August 2006

THE MIDNIGHT BAZAAR

     The veiled woman walked along the path of moonlit cobble stones hurriedly, so as not to be seen. Her eyes were the only thing that reflected the light, and she had them cast down. She was going to the midnight bazaar because she knew he would be there. He was always waiting by the third booth in the back among an array of sweet incense and drums. 

     A man walking along drunkenly was coming from the other side. He was not noticing where he was going and so when the woman and the man collided her face was revealed for a quick second. The man in a complete stupor questioned "Aren't you Miranda Abraham's wife?"but by that time, she was running so fast, she only heard the word, Miranda. 

     She could not be caught. If one of her husband's associates found her, she would be stoned. Women were not supposed to be outside at this hour. This bazaar was for men and unmarried women only. She quickly stopped around a dark corner. There in the distance was the light of fire torches glowing furiously. She could hear the drummers playing and knew he must be around. She closed her eyes for a second and bit her lip in excitement. Then she smiled under her dark veil and crept slowly towards the third booth on the right-hand side. 

     To get to this booth you had to go through swarms of men and women all calling out various things. There was an array of black-market items: oils, incenses, drums, potions to make your love more potent, witch herbs, weapons of all kinds. She hurried and dug her way through to the one place she needed to find. At first, she didn't think he had come, but she slid to the side to look, and there he was, oiling calfskin to put on a drum.

     He didn't see her but he heard hard breathing and he looked up suspiciously. When he saw her, his eyes lit up. He stood up, grabbed her and threw her as fast as he could inside his tent.
"You have come again, my love. I didn't think you would be able to. We are exhausting our chances for good luck every time we see each other like this."

He was breathing hard. She knew the sight of her excited him.
"I know," she whispered.
"I have been going crazy, I dream of you every night. I cannot stand making love to my husband. He is an ogre and he smells so strange I can no longer make love to him."
"I am sorry Miranda, I know how hard it must be to marry someone you do not truly love." He caressed her face over her veil and looked at the door of the tent.
"Wait here," he told her and left outside for a moment. A few seconds later he came back and motioned her to follow him outside to the back.
"I have told Raymee to take over for me, but I am afraid he is beginning to wonder. I am sad to think that we may not be able to see each other for a while."

     Her heart stopped for a brief second, and she bit her lip again, but this time in utter despair. She slowly felt a trickle of blood, and she licked it and sucked on her lip to try to mend the wound. She was trying not to cry as they walked out of the bazaar and over the hill, but a single tear moistened her veil.

"I shall not come anymore" she finally said, and he stopped.

"Please, Miranda do not take this so harshly. You know that if I could, I would marry you. I would love you for the rest of our lives. You are my soul, my happiness, I cannot live without you. That is why I must caution you to be wary of what we are doing. Our practices are turning heads, and the walls have eyes. I do not want you to be punished."

     At this, she started crying and screamed but in a whisper "I would rather be stoned to death for making love to you than live a life of agony sleeping with Abraham" This last word sounded more like a curse than a name.

     He held her and took her long into his arms, then removed the veil to reveal her beautiful full lips. Her cheeks were stained with tears. Her eyes were red and soaked. He looked at her, then kissed her. His heart felt like it would shatter. They kissed long and hard.

     They walked along a stream until they got to a small shack at the end. It was very battered and the panels of wood were consistently uneven so it made it look lopsided. It was old and rain had eaten through some parts of the roof. Inside there was a small hole for a fire which he lit, and a small grassy bed covered with a woven sheet. She removed her veil, but she waited for him to undress her. She always felt such ecstasy as he removed each layer of clothing. When he had finished tending the fire, he came over to where she was and slowly took piece by piece. Until she was almost naked except for her undergarments. 


     Back at the Bazaar, men were gathering."What do you mean you saw Miranda, the wife of Abraham heading out here tonight?" 
"It is true!" The drunk man stumbled trying to regain his composure. 

"How can we trust this man? Look at him he probably will tell us next he saw her riding a pink elephant!"at this all the crowd howled with laughter. 
"Well, there is only one way to prove it. Let us go to Abraham's house. I am sure he will appreciate that we are doing this for him."So the crowd swarmed over to the house of Abraham where there was only a pillow, instead of a wife. 

     When Abraham got up and got dressed, Miranda and Ishmael were making love. He had just entered her, and she had closed her eyes. Every part of her was in deep beautiful rapture. Somewhere deep inside of her, she thought, "This is the last time I will be with my sweet lover. I will never see him again" and a tear rolled down her cheek. She wiped it off quickly, so her lover would not see it. 

     Back at the bazaar, the men were crawling everywhere looking for her. They went past the armory and the potion booth, all the while Abraham was at the front calling, "Miranda! Come out you whore!!" The few people who had no idea what was going on looked frightened at the way he was screaming. He could feel her blood on his tongue, and he wanted to taste it. He had known something was wrong. "She had been so rebellious lately," he grumbled as he went from booth to booth. He kept looking in the back of the tents until he reached a beautiful colored tent. It was richly ornate, shining with beads of every color hanging down. 

"Raymee, he mumbled."Tell me where Ishmael is. I need to talk to him." Raymee was the small skinny 14-year-old younger brother of Ishmael. His voice cracked as he said " He left a little while ago. He said he had to tend to the animals in the barn." 
"At this time of the night?" cried one man. 
"I-I-I d-d-d-don't k-k-k-k-know" stuttered Raymee. 
"Let's go see where Ishmael is then!" Abraham cried. 
"I can taste blood..." he whispered to himself and licked his lips in a grimace.

     They didn't know a crowd was approaching because they were both having an orgasm, but the people outside heard two cries of ecstasy and so they walked faster over to the small shack at the end of the stream. She didn't know exactly how it all happened. All she knew is that in the next few moments she went from smelling her lover to smelling the foul odor of her husband's stank breath. She saw swarms of men briefly but they blindfolded and gagged her. She tried to scream but only muffled cries came out. She was being dragged naked through the shack towards the door. She could hear her husband arguing with Ishmael. She started sobbing hysterically as they carried her through the cold night air. As they were carrying her, she thought to herself "How did they find me? No one saw me." 

     Back at the bazaar some of the other men had run over to watch and others were starting to drum. She could hear the drums far off, but they getting closer. They sounded wicked and eerie. She was going to be stoned. She had no more luck, she guessed. Her time with her beautiful lover was over. She finally stopped, and they tied her hands behind her naked back. They slammed her hard, and she felt the cold stone wall pressing up against her back. When they removed her blindfold, it all became perfectly clear. There, in the front, was the drunken man looking straight at her.

She cried one last gagged howl as the stones marked her flesh.

 

©2019 BY TANYA VELAZCO.