Zoe Episode 18

ZOE. (The missing Seal)
Episode 18.
Written by Amah
Lord Amos took his plea-sure beneath the shade of the crowded olive grove, on the cool carpeted gras-s and he fell asleep immediately.
Zoe rose quietly and carefully and left him lying there, she hurried to where her widow garb was hidden, collected the basket, strife off her sister’s garment and changed into her widow wear. She tied up her hair and wra-pped it up her with her widow scarf.
She looped Lord Amos Cord around her n£¢k, tuck it inside her b©dy where it won’t be noticed. She also hide the seal inside her b©dy and covered it with her long Widow cloth. Zoe carefully folded her sister’s cloth, veil, and sash into the basket and was careful so that the tinkling bell will not make a sound.
Hope was alive within her, she pressed her hands over her wo-mb. looked up to the evening sky, tears clouded her eyes and she allowed it to flow. She looked towards Lord Amos who sle-pt soundly on the gras-s and she whispered out.
“I only ask for justice, but you refused me one. I begged you to do the right thing but you ignored and now I have collected that which your sons refused me. Your own seed and I pray to the true God of your household will favor me this time, take away my shame and this widow garb and give me reason to smile…Amen! “I’m sorry my Lord but you left me with no choice than to do this and i never expected that you will fall so easily into my hands…
She stared at him as he sle-pt soundly, she bow her head in respect to him as she will do whenever she is summoned before him. Amos was a man with authority and now she has his identification seal in her hands.
Lord Amos sons abused her, Lady Samar blamed her for their sins and death. Lord Amos cast her out, broke his promises to her and abandoned her to grow old in her widow garb and die without a child but now, there is a reas-suring hope in her. She might be grafted into Lord Amos strong lineage even without Lord Amos knowing. She maybe grafted among God’s own people if she is found worthy.
Zoe smiled as she t©uçhed Lord Amos Seal, which was hidden beneath her cloth. The seal has his authority and his name on it. She breathed down with hope forming in her heart. Zoe collected the staff which was resting against an Olive tree and off she went.
She ran and kept running among the bushes, she did not look back as she ran with everything that she collected from Lord Amos and also with the basket that has her sister’s things. She made sure she left nothing behind.
A cool evening breeze blew across Lord Amos as he l@yin the gras-s and a bu-tterfly t©uçhed his eyelid.
He woke up and stretch, he wondered how long he had been slee-ping. he try to ascertain why he was among the olive bushes in his inner wears and it quic-kly occurred to him. He g@sped out shockingly, feeling guilty and ashamed to have agreed to l@ywith a harlot in an olive bush, crowded with orcha-rd trees. When he can as well take his plea-sure in one of the well decorated rooms close to the temple or an inn. His nee-ds was very high and he was not even thinking.
He looked around for the harlot but she was nowhere to be seen. He checked for his Seal and his n£¢k that holds his cord felt empty he g@sped out heavily the moment he remembering that he traded his authority with a common harlot. He quic-kly rose and dressed properly.
he remembered he had fifty pieces of Silver in his long jacket and did not even remember he had money with him when he was negotiating with the harlot, he could have offered it to her instead of his seal.
Maybe the harlot has stolen all the money he left the house with. Lord Amos quic-kly t©uçhed his pouch which holds the money and it was all there, none of the money was missing. He bec@m£ even more shock.
He cleaned the gras-s that was tucked to his head and hands. he ran out to the crossroad side where he first met her, hoping he will see the harlot standing and waiting for her next client but she was not by the road side either.
His heart was trouble, he felt grimed and uneasy. Even his staff was also gone.
He will hurry to Timnah arranged two milky goat with twenty pieces of silver and s£nd to her so that he can get back his Seal, Staff and cord.
He was filled with h0t regret as he went to Timnah. Why did he even agree to hand over his Seal, staff and cord to a common temple pr©st!tût£and what do she want to do with a seal that has another man’s name on it?
He was neither drun!k, he la-id with the pr©st!tût£in his right mind and s-en-ses. So why did he make such expensive mistake.
