Martian Amish - Chapter 2

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Christian Science Fiction

Submitted: October 14, 2011

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Submitted: October 14, 2011





"And while tribulation might await us, we find dreams of a better tomorrow" Anonymous

We see a group of young men working inside the barn. They are working on basic machines that are used for farming. Zioniah is amongst them and he seems to be instructing a few of them on how to fix a certain machine. It has been six months and by the way he is dressed, he looks just like one of the Amish folk. Now we see Martha and a few of the other young women as they come to the entrance of the barn. They have what appears to be refreshment for the young men. The men stop what they are doing and partake of the refreshments outside the barn. Zioniah and Martha find a cool spot under an tree.

Zioniah uttered, "We might have to go into one of the neighboring domed cities to find new parts if the ones we have don’t hold up."

Martha smiled, "I’m sure it’ll all work out."

Zioniah noticed the look that she is giving him, "What? I have grease on my nose or something?"

Martha said, "No, silly, you look just fine to me. Even if you did have grease on your nose."

Zioniah drank some of the fresh lemonade, "Man, this is good. Hit the spot. Thanks, Martha."

Martha is looking at him in a certain way, "I’m glad you like it."

Zioniah said, "Okay. I know something is up because of that look you are giving me."

Martha uttered, "It has been six months to this day."

Zioniah nodded, "Yeah. It has, hasn’t it?"

Martha went on, "There is a dance coming up at the end of the week. Over in another village. . ."

Zioniah uttered, "Yes. I heard of it. Some of the men are busy trying to find dates for the event. It’s not just a dance, more like a fair."

Martha nodded, "Yes. That is true but I’m more interested in the dance part."

Zioniah looked at her, "You want to go don’t you?"

Martha uttered, "Only if you’ll take me. I shall not go alone."

Zioniah asked, "If I decide not to go, I really think you should."

Martha shook her head, "I shall not go without you."

Zioniah uttered, "And you have set your heart on this?"

Martha said, "We have been a couple for six months. In this time the village has grown to respect you as a man and as someone who shows true leader skills. You have been nothing less than a gentleman to all that have come in contact with you. I’m very proud of you, Zioniah. Plus, you are one of the more handsome of men in the village, if I might say so myself."

Zioniah said, "You really, really, really want me to go don’t you?"

Martha said, "Only if you want to do so. I’d never try and force you to do something that you didn’t want to do."

Zioniah answered, "Since when?" They both got a good laugh out of that one. Then Zioniah said, "We can go. I think it would be fun and good for us."

Martha uttered, "A wiser man I can not find, Zioniah."

We see them as they watch some farm animals wander on by and then some of the village children getting off from school, they pass on by. Amongst them are the kids that he saved, and they wave to him and say: "Hello, Zioniah. Hello, Martha. . ."

Martha said, "I knew you’d do well in my life. I think what it was, was that I never really connected with anyone else here. I’m not sure why."

Zioniah said, "I can relate. Oh I would act like I belonged. You know, do the right thing, be the good soldier and all that. But deep down inside something was missing. I think it was that spiritual element that you introduced me to. That faith in Jesus Christ that filled a hole inside of me."

Martha leaned on his shoulders, "He fills the void in all of us."

Zioniah uttered, "Yeah. But I have a really big hole to fill. I was thinking the other day what might have happened if we never met."

Martha voiced, "Those are thoughts that I do not allow myself to think. In these last six months you have made me so happy. I don’t think you fully realize how wonderful it has been for me."

Zioniah said, "I think I do because I feel the same way. It is funny how God works."

Martha spoke, "This is the first time I’ve heard you speak of God in such a way. You have truly accepted him haven’t you?"

Zioniah reflected, "I suppose I have. I hadn’t really given it much thought to be honest. Maybe I have you to thank for that?"

Martha asked, "How so?"

Zioniah said, "Well. You were the first one to ever introduce me to the teachings of the Lord."

