A blond boy stood in the midst of the desert. The sky was clear and filled with stars; the moon was set right above in the dark sky. Not once did this blond boy moved. He had been standing in the endless desert for some time.
His clothes were old and dirty, and too big for his body. The thick grey cloth over his arms were too long but he didn’t try to pull them up to free his shaking hands. The rest of his body was also covered in the thick clothing despite the heat of the desert.
He didn’t move. He kept his eyes on the barren desert while his hands would shake by his side. He watched but there was nothing. He listened but there was nothing. Still he didn’t move.
There was nothing there.
The only thing that could be seen for miles was the pale desert sand that looked grey under the moon.
He couldn’t remember why he was standing there, but he knew he has been here before.
The way he could tell the exact spot from everywhere else is by the sudden pain he would get in his chest when he ventured out too far.
If he were to walk further, he would only see the desert sand.
He didn’t move from where he was standing. He faced the desert in the dark, watching nothing happen. He would prefer to watch the desert. What he had his back turned to was a grand kingdom. The desert was simpler, plain, and unappealing. If he turned around, he would only see a place he didn’t belong to, a place where he would be notice, a place that was not his home.
Night after night, the blond boy would find himself back at the desert, wondering what it would be like to continue further where no one would find him. He still wore the same old clothes that were given to him. The heat barely bothered him after so long of living in the type of weather. Only at night would the heat settle and the air would chill. The blond boy would barely move.
Deprived of sleep, and battling with his hunger, he would still find himself standing in the desert without feeling.
He lacked something.
He just didn’t know what.
Night after night, the blond boy would find himself back at the desert. The desert would greet him with silence. There was nothing there. Night after night, the boy would show up and bare the silence.
Then he suddenly disappeared. He didn’t come back to the desert to relive the pain he once felt before. He didn’t come back to see the barren sand land. He was gone. The desert was empty, not a person to travel through on the cooler nights. Time would pass and the boy would not make his way to the desert. His marks in the sand were no longer there. His impressions were gone.
The dessert remained silent, as it has been.
Days turned to weeks, and weeks turned to months, and the boy would no longer come back to the desert.
One night, a person dressed in gold silk made his way to the empty desert land. The wind was blowing and brought sand up into the air. The person didn’t move. As the wind became heavier, more sand blew around him but it didn’t make him hesitate. His blond hair moved with the wind as well. There was a silk cloth that covered half his face; the only thing that was revealed were his eyes.
His skin was pale white under the moon. His arms and torso weren’t covered by the thin gold fabric he wore. On his wrists were gold cuff bracelets that pressed on to his skin. He wore gold anklets as well around his ankles.
This boy was different from the one before. He was showered in gold. His clothes weren’t torn or thick; they glowed under the moon just as his pale skin did.
He stood in the desert where the wind became ravenous. His hands didn’t shake as he watched the barren land.
This boy had grown to something fierce. His grey eyes glowed with a fire he hadn’t had before. He had found himself riches, but in his mind, he demanded more. Where he stood, he no longer felt the stinging pain in his chest. Now it was a void he would fill with everything he wished for. There was nothing he couldn’t have and he would demand it all.
He had found something he lacked.
Even the sandy wind couldn’t keep him down. He watched the endless sand land with his back turned towards the kingdom he made his home in. His hands clenched by his side as he turned away to look at his new home, a place where he still did not belong. The golden cloth on his face covered the frown that marked his lips. He had stayed in a place where he stood out just to get the things he wanted. He stayed in a place where he was different from everyone else because he had no where else to go.
He would corrupt the mind of people he knew, making them desire material things just as much as he did. He would reek havoc on families and couples who were supposed to be happy.
The mysterious boy knew the damage he caused but now he could no longer stop.
By the end of the night, he would get what he deserved, what he worked for. No one could keep his rightful rewards from him. If he had to, he would take it.
He was a bad influence, but that wouldn’t make him stop.
He had his deepest desires, and that’s all he needed.
The days in the kingdom was much hotter than it was at night. The sun would bare its heat down on the people without a care but that did not stop them from coming outside. The people were lively despite the sweltering heat. Even how they dressed did not keep them from doing what they needed to. Most people were seen wearing thick clothes to cover their dark skin from the sun; in the heat, most everyone kept themselves covered.
