However Far

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

A young lady who desires freedom, but is forced to marry into a harem, only to find she is pregnant.

Chapter 1 (v.1) - A Glitter in the Darkness

Submitted: April 14, 2017

Reads: 385

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Submitted: April 14, 2017

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I was a part of the harem of Ooglash, a chief that they dub mighty warrior and defender of the realm. I beg to differ, though. Ooglash was and still is a weak chief, having grown soft with age and too much indulgences. This wasn’t a marriage I looked forward to either, as I wasn’t keen to be one out of forty wives. You see, I didn’t have much choice in the matter of marriage. My marriage wasn’t about love, but about the prestige gained from such a marriage. That’s what happens when you are a part of the nobility.

I was born Khejunis, a daughter of the Nuurgis line. The Nuurgis line has achieved wide fame for birthing one military prodigy after the next. It is from my line that great battles have been won. For hundreds of years, my family has offered guidance to the Ghans. It was my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather who was an advisor to the first Ghan, aiding him in his victory against the warriors in the north. Ever since then my family name has been held in high esteem, and we have lived well off.

I certainly grew up living off of fat of the land, whereas lesser Tsuns have had to struggle just to eat from the crust of the land as they toil night and day to live. While they lived in their small yurts, just barely large enough to sustain two people, let alone three or four, I was raised in a yurt that could fit twenty people, but only housed ten. While they lived in yurts made from the furs of the animals they hunted, I lived in a yurt woven of the finest of silks. While they slept in barely enough furs to keep them warm during the coldest of nights, I always had more blankets than I needed. Such should have been a luxurious life, but in truth I abhorred it, for it was a joyless one. It’s strange to think that a life of comfort could be a tedious one, but it is the truth. From the very beginning I was taught that my sex was never to leave the confines of the yurt, but to stay within the folds of the tent, shielding my delicate eyes from the harshness of the outside world. In essence, I was put upon a pedestal like a goddess, being above the woes of the world. During those rare instances in which I had to leave the yurt, say to meet with another noble family, I was carted in a palanquin, the outer curtains fasted shut so as to avoid any harm that could come upon me of seeing pain and suffering. Perhaps I would have forever lived in this false sense of bliss, had not an accident happened one day, if an accident is appropriate to call it. I tend to call it divine intervention.

I was only seven years old when my father arranged for me to meet Ooglash, who was now in his twenties. The servants had been ordered to make sure that the blinds were well fastened into place. I distinctly remember that painted upon the blinds was a scene of a lush green valley with pink, misty clouds settled upon it in a light fog, as well as all manner of birds of a wide spectrum of colors, and of deer grazing in the fields and drinking from waterfalls. The scene of the art was perfect, too perfect, and I certainly wouldn’t have known any better. But that particular day the servants had forgotten to securely fasten a part of the blinds on one of the sides of the palanquin. As they were taking me to the yurt of Ghan, one of the blinds slightly opened, due to the wind. While I couldn’t see everything, I saw enough.

I saw people, coarse and dirty, trying to warm themselves by a meager fire. I saw shoddy yurts and a landscape devoid of the green that I had been beguiled with from the artwork upon scrolls, and upon the curtains of the palanquin. And yet, as desolate as the land looked, I also saw something else I had never seen before. Joy! Children were running free and laughing out loudly, some kicking a ball back and forth, while others chased each other. Many of the adults were stopping, having pleasant conversations with one another. Even those I had first seen, coarse and dirty by the fire, were playing a game of dice. But what had enchanted me the most was a pair of old people, walking side by side, hand in hand. They had lacked the dour faces I had often seen back home. And though their clothing was poor, and not vibrant like what I, or my family wore, they more than made up for it with the richness of the expressions they wore upon their faces. There was a youth to their eyes that I hadn’t seen in the faces of my siblings, and their smiles – which I wouldn’t have been able to describe back then – I would now describe as the crescent moon that smiles in the darkness.

One of the guards who had been acting as escort soon noticed that one of the drapes was open a crack, and he quickly came over to tighten it shut. But what had transpired had transpired, and nothing could be done. That small opening of the blinds, as insignificant as it may have seemed on the surface, had in truth opened up a large world to me. It was a world without so much dogma attached to it. It was of a simple life, though hard, that seemed warmer despite the temperature of the weather. While I would remember it all, I would especially hold in my heart the memory of the old people in love. Since then I have often wondered for how long they had been in love for. Had they been in love since they were children, growing up and toiling in struggles together to form an unbreakable chain? Or was their love much more recent, two wondering souls finding each other in the cold world when they were adults? Sometimes I even ask myself if they are still alive, or if they have died embraced in each other’s arms. I even go so far as to ask myself if my parents were ever like that, if they ever expressed devotion and emotion to one another. These are questions I’ll likely never know.

Needless to say, my mind I was so enraptured by what I saw that I had hardly paid any attention to the Ghan when we arrived at his yurt. It didn’t matter that his yurt was even more regal than my family’s, and though it was filled with all manner of riches, such as jade statues, golden boxes, silver plates, jeweled goblets, and tapestries and rugs woven from the finest silks and dyed by the finest dyes, it all felt so empty to me.

And though Ooglash, the Ghan himself, tried to flatter me, I, a seven year old girl, would have none of it. In fact, I am rather disgusted looking back to think that an older man was already considering me for his harem, even if it wasn’t right at that time. I don’t remember much. I don’t have reason to, seeing as I hardly even listened to what he had to say to me, or since I hardly answered his questions unless my father pressured me to. My father had been waiting for me and had, from what I was later told, heaped high praises regarding my character in hopes of furthering gaining Ooglash’s favor. But such was never needed. I came from a line and heroes and the Ghan knew it.

