Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: STRESSED - Begins January 18 / Ends January 25 (01/18/18)
TITLE: Marriage Jitters
By Art Westefeld
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Shiren had found another Christian young sire to marry her daughter, a hard thing for her to do, as our faith is demonized on their world. So I went to Qlag to, in addition to my helping them in ‘tying the knot’, talk to the young couple, just as I would a human couple. My first hurdle was getting on-world.
As I said, Christianity is not acceptable on Qlag, so they wanted to detain me until I swore I would not try to get any more converts. Since all I was doing was officiating at a wedding, they released me, but then I had to get authorized to perform the ceremony from another governmental department.
This required a hearing, where Shiren and Kurn, the young sire’s father, both had to speak on my behalf. The grounds outside the Office of Joinings were clogged by Qlag who wanted nothing more than to break up this relationship. The three of us had to deal with verbal abuse, “Alien Devil!” was the politest thing they called me, and they called Shiren and Kurn whore and blasphemer respectively. Fortunately, they have their faith to keep them strong. I wouldn’t be surprised if I am invited back to marry them before long.
I was very nervous about walking the gauntlet of protesters, as the Qlag are built not unlike Terrestrial lions. I had to continually pray for my safety, and that the Qlag security forces would truly protect me from the demonstrators.
Finally, after a week, they granted me a license to perform ‘joining of Houses’, their term for the marriage ceremony. After the license was granted, the protests dwindled to a few priests, and I ceased fearing for my safety, although one of these priests did come up to me and tell me, “Human, your efforts are in vain. Your alien faith will not override Qlag biology. There cannot be the monogamous relationship you hope to foster between Rodek and Belloq.” He surprised me, because in my research on the Qlag, Belloq, as the female, usually would be mentioned first in discussing the couple.
I reached out to this priest, whose name is Qa-less, and was able to ask him about Qlag marriage customs, but only after promising not to discuss my faith, not easy for a preacher of the Word, but I agreed to let him help craft a mutually acceptable mating ceremony for Belloq and Rodek.
In any event, back to my premarital counseling...
Belloq was as nervous as any human making a big step. Rodek was of a lower social class than her, and she was worried about how it would affect her planned career, and how their offspring would be treated. It seems strange to discuss this on Earth where we have finally perfected a classless society. I was able to finally calm her fears by asking a simple question. “Do you love Rodek?”
She explained that love had little to do with it, as their relationship was arranged by their parents, but that she trusted her mother, so she presumed she would grow to love her mate. “He is a believer after all,” she explained.
I asked Rodek the same question.
“It is Love I feel for Belloq, not just for her beauty of form, but of her soul.”
So I agreed to do the joining in three days time. I was somewhat surprised at how crowded the hall was, considering our ‘evil religion’. One of the attendees explained that this was all the Christians on Qlag, and to see a joining was uplifting for Christianity’s growth.
Qa-less helped me customize a human wedding with Qlag customs, but I was surprised when I read the words that were recommended. I stammered, “You may now…. lick your mate.” Qlag don’t kiss like we can due to biology, so they show affection by licking the other party’s face.
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