Martha said, "I have a confession."

Zioniah asked, "And what might that be, Martha?"

Martha told, "I did those things because I wanted you to stay and that was the only way I could think of, to get you to remain."

Zioniah said, "Well it worked."

Martha asked, "You don’t think the less of me do you?"

Zioniah answered, "For taking the initiative to go after what you wanted? Even if that happened to be me? Naw. In fact you helped me to see that there is more to the world than killing and revenge and all that stuff that I have put behind me."

Martha said, "I think you have taught me that I don’t have to go it alone. That God provides for our needs and desires. I thought before I set eyes on you that my whole life would forever be spent alone and watching everyone else have families and do the things that I could only be witness to."

Zioniah spoke, "No. You deserve much better than that, Martha. You are a good woman. Hard working. Deeply faithful. Living each day what you teach to others. I’m not going to say that I deserve someone like you, but I’m sure glad you saw something in me, that allowed you to reach out."

Martha reflected, "When I was younger I used to play out in the fields. The farm robots would scoot me and the others out of harm’s way. It was fun to just run around without a care in the world."

Zioniah said, "I never had that type of childhood. I enjoy listening to yours."

Martha uttered, "So then you’ll be staying another six months?"

Zioniah answered "Martha, I’m staying because of you. Because you believed in me and saw something that I didn’t even know existed."

Martha spoke, "I think we were two souls searching for one another and one day, everything came together at the right time and in the right place. Besides, if you had left I’d have followed."

Zioniah said, "No way."

Martha nodded, "Yes. Even though I know I’ve said it before. And you probably thought I was just talking woogy, it is true. I had already made up my mind and told some of the others that if you left, I as going to leave."

Zioniah voiced, "I remember you saying something about that. I guess I thought that because of your upbringing, it wouldn’t allow you to actually do that. Well, I’m glad it never came down to that, you wouldn’t be able to survive in the super dome city. There are things that you just don’t understand about the ways and the going ons."

Martha uttered, "It is a corrupt place."

Zioniah uttered, "They pretend that they are civilized. Put a veil over the society that looks all pretty and nice. But just below the surface lurks things that can not stand the light of day."

Martha said, "I feel sorry for all those that are born into it. Seems hopeless."

Zioniah spoke, "In some ways it really is. Maybe that is why people end up like me and my poor sister. Victims of something that we don’t understand and though we try to find our way, we remain forever lost in a sea of deception and corruption."

Martha voiced, "Funny how mankind journeyed out into the cosmos, only to find out that what he was running from was not on the outside, but it was within. The real journey begins from within. He can’t escape his true nature."

Zioniah stated, "Not without God’s help."

Martha voiced, "Well said, Zioniah."

We see some of the men as they come running in from the field, and some of the women as they come running out to meet them. A robot farm worker is carrying one of the elders. It is Elder Mark, something has befallen him out in the hot field. The farm robot carries the elder into one of the large buildings were the women trained in first aid quickly tend to him. Zioniah and Martha are among those patiently waiting in the hall.

A young woman comes in from outside and asked, "What has just happened?"

Martha answered, "It is Elder Mark. He was working out in the fields and then he just collapsed over."

Zioniah added, "Keep you faith and be of good cheer. We are all praying."

But the woman who is related to the elder uttered, "What do you know about faith, Zioniah? Yours comes at the end of a gun!" And then she went running on off to gain more information.

Martha looked at Zioniah, "She doesn’t know what she is saying. Elder Mark is her uncle.

She is sick with fear. . ."

But we see Zioniah as he wanders on off out into the outside. He wanders and finally finds a cool spot at a bench. Farm animals are wandering all about and he reaches into a ben and throws them some feed, in which they all react by eating and gathering around for more.

About that time comes Martha, she is worried and very concerned and wears it on her face.

Martha said, "Oh. I’m so glad I found you. I was so worried about you, the way you went running on off. The young woman didn’t really mean the things she said to you, you know that. We all love and respect you, you have to believe that."

Zioniah asked, "Do they?"

Martha sensed that what was said hurt him more than first imagined. She did something unusual, she removed her bonnet revealing her curly red hair. She handed it to him, "The only opinion that should matter to you, Zioniah, is mine! And you know by now that I genuinely love you and I know you really do love me."

Zioniah nodded, "I’m not questioning any of that. The two of us, we are good."

Martha extended her hand, "Then come back in with me, I need you to be at my side. These are times that test us the most, love is what gets us through it."

Zioniah gently took her hand and kissed it, but he didn’t get up, "You go. I don’t belong there. I don’t belong here. I belong in that corrupt world that you Amish so wisely fight to avoid. The young woman was right, what do I know about faith?"

Martha sat next to him, "What do you think brought you to us? To me? It was faith. You don’t have to know the name of something for it to work in you. But your actions reveal what is truly inside of you."

Zioniah said, "My actions have brought me many things. Most of which I am deeply troubled by, and though I know that God forgives, I have trouble forgiving myself."

Martha uttered, ‘Then I shall offer forgiveness for the both of us. We are one and the same, Zioniah. It matters not whether we be married or single, my heart is your heart and I rest sure of yours."

A young man finds them, "Zioniah, Elder Mark is asking for you."

Zioniah questioned, "Me? You must be mistaken."

The young man shook his head, "It is you he has requested."

Martha stated, "You must go to him. I’ll have a talk with the young woman."

We see Zioniah as he quietly enters the darkened room where Elder Mark now lay, sick and surrounded by those who care. They all look at him and Elder Mark motions him to sit close."

Zioniah asked, "Elder Mark, is there anything I can do for you?"

Elder Mark responded, "When you first came to our village. I didn’t trust you."

Zioniah said, "Elder Mark, I understand, I don’t fit in. . ."

Maid Anna uttered, "Let him finish, because he speaks for us all."

Elder Mark went on, "But over these trying six months, I’ve come to see you for the man you really are. And I trust Martha, my daughter. . ."

Zioniah was shocked, "Martha is you daughter?"

Maid Anna interjected, "We thought it best not to reveal this to you, so that we could better evaluate the person that you really were. Martha wanted to tell you from the beginning, but we all charged her to be silent. It was one of the conditions."

Zioniah said, "I understand. I was a stranger, you needed to have objectivity."

Elder Mark stated, "I’m dying. Martha knows this, I’ve had problems on and off with my heart for years."

Zioniah suggested, "You know that a condition such as this is easily fixed. In the super

domed city they have all sorts of medical marvels. They can give you a new heart and you’d be back to loading hay in a few days."

They all kind of laughed but Elder Mark shook his head, "It is not our way. Oh some communities do embrace the more modern ways, and seek out much more technology. But you have lived with us these months, you know that besides our farm robots, we don’t live like that."

Zioniah asked, "Then I don’t understand?"

Elder Mark told, "I want to give you my blessing, here with the community as witness, and I will speak to my daughter in private."

Zioniah repeated, "I don’t understand?"

Maid Anna said, "He is giving you his blessing to marry Martha. If that is your intentions?"

Zioniah voiced, "Oh, that you Elder Mark. Yes my intentions are honorable and in accord with the rule and teachings for which I have read them all. Some more than others. . ."

His last got a polite laugh out of the room. Then Elder Mark went on, "I might not be here for the event, but if you are to have my daughter, and nothing more would please her than for you to state that formally, you shall have to be baptized, one of the elders will do this for you. One of the sisters, maids will have you as their son. It is a community that you will be joining. A community that does want you to join. I heard what my niece said to you, forgive her, she is young and spoke foolishly."

Zioniah uttered, "Don’t you worry, Elder Mark. All is forgiven, for as much as God will allow me the privilege to forgive."