When I was back home, my father berated me, telling me that I was no daughter of his, and to listen when I was spoken to. He said so much in such a short amount of time that I can’t remember it all. Nor do I remember being all that upset about it. For the truth is no matter how sharp his tongue was, he couldn’t hope to hurt me with it. I had grown up in a home devoid of love to begin with. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I didn’t even know what love was until I saw it briefly for myself amongst the common folk. Though they may have been poor when it came to material possessions, they were rich with an abundance of love.

Nonetheless, being of the Nuurgis line I could never hope to escape my responsibilities and live like them. For the next eight years I was rigorously trained and tutored by a strict disciplinarian, hired by my father, instilling in me what it would mean to be a wife of a Khan, and how I must conduct myself in all manner of etiquette. As I look back, I am at a loss of how I survived under my instructor, being amazed that I was able to. For Jydin was as callous as she was strict, making it no wonder why she had never been married. Any mistake I had made in my lessons, no matter how slight, brought her lash down on me, as well as words of the greatest discouragement. She wielded her lash and her tongue with the greatest of force, combining them to be lethal in breaking ones’ spirit, as she taught me how to properly address my future husband, how far down I should bow in his presence, how I should set the table, how I should eat and drink, and how much I should eat and drink, when I should speak, and when I should remain silent. I remember the feelings of dread that plagued me during this time in my life. Those are things that you can’t forget.

Yet, fear of Jydin’s training was nothing compared to the dread I felt leading up to the months of my marriage to Ooglash. I was fifteen when I was wedded to him. During those months my parents had a sense of pride that I was to be wedded to a ‘great’ Ghan. It’s sad that they could never see what I saw, being so enraptured in their pride that they didn’t realize that they were marrying me off to a decadent old slob. I do wish that they could have truly known the fear that I, a young fifteen year old girl, was going through, against her will. I’m sorry to say that I’ve never truly forgiven them. A fifteen year old’s heart is tender, and to hurt it so is unforgivable. Besides, from reflection I’ve grown to learn that they never truly loved me. Rather, they loved the further honor that my marriage to the Ghan would bring.

The wedding itself wasn’t a joyful one. Though the finest silk linens, and the richest carpets, as well as the rarest flowers in vases of silver lining the walkway were all arrayed perfectly, it felt dour. Even the intricately carved six foot tall jade statue of the Star Mother at the end of the walkway looked more menacing, rather than a matron of comfort to bless the wedding.

I almost didn’t say my vows correctly, even though Jydin had drilled the lines into me for hours and days on end. I can only imagine how angry she would have been with me had she been present; not that I care. Many times I fumbled over those lines, more than I care to recount. Yet, Ooglash was patient – which is one bit of praise I can rightly give him – while my parents were cringing and fuming out of embarrassment. Eventually, after much struggling through what I was supposed to say, such as I will be yours forever, I will be your star from the Star Maiden, I’ll watch over you always like the stars from above, and a whole bunch of other such nonsense, I got through it. I suppose it could have been romantic, had I been attracted to Ooglash. It’s not to say that I didn’t give him a chance after our wedding. I hoped for the best, and tried to be a dutiful wife, in the hopes that my love would grow for him. But the only time he ever showed me any tenderness, or any hopes of romance, was during the night of our consummation. Out of that consummation I would give birth to a son who I love dearly, whom I will talk about more shortly. Suffice to say, I became a mere prize for Ooglash, consigned to oblivion within the harem of the rest of his forty wives. I soon learned that my social status of having been descended from the first Nuurgis who assisted the first Ghan in winning a war against the Tsuns from the north wouldn’t amount to anything amongst his wives. In the harem of Ooglash it was all about who stood first and foremost with the Ghan, who he favored the most. This was a competition that I refused to be a part of.

As for the Ghan himself, I hardly ever saw him. The time I spent the most with him was the wedding night. He had carried me to his quarters, and, interestingly enough, it was the only time I had ever seen his quarters. Yet, one can’t forget his living conditions, even after so many years. His room was the most ostentatious of the whole yurt. All manner of statues were in his room, some carved of golden goddesses, others of silver dragons, and some of jade birds and fish. There were tapestries of great religious leaders, and of majestic landscapes with rugged, cloud crowned mountains, and of birds and beasts. Aside from the artistic side, his room was also an armory, as there were racks of weaponry, many of which I knew to be from different kingdoms and territories he had conquered from many years back.

“Would you take a seat, my love,” he beckoned me to sit upon one of the cushions nearest to him.

Shyly, I did as he commanded. I was startled when he let lose a loud lough.

“You are a little bit lacking in the ways of common curtesy,” he smiled. “Have you not had a personal trainer who trained you to address your husband properly, particularly when your husband is a chief? Certainly you know that you are supposed to address me as ‘my Lord.’ In this case it would have been proper for you to bow and say ‘yes, my lord,’ before taking a seat.”

Quickly I stood, to bow and perform the process correctly.

“Did I ask you to stand?” he asked me, with that unnerving smile still upon his face. “Did you or did you not have a trainer? Or are you an untamed horse, content to be wild and free?”

“Forgive me, my Lord,” I said sitting down.

“I didn’t tell you that you could sit down either,” he pointed out without any hesitation. By then I was catching on to him, and I dare not stand.

“My Lord, forgive me,” I said. “If it be thy will, I am happy to acquiesce you, by performing the proper protocols that is due from a wife to her moon in the sky.”

“No. No need,” he waved the suggestion away with his fat hand. “In time you will be well acquainted with your responsibilities, and of what is required of you. