The Storyteller looked to the place where the Sultan sprawled on his couch. She continued her story.
Wazier Ja'far bin Waahid, whose father had fought for the King's father at Alserai, was in the midst of reviewing the kingdom's accounts when a messenger summoned him to give council to the King. The other six Waziers stood in a line and Ja'far bin Waahid took his place at their head. The King's only son stood straight as a spear before his father, the King. The King's Favorite lay bowed face down before the King.
She whispered in a soft insinuating voice, "Oh, great King, who has blessed me with his favor, your son has made advances on me in the seraglio. I beg of you to defend the honors that you have granted to me." Her veils spilled forward as she bowed and revealed the henna of her hair.
The King looked to Wazier Ja'far bin Waahid. He bowed and approached the King. "If your Majesty had a thousand sons, still it would be no small thing to do this on the word of a woman. You have but one son, while I have heard a thousand stories about the guile and craft of women. Your situation is like the virtuous Wazier's wife. She was quite beautiful. The King, after seeing her bathing on her rooftop one night, came to the home of his Wazier and wanted to lay down with her. Her answer was to make him a meal of ninety dishes. They were all different in appearance, but the same in flavor. As he marveled over them, she told him that the dishes were like to herself and his seraglio. Ashamed he left the house of his good Wazier."
The King listened to his Waziers. He listened to his Favorite. He listened to the Prince, his son. He took their advice and put his Favorite from him, saying, "I will put her fate in the Prince's hands. If he wishes, he should torture her. If he desires, he should kill her. He should do as he will."
The Prince forgave her. “Forgiveness is better than vengeance in the eyes of Allah. It is well fashioned in a noble heart.” He banished her and all were pleased. The Prince expanded much upon the kingdom, until some years later; the Destroyer of Delights came to the Prince's door.
The call to prayer reached out over the palace still dark with night and the Storyteller let the threads of her story unravel into the morning.
The Scribe copied the story as it was sometimes told. He scratched with his pen over the rich paper. The story went like so.
Wazier Ja'far Ithnaan stood to the side of King Malik as he had since they were young and Malik was just a Prince and Ja'far Ithnaan his servant. Malik paced on the richly patterned carpet. He paced on the tiles that had been kilned the day that Prince Amir was circumcised and the party lasted three weeks. What a delight on the heart that had been.
Malik rubbed his face. "What shall I do?" Of all his councilors, it was to Ja'far Ithnaan that he spoke. Ja'far did not have to look at the beautiful Courtesan with her tear stained eyes lined with kohl. He said, "You know in your heart what is right."
The Courtesan said from behind her veil, "In his heart, he knows that I have been wronged. I am like the wife, who has been chaste and virtuous to her husband, but was courted by a certain man. When she rejected him, he crept into her house and put the white of an egg there. When her husband found the egg white, he thought it was the seed of a man and that she had been unfaithful. She was only saved from his wrath by her good neighbors, who cooked the white from the bed and proved it was an egg and not the seed of a man."
As the Scribe reached this point, the chimes rang and he stopped to eat.
The Translator adjusted the blue chinoiserie panels on his silk frock coat and preened at the compliments of the court. He smoothed his hands on his printed page and this is what he read.
To the war of wits, the Chamberlain Geoffrey Trois came well armed. But as the ladies may also expect, Comptess Ghaaliya, the principal Mistress to the King, brought her own weapons to the battlefield.
One day, as the King came to be entertained in her salon, Comptess Ghaaliya complained that the Prince had so sought to trifle with her affections that he’d spoken to her of how the future held but one certainty. That the sun will set and that a new sun will rise. She raised her brow to be clear as to her meaning.
The King, who may have had but one son, but he also had but one kingdom, turned to his advisers.
Chamberlain Geoffrey Trois said, “Credulity may be a child’s strength, but it is a man's weakness. There once was a man, who held tight to all his possessions. In the market, there was an old woman who sold bread for a low price. He enjoyed the bread much for it cost him little. Then he discovered that the dough was placed by a doctor on the back of a man with an ulcer to rise all the night long. What good then did his credulity bring him?”