We see Zioniah as he walks out into the cool of the evening. He finds a place to sit and reflect on what as just happened. The young woman that insulted him comes over to him.

Young woman, "Zioniah, I want to tell you that I am deeply sorry for what I said to you back there."

Zioniah told, "It with me." The young woman sat beside him. "What you said is not even remembered. You had just heard some bad news and you said and did what any human being would have. You just uttered without thinking. And that is okay."

The young woman now realizes how hurtful her speech was, "Oh, Zioniah, I’m truly sorry for what I have said to you. You’ve been nothing but kind to us ever since you first came to our village. There is no excuse for what I said."

Zioniah uttered, "But you spoke the truth."

The young woman asked, "What?"

Zioniah explained, "My faith when I first arrived in this village, was filled with violence. Hate and revenge. But a kind and gentle soul saw through all of that, she patiently guided me through the darkness and the anger. Finally I emerged over the other side, and I have truly accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. I’m not the man I used to be but that doesn’t excuse the man I was."

We see the young woman as he nods and goes on off. A few moments later Maid Willa approached. She has a cool refreshment that she offers him. Then she sits with him.

Maid Willa said, "I overheard the things you told her. It takes a special kind of man to admit when he was wrong. Not all can do it, no, not even in this very village. Oh as loved as they are, some have issues with pride. You will see. . ."

Zioniah stated, "Pride is a serious disease."

Maid Willa nodded, "Truer words have never been spoken! So, what are you going to do,

because Martha is in the chamber as we speak talking to her father. Oh, sorry we never told you but one can never be too sure. Specially since the way Martha was acting, so sure of her convictions towards you."

Zioniah stated, "Rest assure, I’d never do anything to hurt Martha."

Maid Willa said, "Oh, I think we all know that you love her almost as deeply as she loves you. There is no explaining the ways of the heart."

Zioniah nodded, "I know. I just can’t figure out how she knew that God was in me. I didn’t even know."

Maid Willa explained, "Martha is special. We all treasure her so much. Most of us maids were so worried when she showed little if any interest in the local young men. Then you came along and after awhile we all began to understand. The man for her wasn’t in the village, he would come from the world we shield ourselves from. You, Zioniah."

Zioniah uttered, "I have no place that I wish to go to. Any place I’d go to, it would be without Martha. I don’t think I can live without her. I’ve never ever met any who even comes close to her. She has the most gentle and loving heart of anyone I have ever met in my entire life."

Maid Willa concluded as he parted, "So then, the two of you will marry. That is good news, the village could use some good news like that."

We see Zioniah as he just sits there looking up at the stars. Finally Martha approaches but she is hesitant to sit."

Martha asked, "Do you mind company?"

Zioniah took her by the hand and sat her next to himself. "It is a pretty night."

Martha replied, "Made more so because of your company."

Zioniah said, "I can’t live without you, Martha."

Martha placed her arm through his, "And I you, Zioniah."

Zioniah uttered, "They tell me I have to get baptized before I may have your hand in marriage."

Martha confessed, "In my heart we are already married. I can not give it to any other."

Zioniah said, "The village will help me build a home for the two of us."

Martha nodded, "It is tradition. It happens to every new couple. You actually participated in the event. It is a wonderful event."

Zioniah stated, "It would be nice if your father was around."

Martha said, "It is our way. In the big cities they have ways of making people live beyond their time. I hear that they can even make the dead to rise through the use of technology."

Zioniah nodded, "Believe me, I’ve seen it. It is strange."

Martha asked, "I don’t suppose the man that you sought to avenge your sister’s death will rise?"

Zioniah shook his head, "No. I left him in a million pieces. The Martian wolves no doubt ate him."

Martha asked, "And how does that make you feel?"

Zioniah answered, "I could lie and tell you that it made me feel terrible, but it would be a lie. The truth of the matter is that I feel nothing for him at all. I don’t even think about it any more. His death didn’t bring the closure I thought it would. I think God has taught me that. You

have taught me what real love is and what it means."

