Martha's Sister, Beloved Prodigal<br/>

Author: Patricia Annalee Kirk
Publisher: PuckettBrowne Publishing
Published: 2017-07-01
ISBN(s) 978-09777652-0-1
Language(s): English
Category: Fiction
Audience: Adult
Genre(s): Action, Historical Fiction, Romance Read Excerpt >
Chapter 1: Mary Left
Martha: The day Mary left dawned with sunshine. Light shone on the white leaves and red centers of the lilies and red windflowers in the doorway. My mood lifted with the promise of a pleasant day.
Two days before, we celebrated Mary’s sixteenth birthday. Today at noon I sent her to the market. Each week, she shopped for the items we didn‘t grow or raise. When she left, she wore a scarf wrapped around her head. Coins hung from the edges to display her availability for betrothal. Despite her beauty, no one asked my husband, Hamel, for permission to take her as his wife.
Five hours later, I paced between the fire pit, and the courtyard entrance. Frantic, I gazed at the street, waiting for her to return. Sunset loomed. A respectable Jewish girl must come home before dark. 
Hamel and Lazarus walked through the door together after a long work day. 
I rushed at them. “Mary went to the market hours ago. She didn’t come home. What can we do?”
Lazarus put his arm across my shoulders. “She met a friend. You know how distracted she gets. Here, Hamel and I will bring her home.” 
Hamel nodded and smiled. He took my hand and rubbed it. “Don’t worry. I’m sure we will find her.”
Both men bounded through the door to the street, nearly tripping one another. When they returned, several hours later, neither man had eaten since midday--and then only a snack. 
Anxious to find Mary,  they ignored their hunger. Hamel trudged through the entrance, followed by Lazarus. Lines marked my brother’s forehead, brows nearly meeting. 
Hamel walked to the table. “No one knows where she went. I’m hungry. Please forgive me. I must eat.”
“Of course. Your food is ready.”
“No one has seen her. It’s dark. I pray she stayed with a friend. Her reputation already suffers.“ Lazarus fought tears. “We’ll rest and try again tomorrow.”
I stared. What does Lazarus mean? What don’t I know about Mary? 
“We can’t see. Our torches flicker.” He flashed a painful smile. “I’m sure she will walk through the door at any moment, embarrassed at the concern she caused.” 
Chapter 2: Lazarus and Hamel Search for Mary
Lazarus: I sat at the table with Hamel. Martha laid lentil soup and fish at my place, and I ate without noticing. My attention stayed on the entrance. Mary will walk through at any moment. I prayed in silence.
I slept little that night. In my thoughts wild animals tore my little sister apart or her body lay in the street, the victim of chariot wheels. When I comforted Martha with the comment that Mary met friends and forgot the time, the words didn’t comfort me. She should have come home by now. ...
Martha's Sister, Beloved Prodigal   by   Patricia Annalee Kirk   |   See Bio >
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Mary of Bethany left home in a decision that shattered her family. She accepted her Messiah in a dramatic act of love, but Jesus doesn't always protect us from consequences.
Did responsible, staid Martha lose all hope of husband and children because of her sister's past? Did that past stand between her and the man who loved her? Could she forgive Mary?
How did Lazarus and Martha cope with the new creation back home?
When it applied, the author stayed true to the Bible. Otherwise it’s fiction. Please don’t take it as Gospel.
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