Comptess Ghaaliya laughed as she heard this. “I’m much amazed for that was the very theme upon which my story was to be told. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.” She spread her wide skirts upon her couch and articulated with her fan what she meant with her words. “A King once desired to be at the hunt, for Kings do love their hunting.” Her eyes met the eyes of the King and he saw what she meant. “He asked his Chancellor which way to go, and his Chancellor guided him down a high mountain way. As the sun set, he asked if they should not turn back, but the Chancellor told him that the moon was bright enough. When the King saw a maiden by a distant well, the Chancellor told him to go to her. As he reached the well, he saw her to be no maiden, but an ogre and it is only through the power of prayer to his good angel that the hour was not too late.”
Chamberlain Geoffrey Trois spread his hands wide. “Milady, you’d best clap an extinguisher upon your irony as you are fair to burning with it.” He tapped his own fan to his lips that the court might better understand him. He said, “There was a woman in the habit of trading her favors for market goods that she might keep the money her husband gave her. But the miller, having had what cheap she gave, traded her stones and dirt rather than wheat. When she saw, she told her husband that she’d dropped the wheat in the dirt and he should sieve it out for he had better eyes. This he did and ate dirt broth that night.”
Comptess Ghaaliya clapped her hands as she began her own reply.
The Translator stopped and cast a long ways glance at the court. He closed his book upon their cries for more. He promised them that perhaps tomorrow he would continue.
The Linguist scratched his privates and licked the end of his pen. He opened his blank book and this was what he wrote.
The young prince was shy of women. So Governor Jaffar IV advised the king to send the boy to his harem, where each room had ten-courtesans skilled in the playing of “instruments”. There were many rooms in his harem.
The king’s favorite courtesan saw the prince and was struck with a powerful desire for him. She threw herself upon him and pleaded with him. She held his head pressed to her heaving bosom and covered his young body in sweet kisses. She begged him to let her ply her skill upon his instrument. She begged that he should take her upon the gold couch that overlooked the garden until her back was marked with the metal flowers in its design. She begged that he should press her down upon her knees in the blue tile fountain and fill her so that she could be hot and cold and wet and full as the fountain was. She begged that he hold her against the shutters and pound into her until her thighs ran with his seed like the fields where the earth has been well ploughed. She begged and she begged and she had much satisfaction from her begging as he made music with his instrument upon her. She was so well satisfied that as he pulled cries from her like a weeping peahen, thoughtless she cried out, “I want you always in your father’s stead. I’ll give him poison to drink so we can enjoy each other always.”
The prince went out of her and left in a rage. The beautiful courtesan was much afraid.
The clock chimed the hour and the Linguist sought his wife where she had already retired to their bed.
The Bowderlizer cracked his fingers and applied his concentration to the betterment of humanity by way of radiowaves.
The King summoned his seven advisers, the chief among them was Jeffrey Pent, who was a plucky boy with a bright eye. The King had a problem. One of the ladies of his court had accused the Prince trying to steal something that belonged to the King, but the Prince would not say a word. The King yelled at him and threatened to send him to bed without supper, but he would not speak.
The Prince waved his hands in a very excited way, until Jeffrey Pent took a look at him. He said, “It’s as obvious as the nose on my face that the Prince has taken a vow of silence and cannot defend himself against this woman’s lies.” The Prince nodded in relief to be so understood. He held up seven fingers to indicate the length of his vow.
On the eighth day, the Prince explained how he hadn’t done anything. He explained it using a parable. “There was a very bad man, who traveled from town to town trying to do wrong to women. Now he went to the house of a woman, who had a three year old boy. When she was done cooking her rice, the boy cried until she brought him some rice with butter. When he had his rice, he cried until he got some sugar. The bad man yelled at the damnable boy to stop crying. The boy said, ‘I cried because I had something in my eye. Now the something is gone and I’ve had rice and sugar. You are damned by going from town to town looking for idle pleasure. There’s no heavenly reward in the things of this world.’ The bad man saw the error of his ways and reformed.”