Martha countered, "And you have taught me what waiting on God can bring."

Zioniah asked, "Martha, will you marry me?"

Martha looked up, "Yes."

Zioniah said, "Are you sure you know what you are getting yourself into? I’m not a perfect man."

Martha uttered, "When I first lay eyes on you, Zioniah, I saw no perfecter man."

We see that some weeks have passed and Elder Mark, with the help a prayers has seemed to recover nicely. He and Zioniah are walking down a dirt path, it is late in the evening.

Elder Mark said, "Martha is beside herself with plans for the wedding."

Zioniah nodded, "The whole village seems to be a buzz with the excitement."

Elder Mark asked, "How do you feel about the whole thing?"

Zioniah said, "I’m not getting cold feet if that is what you are getting at."

Elder Mark shook his head, "Oh no, I can see it in your eyes, you have great intent towards my daughter. I guess I want you know that I think you are going to make a fine son-in-law. I am well please with Martha’s choice. Believe me, she could have done much worse."

Zioniah was surprised, "Really? I thought that all the young men she had to choose from, there had to be someone. . ."

Elder Mark shook his head, "Not for my daughter. I knew early on that if God didn’t do something special for Martha, that she’d end up an old maid. Martha is the jewel of the village. When she is happy most of us are happy with her and when she is sad, we are sad with her as well. She seems to know the mood of the village and expresses it. When she came in that night and announced that the three children had been found and that they were well. I knew then that the hand of God had move across our humble village. And when she showed me the man who had saved them, I knew for sure that God had answered Martha’s heart felt prayers. I could see it in her eyes when see looked at you, she recognized in you the answer to her petition."

Zioniah said, "I was a pretty lost soul back then."

Elder Mark answered, "Not to her! She knew you and she defended you like the two of you were already married. I’ve never seen anything like it. A woman with that kind of conviction, about someone for whom she only met. It was like see could see into your very soul, and she bared her soul to you. All a dangerous thing if she had been wrong."

Zioniah said, "I’m lucky to have her in my life. I promise you, Elder Mark, I’ll take good care of your daughter. She’ll have no trouble with me, my heart is set on pleasing her all the days of my life."

Elder Mark nodded, "That is good to hear but it wasn’t what I was getting at."

Zioniah was puzzled, "Then what?"

Elder Mark questioned, "We all know about those little machines that the military implanted in you body. Will they keep you from fathering children?"

Zioniah got it, "Oh. Now I understand your concern. To be honest I seriously doubt it. I have conscious control of most of them and the ones that I don’t I piss out. They are more like artificial stem cells, but robotic. I basically will them to do something and they do it. We are implanted with them so that we can heal faster and be stronger, even boost our mental ability. But they are not designed to interfere with normal biological functions, just enhance them. And as far as children go, they should be normal, healthy kids. Best answer I can give you."

Elder Mark smiled, "Good to hear. There are those that talk, now I have answers."

We see a lovely day. Most of the village has come out to witness a blessed event. The bring into the flock of the Lord, a new convert. In this case it is a most anticipated event, because the person being baptized is Zioniah. Both men and women and children have gathered to bear witness to the event and there is a very festive mood among the gathers. After a brief ceremony that is particular for that village, Elder Thomas performs the baptism. The whole thing takes a short time and then Zioniah is escorted by a few elders into a tent where he can change into dry clothes. Of all of them Martha is the most excited, because she really wanted that for Zioniah, and it means that there is one less hurdle towards her shedding her old maid status. In fact it makes official that she is a bride.

We see that a wonderful feast has been prepared and all are digging in and conversing. It is around that time that a young man from another village comes in and speaks with Elder Thomas. Whatever it is, it is not good news as Elder Thomas gathers some of the other elders. Towards the end of the day, they call over Martha and Zioniah.

