Monday 27 February 2017

Caspian Days

Robin Wrigley

Ringwood best bitter 

Maryam lay wide awake; it was one thirty in the morning. She had that dream again. The dream about that encounter in her early childhood while on a family holiday at the end of the war, at their house by the Caspian Sea.
     She was only eight years old free to roam in the early mornings. She had gone down to the sea-shore while the family stayed sleeping. It was so refreshing, wading in the sea after their stuffy house. Spotting a bright blue dinghy pulled up on the beach she climbed inside. Sitting at the bow like a boatman, she pretended she was at sea placing her hand above her eye-line scanning the horizon.
     A dog barking nearby startled her and instinctively she crouched down and peered over the rim. She saw the dog alongside a shepherd-boy, who was starting to undress only a few metres away, unaware of her presence.
     The whiteness of his body, contrasted with his sunburnt arms and face as he stripped completely. Maryam had never seen a naked boy. She marvelled at how different his body was to hers. Once undressed, he ran and dived into the surf; Maryam clambered out of the boat and ran for home.
     It was the only time she was to see a live male form. The Ayatollah’s obsession with the war against Saddam Hussein, had taken her brothers along with thousands of young men and boys she might have known, perhaps married.
     Now she had only the dream.

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