ZOE. (The missing Seal)
Written by Amah
” Are you with a child?
Mukan asked with a voice like a thun-der strike in Zoe’s ear.
She replied without a quiver.
Mukan didn’t ask who the father of the child was he flew at her.
The first b!ow knocked her down. He kicked her ha-rd and she scrambled away. One of her hand was on her stomach as if she was trying to protect her unborn child.
He tries to b!ow her again and she dodged and stood up on her feet to face the father.
Her fear was covered with rage.
” It’s not your right to pas-s judgement on me. You don’t have that right to kick or hit me this way…
Zoe screamed at her father in fury which was equal to his own.
Her father glared at her, heart pounding heavily.
” You are my daughter and I can do with you as I wish…
He kicked her again and she fell to the ground and was g@sping for breath.
She tries to rise but he gr@bb£d her widow shawl which she used to cover her head.
He yanked off the shawl and her wra-pped hair poured down her b©dy.
He gr@bb£d her long hair, dragging her on the ground.
She clawed his hand to get free but her father was pu-lling her hair so ha-rd with his ti-ght£ñed fist.
She had the lion’s cub in her wo-mb and she would fight like a lioness to save it.
She pinched her father’s hand very ha-rd , he quic-kly loos£ned his grip which enabled Zoe to get up.
” I belong to the household of Lord Amos, not yours… or have you forgotten that you sold me off for firm, Watch me suffer all manner of things but never showed care instead You turned me into a servant in your house… have you forgotten? what right do you have as my father to Judge me. I don’t belong with you…I belong with Lord Amos…
Mukan looked at the fierce authority in his daughter’s eyes as she stood boldly to him.
None of his children dares questions him but Zoe has done that severally and today was no difference.
” You act wise but you are foolish, Zoe. I will kill you. Lord Amos will come to thank me for killing you because you are a complete disgrace and very useless to anyone.
Mukan said while moving closer to give her another punch but she moved back and said.
“Lord Amos must be the one to pas-s judgement! You can’t pas-s judgement on me…it must be Lord Amos and no one else.
Breathing ha-rd , Mukan stared at her.
” You have pla-yed the harlot beneath my nose, you prostituted yourself un-der my roof. I will kill you…
Zoe saw the rage and shame in her father’s eyes.
He meant every word to kill her but she will not weaken for him.
“You called me your daughter so why do you want to stain your hands with my blood. Why do you want to save Lord Amos the trouble. He abandoned me seven years ago… let my blood and that of my child be upon Lord Amos household and not on my father…
Mukan saw the gut in Zoe and shouted at his fast servants to come.
” Go and tell Lord Amos that Zoe is pregnant by harlotry, she prostituted herself to a strange man who got her in with a child. Ask him what he wants me to do with her. I heard he is in Timnah for his usual honourable gathering…it will be easy to reach him there now before he leaves… run so fast, keep running and bring back message quic-k to mee so that I will know what to do with this harlot of a daughter I have here.
The servant ran off he kept running, he ran throu-gh the shorter roads, followed all the apiam way and kept running. He slowed down when he was out of breath, rested and continued running.
He bec@m£ tired again and slow down his pace, caught some air into his lungs and continued Immediately.
The news of Zoe’s pregnancy rocked and enraged Lord Amos.
Though it had been over six years he re-moved her from his house, he expected her to remain chaste, a widow in obe-dience to him as long as she lives. But she brou-ght another disgrace and shame to his name and his household.
If he shows Zoe mercy and allow her to live, the child she carries, no matter who the father was, would become p@rt of his household.
He will never let a bastard child to be connected to his name. He was a man with dignity and honour and will never spare Zoe or the child she carries.
He had been looking for opportunity to finally get rid of her so that he can find a suitable maiden for Shelar to marry and now opportunity have been pres£nted to him
The girl was evil and Samar his late wife was right about her.
Zoe has cost him Kuwe and Rolf, the wisest thing he ever did was to keep Shelar away from her. By tomorrow he will start looking for a very suitable wife for Shelar. He will have no bond with Zoe because she will be dead soon.
He has the right to pas-s judgement on her and he will do that without mercy because she has never been of any good news to him.
” Let her suffer, stoning her will be too easy to kill her. Stoning will be too Swift. I want her to feel the pain of her transgression against me. Bring her out and burn her…tell Mukan that I said he should show no mercy to her. Tell him to set her ablaze… let her burn with the bastard child she carries…
The servant took back news to Mukan who in the following day quic-kly asked his servants to start setting the fire to burn Zoe.
Zoe was kept inside. She nee-ded Hadar but couldn’t reach her and there was no one to s£nd to fetch her.
She can hear them setting fire to burn her.
Her mother and Hadar were both wailing. They cry and roll in anguish while her father was shouting with a commanding tone asking his servants to hurry up with the fire.
Zoe’s heart was racing so fast. She covered her face with her hand and prayed.
” God of heaven and earth, help me! I know I’m not one of your people, I know I’m unworthy but if you cares about Amos who is your son, who throu-gh him I come to know you even without him knowing, plea-se save me! Save this child that I carry! My only hope is in you… don’t let me go down in flames…
Hadar ran into the room crying
” Lord Amos said that they should burn you, they are setting the fire but is not catching up. Your father has joined them to make sure the fire catches which gives me opportunity to come in here. Zoe, is this how you are going to die… Zoe ooh… Aahhhh…
Hadar wept but Zoe didn’t or even Plead at all.
