“I am quick stepping to heaven..”
“Can I preach to you about Jesu.BOOOOOOM!..”
Stephen (Koine Greek: Στέφανος, Stephanos; sometimes spelled "Stephan") was the first Christian martyr to be officially stoned after partying all night with the new cult band Jesus and the Apostles. Claiming that the Apostles were the face of New Religious Rock, Stephen slipped on a suicide cowl and explosive sandals to mingle with supporters of the rival group Arc of the Covenant. In the resulting confusion, Stephen's head survived, still talking about what he had seen until it was placed in a discarded KFC bucket.
Saved by the Man with the Beard
Born Stephanos Copaloadofthis, the future martyr had been drifting around Palestine buying, selling and smoking a particular effective narcotic weed. Though a Jew, Stephanos had been brought up speaking Greek and was a bit hazy about his knowledge of religious traditions. He liked reading Leviticus as that featured a lot of stonings and at least Stephanos could go with that.
A life of drifting was cut short when a friend persuaded him to attend an open air concert near Nazareth. On a bill that featured Echo and the Essenes, Zowie Zune and the Zealots from Masada and the Rolling Stones, Stephanos's eye was caught by the fourth band on the bill: Jesus and the Apostles. He was especially struck by Jesus's look, with the long lank hair and unwashed beard. The singer also had a pair of white doves circulating around his head which Stephanos thought was neat novelty trick. When Jesus took the stage to sing/preach his message, fans of the group shouted and whooped, and Stephanos couldn't help notice that his Jesus guy had a lot of women interested in his act/look. He wanted to be part of that. Stephanos wanted to join in, deciding to anglicising his name to Stephen to be accepted by the other members of the fan club. They were called 'The Nazarenes' or 'Roadies' in the local Aromatic dialect. Stephen would become a roadie.
For the first time in his life Stephen felt he had a purpose to carry on living. Heaving around Jesus's stage props around (loaves, fishes, camels, fatted calves etc..), Stephen experienced epithany as he watched his boss go on to perform. Songs like You'll Get To Heaven In My Fishing Boat and Smash Down The Temple would set Stephen's pulse racing. When Jesus reached the climax of the act with I Will Be Undone, his voice could be heard scream My Kingdom Has Come and So Have I. It was quite a performance and required a lot of buckets to clean up the aftermath.
It seemed the good life would go on forever. Jesus and the Apostles were a huge act in Galilee but considered to be just a hick Jewish Country and Eastern by critics in Jerusalem. Stephen was deeply offended but was sure Jesus would show them how it was done.
A three day music festival was held in the Holy City. Jesus's fans bought thousands of tickets and for the first two days it was a no contest with the other acts on the bill. The Apostles rocked heavier than any band out there. Then on the evening of the third gig, all the band's equipment disappeared. Undeterred, Jesus went out on stage alone. The fans that had once cheered until their tongues had swelled were outraged in this change of style. They booed Jesus, threw beer at him and demanded the heavier act Barrabas come straight one next. The authorities agreed and also had Jesus cruficifed for breaking the terms of his performance contract.
Stephen locked himself in a hotel bathroom for the next three days and three nights, emerging unshaven and red eyed. He sat slumped outside a local bar where he was befriended by an equally weird looking man called Saul Marsupial. Saul appeared to be very interested in the 'Jesus bloke', even though he was secretly a fan of the Arc of the Covenant. He advised Stephen to 'get mad, not even' and served him unleavened cupcakes. Saul then told Stephen of a certain outfitters where they specialised in customised 'Heaven-Ready' accessories if you asked the right questions and went to tbe back of the shop.
Stephen followed Saul's directions. He lingered long enough there to have his picture done by an iconographer and went off to join the crowds queuing up for tickets to watch Arc of the Covenant.
There Stephen started singing some of Jesus's songs. This so annoyed people waiting to go into the venue, that they started to throw rocks at Stephen. Inevitably one hit him where the detonator switch was located and Stephen disintegrated into a shower of flying flesh.
Saul heard the explosion and went to the crime scene. There he condemned Stephen and all the 'Christians' for their perverted tastes in popular Jewish Culture. Saul would later change his mind and his name to Paul of Tarsus as an act of atonement and realisation that as a fan of Arc of the Covenant he was leading a very sad life.
Stephen's death was reported as the act of a mad man and a cold hearted killer. But times were a changing and within 300 years Stephen's martyrdom had seen him elevated as the first Saint. This officially made him a St. A day was also set aside to celebrate Stephen's death, the one after Christmas was eventually chosen. Like all saints, it was only the day you died that anyone got the sherry and cheese biscuits out to celebrate. Depending on where you are, this day is still named after St.Stephen but in other countries, Stephen's named has been changed to St.Boxing Day This is a permanent reminder that what was left of Stephen after he detonated his suicide vest could be filled in a small box and wrapped up as a present under a tree.
- At least that is, according to the Gospels