As she surveys the black and white squares of the court before her, the song echoes in her head, a beloved memory of time spent, long ago, with her mother, playing their hiding game among the orange groves in the gardens of the royal home.
‘She of the voice, the inner voice,’ had been the way they referred to her, later in childhood, when she would suddenly go silent and listen to that wonderful inner dialogue that taught her so much about what was really happening in front of her; watching others react while she smiled and laughed so much they thought she was just being girly.
But he knew better, too…
He, her mysterious spiritual guide, teacher of English and word games. Nur al-Din; whose name whispered its meaning – Light of the Faith. At first she hadn’t understand what he was teaching her; ‘the author of the words’ he had called it, a voice within the ‘voice of the world – the story being told is not the storyteller… come to know the storyteller.’
But it had been the other; the dark and purposeful figure of Muhammad al-Annuri, who strode into her life and spirited her away, un-graduated, from the mystical enchantment of learning the truth within the truth. The dark Muhammad had loved games, too. Games of the mind had fascinated him…
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