Saturday, June 7, 2008

Short Story Saturday

Taylor sighed as he approached the door to his hotel room, silently counting how much money he had left. He'd taken a years sabbatical from college, where he was a history major, to drive around, freely exploring the United States. He'd saved every red cent he'd made working for Home Depot for 3 years to purchase his purple VW, and go on this trip. He'd seen many things in the last 11.5 months. Fall in New England, the pizza place in Mystic, Connecticut where the famous movie had been made, the Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota, the Alamo, The Corn Palace, Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills, just to name a few. He had 2 weeks left of his wandering dream, and after that, it was back to the responsibilities that supposedly went with being an adult. Finish college, work, eventually marry and have children. His mother was practically foaming at the mouth for him to give her grandchildren. As he was her only child, it was his responsibility to do so. She reminded him of it nearly every time they spoke.
Tiredly, he rubbed his eyes, and studied the door. Amused, he ran his hand over the burnt symbol on the front. It appeared to be a Crescent Moon. I wonder who did that? He thought to himself, momentarily forgetting his troubles. Shouldering the backpack that held all his worldly possessions, Taylor fit the key into the lock, and swung the door open.
He smelled the smell of incense immediately, almost assaultive in its nature. Patchouli, if he was not mistaken. Taking a step in, he tried to see past the darkness. He felt eyes on him, and it unnerved him a great deal. Deciding he didn't like the feel of the room, he tried to take a step back, to leave, but found he could not. More shocking, was the fact that he was now all the way in the room. The door closed behind him as the panic began to hit. As soon as the door clicked, the darkness of the room faded, and he found himself standing in the middle of what could only be described as a very busy market place. Staring about, in shock, he looked down, at his own feet, and discovered they were in manacles, as were his wrists, and he felt one around his neck, as well. The one around his neck had a rope attached, and the rope was tied around a tall pole. People were milling about him, poking at him, staring at him.
"I must be dreaming" he thought wildly. Pinching at himself, he gasped, because he found himself wearing clothing he had no recollection of having put on, let alone owned. The pants, if you could call them that, were white, and billowy, and a baggy shirt in faded blue was the only other thing he had on. His feet were bare.
"Where am I?" he asked the portly woman who was poking at his ribs, with a frown on her face. At least, he thought she was frowning, for she had a veil over her mouth and nose.
"Constantinople" she answered shortly.
"Istanbul?" he echoed after her, as she walked away
"No, Constantinople" said an oily voice to his left. Turning, he saw a short, heavy set, olive complected man with a short mustache, and very pointed beard. The man approached and instructed him to open his mouth, and in his shock, he did. After looking at his teeth, the short man walked around him, three times, poking and prodding everything. Including his buttocks and genitals, causing Taylor to turn a bright shade of red.
"You will do" he said, simply, and turned away to talk with another man who was hovering nearby. Before long, Taylor found the rope that had tied him to the pole handed over to the short, dark man, who jerked him along, in an effort to get him moving. Stumbling, he followed, asking "who are you, where are we going?"
"You may simply call me Ali" the man answered. "We are going to the Rose Palace. You are to be my mistress' newest Eunich".
"Eunich?" answered Taylor, dumbfounded. "But I still have my..."
"Not for long" answered Ali, grinning.
Taylor fainted.
Nilufer sat as one of her many servants brushed her long, jet black hair. She was bored, bored beyond belief, and she had been for at least six months. Her father, Cemal had sent her to the Rose Palace, seemingly to protect her, but truthfully, she was here because he was trying to arrange marriage for her to Prince Isik, the son of their current ruler.
She was a beautiful woman, with long, black hair and topaz eyes. Many men had asked for her in marriage, but still, her father had resisted. He was not willing to give his prize daughter to just anyone.
Prince Isik had five other wives. Five other, conniving wives, whom had already tried to kill Nilufer twice before she came to live at the Rose Palace.
Now her father controlled every aspect of her life, what she ate, whom she saw. Her taster had died, from a poisoned fig just this morning, and her servant, Ali, was out in the market, to get another. A brisk knock sounded on her door, and, Ali himself entered, followed by 2 of her other slaves, Ahmet and Adil. Between them, they carried a very pale, red headed man, whose eyelids were fluttering.
"Put him down" she instructed, and came closer to look. "Where does he come from?" she asked Ali.
"I do not know exactly, but I would think one of the English speaking countries" he answered. Taylor's eyelids began to flicker, and she noted he had sea green eyes.
"He is to be my taster?" she asked
"Yes, as soon as I have his parts removed" answered Ali.
"Do not bother" she answered. "He will die soon enough thanks to those five scheming bitches that want to kill me. It would take him weeks to recover, and until that happened, YOU would be tasting my food. Simply bind them between his legs, and tell my father he was already fixed"
"Are you sure that is wise?" answered Ali.
"Just do as I say" she said, scowling at Ali.
"Yes, Princess".
"Now get him out of here, and cleaned up. I do not care what his name is, simply have him answer to Erol, as all the other tasters have."
"Yes Princess" answered Ali again, and motioned for the quiet, other men to once again, shoulder their burden. The four men bowed, (Taylor being pushed into it) and left the room.
A short time later, Taylor, now Erol, found himself in a deep, hot bath. Ali tried to take the srub brush to him, but he was now beginning to recover his faculties. He took the scrub brush to himself.
"Where, exactly, am I, and what year is it?" he asked Ali. "And do you understand me?"
"Yes, I understand you, though your Turkish is a bit funny sounding" answered Ali. (I'm speaking Turkish?" thought Taylor/Erol). As far as to where exactly you are, well. You are in Constantinople, at the Rose Palace. The year is 1414. Were you hit on the head, or something?"
"I don't recall" answered Taylor/Erol. He knew he could not tell Ali the truth, for it was unbelievable, even to him. When he was done cleaning up, Ali gave him a fresh set of clothing, and beckoned for him to follow him. "My mistress does not want you altered" said Ali, frowning. "So, I will show you how to hide your genitals. But I will warn you, also. Should her father discover that you are unaltered, you will have them cut off, stuffed in your mouth, and then you will be tossed into the Bosphorus to die."
"I am willing to take that chance" said Taylor/Erol. He meant to escape from whatever place this was, whatever this alternate reality was. But he had to figure out where he would go, first. He spent the first day adjusting to his new life. It was very uncomfortable to have his genitals bound and hidden, but the alternative was unacceptable. Ali showed him what his duties entailed, and, truthfully, it did not bother him so much. The fact that 3 other "Erol's" had died before him from poisoning did, though. He tried desperately hard not to think about that. The woman he was tasting for, Princess Nilufer, was beautiful, but he found her cold, and stand offish. "She could at least thank me" he thought, after he tasted her evening meal for her.
Late into the evening, Ali showed him where he could sleep. "Tomorrow, Erol, you will have to perform all your tasks without my assistance. I must be elsewhere in the palace. Can you do it?"
"Yes" he answered tiredly, and fell to his pallet, exhausted, and wondering, when he woke up in the morning, would he be home?
* sorry everyone, looks like yet another 2 part story....
these time travel inn ones sure do like to go on and on and on...


Daryl said...

Another adventure begins ...


Jo Beaufoix said...

But they're so good Mie. I can't wait to hear what he does.

Bubblewench said...


sybil law said...


holly said...

you and 'lost' like to torture me. and skyone, which won't even let me *watch* lost.