The cage was on the opposite side from the window he had peered through,
the chamber was roughly circular, lit by tall multitiered candle holders
apparently in a delicate white ceramic in contrast to the darkened
wrought iron elsewhere.
The floor appeared to be smoother, polished and littered with massive
pewter goblets, fallen urns and dozens of clear glass bells in various
sizes some on the floor and others resting on highly stylized white
tables and stools. Beyond that was a large canopied bed in an intricate
white frame, silver trays of slender bottled ointments, discarded
garments and a tall jade green water pipe.
The warmth in the room wasn’t only coming from the burning wax. The
grate under his feet was warm, even with sandals on, Ahmed could feel
the heat and see a reddish glow below the blackened iron sheet riddled
with finger sized holes that made up the grate itself.
In another moment the woman rose from an unseen door or passage in the
floor. Ahmed’s heart raced. The woman had stripped herself of even the
most intimate of apparel. She was absolutely without flaw, bare skin
radiant in the undulating candlelight.
Their eye’s met. She was completely without shame. In her hands she
held a skull. She was casually polishing it with an ornately handled
brush. He cleared his throat and began to speak.
“I am Ahmed of Tarsus. I have come to your rescue. If you help me out
of this cage I am prepared to take on any opponent or foe,” he
announced confidently, a hand on his scimitar’s hilt. She backed away
from the cage some and stood a moment in silent appraisal causing him to
stand tall, raise his chin proudly.
“Mmmm,” she purred to Ahmed’s delight, her eyes radiant yet
glassy. She kneeled on an embroidered prayer mat in front of the ornate
jade hookah, struck a long match from a tiny case that hung from the
pipe and lit it.
Intently, he watched her nude and perfect profile inhale in a sensuously
glorious expansion of her chest, water slowly percolating in the
pipe’s base. She exhaled the lush smoke in a slow cloud and crumpled
in a fetal hug, slim arms across her thighs and breasts, dark hair
completely covering her face.
“Hurry! There may not be time for such luxury should your keeper
return,” he tried to reason with her, wanting out of the cage as
quickly as possible to gain some advantage.
She gazed over at him smiling dreamily. Ahmed wondered if she was under
some kind of spell, or perhaps had become delusional as a result of
torture, confinement or hashish. He watched her take another deep hit
from the pipe.
“Do you understand me? I have come to set you free. We must find our
way to the outside before the man who holds you captive discovers us
here!” he yelled from the cage. She rose and carried a tray of glass
bells near the cage. She reached out for him and he offered his hand.
Her touch was soft and warm as she caressed his fingers, rubbing each
section of each digit.
“Why, you are the man who holds me captive at the moment,” she said
looking into his eyes with what he imagined could only be a promise for
even greater intimacy.
“If it be so then set me free of this cage,” he said calmly,
attempting to play along with her delusion. She let go of his hand and
turned away and he could not keep his eyes from her as she moved across
On the wall a braided cord hung from a black wrought iron lever. As she
pulled it Ahmed breathed a sigh of relief, certain that it had been a
release mechanism. He dropped the green robe to the floor and readied
himself for any eventuality.
Excerpted from "Outlandish Tales & Savage Imaginings [Kindle Edition]" by Semyon White. Copyright © 2012 by Semyon White. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.