Here’s another short story I had submitted to Faithwriters.com. It is a little piece of historical fiction based on a pretty well known Bible story. Maybe you can guess which one? When writing it I wanted to capture the theme of being too busy. If interested in reading other short works of fiction by me feel free to check out some of my older ones like The Vanity Mirror or The Wager.
The Guest by K Marie
Briefly stopping to inhale deeply, she was pleased with the aroma of spices and fresh herbs. She had put lots of cumin, leeks, and fresh garlic into the thick lentil stew she was making for supper.
She was the oldest sister of three siblings, and she took her duties of hospitality quite seriously. At times it was a burden, but at the same time, she enjoyed impressing visitors with delicious food and a tidy house.
There was much to prepare today since she had invited a large group of guests to stay at her home. They were truly guests to be honored, and there was one guest, in particular, she intended to make her top priority.
She dashed about carrying two clay jugs. One was of olive oil and the other of sheep’s milk, both of which she needed her younger sister to set out on the table. Her younger sister, however, had not returned from the last errand, which was to bring out spiced wine for refreshment.
The eldest sister was feeling very frazzled. These guests were important to her, particularly the one guest; so much so that she had her brother prepare a goat for the meal.
“Sister? Could you possibly go back out to the garden and bring in some figs from the tree?” she hollered. There was no reply.
“Where did that foolish girl go?” she thought. She was going to offer fresh fruits on the table that evening; she needed figs. Speaking of fruit, perhaps she could even send her guests off on their next journey with a string of dried dates or apricots. Yes, she would do that, but she could worry about doing that in the morning.
There was so much to do. The anxiety was beginning to get to her. Her hands shook a bit as she set down the jugs, and some of the sheep’s milk sloshed onto her arm. “I best fill another jug with vinegar for dipping,” she thought anxiously, “That will have to wait for now.” She ran over to the wheat flour she had spent many tedious hours milling earlier that afternoon.
She wanted to make her honored guest top priority so she had spent extra time hovering over her hand stone pulverizing the grain into powder. She assured that there would be no grittiness in her bread dough today. She added some water and stirred. She then transferred the stiff dough to a trough and frantically began kneading it. Her knuckles turned white.
She hoped at least her brother might be able to help a bit with preparing the accommodations. She kept the finest clothes and bedrolls in the higher storage spaces.
“Oh no, I really wanted to air the bed linens out a bit. No time now,” she thought as she ran over to stir the stew that was beginning to bubble over.
She intended to serve the stew with the meat, some fresh bread for dipping, and perhaps some cheese and olives. All of which needed to be dished out and set on the table. Things were becoming overwhelming.
“Sister? Could you come here and please make the loaves so we can put them in the oven? Please, Sister!” she hollered. There was no reply.
She couldn’t recall how long her sister had been gone now, but she felt herself begin to grow furious with her sibling’s indifference to the duties of hospitality. After all, the guest of honor must be made the top priority! She left the bread dough and simmering stew and angrily marched out to the garden.
Many of the guests as well as her brother were reclining and chattering over the spiced wine. She found her younger sister sitting crossed legged on the ground, quietly listening to the guest of honor.