Thursday, May 29, 2008

Aiesha Ansar - Prey/Slave

My god I an so bored, ten days on this boat with no company except these loutish sailors, and they smell so badly, and they have no manners, why I don’t even think any of then can actually read, it is so horrible. I find the whole thing so utterly boring and inconvenient, why could not my father arrange a decent marriage for me, he’s so stupid, and my mother made no attempt to stop this, she’s just a doormat, I hate them both. I know why he did this, it’s the dowry, all I am to him, to them is a source of wealth, I am being treated like an animal, sold off into marriage to a complete stranger, for their profit. I hope this man, this Ahmed al Burq, is going to understand that I will insist on being treated with the honour I deserve. It is well known at home that I am
beautiful, a delicate flower, exquisite and fragrant my Father described me as to his friends, although of course they never saw me, never saw anything of me beneath the veil, except my eyes which I knew were as attractive as could be, huge and doe like, I often raised them to steal a surreptitious glance at his guests, after all I have to be careful, too look directly at any man would be
disgraceful. I grow tired of sometimes of hiding my curiosity, always with my eyes demurely lowered, always swathed in robes to ensure I do not become the object of mens lust.

How did this man come to lust after me then, Shira, my maid told me she though
perhaps a eunuch had described my loveliness, and so this man, my husband to be
arranged to marry me, to establish a business arrangement with my Father in
which I was the cement to bind the contract. Why he needed to do this is beyond
me. He is the wealthiest merchant in the entire country, but I know a girl is
nothing, just a thing to be passed from her father to her husband with no
opportunity to experience life, or love. It is so unfair!!
I keep myself to my cabin, a poor affair, there are no tapestries on the
walls, and the floor is bare, my furnishings are basic, my bed not the soft
heaven of home, but a lumpy ordeal each long and undulating night. I gaze out
the small window at the never ending vista of azure sea, and despite my
revulsion, hope each day that I will hear the cry of land, and that we will
arrive at Ireem at last.
I have heard much of Ireem, how truly fabulous it is, but surely it cannot
compare to home, no of course not. But my unknown husband must be rich, he must
be able to keep me in at least the same comfort as I enjoyed at home. If it is
not considerably better, I will make his life unbearable, he will need to treat
me well to molify me for this unendurable journey.

My name is Aiesha Asran, and I am twenty years old, before this journey began
I lived my entire life in the womens quarters of my Fathers palace, a haven of luxury and beauty, and although I suppose I was pampered from birth, it was no more than I deserved. I know I am beautiful, all the harem slaves say so, all the eunuchs say so, and so I should not have been surprised I suppose when my life was turned upside down in a few short minutes. Oh, of course I knew I would be married off, I knew I would have to give my body to a man in time, I even wanted to do that. I had heard the slaves and maids giggling about the joys of love, I wanted love, but I wanted to choose the man I was to surrender myself to. I thought my Father who always seemed to dote on me, would allow me this small privilege, but no, the greedy pig!

Aiesha is unworldly and spoiled, but she is not wrong about her beauty, nor is
she wrong about her arranged marriage. Her future husband has arranged her
passage to Ireem, and intended to meet her from the ship and convey her to his
home far inland beyond the borders of the Kingdom of Sand. He was on his way
with his entourage to meet his bride when they were attacked by outlaws, the
entire party was killed, and their bodies lie in the sands, food for vultures
and other carrion eaters for days now. And so when Aiesha arrives at Ireem, she
will not be met by a husband, she will find herself alone and at the mercy of
fate. To add to her woes, she has no idea of how to exist outside her life of
pampered luxury, nor of course does she have any money. After all why would
she, money was something only ordinary people needed to worry about. What will
become of her, when she steps off the boat, swathed in her robes and veiled,
how will her life change?

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