The woman had head scarves used to cover their head and face. Some would only reveal their eyes but others weren’t as reserved. The men could cover their faces as well but not many chose to do so. Everyone’s clothes were already heavy enough; those who could handle it would keep their bodies covered from the sun’s light.
Then there were those that were dressed in silk.
Not many associated with those who dressed in mainly silk. Their bodies were revealed to the sun’s gaze, and they wore as much jewelry as they could. Of their face, only their eyes would be shown. They were different from the higher class people. Most others knew not to associate themselves with the woman and men that wore silk.
They were trouble.
They were the ones that would trick and steal from those who did not deserve their wealth. Each had their ways of corruption but the results were the same; they would leave with their rightful rewards. Those in silk were known for their deceit and trickery. They were known for their cheating. They would break marriages and families apart with a single touch. Its easy for them to get their way especially when they use their bodies for someone else’s pleasure.
Everyone has their own desires, all they had to do was appeal to that.
The blond boy was always among those who wore silk.
Today however, he did not feel like showing himself to the public. His blond hair and pale skin stood out among those with darker skin and darker hair. If he were to leave, everyone would know that he is someone that no one should mess with. He took precaution and wore clothes that he could cover his entire body with. Although it was hot, he wore black and did his best to keep his hair underneath the heavy head scarf. The only thing exposed were his grey eyes.
He walked quickly around those who took their time. His fingers held on tightly to the patterned basket filled with fruits that he needed to bring home with him.
He still struggled to speak the native language of this kingdom after how long he’s been living here. He was thankful to those who could speak English, which was quite a lot of people, but there were those he needed to talk to in his everyday life. He would prefer not to speak because it also makes him stand out. When he doesn’t sound like the rest, people notice.
During the day, he should not be notice.
Now and again, he would find himself trying and getting better but he would refuse if he thought he could barely get what he wanted across. He was grateful the black cloth around his face would cover the deep blush that imprinted on his cheeks from embarrassment.
He always needed to keep his face covered for all reasons.
Even if he would be wearing his silk clothes, the headdress would still cover enough of his face.
The more he’s covered, the less he stood out.
No one glanced at him because they couldn’t see how different he looked. No one bothered to stop and stare because his skin was covered. No one whispered about his blond hair. No one said anything about the way he spoke because they couldn’t hear him. As uncommon as grey eyes were, there were still people that had them so it didn’t bother anyone. Now the blond boy blended in. He was just like everyone else.
Once he made it to where he lived, he would take off the head scarf to expose his blond hair and pale skin.
There was a woman that got up from a table and took the basket that the blond boy held out to her. Her hair was long and thick, reaching down her back; the ends were bundled and tied with a thick string to keep her hair together. Her skin was dark and smooth, and she wore blue silk on her body. She had grey eyes just like the blond boy but they were not related.
“You always take too long.” she said and smiled at him as she brought the basket to a set of other boxes. “How many times have I sent you out there for you to return too late?” she asked.
“I am not as slow as you think I am.” he said and sat down at the table she was sitting at before.
Outside there were more feminine voices that he recognized, a few of them living here as well. His fingers pressed down on the white paper with a few words that he could barely read. He sounded the words out quietly from the symbols he recognized.
The woman noticed how he struggled but she continued to smile. She’s been taking care of him for years and even now he was struggling to read.
“You can still barely read and write.” she sat down in front of him. “Your speaking, however, has gotten much better.” she said. “One day, you’ll be able to leave and not need me to read anything for you.”
The blond boy kept his eyes down on the paper but he wasn’t trying to read it.
This woman not only took care of him, but she takes care of all the others as well. She was the oldest out of the rest of the females but still young enough to marry. She had given up her life to take in abandon children that would be left in the desert. She fought to keep them with her when traders tried to take them away.
The blond boy was one of them.
Once they grow old enough, they are forced to do the same work as the oldest by those who threaten to take them. Its as if they are chained down. If they want to stay with the oldest then they must submit.
She has her own desires as well.
