Please read my past camel posts before reading this one (click the "Camel Story" label on the side bar)!
"Suddenly, the same neck she visioned enrobed with jewels felt stiff. No, it certainly was NOT a necklace. It was a huge metal chain, and there was no way to escape! Without hesitation, Mansur began to pull her away."
"Shhh...don't you dare make a sound. Look, I know I'm not the nicest guy in the world, but I promise to keep you safe. Once we get through this, you'll thank me a million times over. Those lavish riches, those jewels, they will be yours. You will be the most decorated camel in all of Egypt. Trust me."
Gamala stared in disbelief. How could she possibly trust a man so cruel? A chain around the neck - how could he? Just the other day, she was a free camel. Hungry, but all the freedom in the world. How could she trust someone who took that away from her? Yet, what choice did she have?
Mansur rounded a corner into a bustling marketplace. What a scene! People from all over the city talking, laughing, crying with joy. Exquisite linens of the most precisely chosen threads dancing in the gentle wind. A mosaic of finely painted glass shimmering upon every grain of sand. And every type of fruit and vegetable you could ever imagine. It was simply amazing!
"We're looking for the stall of Zaima the potter," Mansur said to a young fellow roaming the square, "He has important news from my father."
"Go eight thousand cubits (about four kilometres) down this path and you will find the stall on your left."
"Ah, I see. Thank you for your service, kind man."
Mansur proceeded down the path, through the market and into a dark patch of land on the outskirts of town. He seemed relentless - Gamala figured this news must be very important. Her legs ached in exhaustion, but the thought of being dragged around was a lot worse than putting up with tired feet. Even so, she was terrified.
Finally, at what seemed to be the end of the path, a small stall appeared. This stall looked worn down, abandoned, and didn't seem to be selling anything in particular. Was this the right one? Slowly, they approached. Even Mansur started to sweat, and if you looked closely, you could see a frightened gulp sliding down the lining of his throat.
"Hello? I am here to discuss matters about my father. I have brought a camel as you asked."
Gamala winced. She didn't know what to think of Mansur's comment.
Suddenly, a short man appeared from the back of the stall. "Yes, I have been expecting you. I regret to say I'm the holder of bad news - your father passed away the other day. I knew him well, and he would have liked to see you, but he did leave something for your taking. Wait right here."
The man reached for a small bag, and then another one, and another one. "Bring these with you to the Ma'at tournament. Look inside, but don't let others peek. Your father worked his whole life collecting what these bags contain. Perhaps this camel can help. Take care with what your father has provided, and as I told you before your arrival here, it will surely make you very rich."
To Be Continued...
"Camel Story" posts will be made each month - follow along for updates about Gamala and Gamalo, and the Ma'at tournament. The anticipated ending to the story will be posted in December 2011.