She rushed to where she hide the staff, lifted the pallet, she re-moved the shaw which she used to wra-pped Lord Amos staff. She re-moved the cord and Seal around her n£¢k and press it into Hadar’s hand.
“Take these things to Lord Amos, go quic-kly, run as fast as you can because my life depends on it. Tell Lord Amos that the man who owns this identification seal and this walking stick is the father of my child. Give it to him and ask him if he recognises them…run Hadar…run… don’t look back, don’t st©p…keep running to Timnah…my life depends on how fast you deliver the missing Seal to him… Hadar do not fail me… Go.
Hadar set off.
She ignored Mukan shout or every voice asking her question and ran. she kept running an did not look back. She found strength from nowhere and did not st©p nor run out of breath. she ran with the speed of lightening to Timnah.
Mukan had succeeded in setting up the fire and was coming to the room to drag Zoe.
Zoe’s mother caught his leg, she was crying with her knees on the ground.
” No, no plea-se you can’t kill her… plea-se, she is your daughter… plea-se don’t kill her…
Mukan kicked his wife away from him angrily.
” Get out of my way woman! Zoe brou-ght
this upon herself. I warned her… didn’t I? I warned but she disobeyed and did the unspeakable. She will die… Lord Amos said I should burn her with the child I will burn her and watch her burn into ashes with the child she carries…
Zoe’s mother held onto her husband again.
Mukan ordered his son to rush inside, bring Zoe out and throw her into the fire.
Zoe knew they were coming for her and balanced on a chair properly.
She will not be an easy kill for anyone. She will make it difficult for her brothers to drag her out.
The brothers rushed into the room and try to take her but she held onto to the chair close to the wall
“Will you show no mercy to your own sister. Will you be happy to watch me burn to ashes…
Zoe asked her brothers who were carrying out their father’s order.
“Do you ask for mercy after you have shamed us. You brou-ght disgrace and shame to us and father want us to drag you out…
The brothers f0rç£fully dragged her away from the wall, they dragged her throu-gh the doorway and to where their father stood.
” Lord Amos said I should burn you and show no mercy, and that’s exactly what I will do. I told you he will thank me if I kill you. Now is time to burn you Zoe. You brou-ght this upon yourself…
Her father said ignoring his wife’s plead and dragging Zoe to the fire side.
Did They think she will die easily, did They think she wouldn’t fight for the life of her unborn child. She will fight with her last breath.
Zoe kicked and clawed, she screamed and bit her father’s hand who screamed in pain and sl@pped her.
” Allow Lord Amos to burn me by himself!.
One of Zoe’s brother struck her across the face she flew with anger to him and punched him ha-rd in his testicles. He held his legs in pain.
“…I said, since Lord Amos want me burn, no problem but allow him do the work. Let him carry out the judgement with his own hands. Why would my death be upon your head? Let Lord Amos be the one to throw me into the fire…
The brother who just recovered from the pain tries to strike her again but she used her f!ngernails and feet on him.
Mukan asked his son to drag her.
Since she wants Lord Amos to burn her with his own hands then he will be glad to do justice on her.
Lord Amos saw a woman running towards him with a bundle in her hand.
Frowning as he recognize Hadar. Zoe’s nurse.
Gritting his teeth, he swore un-der his breath.
” She had run all the way down to beg me, to Plead for mercy for that wretched girl. No mercy… she must be burnt…
Lord Amos who was sitting with Lamech said. Lamech shakes his head sadly for the poor girl that will be burnt alive for slee-ping with another man and getting pregnant when she was supposed to be mourning. He wish there was a sort of pardon but Lord Amos has spoken.
Hadar ran and fell to Lord Amos knees. She only felt exhausted the moment she got to him.
Unable to talk, Hadar opened up the shawl and brou-ght out the staff, she pres£nted the Seal and put it to Lord Amos face.
Lord Amos snatched the Seal away from her hand.
He stared at it with shock. He exclaimed while standing to his feet in shock
” My missing Seal…where did you get this? Speak up woman…where did you find this items…? who gave them to you…? how on earth did it get to your care?.. I have searched for my missing Seal, my cord and staff and here you have them… how possible. How…?
Lord Amos asked, he couldn’t hide his shock and excitement on seeing his identification Seal, his staff and also his cord.
Lamech was equally shocked and urged Hadar who was still trying to catch her breath to speak.
“Zoe… Zoe s£nt me my Lord. She asked me to bring this things to you. the man who owns this identification seal is the father of her child. Do they belong to you my Lord?
A sick feeling gr!pp£dLord Amos.
Lamech’s mouth was left open with shock.
Lord Amos couldn’t utter a word he went cold as shame washed over him.
he put on his identification Seal, picked up his staff and set out with speed.
Lamech asked him to ride on his royal Carmel back but Amos was too in a haste to listen.
He kept running, Hadar ran ahead of him.
As Lord Amos ran tears clouded his vision.
The harlot by the road side had been Zoe.
She tricked him into doing the right thing which he denied her and failed to do.
She was even more righteous than him. Zoe risked everything for a chance to have a child for his household. A chance to be a mother and not die a wretched widow.
How could he pas-s such a harsh judgement, a death s£ntence on a woman who did what he was afraid to do for her?
He was the guilty one and deserved to be burnt not Zoe, for Zoe has proven to be more righteous than him.
He nee-ds to save her before is too late.
He kept running and praying that God will spare her and he will get to Mukan in time.
Nothing should happen to Zoe and her unborn child ” his child”.
Lord Amos prayed as he ran like he has never run in his life before.
To be continued
ZOE. (The missing Seal)