Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Hand of Justice -- Episode VI

City of Kandiye, September 1683
Sitting on the screened balcony's padded ledge, Saleema enjoyed the moment of peace as she brushed her daughter's long, silky hair. Her business as a leading merchant in the city all too often took her away from home. Anbar, no more than fourteen and already filled with dreams larger than life, clutched a thick satin cushion against her chest. A soft marine breeze blew through the mashrabiyya, heavy with the scent of iodine and the diffuse, raspy song of cicadas.
Saleema was dressed in a black knee-length embroidered tunic with short sleeves over trousers of the same color. Her dark hair flowed across her shoulders, pinned back with dark red jewels above each ear. They gleamed in the sunlight as she peered through the ornate screen and observed a war galley approaching the nearby harbor. The northwesterly wind carried the beat of the drum commanding the oars' slow rhythmic movement. Small red and gold pennants of the Ottoman Empire flew along the ship's gunwales, with a huge one flapping at her raised stern. A voice shouted a command, and the crew busied itself furling the two lateen sails. Surmounted with a castle-like platform bristling with cannons, the galley's heavy bow cut through turquoise, nearly translucent coastal waters. Beyond, where the sea turned dark, the setting sun painted in ochers and pinks the silhouette of the Island of Dia, just a few miles from shore. The slow-moving galley sailed past the old Venetian fortress guarding the port's entrance, before approaching the jumble of traders and fishing boats moored within. 

“Mother!” Anbar, dressed in petal-pink and sky-blue tunic and trousers, turned to gaze at Saleema, who'd stopped brushing her hair. (. . .)

Click HERE to continue of skip to Episode VII