ZOE. (The missing Seal)
Written by Amah
The oil lamp was still burning, it was very dark outside except for dull moonlight shading the ground but the heavy darkness overshadowed the moon
Zoe rose up that night, her mother had put enough oil in the lamp that will last her all through the night, so that the lamp will not flicker and go out when she is ready to leave.
She stood at the first hint of dawn that light up the room.
She peeped out and saw that the darkness was clearing little by little, it will enable her to see where to step on among the bush part.
Zoe tiptoed across the room and picked the basket that contains her sister’s things which her mother left behind.
She left the house quietly with it.
She ran through the bush without looking back and kept running until she was exhausted.
The sun was rising, turning the stars into a dying spark in the paling sky.
Zoe walked quickly across her father’s field to the hill side. By the time she reached the crossroad of Rocky district which was still far from Timnah temple she was tired but did not stop.
She kept walking until she got close to Timnah temple.
Zoe entered an olive grove which was crowded and the ground was carpeted with smooth grass.
She can’t be easily seen because of the crowded olive tree that covered her up. She relaxed a little in the carpeted grass. Breathing so hard from her long journey.
Her leg was dusty and face too, she cleaned it up with her widow scarf before stripping off her widow garb.
Zoe quickly put on the garment and knitted belt her mother has made for her priestess sister.
She loosened her long hair which was always tied up, and allow it to flow down her back. She combed her finger through the thick, curling mass of full black hair which hung down her back and below her waist. It was a lot of hair and she has always wrapped it up in her widow scarf. A cool breeze graced her skin, the cool air blew into her hair and down her skull. She can’t remember when last she allows some air into her scarp. It feels good and made her relax for the task ahead.
She put on the veil. Wore the leather sandals and strapped the tiny bells around her ankle. It tinkle anytime she takes a step.
Zoe quickly folded her widow wear back into the basket that once hold her sister’s things, before hiding it behind a tree and using many leaves to cover it up.
She felt scared as she took a step but was very determined in her quest. She looked around herself and at her sister’s beautiful gown which fits perfectly into her, revealing all her curves which she never thought she had before now. Her curly hair lay carefully below her waste, she tuck a strand of hair behind her ear before walking to the edge of the groove where passby won’t see her.
Zoe waited kept watch for the rest of the afternoon, her heart leap to her throat in fear anytime she sees two men coming down the road. She remained hidden, waiting and watching for her main target. She will not show herself to any man except Lord Amos and his friend, Lamech.
It was well pass noon time when Lord Amos finally appeared with his friend. Her heart leaped again, she try to calm her racing heart. Zoe covered her face with the veil which only revealed her eyes.
She stepped out of her hiding place and move to a fallen grove and sat on it.
Lord Amos had his staff, his identification seal and his cord round his neck which shows of his greatness and he was also a son to a great man who handed the seal, staff and cord to his beloveth son.
She wave her leg in the air making the anklet bells to tingle softly and she kept doing it until Lord Amos and his friend came closer. The sound of the tingling bell caught Lord Amos’s attention.
He immediately slowed his pace and stopped responding to whatever Lamech was saying as he stared at her.
Zoe’s palm began to sweat, her heart was hammering wildly. She wanted to run into the orchard and hide herself but she vow not to lose courage, she must remain bold.
She deliberately ignored the men and acted as if she did not notice them.
She stood, lifted the hem of the beautiful gown and adjusted the strap leather sandals that she was wearing which was a bit loose.
The two men stood and watch the unknown beautiful lady with a fine curves and a dark black shining hair like an olive fruit.
Lamech spoke to Lord Amos.
“We are not really in a hurry….you are a leader and they will wait for your arrival at any time you decides…right my friend?
Lord Amos quickly nodded to what Lamech was saying, although his attention was focused on the beautiful curvy lady.
It was as if Lamech and Lord Amos were competing for her attention but she was focus on Lord Amos and did not give his friend a chance.
It was Lord Amos attention she sort, and she silently pray he won’t recognize her.
Her breath caught tensely as he turned and walked up to her, he stopped right in front of her and smile, his gaze move downward to her body.
Zoe was grateful for the veil which covered her discomfort and sweating face.
He looked at her veil but did not pay attention to it as his focus was more in her beautiful body shape.
He try to touch her but she moved back.