He has taken his full plea-sure from her without thinking about it all. Now he was so impatient to get back his items from the harlot.
He was angry with himself when he joined Lamech in Timnah
His friend irritated him further, with his laughter and questions.
“you look like a boy who lost his way, where is your staff…and your seal Amos? waiiit….don’t tell me you…
Lamech pause and looked at him with a serious shock all over his face.
“What have you done Amos…you gave the temple pr©st!tût£by the road side your authority seal and your walking staff…Amos?
“Lamech, plea-se don’t add to my trouble this evening. I had enough of consciences torture alre-ady. I will get all my things back. I will s£nd two goats to her and get back my things. I sle-pt off after and She was not there when I awaken and i did not know where to even search for her. My money porch was still intact the harlot did not even t©uçh it. I… wonder what she want to do with those stuff. It will be useless for her because she can’t sell them but she will be able to sell the goats and make enough money. So, Lamech get two goat re-ady, by tomorrow we will s£nd it to her so that I can get my things back. I feel so empty and ordinary without my Seal, my staff and my cord.
Lamech shock turned into another outbur-st of laughter. He laughed so ha-rd and sl@pped Amos on the back.
Lord Amos was irritated with Lamech’s laughter and moved away from him.
Lamech c@m£ to seat beside him and said with sm-irk on his face.
“Was she really worth it…I mean did she worth you trading your seal for an evening enjoyment…
Amos ignored him and Lamech continued.
“…I hope she is worth it all…
Ashamed of himself Lord Amos gave no response to Lamech, his mind was on getting back his stuffs.
He left Lamech side with the excuse of he nee-ded to take a walk.
“plea-se, whenever Shelar arrives, tell him to do the flock shearing with the servants. He shouldn’t leave them alone and go drinking again or I will s£nd him away from Timnah…
Lamech nodded and watch Lord Amos walked away to the rocky side. He wanted to be left alone and he did not taunt him again about the harlot.
The next day two big she goat was arranged, Amos asked Lamech to take it down to the pr©st!tût£and collect his things from her.
Lamech obeyed and left, two servant carried the goats on a leash while he walked in front of them.
On getting to the sp©t the pr©st!tût£was not there.
He waited and kept waiting till it was pas-s noon. Hoping that the harlot will show up but she never did even as the evening wore on.
He was tired of waiting and return to Timnah.
A heavy frown crossed Lord Amos face the moment he saw Lamech coming back with the goats and none of his items was with him
“We waited all day but did not see her. She did never c@m£ out. Don’t be sad we will keep search the whole temple and the road side until we see her. Amos, we will get it all back because the items in her possession are all useless to her. Your seal has your name, your cord has your emblem, and your staff…what did she want to use a man’s walking stick for. Everything she took is all useless to her and we will find her and recover your items.
Lord Amos nodded with hope that he will get back his things soon.
Lamech try to cheer him up that evening as they sat drinking, Amos did not have much appetite for drinks or food.
“Come my friend, relax and enjoy yourself, you have nothing to worry about. Life will sort itself out. Remember how we lived in our youth days, when we were like Shelar, young and vibr@nt. Remember how we use to live and merry before wives, children and worries c@m£ into being. Forget about your trouble and drink this fine wine…everything will be fine. You are still a man with great honor, is in you my friend….
Lamech gulp another cu-p of wine and watch his servant pour more into his empty cu-p, he was enjoying the evening while getting drun!kbut Amos was not interested in the wine, d@t£s, gr@p£s, and different kind food placed in front of them. He just stare at the fli-cker of a burning wood.
Lamech kept drinking and eating to his satisfaction.
Lamech and Lord Amos servants kept searching for the pr©st!tût£almost every day they will carry goat to the road side and search all around Timnah temple. They asked the men and women around about a certain prostitute, they describe her but no one seem to know her.
The men living around there told Lamech that they have never had a road side pr©st!tût£before. The harlot stay by the temple side and not by the road side.
