Part 6

NOTE: The scene where Smurfette goes out into the night to find her beloved is based on Song Of Solomon 5:2-8.

Outside the Imaginarium, Papa Smurf decided to pay Tapper a visit, since he was beginning to wonder where two of his little Smurfs, Empath and Smurfette, had gone to. He was in his tavern doing some cleanup work to make his glasses and mugs all clean and spotless.
"Greetings, Papa Smurf," Tapper said. "What may I smurf you for, since this isn't the normal time for the tavern to be open?"
"I'm not here for anything except to find out where Empath and Smurfette had smurfed off to," Papa Smurf said.
"Oh, yes, well, you see, Empath and Smurfette were both curious about this story in my holy book, and so they wanted to experience it for themselves, which is why I smurfed up the scenario based on the story in the Imaginarium," Tapper said.
"I'm usually not the Smurf who would interfere in any Smurf's religious pursuits unless it smurfs harm to any of my little Smurfs, Tapper," Papa Smurf said. "But does this scenario need to smurf precedence over their duties in the village?"
"The scenario is only meant to last for a few days, Papa Smurf," Tapper said. "Besides, I believe the other Smurfs can handle the work in their absences without much disruption. If there's an emergency you need to smurf to Empath's attention, you will be able to smurf in touch with him at any time."
"I'm relieved to hear that, Tapper," Papa Smurf said. "May I ask what this story is that Empath and Smurfette are smurfing part in?"
"It's a rather...personal romantic story, though not one that smurfs beyond the level of kissing, if you were wondering about that, Papa Smurf," Tapper said.
"A romance story," Papa Smurf said, stroking his beard while thinking. "I wouldn't think that your religion would even allow for such things to happen, much less smurf them in any such detail."
"The Almighty created male and female to be smurfed together as one flesh for all time, Papa Smurf," Tapper said. "Surely He would want His creation to smurf more than just an attraction to the other sex in order for them to smurf together as compatible mates. However, this particular romance story is not just about male and female smurfing together as one, as hopefully Empath and Smurfette are starting to figure out for themselves."
"You would mean that this Almighty of yours may be smurfing out a relationship with them?" Papa Smurf asked.
"The Almighty smurfs out a relationship with all His creation, Papa Smurf," Tapper said. "That's the reason He created everything in this world, even the humans that He smurfed in His image."
Papa Smurf chuckled. "Well, I will not interfere with this story being smurfed out unless there is an emergency, Tapper. But next time, please inform me of such scenarios that you create from your holy book that will draw away my little Smurfs for a time."
"Aye, Papa Smurf, that I will make sure to smurf in the future," Tapper said, nodding with acceptance.

Inside the Imaginarium setting, Smurfette was in her character's house being scolded by her father. "What were you doing smurfing off by yourself instead of smurfing home like you're supposed to?" he asked.
Smurfette didn't know how to tell her character's father that she was looking for her beloved again. "I...uh...heard that King Solomon was coming to visit our town, Papa, and I...uh...just wanted to smurf him, that's all. He is our king...why shouldn't I be allowed to see him?"
"Salome, I don't want to risk losing you to someone who isn't of our village," her father said. "I know that Solomon is our king, and that he deserves to be treated with respect, though we will always honor and worship the Almighty above all. But what will you be if he decides to smurf you away from here? Do you think you will truly be his queen, to smurf beside him on his throne?"
"Papa, I don't want to be queen, and I don't want to marry him just because he is the king," Smurfette said. "I want to marry someone I can truly love with all my heart and soul, and somebody who truly loves me with all their heart and soul. If King Solomon is the one who the Almighty has chosen to be my future husband, I want to know it for certain that he is the one."
"I will not question the Almighty's decisions if that is what He has smurfed for you, my dear," Salome's father said. "But at least let the village's sons have a smurf at you first so that you would not be smurfing a mistake. Who knows, maybe the Almighty is testing you to see if you will truly follow where He wants you to smurf."
"I will do it, Papa," Smurfette said. "I'm sorry for not smurfing here like I should."
"You are forgiven of that misdeed, Salome," her father said. "Come, let us prepare for dinner and then we will resmurf for the night."
"Yes, Papa," Smurfette said as she followed Salome's father into the next room.

Meanwhile, Empath was settled in at a lodge that his character had owned in the village, and there he was treated like a king, almost as if he were back in the palace. The villagers visited him throughout the day to offer their worship unto him, which made Empath feel uneasy to accept, but nevertheless accepted just to make them happy. After a while, though, Empath got bored with having the villagers come to visit him and had the guards remove them from the lodge so that he could have some peace and quiet.
Empath then just stared out of the window that looked out into the outskirts of the village, feeling like he just wanted to run away with Smurfette at that point and do something romantic with her like a picnic or a nice long walk through the wilderness together.
"Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon. Look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards," Empath spoke. "You have ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; you have ravished my heart with one look of your eyes, with the pendant around your neck."
He then called the guards into the room. "Yes, your Highness, what is it you require me to smurf?" the one who sounded like Hefty asked as he and the two others entered.
"The young female who tried to seek an audience with me as we were passing by...this smurf would like to know where it is she lives in this village," Empath requested.
"May I ask to know the purpose of knowing where this female smurfs?" the first guard asked.
"It is of a personal nature, which you do not need to know," Empath answered. "I would like you to inform this smurf as soon as you know the location of her residence."
"Yes, your Lordship, I will smurf right to it," the first guard said, bowing before he left.
"And what, smurf tell, shall we be smurfing while he seeks out this young female's house, your Highness?" the second guard who sounded like Duncan asked.
"You shall accompany me wherever this smurf goes in this village, but your role is to not interfere with what this smurf wishes to do unless it goes against the commandment of the Almighty," Empath said.
"Aye, your Majesty, that I will smurf to do for you," the second guard said, bowing before he and the third guard also left.
Empath picked up a fruit from the plate that was on his table and ate it. He hoped that he would be able to find Smurfette and talk to her about her obsession with the character in the story that now seems to be drawing him toward himself.

