Transubstantiation (short story)

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Transubstantiation is a short story written by American speculative fiction author Stephen Woodworth. It was originally published on November 27, 2000 at Strange Horizons.

Plot summary[edit]

The story follows Marcus, a man plagued with Apocalyptic dreams about the extinction of the human race, as he stops in Los Angeles, California on a bizarre quest to donate as much of his own blood as possible to collection centers. Marcus, it appears, is immortal and currently about 2,000 years old, having been one of the Roman Senators of the Praetorium who sentenced Jesus the Nazarene to death. Marcus had been the man to place the crown of thorns on the defendant's head. When Marcus cut himself on the barbs, the Nazarene grabbed his hand, mixing their blood to heal the wound and cursing Marcus to eternal Earthly life. In the present-day, then, Marcus's blood-donation obsession is meant to create an immortal "family"; he keeps a scrapbook of newspaper articles detailing apparently miraculous recoveries that seem to be connected to transfusions of his own blood into the injured.


Marcus mentions that his first wife was named Julia, possibly referring to Julia Caesar. Marcus, then, might have been Gaius Rubellius Blandus at the time of his eponymous transformation.

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