Friday, November 2, 2012

Dragon by the Nile, by Big Sister: Prologue

The air shimmered beneath the hot Egyptian sun.  It was noon, the hottest time of the day, and few people moved about the marketplace of Menes.  The cloth-seller, a little man with a wide mouth, wiped his hand across his damp forehead.  He had just  settled down comfortably for a lunch break when a man, wild-eyed and covered in mud, came hurtling into the square and flung himself into the cloth-seller’s stall.

 The cloth-seller  gave a shout of dismay and dropped his lunch.  His lovely cloth was all covered in mud!  The cloth-seller, pale with rage, began to sputter dire threats. “Out! Out or- or I’ll feed you to the crocodiles!” People began to hurry over to see what all the fuss was about.

“Alright, alright, what’s going on here?”  The rather large figure of Sekani the baker shoved his way into the stall.

“This man has just muddied my cloth!” wailed the cloth-seller.

“What happened, eh?” Sekani asked the man.

“I saw... I saw... Ra save us!” was the man’s only reply.  Sekani turned to crowd of people.  “Anyone got some beer?” Beer was soon supplied,  which  revived the man enough to be able to sit up and stop shaking- almost.

“Now,” said Sekani, “what’s your name? And what caused you to be so frightened as to rush about like a madman-” Sekani waved his arm over the muddied cloth- “destroying things?”

The man gulped.  “M-my name is Manu.  And I was frightened because I saw a dragon!”

Sekani laughed.  “A dragon? Impossible.  No one has seen one of those for hundreds of years!”  He looked at Manu curiously.  “However, you obviously saw something, so do go on.”

Manu complied. “I was cutting reeds on the bank of the Nile when I heard a strange sound behind me, turned to look- and lo! Rising from the Nile’s water I saw a huge creature with enormous yellow eyes and skin like that of a crocodile.  It opened its mouth, and I saw rows and rows of huge, white teeth--”

“It must have been a dragon! What else could it be?” gasped the cloth-seller.

Sekani frowned.  “I have a Jewish servant who is always telling stories,” he said slowly.  “About so-called dragons.  Previously I ignored them as ridiculous, but if what you say is true...” he paused.

The cloth-seller’s eyes were starting from his head.  “Go on, go on!”

“He said they were big enough to hold an entire man in their mouth, and that they had a tail like a- what was it? Some sort of tree...not olive or palm... ah yes, I remember! a tail like a cedar tree!”

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