At last, the last part of this exceedingly long interview is here! My apologies for not getting it posted yesterday, it was a very long day in which I had not a single moment on the computer.
I take a deep breath, hoping to clear my mind a bit. One thing’s for sure… I’m never interviewing Judas again. I hope.
“Alright Judas, here’s another question from Nathanael… though we’ve pretty much answered it already. Do handcuffs work on you?” He stares blankly at me, glances down over his shoulder at his hands, and looks back at me.
“You’re kidding, right? I’m strong. But I’m only human.” That’s a matter of opinion. I see a slight glimmer in his eyes, but he quickly covers it over. Oh yeah… Colleen.
“Yeah, Nathanael doesn’t know about your… previous failure we’ll say.” My voice catches a bit, remembering the one and only time Judas actually appeared to be human… and how it turned out.
“Don’t. Ever. Mention it.” Judas hisses, an unmistakable shudder rippling down his spine, shadows falling across his face.
“I wouldn’t dare. At least, not here. I don’t care if you are cuffed, I’m not stupid. Okay, these next question are from Elizabeth Lewis. How did you feel about having to move after your father died?” Again, I hope to bring back Jude with this question. Judas is on edge, and the tension around us is so thick, I can hardly breath. Thank God we’re almost done.
“I didn’t like the idea of course. The ranch had always been my home, and I had so many memories there. Moving meant leaving them behind, and really accepting that dad wasn’t coming back. But I understood it. We couldn’t keep it running on our own. And hiring help is dangerous. It took a lot of getting used to. We had to sell the livestock and many of our possessions. I even had to give up dad’s horse, Gamgee. Whenever dad was off with the army, I took care of that big lug, worked him, fed him, groomed him, rode him over every inch of that land. Watching him walk away from the auction in the hands of strangers was a hard blow to both of us. When we first moved into the townhouse, I hated it. It felt cramped and caged in amongst the other houses, where I was used to miles of open space. But I still had mom, that was all that really mattered.” His voice is calm, filled with nostalgia.Well. At least I have Jude back.
“And of course, that was before Judas was around. Before you were afraid of loving anything. Alright Jude, take a deep breath. Do you have any phobias? And let’s omit that of love, since we’ve spoken a lot of that already.” Hopefully that will keep Judas from snapping again.
“I’m not a big fan of fire. Or restrictions.” He rolls his shoulders a bit, hinting at the handcuffs. “Ever since the ‘rescue mission’ the army sent for me, I’ve hated them. A small flame, like my cooking fire, I’m alright with. But even that took a long time to face. And I can handle cuffs… but not my legs or feet being bound in any way.” He tries to hide the pain and trembling from his eyes, his voice, and just hardly manages to cover it. Again my eyes stray to the scars that cover his exposed skin. How on earth anyone can face nightmares of a day like that, or even survive the day itself, I’ll never understand.
“I know how hard that was for you Jude. Let’s take Elizabeth’s last question… it’s a bit lighter. How do you feel about talking on the telephone?” Has he ever even been on a telephone? Hmm…
“I’ve never actually been on one, as only the most privileged military personnel and government officials have them. However, I have used a radio on rare occasion, and while it is nice to not have to walk the miles between bases or wait for written word to come, I don’t really like it. As I said before, nonverbal communication is one of my specialties. I always know when I’m being lied to. But over a radio, I lose much of that ability.” He says, looking a bit more calm. Wow… another thing we have in common. I don’t think I like this.
“Agreed. So much is lost in voice-only communication. Now, we have only 6 questions left. The last question Amanda has for you is does your name (being Judas) portray anything about your character?”
“Well, as you’ve heard, it does fit at least half of me very well. It’s my biggest regret… I’ve let my mother down. But at least my reasons were greater than just greed.” His voice is a bit strangled, and I refrain from any further pressing.
“We wont dig any deeper there Jude. These next few questions are from the awesome and incredible Jillian Ickes. And… Jude… she has read the book. She’s still a bit… ahem… bitter about it. First question: what was your family and home like?” Start with the easy ones. We don’t want Judas showing up again.
“Well, this one doesn’t seem too terribly dagger-like. I’ve told you some about it… but we were farmers. I fed the livestock and managed our small herd of cattle, dad plowed the fields, mom managed the house and our small flower garden. Dad wasn’t around a lot, but when he was, he took great care of us. He wasn’t a touchy-feely man, but he loved us dearly. His personality and emotion showed through in his music. And I’ll never forget the day he and mom got in a big fight… I think about him re-enlisting. I was young, and it scared me. I ran to my room and packed my sack full of things that would be important to a little boy, then took off, convinced I could rough it out on my own. My dad rode all through the night on that big-chested chestnut horse, found me half-frozen in a tree. It was the only time I’d ever seen him cry. After dad passed, I helped with the cooking and mom did odd jobs around town. It was a cozy life.” He remembers the times fondly, and I’ve never seen him this close to happy.
“Very good. Next question: what do you think of the other rebels in this group?” Here come the tougher ones.
