Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Desert Adventure-I

I flew my aircraft and yet I watched me flying it--this gave me an eerie feeling of detachment. I was in the picture, but was also the observer. The sky turned orange. It was because of the sun, which had turned into a rich crimson orb. Even as I watched, the sun split across its diameter as if trying to swallow my airplane, and as soon as that thought struck me, the sun, right on cue, started chasing me all over the sky. Pacman flashed in my memory...the sun was Pacman, and I had to escape. I couldn't stop flying nearer the sun, and soon my plane was engulfed in smoke from the heat. I crash landed it on the desert, and jumped out with a few scratches.

"Lucky to be alive," I thought. And then, the wreck of my plane turns into a train and starts chasing me all over the desert. It was crazy! How can a plane morph into a train? Even crazier, how can a train run without tracks? Isn't it supposed to derail and crash? I ran, and I outran the train! Wow! I did it!

I stopped for a breath among some ruins. After some time, I peeked out to see the train sputtering off to the distance. Heaving a sigh of relief, I ventured out into the desert again. What was that in the horizon? Was it a mirage? No, it was indeed a caravan, coming my way.

 Camels led the way followed by men carrying palanquins all in a row. As it turned out, the caravan belonged to a sheikh. It was headed for an undisclosed location in the middle of the desert. The sheikh was kind enough to give me some food and wine (of course!). And he told me that I must not tell anyone that I met him ever. He made me swear on my hunting knife. I bit the blade of the knife and swore that if I told anyone of our meeting ever, I would die by my own hunting knife. Pleased, the sheikh then decided to show me what he was carrying--the one precious thing he wanted to hide from the rest of the world (and from all magicians).

He led me to one of the palanquins. It was a gilded one, like the rest, and had a curtain of pink gauze. The curtain parted. I was struck dumbfounded by what I saw. The most beautiful woman I had ever seen (and perhaps the most beautiful woman in all the universe) was right in front of my eyes. She was clothed in silk of emerald hues and wore emeralds and diamonds. Her hands were fair and slender, and her rings shone in the dim light. I then saw her toes. They were unlike human toes, for they too, were long and slender, just like her fingers.