Brad prayed “thanks” for the food, ushering in a combined “amen.”
“Yerr a Christian then?”
Brad cut across a snow pea.
“Yeah,” he said, putting it into his mouth.
He hurriedly chewed and swallowed.
“My mother was a Christian. She led me to Christ.”
Pastor nodded. “Thaat’s good. We’re mainly a Christian communitae herre.”
Brad tried to look at him while getting food into his mouth. He sliced through a steak, about to put a large section into his mouth.
“Try the sauce,” Pastor suggested.
Brad pushed the semi – thickened liquid onto the meat and put it in his mouth. He chewed, pleasantly surprised.
Paster beamed brightly. “It’s good, isn’t it?”
Brad nodded agreeably.
“I make it myself from herrbs we grow here.”
The conversation lulled a few moments as Brad ate.
“I like your furniture,” he said to break the silence.
The walls and kitchen fixtures looked modernistic but filled with rustic furniture.
“Carbinet Mairker maade most of thum. I maade the carbinet though. It’s one of the wee hobbies I do when I huv the tiime. Oh, and I maade the bookshelf up there. I gave awaay the government funiture. Too space age wi metal and vinyl for my liiking.”
Now that Brad’s hunger had slowed, he became more conversational.
“What is this place?”
“Ariginally; a government facilitae. This laand is so hot and pron to drought thaat they sent fa me. Baack in Glaasgow, I was a leading agricultural scientist. I was contraacted te get more out of the laand. Your government valued my work thaat much thaat they built living quarters fo me. They gave me a free haand to choose my stuff, so I picked other leading Christians in the field to work here wi me. Thaat’s why most of us are believers. Others came along lairter to join us; not many though.”
He trailed into silence as Brad ate the last of his meal.
“We marnaged to survive the chaanges becus we werre undergroond; werre you?”
Brad nodded, swallowing. “I was in a bunker.”
Pastor looked at him curiously.
“My dad was a nutcase.”
“Is Pastor really your name?”
“Noo, they just call me thaat. People herre are named after their jobs, liike in ancient European societae. You must knoo naames liike Smith, Fletcher, and Carpenter. I lead herre. Werre not only a farming communitae, but a Chuch. I preach and tend to the needs of Haven, so my naame is Paastor. Therre’s one difference though. People huv last naames liike Solar Technician aand so forth.”
He snatched up the plates and headed to the sink and returned, standing by the side of the table.
“Do you plaan te staay wi us?”
“Well, yeah. I came a long way.”
Pastor nodded. “For my part, we could use another Christian, but it’s not only up ta me. The communitae’d huv to deciide. I canna see a problem though. Ii’m arrairnging a meeting for taniight. People are going ta huv questions. This’ll give you the opportunitae ta answer them.”
Brad paled. He’d been away from people for so long that he dreaded doing a question and answer time in front of a crowd.