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TRUE TALES FROM THE SIDE SHOW: In a Foreign Land - Trickle of Consciousness — LiveJournal
From French antiquities collector Jean-Paul Monde, comes a startling field report of polygamy and peril made by his agent, trail-blazing tomb raider L. Roeming....

I have long held a fascination with Araby, and so must thank you again for your sponsorship, good monsieur, but what I have found here, I am afraid, is a world harsher and more shocking than I could have imagined. Your insistence on my escort, the messieurs Bowman and Vallence, is well taken.

Other women in these harsh climes have not my same protections, I am afraid, a fact which leads me to the reason for this report.

As I browsed the local market today in preparation for our outing to the local ruins, there came into the center of town a veritable caravan of opulence. At its head, a broad-shouldered Sheik, filled with vigor and arrogance. He bounded off his camel with an inhumanly-spry spring, landing on his feet as if gravity herself could not bend him to her will.

Fascinated, I followed him as he wound through the market, then down an alley I had somehow never noticed before. He tore aside a wispy curtain, and as I tried to follow, the brutish thugs on either side of the entry attempted to bar my way.

It was here those gentlemen I had so foolishly characterized as roustabouts when you loaned them to me came in quite handy, as they provided just the distraction I needed to enter and see the tawdry truth: The Sheik, it seemed, was shopping for a bride.

The seller toured about the lot, babbling their praises, when he finally stopped at a small group of girls huddled together in fright. I had trouble hearing much more from my position hidden in shadow, but I did let loose a gasp as I caught their words for "harem" and "virgin."

That dark, exotic, rough man turned then, his piercing gaze sweeping through the shadows to uncover me. I found my heart beating in my ears such as to make thought difficult, but I managed, in a fit of momentary epiphany, to claim I was a Western journalist, sent to write of his noble existence in an effort to educate the curious masses.

He seemed less than thoroughly convinced, but for the moment, his fascination for a woman who labors was enough to distract him from pressing further. He turned back to the seller, pointed to four of the virginal girls, then threw him a small sack of gold before gesturing for the four of them and myself to follow.

And now my time grows short. The caravan is almost packed, and I cannot in good conscience let it go alone. I must protect these poor young women, and so I continue my ruse. I send you this report with your stalwart men to ensure its safe arrival at its destination.

With it you will find a map to the Sheik’s oasis that one of my newfound Wards, a waif named Laurencia, managed to acquire. I only pray you might send me aid in my quest before the Sheik grows wise to my ruse, or decides that a Western bride is just the thing his growing harem needs!

Did help arrive in time? We have just now uncovered further evidence, but must wait until next time so that we might check its veracity. Come back tomorrow for the heart-pounding second installment, and see the Sheik and his harem for yourself now through May 5 at The Players Theatre!

Previous entries in the series:
The Fortune Teller
The Cannibal King
In the Blood
If Witches Worked Curses
His Own Boss
A True Lady

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