CHAPTER FOUR: DESERT ROSE
DASHT- E KAVIR DESERT, IRAN
Lost of thought, the well dressed man gratefully accepted a canteen of water before speaking. Two young girls wearing robes, their faces masked with cloths offering the stranger something to aid him in sustaining his strength: bread and a grain rice to eat along with the water.
"Thank you…..” The well dressed man slightly croaked, his throat still dry, his mouth parched. The two girls giggled and bowed to the man in silence.
By the wisdom of the man’s scrutiny, he placed both of their ages between sixteen and eighteen; and their lineage to be possibly of Iranian descent. How he knew this, the well dressed man was not totally sure.
Searching his surroundings, the well dressed man found himself to be inside a large tent. With the exception of two cots, the man could lay eyes on nothing more than indigenous clothing for the people.
The man’s search was quickly interrupted by the arrival of two medium built nomad types with falchion swords strapped to their belts.
“.…. The welcome committee?”
“Be silent until you are spoken to!”
The well dressed man crossed his arms, a look of general annoyance upon the man’s face.
The two armed guardsmen made way for one other.
“.…. Such beauty and rarity in finding a true desert rose…..” The man spoke smoothly to the woman that now looked upon him. Her gaze warmed the man from some past, as of yet unidentified encounter.
The princess silenced the well dressed man’s words, as she heard the guards’ closing interests on their conversation.
“.…. Demeitre? Fetch some clothing for this man. Something to protect him from the desert, and fetch us some more water…..”
The woman waited until her guardsmen had taken their leave before speaking further.
“.…. Until you regain your memory, you must not speak my name around my people….. You were to contact me….. Information about a serpent among my own people…..”
“.…. You know me?”
“Yes….. I indeed know of you, as many other woman have….. Rest for now….. You must regain your strength as well as your mind…..”
“.…. A shadow? A shadow on the desert?”
“.…. No, not a shadow….. A specter…..”
“You may now leave us….. This one man, he will be no harm to me…..”
One of the nomad guards mumbled something in Iranian beneath his breath as the nomad left the two alone.
“.…. Feeling better?”
The man peered slowly from one corner of the tent to the next.
“.….Feeling quite constrained….. I am having difficulties recollecting information…..”
“.…. Where do you believe you are?”
“.….Somewhere in Iran…..”
“Correct….. We are peoples of the Dasht- e Kavir Desert…..”
“.…. This desert, it does sound familiar to me, but even though I feel as if I should remember more; I am afraid I have lost all identity of myself…..”
One of the guards that remained outside the tent cocked his left ear to listen in on the private conversation.
“.… For now, this may be for the best….. I am by title, The Rose of the Desert…..”