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Saturday, May 16, 2009

A short story – continued part 19

Queen Sawsan was standing within her fenced in roof top garden and at once the malak of God, Abdul, appeared to her. “Greetings Abdul,” said Sawsan, “have you word?” Abdul standing before her said, “the succubus has fed, Shafiq is safe for a while. Belle is well prepared for the battle. The hordes of hell will arrive at the same time as the army of Belle and Shafiq and the phalange of Astarte. They will meet in battle the next morning. That night before the battle will be the most dangerous for Shafiq. It is up to Belle to do her part and Shafiq to remember the difference in the eyes. I go now to watch the hordes and protect the Princess.” “Thank you Abdul, for all that you do,” the Queen replied as he left.

* * *

After watching the beautiful night sky together, “Shafiq turned to Belle and said softly, “heart of my heart, sleep well and blessed tonight. I will greet your morning rising.” Belle looked gently at him and said simply, “good night dear Shafiq, until the morning.”
The camp of the Prince and Princess rested well and safely that night. The phalange guard of the fifteen were around the Princess’ and the Prince’s tents. The next day they set out for the final march and camp and the battle that would ensue the day after.

On the march they were in rank and suddenly the wind began, from the North and cold and unnatural for that place and time of year. Shafiq thought to himself, ‘Asmodeus is calling for the spirits of Reshteh-ye Alborz to stir the winds to assault us.’ They made their way against the wind and held formation. Maysa’ looked at Numair as they walked and said, “Numair, it is obvious we will be together during the battle on the morrow. What do you think of it?” Numair said calmly, “any creature comes near you and they feel my hooves, Maysa’.” Maysa’ said, “and if near you, then mine, Numair.” The two horses walked in silence, content in their task of bearing their cargo.

As they marched, Ra'idah spoke with Rashida, Falak was on her arm. “Rashida, send Falak to see what is to be seen of the enemy.” Rashida said to Falak, “soar and return.” Falak was gone in a moment. Two hours passed. Then Falak returned and was upon her arm. Rashida bent to her and listened and then turned and said to Ra'idah, “the enemy is closing. There is something hidden and furtive apart from the main camp, a hunter of some sort, an outrider upon a giant scorpion. I think it is the succubus, Aêšmi. Ha’dad leads the main force. They will be present for battle on the next morning.” Ra'idah said, “ be very sure of the guard tonight.” They made camp that evening. Something stood off at a distance. Shafiq was uneasy and Belle plainly worried. All were on their guard. Guards were posted around the camp and the campfires were large and many. They waited, but intense and watchful.

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