She hates the work she does. She does it to keep the ones without a family. Her wish is to get them away from the influence, but to do that, she must teach them to blend in. She educates them more than the normal children because they need to blend in. Once they are old enough, they’ll be able to leave without needing her and can live on their own with deceiving others to last another day.
The blond boy, however, might not find his escape.
There’s no way for him to leave while he stands out among the rest.
His desires were different as well.
His fingers rubbed over the white paper as the oldest woman went to get a letter that was given to her earlier. There was a gold symbol that kept the letter from opening and it was addressed to him. She gave it to him so he could open it.
His eyes stayed fixed on the letter until he handed it back to her.
“You should be able to read.” She smiled weakly because she knows he does try but it’s hard on him. She read the letter for him and closed it. “Its another request.” she said.
“Don’t you think you’ve been doing a lot?” she asked him.
He knew very well that he’s been doing a lot more than he was supposed to. There was a thrill he got from working in secret. It’s between him and those he corrupts.
“I do not want you doing this all your life,” The woman said, “You deserve better.” she was serious but the blond boy would never believe it.
He was taken from his family years ago and ended up in a place where he wasn’t supposed to be. It might have been better for him or it might have been worse. He doesn’t know. But being here made him stand out. He knew he deserved better, and that’s what he was going for. He could get all the gold and diamonds he wants, and he does. For now, however, he helps the eldest take care of the others.
Its a group effort.
They work as a family.
He tells himself he doesn’t want to leave the woman that takes care of him but he had a desire for material things, and there’s no better way to getting that than doing what he does. One day, he will get everything he desires.
He knew that very well.
“There’s no reason for you to continue to worry about me, Sahar. I promise I will leave one day.” he told her.
Until that day, he will get all the riches he desires.
At night he does his job leaving with enough jewels and diamonds to last him the next few weeks. There was a lot he could spend it on but he doesn’t keep everything for himself. Although he is left with a bitter taste in his mouth, he does leave what he gets with Sahar so she can trade for things his family would need.
Even later at night, the blond boy would find himself in the desert again. Its not uncommon. His heart didn’t tug in his chest. He thought he remembered something important but his mind stopped before he could uncover the mystery. He kept his eyes on the desert. Tonight the wind was silent, barely brushing up the sand. There was nothing for him to listen to, like usual.
He turned around as he planned to return home but he stopped when he saw someone walking towards him. He thought he recognized his face but he wanted to believe that the man coming towards him was not who he thought it was.
The man had stopped a few paces away and pulled down the head scarf that covered his face. That’s when the blond boy’s eyes widened.
He has to stand before someone from royalty. He tried to hold in his surprise but it could be read on his face despite the gold silk that covered half his face. If only he could cover his eyes as well. He was stunned between bowing to show respect or just standing still to avoid being lashed out at. A number of things could happen and he didn’t know what to do to get away.
The man hadn’t noticed anyone with blond hair before. And the pale skin was something to take note of. He knew the type of clothing the blond boy was wearing as well, and didn’t think he would find someone who looked so differently to be immersed in that type of job. Then again, a person who stood out so much would not have a lot to do among everyone else. Still, the young man was very interested in him anyway.
They hadn’t spoken.
The blond would prefer not to embarrass himself in front of a prince.
“Come back with me,” The prince finally said, holding his hand out.
The other was very hesitant. He looked at the prince’s hand first, and saw the ruby rings on his fingers. He continued to look around his body and found more gold and jewels on his body. The hesitant feeling was immediately gone when he caught sight of all the emeralds and sapphires.
But he didn’t move.
It would take a lot more than that to get the blond boy to go back with him.
The young prince new and he smiled at his resistance.
“I’ll give you anything you want.” The prince said in effort to appeal to the blond standing before him in the dry desert.
Those were the words that made the blond boy smile. Those were the words that allowed him to take his steps forward and make his way to the prince that gave him his wish. His wide smile was covered by the gold silk on his face and the darkness of the night but his eyes did glow brightly. The prince has yet to find out how greedy he was.
The blond took the prince’s hand and the prince didn’t hesitant to kiss the back of his palm. “What is your name?” he asked.
The blond boy kept his smile that was covered by the gold silk. His eyes were enough to show his excitement, shining just as brightly as the moon did in the dark sky, and his name came from his covered lips.