It is now the middle of the night, and all the villagers are asleep except for the guards who walk through its streets in patrol to make sure it is safe. Smurfette was in her character's bedroom also asleep when she heard knocking.
"Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my perfect one; for my head is covered with dew, my locks with the drops of the night," a voice from outside her door called.
Smurfette recognized the voice. "My beloved! He's come!" She quickly rose from her bed, only to notice that she wasn't wearing anything but her character's underclothes, and that she was barefoot. But she felt that the visit was urgent, and she had to answer.
She went to the door, and when she touched the handle of the door, she could feel that her hands were dripping with myrrh. She frantically went through the locks on the door so she could open the door to her beloved. But by the time she got the door open, Smurfette found out that her beloved was gone.
"Oh no! I was too late!" she moaned.
"Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon. Look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards," the voice of the beloved called.
"Where are you? Please answer me, my beloved!" Smurfette cried, as she left her bedroom to look for her beloved.
She had gone past a few houses when the guard found her, dressed as she was, running through the streets in the night. "Stop, maiden!" the guard commanded.
"Please, you got to help me find my beloved!" Smurfette said. "He was at my house, and now he's gone!"
"Maiden, you must smurf with me back to your house," the guard said. "I can't let you smurf around loose wearing your short clothes at this hour of the night."
"If you won't help me find my beloved, then I will go smurf for him myself," Smurfette said, running past the guard.
The guard then pursued her, trying to get her to stop running. This caught the attention of another guard, who then intercepted Smurfette as she made a turn unto another street.
"Please let me go!" Smurfette cried out. "You don't understand! I must find my beloved!"
But the guard then grabbed Smurfette to keep her from going anywhere. She was crying hysterically for her beloved, struggling to get herself free as the first guard finally caught up with her.
"You're going to have to smurf with us, maiden, for disrupting the peace and for improper exposure," one of the guards said.
The villagers had stepped out of their doors to see Smurfette being taken away by the guards, looking every bit like a madwoman who had just flipped out.
"I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem," Smurfette cried out, "If you find my beloved, that you tell him I am lovesick!"
"Okay, fellow Smurfs, there's nothing here for you to smurf," the second guard said to the villagers. "The show's over."

Smurfette sat in a cell that felt particularly very cold, making her wish that she hadn't run off into the streets of the village wearing just her underclothes. She felt tears coming down her face because she knew her beloved had appeared at her character's house and yet was soon gone, but nobody in the story setting believed her to be anything but crazy.
Smurfette was starting to think maybe she was going crazy over this character from the story in Tapper's holy book. Why was he making her do all these silly things to make her go after him, and why did he keep disappearing from her? It was like she was chasing after a ghost, or some sort of delusion that claimed to know her and Empath very intimately.
There was soon a knock on the door of her cell. "Smurfette?" a voice called.
Smurfette recognized the voice. "Empath, is that you?" she asked.
"It is this smurf, Smurfette," the voice replied. "Come to the door and you'll see that this smurf is not an illusion."
Smurfette went to the door and peeked through the barred window. "Empath, it is you. Oh, thank Smurfness. I didn't think you would abandon me in here."
"This smurf does have the power to let you be released from this prison, but this smurf is being directed to simply let you stay in here until your character's father comes to have you be released to him," Empath explained.
"What do you mean, you were directed to not release me?" Smurfette asked, not believing what she was hearing. "Who smurfed you that?"
"This smurf believes that it is the same character who is calling you to pursue him, Smurfette," Empath said. "He told this smurf not to worry, that you will be treated fairly."
"Oh, this is ridiculous," Smurfette said. "You're playing the king of Israel, and yet you can't release me because my beloved smurfed you so?"
"Please, Smurfette, this smurf is only trying to find out why this character in the story we're playing out interests you," Empath said. "You can hate this smurf afterward when we're finished with this scenario, but for now you need to trust this smurf and see that this will eventually work itself out."
Smurfette nodded with some understanding. "If this is how it's supposed to smurf, Empath, then I will smurf with you later."
"This smurf can sense your sadness, Smurfette," Empath said as he reached out to touch her face through the bars of the window. "This smurf will not leave this fantasy setting until we leave it together...this smurf promises you that."
"I know that you won't, Empath," Smurfette said, touching his hand with hers until he pulled his hand out and then left with his guards.
And as she was left alone in her cell, she could hear, "O my love, you are as beautiful as Tirzah, lovely as Jerusalem, awesome as an army with banners! Turn your eyes away from me, for they have overcome me."
"Oh, beloved, why couldn't you stay?" Smurfette asked the voice.
"Look for me in the garden of nuts to see the greenery of the valley, to see whether the vine has budded and the pomegranates has bloomed," the voice told her.
"But Papa won't let me smurf out and find you," Smurfette said.
"Return, return, O Shulamite," the voice said. "Return, return, that we may gaze upon you!"
"What would you see in the Shulamite; as it were, the dancing of two armies?" Smurfette asked the voice.
But the voice stopped answering, and Smurfette was left with only the mention of going down to "the garden of nuts" by what seemed to be the voice of "her beloved". She could only close her eyes and rest in her cell while she waited for her release.