing. Let’s take the next question, shall we?” I try to brush it over, but his stoney glare tells me I’m not doing a great job. “So… Judas… what is your greatest fear?”
“As Robert Louis Stevenson once said, ‘Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.'”
“Oh, surely there is something you can tell us Judas.” I say, giving him as conniving a glare as I can muster up. Slowly, slowly I see him breaking down. He wants to get this over with just as badly as I do. Steps echo outside the room, water drips somewhere nearby, and more screams bounce from the walls. Judas lets out a sigh.
“Alright, alright. There is little I fear, for there is little I have. My family, my pride, my sanity have left me. There is only one reason I don’t just turn the trigger on myself, and rid this world of one more monster. And that reason is revenge. I vowed on my mother’s grave that I would not bring an end to my own pain until I had relished that of every rebel’s demise. I do not fear death, nor pain. My only fear is that something – or someone – may weaken my resolve, convince me to love again. This frail heart has opened far too many times, and bared itself for a beating. There is nothing I fear more than love. Because love, in every case, turns into pain. A deeper, crueller, stronger pain than any other.”
“Ah, yes. To quote your own words, ‘The heart is a frail thing, and must be the cruelest design of fate for man. How it can be broken so many times, and yet remain to be stolen and broken again, and every time the pain only increases no matter the defense… There is no scheme better than that of love, when it comes to causing pain. For, no matter the end, it always hurts.
You can lose it, or have it taken away, feel it, without it’s ever being returned, have what seems like forever, only to find it gone when you need it most… Or even love itself can turn on you with a devilish fury known only to those in its flames.'”
“Precisely. Are you quite finished?” He shuffles uncomfortably in his chair, beads of sweat clinging to his cheeks. My own nerves are on edge, knowing that at any moment he could turn back into Judas, who wouldn’t hesitate to take a knife to his author’s throat.
“We’re just getting started.” He lets out a soft groan, and I try not to smile. “Next question, still from Emily: What is your greatest weakness, Judas?” Another glare. Another sigh. But still no Judas. Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to escape him this time…
“Emily? More like Nancy Drew. Geesh. My greatest weakness is the vulnerability and kindness of Jude. That tender-hearted fool can’t keep himself from falling in love. Whether it be with Zack, the ticking time-bomb kid from an abusive family that he took under his wing, or Colleen, the double agent, he’s always falling for someone and leaving a mess for me to clean up. Just like him, to leave the blood on my hands. Hey, don’t bring them up! You know I couldn’t help it with Zack. He was too much like me, alone in the world! He needed someone. Someone that would support him. Someone that wouldn’t hurt him. Oh yeah? And how much help were you to him then? If I recall correctly, you reveled in the warmth of his blood just as much as I di…”
“ENOUGH you two! Break it up!” I cut off his bickering personalities quickly, before it gets really violent. Great. Judas finally showed. Now it’s going to get messy. “Jude, do you have anything to add?”He glares, and I suddenly realize I have no idea which of him I’m talking to at the moment, gentle Jude or roaring Judas.
END OF PART ONE