A Rich Lather and a Sharp Blade

Hot leather and the hay dust wafted out of the forlorn stable. It blew across the sand like an angry Jinn and stopped in the nose of Amu Tabir. The scent of it brought a smile to Amu’s face baring his stained teeth to the world. Seated, Amu traced patterns with his bare feet in the sand in front of him. Sand that had been here for a million years. This sand, he thought, was the sand of Egyptian pharohs. How many shapes just like these had been traced before? Traced by heavy footsteps and shaded by the litter of passing Turkish sultans. Soaking the blood of crusaders in Jerusalem and of Moslem bedouins before that. These same grains swept in eddys into the nostrils of a dying war horse lying foaming on the battlefield. Carried by the wind into the bread of Egyptian slaves; grinding their teeth just as it would someday grind down the very pyramids they were constructing.

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