ZOE (The missing Seal)
Written by Amah
Zoe was milking the goat when her mother came to meet her, it was clearly written on her face that something was wrong. Zoe rose and asked, worried.
“What is wrong mother?
“Lady Samar is dead. Tears slide down her mother’s wrinkled cheek.
Zoe stepped back shock, her body went cold.
“Who sent a word…was it Lord Amos that sent a messenger to inform us?
“No one…nobody was sent. She has been dead and buried for a long time and nobody informed you about it. You were not even summoned to mourn her. How could the house of Lord Amos treat my daughter with disdain? It was your father that heard of it in the market place, without that… none of us would have known for years. You are ill-treated and never acknowledge in Lord Amos house. My daughter…you pain is my pain and I will carry it to my grave because you deserve better. You are a kind child with a loving soul but treated with disgust by Lord Amos, his wife and his sons…
Zoe turned away from her mother, she try to hid the sadness and how humiliated she felt that Lord Amos never bother to even inform her about his wife’s death. He probably thinks least of her and count her off from his family.
Zoe’s mother move closer to her.
“Accept your situation Zoe, some of us aren’t so lucky in life. We accept our fate and move with whatever life throws at us but you still have every right to fight against this injustice. Your brother saw Shelar in the market the other day, parading in drunkenness….your brother pities you greatly, he decided not to tell your father who may worsen your situation, he came to me rather instead of your father. Shelar has grown into a man and also grow even more in arrogance and pride according to what your brother told me. Will you want to end up with a man like Shelar…I know your answer will be no. because he may be worse than even Kuwe but he is your entitlement. Lord Amos has never had control over his sons. He never had control over Kuwe, Rolf or even Shelar. They all had their mother’s training and upbringing. All the men in Lord Amos household live for the pleasure of the moment and cared less about the future. Shelar is moving from district to district…living his life and spending his father’s money. he will one day chose a wife from the Canaanites women, settle down and do whatever he pleases at the end you will be at the losing side…Lord Amos is never a truthful man…
Zoe said nothing, her mother was right but does that mean she will be tagged a childless widow for the rest of her life. She breathed and went back milking the goat.
“…Zoe, how can you just go back milking the goat as if nothing happened? I thought you are going to curse Lord Amos for all he did to you…you are supposed to be angry and at this sad news and not keep quiet.
“Mother please enough. Let me be in peace. I will not speak against Lord Amos or his family. I also saw Shelar in the market, he was the reason I wasted much time that day you sent me out for thread. He is looking happy and if his father do not want me for his only son I have no strength to protest. I’m sorry but I can’t join you to condemn him or his entire household. I will remain royal to the house of my late husband, no matter how I was treated in their place or how I’m been treated here. A servant in my father’s house….
her mother interrupted her.
“Be grateful to your father, Zoe. At-least he gives you a daily bread and a place to lay your head.
“father does it grudgingly…mother he does it because I work hard to merit it. I earn for every bite I take here. I work hard morning and sundown. My hands her harden and filled with bruises yet I never fought or demand for my right as a daughter to my father and not a servant which he has made out of me…
Her mother was quiet and she quickly change the topic back to Amos.
“Wear burlap of mourning and go and shout at the entrance gate to Lord Amos district, disgrace him and make him ashamed for failing in his promises. Shelar was your right…demand for it. You can’t sit here all day doing your father’s bidding. When you grow old who will provide for you Zoe, no child no husband. How will you survive? Will you have to turn beggar or servant to your brothers? You need to do something. You need to protest. Scream out his name in the district gate and when the elders of his land hears of it they will force him to do what the law demands and if he still fails …he will bear the shame of people knowing he was not honorable enough to keep to his promise. Don’t sit here…do as I said….
“Mother please do not vex me. Leave me alone with this trouble…whatever tomorrow brings I will gladly accept.
“I can’t watch you do this to yourself Zoe. Despite everything you are still my daughter. Lord Amos has only one wife, Lady Samar who is dead now….do you have an idea if he has a concubine?
“No. His only wife was Lady Samar, no concubine…what are you driving at mother?
“Well, what I’m driving at is that I also over heard that Lord Amos will be going to Timnah city with his friend Lamech in the third day of next week. They will pass through the rocky district close to Timnah temple. The sheep shearing festival will soon begin and Lord Amos will be in Timnah for days. he will be part of the celebration because he is one of the prominent leaders and can’t miss the festival. That’s all I have to say.
She walks out, leaving Zoe to solve the puzzle all by herself.
Biting her lips she look as her mother works out.
She has to use the information she just got to her gain.
Few days later as she watch her mother complete the priestess dress which belong to her sister.
It was a beautiful dress and her mother kept admiring the work.
“This is the best veil I have ever made…it look so beautiful…I have been making veil and dresses for her but this one stands out. Everything she need is ready. The sandals, the sash, the veil, the dress and your father bought other gift for her too. Your sister will love this veil it comes with a tiny colorful bell…
Zoe admired it as her mother raised up the veil, displaying the beauty. Ideas kept forming in her head while watching the beautifully made veil in her mother’s hand.
“Is indeed beautiful mother. I will work in the field tomorrow, all alone and I will not return to sun down…I will come back very late…
She looked away, avoiding her mother’s gaze.
Her mother did not say anything immediately and when she spoke Zoe knew her mother was aware of what she planned to do. Tomorrow was the third day of a new week.
“You have to be careful Zoe, your father must not hear of this or we are all doomed. Is a long walk from here to Rock district, three hour before the cross road, a dusty lonely road to Timnah, you have to set out very early. I’m afraid because if Lord Amos recognize who you are he will kill you and you will die a shameful death…you know that, don’t you?
“Mother, don’t be afraid for me. If it will mean my death then let me die…
“Shelar is an easy shallow young man. He will be easier to fool than his father who is wise with age…Zoe, maybe you should lay target for Shelar instead….
“Perhaps, mother. You are right but I do not want another Jackal or senseless young man. I’m going after the lion. If it will mean my death then I repeat let it be so but I have to take a step out of here… Let the God of Lord Amos decide my fate.
Her mother did not pick up the basket containing Zoe’s sister’s priestess wear. She left it beside Zoe who already knows what to do with it.
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