The King blessed the Prince for his story and decided to retire from being King and study God. The Prince, who was the new King, forgave the woman, because it was the Christian thing to do and ruled for a long time until his kingdom was invaded.
Stay tuned for the next installment.
The Bowlderizer turned off the feed with a happy sigh.
The Mother turned the page of her father-in-law’s birthday gift and sighed. She raised her eyes to the paneled ceiling and this was the story that she told her young son as he lay in his bed.
Vizier Jaf’ar Sitta was the King’s nephew and therefore had a great deal to do. When he wasn’t running up stairs to take care of one thing, he was running down stairs to take care of another.
One morning, he woke up very hungry. Now in his garden was a beautiful peach tree, like the peach tree in our garden. He really wanted a peach, because he was so hungry. But as he came down, he found that his monkey had eaten all of the peaches. Except there was one peach left, which the monkey held in his hand.
The monkey scampered up to the roof. Jaf’ar Sitta ran up the stairs after the monkey.
The monkey scampered down to the ground. Jaf’ar Sitta ran down the stairs after the monkey.
The monkey ran around the house and Jaf’ar Sitta ran after him.
As she reached this point, the Mother smiled at her son, whose eyes had finally fallen shut. She tucked him in carefully and put the book away.
The Student held up her papers and read.
And then, she was all like, “And I don’t even know if my baby daddy is my sugar daddy, or his son, Prince, because I’ve been doing them both.”
And Prince’s friends were all like, “You lying bitch,” and calling all women lying bitches.
And she was all, “This bitch bites. I’m like this really foxy fox, whose eyes you cut out and you tried to cut off my bush, but there’s only so much this bitch will put up with.”
And her sugar daddy, he was like going to totally throw her out on her ass. So she was all, “You always loved your car more than me, you ahole. Screw you. We did it on the hood of your damned car.” When he threw her out, she flipped them the bird and she ended up on the talk circuit and became a famous singer with lots of money and a horse.
She grinned at her teacher, who stared at her open mouthed. She walked back to her desk. She bumped fists with her bff, because she’d so totally killed that book report.
The Chanteuse leaned into her microphone and whispered, “This one is called, ‘The Malice of Women’, which I’m dedicating to my ex.” She held up her whiskey glass. “It was an education.”
The Graduate pushed his glasses up his nose. “And that’s why the Seven Viziers are numerologically significant in relation to the Biblical story of the dreams of the seven cows and seven ears of grain."
The hologram of Princess Ed Detma and Prince Behram of Persia twirled across the garden scape. The Programmer scowled at the recursion on Ed Detma’s right cross.
The Imaginer moved the ifrit salt shaker across the table as she hummed the “I Dream of Jeanie” theme song. She’s been reading the abridged “1001 Arabian nights” from McDonalds. It had come with her Happy Meal. In her head, she imagined that the salt shaker was stealing rings and flying on a magic carpet with Princess Jasmine.
>:] :-) :) :o) :] :3 :c) :> =] 8) =) :} :^)
The Ficcer answered the last few comments from her Beta on her fic.
Title: Jaffa Cree
Length: 6006 words
Fandom: Kitaab 'alf layla wa-layla, Stargate,Sherlock Holmes BBC, Book of the Dun cow. Crossover. Modern AU
Pairings: Sherlock/Watson, Sherlock/AU evil Watson, Cú Chulainn/Courtesan, Teal'c/Jaffar
Summary: Stargate Command asks for Mycroft's help to clear up a diplomatic incident on another world. He sends his more active brother to investigate, but a malfunctioning quantum mirror may threaten all they hold dear.
Comment: Complete and other crack, but hey, at least this time it's not PWP. Plot bunny grabbed my brain and wouldn't stop until I finished. *Constructive* comments are love.
She posted. She clicked refresh on her email. There was a kudo in her inbox. <3.
The Storyteller swept up some of the threads of the story and tied them off. But she only tied some. If she had a thousand nights plus one, she couldn’t tie them all.