Martha asked, "What is wrong?. I noticed the young man from the other village. What is going on?"

Elder Thomas placed his hand on Zioniah’s shoulder, "I think you know how much this entire village loves you. You could feel it in the air, tell by the turn out to your baptism, which officially brings you into the flock. Though for all intentions you have been one of us, if not from the beginning."

Martha senses something is very wrong, she clutches Zioniah’s hand, "What is it won’t someone please tell us what is wrong?"

Elder Thomas stated, "News has gotten out that officials are seeking the man that killed the bandits that kidnaped our three children over a year ago."

Maid Anna said, "Elder Thomas, you can’t be serious?"

Elder Mark said, "I’m afraid it is that serious. Officials from the super domed city are looking for, Zioniah. He’s wanted for murder. . ."

Maid Willa yelled, "Those bandits kidnaped our children. If God hadn’t sent Zioniah out there, who knows what might have happened to them!"

Zioniah uttered, "I know what would have happened to them. I just never wanted to tell any of you, not even my fiancee. It was just too horrible. It was the way my sister died. They were going to do that to the three young ones."

Martha’s heart was obviously breaking, "Tell us, Zioniah. We can accept the truth."

Zioniah went on, "My sister was murdered because there is a black market for human souls. There is an illegal device on the planet Mars, it exist in one of the super domed cities. I’m not sure if it is the elves that have it or the trolls or one of the other species that cohabit the surface of Mars. It is called a quantum recycler. It can take the soul from one living being and transfer it into a dying person. They are not suppose to use human souls, but the super rich, can afford to break the law, they say that animal souls, while they do work quite well, are not as good as human souls. And obviously, the younger the better."

We see everyone as they are appalled at what they have just learned.

Maid Anna said, "And that is what they were going to do to our children if you hadn’t come along?"

Zioniah nodded, "I stopped them just in time. The children didn’t understand what was

about to happen to them. It is complicated, lots of technology involved."

We see Martha in tears as she hugs her fiance, but we see the others as they too gather around him. There is solidarity, Martha’s husband is a hero to the people of the village.

Maid Willa announced, "We can let them have, Zioniah. He is one of our own. He’s done no wrong in my eyes. The barbarians that kidnaped our children, those are the ones to whom they should be seeking to imprison!"

Elder Thomas held up his hands to calm everyone down, "First of all, no decision will be made tonight. This was a festive day. A day when we all welcomed Zioniah into our flock. Elder Mark what say you?"

Elder Mark uttered, "I have spoken at length with my son-in-law to be. His heart is set on my daughter Martha. Her heart can not be quenched when it comes to Zioniah. Never have I seen two people who should not be wed, in fact, I deem it a sin for them not to be, for surely God has brought them together."

We see that everyone listening agrees. Maid Anna uttered, "But I hear something else in your voice, Elder Mark."

Elder Mark nodded, "I suggest that tomorrow, that Zioniah and Martha we quickly married. I know it wasn’t to be for another month. There were the issues of the house raising and other traditions. But under the circumstances, I suggest haste."

The young woman that once insulted Zioniah said, "Surely you are not thinking of handing Zioniah over to the authorities?"

Elder Mark stated, "He killed many men that night. Yes he saved our kidnaped children. And for that alone, in my heart, he deserves the hand of Martha. But we are people of religion and faith. How can we be so if when the ill winds of the corrupt blow, we then act like them? Have faith that God will deliver our brother from the hands of the corrupt."

Martha fell apart, "Oh, father, how could you! I would rather die than let them take the only man I have ever been able to love! I will not allow it!"

Some of the old maids rallied to Martha’s side, saying, "This man has done nothing to warrant this! Those barbarians, would have spilled our children’s blood for nothing more than money! Stolen their very souls! You err on this decision, Elder Mark!"

Elder Thomas asked, "Zioniah, will you have Martha to wed tomorrow, even before the rising of the morning sun?"

