#Chapter2 of the story that I will never get to publish…

Untitled…

It had been weeks…
Weeks since that evening that he encountered her luminous face veiled behind a sea of emerald green. Weeks since then and she had visited him every night delighting him in every way. As he reclined she fed him grapes and almonds from the golden platter set aside, stroking his hair reading poetry to him drowning him in the sweetness of her voice. He watched her hand move deftly as she drew images of artwork for him and each morning that he awoke he could still smell her on his skin and taste her in his mind. But he has yet to touch her, yet to smell her again, he is yet to see her flesh before his eyes. She visits him only in his dreams….

The courtier sits beside him in the court as the weeks criminals are brought forth to hear the Kings judgment. One by one, they kneel hopelessly before him, hopelessly hoping for freedom, for forgiveness, for salvation. Some cry, some plead and beg while others hurl obscenities as they spit at his feet. It is most likely that all of them will die irrespective of what approach they use, women, men, young and old, the King has never been known to allow compassion to overrule. Not until  today …

” I have seven children Ya Pasha! Surely you could take mercy on them if not on me! Take mercy on my pregnant wife! Who will see to her if you sentence me?” …
The aged man looks down at his dusty feet as he addresses Rezauddin. The Sultans face is void of any emotion. It is blank. He looks at the man for a few minutes and then he speaks…

” I could, if I wanted to that is, let you go. You could leave and walk back home with your jagged toe nails and cracked blackened heels, you could easily walk back to your family and your peasant life. But do I want to do  that? Why would I want to do that? What good would it do for me? How would it benefit me old man? Would it increase me in honor in anyway?”

The man keeps his head down as his eyes frantically search the ground for a plausible answer. Every criminal present there stares at him wondering how will he answer and if he would be able to steal another day of his life to live, to feed his family. He tries, he wills his mind to conceive an answer worthy to present to the King, but instead he stutters, he stammers out of fear…

” I …. I … It …. It would not … I mean it would… Wouldn’t increase your power Ya Pasha but ” …

Rezauddin smiles devilishly creasing the corners of his eyes as he abruptly stops the man from explaining any further… ” Then why would I do that old man …”

The old man was speechless. He had much to say yet he could not articulate it through words. He already knew his fate. But still he tried, he mumbled, he stuttered. He pleaded and groveled. Rezauddin signs the page before him with black ink and stamps it with candle wax embedded with the image of an eagle from his royal ring.

” Remove him ” …. Rezauddin orders.
“His family will never see him again. It is the price you pay for stealing from the King”, he says as he hands the guard the sealed letter to be delivered to the old man’s wife.

The guards come forth to pull him by the fetters attached to a chain running from his hands to his feet.

” Perhaps they’ll never see me again, but we will meet one day Ya Pasha, you and I! We’ll meet on the other side! What power will you have there Pasha? Tell me who will be in control of every fate “….

The old mans words set a chill over Rezauddin like a blanket of fog on a winters morning covering the snow capped mountains of Afghanistan. His face is cold and hard, harder than before. His eyes have turned from hazel to almost black! ” Remove him!” He barks with a rage. A blaze now burns in his dark eyes as his cheeks tremble …

The court guards bring in the next criminal but Rezauddin is still lost in the man’s statement. He hears the old man’s tone, his words and he feels it turn like a dagger in his chest. What power will he have there he wonders. A mere flick of his wrist has people at his feet but what will happen when he dies he wonders… He knows that he could easily have let the man go home to his family. But he didn’t want to. Deep down he felt that if he could not have a family like the old man had then no one else in his Kingdom deserved one. That is why his punishment was always so harsh, so severe. The punishment would not fit the crime most times yet he executed it anyway. He felt no happiness so why should anyone else feel happiness. Yet he knew that by robbing them of happiness, it did not increase him in his own happiness at all. In fact he felt more isolated, more angry than before.

Lost in thought he had not looked at the perpetrator placed before his heels. He looked at the sheet that the courtier handed to him and asked, “what is her crime”?

” She has stolen from the palace grounds Sultan. A plate of fruits that the servants had discarded, she claims to have stolen in lieu of feeding the members of her family” … Answered a guard.

” Salena” he drags the letters of her name – “but does she have a face that resembles the face of the moon like her name suggests?” , he says as he looks to the courtier on his side. Rezauddin was known to taunt his subjects in different ways, this gesture of flirtation was but one way to torture. He looked at her, at the woman before his feet and there she was … The woman of his dreams. The woman that he has dreamed about every night for he cannot remember how long. She was right there before him with her black scarf pulled over her veil exposing her almond shaped dark brown eyes. For a second he wondered if he was dreaming again. He knew that it was her, it had to be her. He knew those eyes and the black dot to the right side of her nose. He had studied her face that first night and ever since then he has not stopped summoning her face to his mind. And he knew, he knew that he was not dreaming …

Here she was, displayed before his eyes, kneeling in the court of Sultan Rezauddin… Awaiting to hear her sentence, her taqdeer, her destiny…

And the Sultan stared back at her unable to speak, unable to break his gaze from her face …

Could he make her his?

She was a thief! Stealing from his palace! The punishment for the crime was death yet all that he could think of doing was to make her his Queen …

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One thought on “#Chapter2 of the story that I will never get to publish…

  1. Anjali says:

    Very beautifully crafted story. Mashallah! How rightfully said ‘what power would we have in that world?’. Waiting for it to unfold……

    Like

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