posted on Aug, 27 2009 @ 09:54 PM
The mountain mists briefly revealed green stone cliffs, deeply carved by wind and rain, as it drifted by in ragged shreds. Manfred, his face drenched
with morning's moisture, looked sullenly outward, hoping for a clear view. Three days now, the steady drumbeat of heavy tropical rains had pummeled
his tent. Everything was soaking wet. Not even the sealed plastic food bags were immune once opened in this thick dampness. Rivulets of water gurgled
past him on either side on their journey to the valley somewhere hidden far below. Other than occasional distant thunder through the raindrops, it was
the only constant sound he had heard.
There'll be no moving on and the resignation to a fourth day in this humid hell set in. Zipping the tent closed, he curled himself into a fetal
position in the couple of square feet of groundsheet that did not hold a puddle. Naked, his clothing abandoned in a soggy heap, Manfred's mind
wandered once again into an inner landscape where the sun glowed gold upon desert sands. There, in his mind, he found the only respite he could
muster, amid the imaginary palms of an oasis he had never known. As the minutes turned to hours, the daydream filled with details. There ran two
darkhaired girls, dressed in long skirts and curious dark blue jackets, laughing as they skipped and circled in play. A stately man strode by,
ignoring the children, his face set upon some distant object and his hand on the hilt of an ancient scimitar.
A camel, sitting on a patch of grasses with its legs tucked neatly beneath, serenely munched a cud in the pecular way that camels do, the jaw moving
back and forth sideways as if completely unhinged.
Four birds, of an unknown species, rustled noisely among the fronds, letting out musical calls: 'so-sweet-paw, so-sweet-paw-teet-teet-teet'.
Manfred's lips moved silently to mimic the calls they made.
Deeper and deeper he fell into that now familiar scene. Within the shadows beneath those bright leaves, he could once again make out the mud huts in
the near distance. There were 5 of them in a huddle around a well. Men and women, some sitting, some moving about but all dressed in the same bluish
black garb interacted with each other, gestulating, flashing the whites of their eyes and teeth like diamonds in the night. Sometimes, a sound would
drift from the group, unintelligeable and mixed with the raucous calls of the birds. It reminded him of piano notes struck by a toddler, the notes
disjointed and random, yet alluring. He strained to make sense of them, to make them bend to something he could at least identify with.
Out of the hut on the very left, a woman emerged dressed in white. Manfred was shocked. He had not seen this figure before and her regal stature, head
high and back straight, fired his imagination. Her hair was covered with the same blindingly white material as her dress and, now, as her image became
clear, he noted a band of silver held it tight to her skull. Her slender figure belied an obvious inner strength. Even at a distance, he knew she held
great power over the gathering around the well.
The birds suddely ceased their constant calls, or, at least, Manfred no longer heard them. The camel gathered itself upward, back legs first, then the
front, to stand, it's muzzle no longer working the cud as it swung its head towards her. The clutch of people, now silent, rose and gathered to
encircle her. The moment was electric. Manfred could hardly breathe and his heart pounded in his chest as he watched her right arm slowly raise to
point a single finger towards him.
She took a step forward, and then another to stand beside the well. Picking up the rope, she slowly hauled up a bucket of water, setting it upon the
ground. Then, she took a ladle and dipped it in. He saw the diamond drips flashing in the copper sun as they fell to the dusty sands. Once again, she
straightened and turned towards him. Manfred's adam's apple bobbed up and down as he tried to swallow the dust in his mouth.
Slowly, she moved towards him, ladle carefully cradled in two hands. Step after step, he watched her advance in a fluid motion so feminine it almost
broke his heart to behold her. She was the ocean tide, the unstoppable rhythm of moon and water. As she came closer, the features of her face
clarified, her smooth high cheekbones supporting dark eyes beheath a high forehead. Her wide lips, red as blood, accented the ornate silver circlet
She stared directly into his eyes, yet showed no emotion as she drew close to him. Her lips parted as she hissed "Be gone, spirit" and splashed the
water into his face.
Manfred was suddenly thrown back onto the thundering echoing mountain, shivering in the dank heat of his tent and gibbering like a lost fool.
[edit on 27/8/09 by masqua]