Fiction that explores the monsters and strangers among us.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Who Did He See?


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***
Jaaziah raised his voice and pointed a finger to the ceiling. “Did you see our father Abraham?”

Zechariah shook his head no.

“Did you see Moses?” Jaaziah asked.

Zechariah shook his head no.

“Did you see an angel?” asked Shelomoth.

Zechariah nodded.

“Ah, you met an angel, and the angel has struck you dumb?” asked Jaaziah.

Zechariah nodded.

Pethahiah stepped out from the wall. “Why did the angel strike Zechariah dumb?”

Zechariah moved his hands up and down shaping the curves of a woman’s form.

“What’s he doing?” asked Mahli.

“I don’t know” Jakin shrugged.

“It’s a woman,” said Shelomoth.

“Of course it’s a woman, Shelomoth.” Jaaziah turned to Zechariah. “Was the angel a woman?”

Zechariah shook his head no.

“Aaarph,” shouted Jaaziah.

Jakin pointed a finger at Zechariah. “The angel was pointing out that you should not be found in sin with a woman.”

Zechariah shook his head no. Then he began gesturing with his arms.

“What’s he doing now?” asked Pethahiah.

“I don’t know,” said Shelomoth.

“It’s a baby,” said Jakin. “He’s holding a baby in his arms and rocking it back and forth.”

Zechariah nodded.

Mahli pumped his right fist. “Zechariah has had relations with a woman out of wedlock. She has had a baby, and for this reason, Zechariah was struck dumb.”

Zechariah shook his head no and struck Mahli several times about the head.

“Ah, at last I get it,” shouted Jaaziah. “You glimpsed a woman angel holding a baby.”

Zechariah shook his head no.

“Aagggh!” shouted Jaaziah.

“What if he heard an angel who told him about a woman holding a baby?” asked Shelomoth.

Zechariah shook his head yes.

“Who was the woman?” asked Jaaziah.

Zechariah pointed at himself.

“You’re a mother?” asked Jakin.

“Don’t be simple, Jakin,” said Pethahiah. “He’s not saying he’s the mother. He’s pointing to himself for another reason.”

“Is he the father?” suggested Shelomoth.

Zechariah nodded.

“You’re to become a father?” asked Jaaziah.

Zechariah nodded.

“And who is to be the mother, old Elizabeth?” Jakin’s voice rose to a high pitch.

Zechariah nodded.

“You and Elizabeth are to have a baby?” asked Jaaziah. “At your age?”

The priests laughed.

Zechariah nodded.

“A boy baby or a girl baby?” Shelomoth asked.

Zechariah made a gesture with his hand.

“A boy baby,” laughed Jaaziah. “That’s good, Zechariah.” Turning to the other priests, Jaaziah repeated the gesture. “See, it will be a boy baby.” The priests laughed and began making the sign.

“But why did the angel strike you dumb?” Shelomoth asked. “A boy baby is great news if true.”

“Yes, but who would believe such a thing. Zechariah? At his age?” Mahli laughed and continued making the gesture.

“Ahhh,” said Jaaziah. “For your disbelief you have been struck dumb?”

The priests stopped laughing and gesturing and turned to Zechariah.

Zechariah nodded. He lowered his head and wept.

***
To Dwell Among Us continues tomorrow.

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