He saw her as soon as she glided purposefully, yet gracefully, in to the centre of the extravagant feast, her elegant wrists and ankles adorned with tinkling bells and colourful ribbons, her vivid costume embroidered with decorative beads, sequins and coins.
The men were gorging on the remains of the sheep’s head which had been slaughtered, as was the custom, to celebrate the successful return of the sheikh from his latest raiding expedition. The trays laden with sumptuous dates, grapes, almonds and watermelons. The camel hair tent covered with exotic, lavish furs to keep the bracing desert winds at bay.
The desert dweller was hosting important guests from a nearby clan, keenly trading news and enthusiastically discussing the breeding of his famed Arabic stallion. Yet his conversation ceased mid-flow, the words left hanging in the air, enthralled and captivated from his first glance of her. Her elegant ****** features, high cheek bones, blood red luscious lips, and jet black hair, she was striking to all who gazed upon her.
"I must have her" he muttered under his breath, even as his four wives and six concubines were waiting in the wings to pander to his every need, anticipating which one would receive his undivided attention tonight. However, they all paled into insignificance next to this manna from heaven, this visceral feast upon the senses. Though this did not pass unnoticed under the watchful scornful eyes of wife number one.
The haunting Arabic music began. The opulent dancer moved slowly at first interpreting her emotive gestures to the sound of the three-string rebab, coyly, coquettishly, teasingly. Yet, she was anything but coy. You could sense her wildness, her passion, her animalistic instincts simmering under the surface. She was untamed, and determined to remain so, yet aware of her allure on the hot blooded males.
The Bedouin stared at her, could not take his eyes off her, just as she captivated them all with her beguiling beauty while weaving her magic throughout the room. All but one that is.
The mesmerising melody picked up, her hips shimmying to the Badawi beat, skirt tassels swirling, slender arms accentuating evocative gestures, creating sensuous shapes, texture and depth to the melodic mystery unfolding before them.
As the music paused so did she, directly in front of him as he reclined on the cushions, defiantly, passionately staring straight into his eyes, as she grabbed his just refilled wine goblet. He watched the droplets enticingly trickle down her exquisitely defined chin as she devoured it in one, and ached to kiss those ruby red lips.
And with that she was off again, twirling and swirling, twisting and circling, tossing her head in synch with the frenzied beat, holding the whole room in the hypnotic palm of her hand. The stirring rhythm rose to a crescendo and so did she, spinning mesmerisingly round and round, heart thumping, wild eyes blazing, and as the last beat of the darbuka sounded and faded away, she paused one last time, and so did the breath of everyone present, enchanted as they were with her captivating spellbinding performance. Only he noticed the fear in her eyes, the pallor of her skin, the tiny beads of sweat above her top lip, as she slid silently yet elegantly to the floor. Everyone was on their feet, applauding madly, demanding an encore, while he rushed over and held her in his muscular arms. "My love" he whispered, passionately kissing her and thanking her for that all too fleeting moment of pleasure, ecstasy and bliss. Too late. Her last precious breath ebbed away from her forever. Unknowingly, unwittingly, her life for his life with that one innocent sip of wine.
He was incensed. His unfulfilled lust transformed into outright fury and rage. His animated roar "I will find you, whoever you are and avenge her. An eye for an eye. You will not rest easy in your bed until you have a dagger through your heart" ringing in the perpetrator's ears as she, hidden in the shadows, slinked away silently into the cold dark night.
I appreciate this is a poetry site, but I have committed to sharing my creativity journey, and this prose definitely fits into that.
Inspiration often comes to me in the middle of the night, and I wrote this just before Christmas 7 years ago, when I was suffering from flu and unable to sleep. I wasn’t very creative at that stage having never written anything since school, but inspiration came when least expected and the words started to tumble out from nowhere.
I grabbed my iPhone. Hurrah for technology and not having to turn the lights on!
This is what I created that night, almost verbatim from its first inception, other than to check factual accuracy and to descriptively embellish it. I hope you enjoy it.