“Most of them are just your typical rebels, all passion and a bit of aim. But there are a few here that have impressed me. Most of all the leaders. They play it smart… not like most groups. They’re content to bide their time, grow strong before striking, and they plan their attacks. Most gangs just go in guns blasting, hoping to get something. But Ben is rather talented with strategy, and Jesse is one of the best leaders I’ve ever seen. Cool, collected, sure of their strengths, and willing to give everything for her men. Which, really, is how I found them.” I struggle to read his expression, and notice his careful sidestep around Colleen and Mason.
“I’d have to agree with that summary. Now brace yourself Jude. Here’s where Jillian is going to push you a bit. But… I want honesty. I will not leave until I get it. Because I know what it is. Have you really fallen in love with Jesse.. or is it all just an act?” Please don’t let Judas come out… please don’t let Judas come out!
He sighs, a long, deep, drawn out breath. His eyes close, and slowly, he responds.
“It started as an act… just like it always does. And Judas has jumbled, contaminated, twisted my thoughts so horribly that I don’t know what to feel any longer. At times it’s like… it’s like my past is wiped away. All that I know, all that I want is right there with her, up on our little hill. But others, I want to shoot her then, before it’s too late to recall my feelings. I don’t know what it is to love or be loved anymore. But when I can push Judas aside… she feels right. She’s an amazing woman… that’s for sure. But I couldn’t possibly fall for a rebel.” The battle rages on his face, twitching beneath his eyes and around his lips.
“Hmm… I guess that’ll do. Here’s Jilly’s last question. If it hadn’t been for Judas and you fell for Jesse, what kind of future would you envision for the two of you?” This should be interesting.
“Well, besides the fact that I wouldn’t have met her if it wasn’t for my quest for revenge, I don’t know. I’ve never allowed myself to think about it. But, I guess in an ideal world, if everything was the way it would have to be for us two, I would actually join up with the rebels, fight alongside her, protect her. And if by some miracle we both made it out the other end alive, I’d go and buy back my family’s ranch, and we’d run it together. But that’s a dream for some weak-minded fool.” Again, he masks his face, not allowing me to read it. His voice remains monotone, not giving away any of his true emotion. I sigh.
“It’s such a shame you’ve given up Jude. But, on to our very last question. This one comes from Connie Wolters. What is it about Jesse that attracts you so much? Because as much as you try to hide it, you’re smitten. And we all know it Jude.” Maybe, just maybe we’ll finally get his real feelings on this one.He glances at me disdainfully, shakes his head, and gathers himself.
“I guess it’s foolish to think I can get away with a non-answer when it’s my author wielding the pen. So… here goes. Jesse is the strongest woman… no, strongest person I’ve ever met. She’s unshakably proud of what she stands for, and ever certain of her plan. She never backs down, no matter how incredible the odds against her. She doesn’t let her past hold her back, she just pushes onward, drawing from her mistakes, and instead of dwelling on the bad she lets it all improve her. She’s not afraid of anything… except for losing her brother. Her skills with a gun are awe worthy, and her hand to hand skills can only be matched by Ben’s. I’ve never seen such an incredible beast as her, such a worthy foe. And yet, when we come back to base, there is no one so caring, encouraging, friendly as her. She’s seen things as horrid as my own past, and somehow remains strong enough in heart to love her men. The gang is one big family to her, and they embrace her in open arms. She’s not foolish or naive… but she’s not afraid to love, to live life, to enjoy it while she has it. Nothing ever brings her down. And I guess I admire her for that. Maybe, maybe somewhere deep down, I envy her that ability. And even wish it would rub off on me. But Judas would never let that happen.” His voice can no longer remain monotone, and until his anguished growl on the last sentence, his love for her bursts forth.
“Thank you Jude. I appreciate your time, and I know this was hard for you. I’m sure you have a number of raging fans out there right now. Or not. But you have places to be and I have things to do, so, I shall bid you adieu… at least until I work on your story later.” He nods curtly, and I leave the room, nodding to the guard to release him. What a day.
END OF INTERVIEW
Well, I certainly hope everyone enjoyed! It was rather tiring for me. Later this week, you are in for a real treat. I will be posting a review of the all new fantasy book, “Shadows Future”, along with an interview of one of its most interesting characters! Keep your eyes peeled!
Now, as one last parting thought, I will close with a brief passage of the book Judas is involved with, “Breaking Shadows”. It comes from Jude and Jesse’s first encounter.
“We try to take a step forward, but he cries out in pain. It’s all I can do to keep him on his feet. I grab him around the waist, practically carrying him. I can feel him slipping away, the strength seeping from his body.
He begins mumbling weakly, and I have to wonder if I can even get him home alive.
“Come on, stick with me! It’s just a bit farther now.”
Its voice slowly changes, and something is knocking at the back of my mind, like a memory trying to break in. The soft voice, hardly audible, becomes more feminine, and then comes the word to unlock my puzzlement.
The realization nearly knocks me flat. How could it be? A woman… No, a young girl holding off a good 15 seasoned soldiers? While wounded? It must be some kind of trickery, or else she’s some sort of devilish angel. From what I saw, I’ve never seen such skill with a gun. And she was clearly in charge of the rogue brutes, as it was her voice shouting orders.”