“You are indeed a master craft, I have never seen such beauty of yours in a long while….even without seeing your face I know you are a beauty to behold. just through your eyes and your fine body and i went all hot. My body rise the moment I saw you. Come let me sleep with you…I will pay you handsomely…
Zoe was shock at how easily he fell prey to a woman’s wiles, even a woman like her who was not experienced in the act of seduction. She was a novice, all she did was to walk a little and stood while he came to her. With her little act he still fell so easily.
was this the way some men bought the services of a harlot, was it this simple that a great man like Lord Amos will fall for her type who was never into the act.
What is she supposed to do or say next to him?
Zoe thought within herself as she began to tremble in fear.
His friend spoke to him from behind
“Amos, see how she trembles, perhaps she is the shy type but looks quite expensive. She obviously want you Amos and not me…I will wait behind for you.
Lord Amos smile wryly the moment he heard that the girl wants him and not his friend.
He turned to his friend and said.
“Go ahead Lamech, don’t bother to wait up for me…I will join you in Timnah later.
Lamech chuckled, he laughed out before saying.
“I know is been a long time you had a woman….ever since your wife’s departure. Take your time and enjoy yourself my friend…you have become use to loneliness and I’m glad she set your inner man on fire with her beautiful body…
Lamech walked down the road, leaving Lord Amos and Zoe alone. She almost lost her nerve because of the intensity of his eyes. He never looked away from her.
“So, we are all alone now…what do you have to say beautiful one?
Lord Amos said with a fine smile plastered on his face. Zoe can tell his need for a woman was high, it must really be a long time he had one just like his friend had said. His desires was even greater than the anger forming inside of her.
Is been over seven years he gave her his word but broke his promise.
She once went to him, begging him to tell his son, Rolf not to treat her like a harlot but he was adamant and wanted her to act like a harlot to his son so that he can pour his seed inside her, he wanted her to do everything she can to change an adult like Rolf to do the right thing which was required of him.
Today she will act like the harlot with Lord Amos, she will be the harlot he wanted her to be for Rolf but it will no longer be Rolf for he is dead and gone, it will be with him, the lion himself.
She cleared her voice, trying to cancel her true voice. She took a step away from him and said.
“How much will you pay me? She spoke low, in a tone she hope would beguile him.
“I will send you a young milky goat from my flocks with twenty pieces of silver or… I can even send two goats to you if you will let me…
Lord Amos never kept his promise to her before and even though he may send the goats but she do not want a goat from him. She wanted something that bore’s Lord Amos name.
“What pledge will you give me now so that I can be sure that you will send the goat to me?
Lord Amos move closer to her and said slowly
“What pledge do you want…say it and I will give it to you?
She will have to get his identification seal so that if she becomes pregnant she will have something to hold him responsible.
She lowered her eyes so that he will not see the fire in them
Zoe swallowed hard before saying
“I want your identification seal, your cord and staff….
As soon as she uttered the words out her heart stopped, she had asked for too much. No man in his right senses will agree to so such, especially to a harlot by the road side. What she asked for was ridiculous. No man will give up his seal which bears his name and that of his family.
Lord Amos may guess she was up to something and rip off her veil from her face, kill her right there at the cross road for asking for too much. after killing her he will walk away and nothing will happen because she appears to be a common harlot by the road side.
She quickly moved back with fear as he reached out to her and then she suddenly realized that he was giving her his staff, Zoe took it with a shaking hand. She watched as he removed the cord round his neck and brought out his identification seal which was made with pure gold and had his name on it.
Zoe grabbed everything with full hand. Lord Amos did not even argue or protest over the ridiculous demand because he was driven by lust.
He will be real sorry when his eyes is cleared up.
A bitter sadness wail on Zoe’s heart. She has thought getting Lord Amos to her will be a difficult task but here it was just so simple. For years she had begged him to do the right thing but he never did and here he was handling his identification seal to her, which gives him great honor and authority. His staff, which was his support and pride. His cord which was hardly removed from his neck because of its power. Lord Amos handed it all to her without thinking. The seal was the key to his household, given to him by his father and he has such a gut to hand it over to a common woman he has never met before.
The sadness turned into an excitement as she holds everything that make Lord Amos powerful in her hand. She was in her fertile period even Hadar who do not know of her plans had confirmed it. She hope with this act she will conceive and bear a child for the household of Lord Amos.
Lady Samar has said she had no womb, Lord Amos had believed her and now she could only hope that is was all lie and bear a child from her own womb. Lord Amos own seed.
Zoe was interrupted by the man who was desperate now to have her.
“Do you have a room in town or close to the temple where we can go?
“The day is fair my Lord, and the grass is far softer than a bed of stone…come with me…
He followed her as if he was been romoted, she lead him to the olive grove which was covered with carpet grass.
To be continued