Lamech was surprise, but he did not want to give up in his search. His friend put a great hope in him to bring back his lost items and he tried not to disappoint him.
Even if is just his identification seal he recovered, Amos will be happy. All the items he gave freely was his household authority, the seal was his inheritance from his father, how can he lost such a very s-en-sitive items?
Lord Amos was troubled on each pas-sing day.
He walk down to the road one day and sat by the fallen orcha-rd tree, same place the pr©st!tût£was sitting. He silently prayed that the harlot will show up if she sees him.
He waited and was even re-ady to give the harlot more than just two goat, he was re-ady to t©p up her price if only she will give him back the items.
He waited till evening hoping and kept praying but the evening dusk pas-sed and night c@m£ to settle yet she did no come.
He went back to Timnah and remained there. After the flock shearing and celebr@tion days was over it was time to go back home.
Amos was filled with shame and guilt and couldn’t pas-s the same road he saw the pr©st!tût£again.
He besiege his friend with an excuse.
“Lamech, I want to make sure Shelar gathered up with the shearing report and account which I put in his care. So I won’t be pas-sing the same Timnah crossroad, I will go throu-gh Enaim once I’m done. I also want to make sure the sheep and goat has a better pasture here in Timnah, so go ahead of me. Take the goats and the money, we maybe lucky today to see the harlot…let’s be hopeful. plea-se Lamech, you have been doing me a great favor, still try and check around if you will find the harlot at the crossroad and retrieve my staff, seal and cord and bring them to my house and I will show my appreciation greatly to you.
Lamech smiled and said.
“As always Amos, I will do as you ask, you don’t have to worry about that…
“Thank you Lamech. And one more thing, is so shameful that I la-id in the bush with a pr©st!tût£who took away my authority pledge. I will be a laughing stock if any ear hears of it so plea-se do not say anything to anybo…
Lamech interrupted.
“We have been friends for years, I have never betrayed your trust…I will never do that. Nob©dy will know what you did. I’m very careful with all my search. It even appeared as if I’m the one that sle-pt with the harlot. Because I did not want anyb©dy to point a dirty f!nger at you or destroy your great image. You are an honorable man and people respects you greatly…if they hear that Lord Amos sle-pt with a harlot by the crossroad in the olive grove bushes your respect will reduce. But I will never do such to you…I will do as you ask of me, you do not have to worry. Perhaps, I will also pas-s a few hour in the olive grove when I see her so that I can ascertain why she was so special…she is the most sorted expensive harlot now. See the way we kept searching for her and even with different gift and cash yet she is nowhere to be found. Let me have a taste of her too among the carpet gras-s…that will be great don’t you think?
Lamech was laughing but Lord Amos was not amused, he did not find it funny. All he want is to get back his items. Lamech can do whatever he wants with the girl, is none of his business again.
But few days later Lamech went back to Lord Amos house with the same news. He did not find the girl and even the men around there were beginning to think he was crazy with the way he was always coming to search for a p@rticular harlot.
“Then let her keep the things, we tried our best and s£nd her even more than she asked. We will become a laughing stock of Timnah people if we keep going back there. I so much wish to get hold of my seal and staff but there is nothing we can do again…
Lamech stayed in Amos house for days before going back to his place.
Lord Amos asked the black smith to create another seal, and make a walking stick with a strong wood and also a cord. They did everything but it was not like the original. He angrily tossed it all aside.
People will know it was crafted by a gold smith. None of the item was like his original Seal, Staff or cord.
He wondered where the harlot he met in a crossroad to Timnah, whom he thought was a temple prostitute, he wondered where she was and what she nee-d his identification seal for.
“what did she nee-d it for? she can’t sell any of the items because it has my name…so why is she keeping it?
is obvious she do not nee-d money or goats so who is she….what did she want to gain from the items she took from me and why was i so stupid to have given her my authority without a second thought to it…aaaaah!.
Lord Amos held his head in anguish, blaming himself for not thinking before handling his powerful item to a woman he thought was a road side harlot who disappeared like a thin air with all his pledge.
To be continued