Wednesday, March 24, 2010

From the sands of Arabia, an update about my novel, Illusions of Intimacy

A quick hello to all reading. I am Gamal, a camel herder here in the village, at least during this wet season. While my boys watch the herd in its feeding corral, I shall spend a few moments seated here upon the woolen carpet of my tent with quill in hand. The author, my creator, asked me to compose a note relating my activities in her novel, Illusions of Intimacy. Please know me by my given name, Wadji. In Arabic it means being of strong emotions and love, like my soul. But, I must depart soon to meet someone, so I'll hasten at my appointed task.

Though a simple nomadic trader, I travel with my wooden locker of treasured volumes, many very old and given to me from my family. Reading helps pass lonely evening hours. Curiously, one book led me to meet the lovely noblewoman, Fareeda. Maybe you saw her – fair with long, golden hair escaping her niqab veil. Word travels fast about foreigners.

Yesterday she chose to bathe in the river and my herd ran upon her, our customary watering location. Since the sun baked us as we crossed the sand to the river, I understood her need for cooling. I yanked back my mares and spoke a dozen apologies. So beautiful, I dared to look upon her face and bosom, even if I'd receive punishment. Deep beyond the lady's beauty, I recalled her face from some memory. Haunting.

At today's trading souk she passed my camel pen, behaving as if she knew me. Her blue topaz eyes commanded me to stare. Minutes later, her servant returned, handing me a note certain to be a charge against my inappropriate attention. But no. Blank. I turned the sheet over, studying it and looking for traces of ink. Then, I gasped. Before my eyes print appeared, as though arising from within the parchment.

How? I scanned every visible detail of the paper. Once the market closed, I rushed here to my tent to seek one particular book from my trunk. Underneath blankets and keepsakes I found it, a black leather volume covered with gilding. I opened it, holding Fareeda's loose parchment alongside in my shaking hand. The papers – same dimensions, hue, weight, and grain. I stepped to the door and lifted the tent flap to gain more light. The same flowing, feminine hand scripted the words. I could not believe. Fareeda and the woman who had written in this journal, the same? How?
“I do remember. Your eyes haunt me. I have something to show you. When the moon is just risen please come to the east tower of Lord Nidal's palace."

So many times I read those pages, wondering why I possessed the book. Probably by some accident. The lady's thoughts always haunted me, drawing me back many evenings. On those nights, my dreams filled with topaz eyes, the very same as Fareeda's.

My heart raced. I flipped backwards and forwards through pages for clues. I found none, only confusion. In the passages, she addressed her lover, Lyvain, separated from her and how she may unite her soul with his for eternity.

The sun is low; I must make haste to the baths to not offend the lady. My pulse at my fingertips makes my pen shake over this page. Please excuse my penmanship. Many questions. Could she be the writer? How does she know me? What does she want from me? Did we know each other in a previous life? Were we lovers then? She is beautiful . . . I am but a lowly camel herder. Not likely . . . but perhaps. I will leave now. A goodnight to you.

                                                                                Your humble servant,
                                                                                                       Wadji

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