Zioniah nodded sadly, "I shall not break Martha’s heart. While I can endure anything, my fiancee has set her heart and it must not be broken."

Elder Mark stated, "Then it is settled. In the morning, the two shall become one."

Martha uttered, "We already are. . ."

We see the group as they depart from what started out to be such a festive event. Much talk went on about such decisions. Some seeking to understand the decision, and some seeking to find another way. All filled with horror as to what might have happened if Zioniah had not been there when he was.

We see Zioniah as he sits on the porch of where is sleeps, a moment later we see Martha as she joins him.

Martha snuggles up to him, "I shall not let them take you!"

Zioniah uttered, "God moves in mysterious ways."

Martha countered, "Yes, but not like this. He doesn’t bring two people like us together,

only to have us wrenched apart, like some heathen!"

Zioniah stated, "It was you who taught me about faith, Martha. I’m I to now cast it aside because the situation doesn’t suit my liking?"

Martha argued, "You sound like my father! He never wanted us to be happy!"

Zioniah put his massive arms around to comfort her as she cried, "We’ll get through this. You’ll see. Your faith in God is not in vain. Remember, nothing done is God is done in vain!"

Martha said, "Oh, what have I done! If I had but kept my mouth to myself, then you would be as you were, proud, fearless, a warrior, then would you not be so passive, and would not allowed any of this!"

Zioniah spoke, "Woman, the time has come that I be a true husband to you. You have walked in the wilderness for too long, seeking that promise that was put in your heart by God Almighty. I am here, and I am yours forever, nothing will ever diminish that fact. But you can not stop believing, no, not now, not when so much is riding on it. If I have learned anything from you, that is, that God has a plan for all of us, but we have to be prepared to live the life that he has chosen for us to life. We can’t live someone else’s life. We can’t look at the rich and powerful and desire to be like them. We can’t be true to our faith in Jesus Christ if you are not willing to walk the path he chooses for us. Martha, I told you from the beginning, I did horrible things. That was why I resisted you so much. But you won me over, now my heart and soul are yours, as I know the same is true for you to me. But tomorrow I become your husband, and I tell you, don’t worry, it will be all right. God is good. Jesus Christ is good. Let the Holy Spirit of God prevail!"

Martha did something she wasn’t suppose to do until they were married, she took his face in both her hands and she kissed him on the lips. She whispered, "Husband. . ."

Zioniah whispered back, "Wife. . ."

We see at the crack of dawn that the entire village has gathered in the church. Not all can fit in so some are outside looking in through the windows. Everyone is dressed in their best. Some children are up in trees so they can get a better view. Inside Elder Thomas performed the ceremony.

Elder Thomas uttered, "Zioniah, a good year ago you came to us and you were a stranger. Today, I am happy to say, you are no stranger to us anymore. Martha, daughter of my best friend, your love for Zioniah, for whom it would have been easier to let be rejected, has shone as a light to us all. Would that we all could love as deeply and purely as you do. Zioniah do you take Martha to be your wife, to love her, to treasure her, honor her in sickness and in health?"

Zioniah answered, "Yes I do."

Elder Thomas went on, "And Martha, for whom I have known since birth, is this the man that you wish to be wed, to love him, to honor him, to be a partner as he is to you, in sickness and in health?"

Martha uttered, "For all eternity, yes I do."

Elder Thomas said, "Village, I present to you, husband and wife!"

We sew the entire village as it lifted up their voices to God, so much so that the neighboring villages could hear their voices of joy. That night Zioniah and Martha consummated the marriage. But in the morning, we see Martha as she runs through the village. Elder Thomas and Elder Mark along with Zioniah are gone. It is later explained to Martha by Maid Anna, that the two elders have taken her husband to the super domed city, to face the charges that have been leveled against him. Martha falls to her knees and weeps bitterly, she can not be consoled.

© Copyright 2019 Victor Darnell Hadnot. All rights reserved.

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