The dunes rose in gentle crests. The dunes fell in dark valleys. But always the desert wind fought her.
Liuza leaned into the wind – shielded her mouth with her scarves – grit her teeth. But her robes clung to her ankles and thighs, making every step a skirmish with the sand.
And today – as always – the scent of myrrh clung to the wind.
This scent was no blessing. It was Kattiv’s disguise – his calling card – his jab at all things good. He was an alchemist, a sorcerer, a minor prince – and his appetites were as immense as his reach.
It was no accident that he used perfume to mask his presence: he used a pleasant smile and a handsome face to mask his corrupt heart, too. Wherever Liuza roamed, travelers would spit when they heard his name. Herdsmen blamed Kattiv for every sickness; mothers used his name to coerce children into compliance.
Liuza’s bag was heavy with talismans and lucky tokens meant to protect her from Kattiv’s possessive eye, but – only one talisman could protect Liuza: the Mighty Nazar of Bahari. It was said that the Nazar’s concentric rings of cobalt and silver were the eye of the ocean itself.
Kattiv had cursed the ocean in his fear and his jealousy – and the ocean does not forgive.
So Liuza staggered onwards – towards the Coast of Bahari – and she sang on her journey:
Eye of the Ocean, never sleeping,
Powerful and pure, protect me from his corruption.
Eye of the Ocean, my beacon, true,
Guide this poor traveler on her arduous journey.
Linked to the Fairy Tale Prompt at MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie, where Chèvrefeuille gave us the following mission:
“Imagine that you are in the Middle East and you are haunted by some sorcerer … the only way to defeat that sorcerer is by wearing a Nazar, but you have to go on a quest to find that Mighty Nazar to defeat the sorcerer.”
I wanted to use Mediaeval Baebes for this piece – they accompanied my last fairy tale, too – then this song came to mind. The lyrics are “Salva nos, stella maris / Et regina caelorum” – “Save us, star of the sea / and queen of heaven”. And yes – the song is about the Virgin Mary – but doesn’t the Nazar look a bit like a “star of the sea”? And in medieval paintings, the Virgin was almost always painted in blue robes.
The last two verses are landays.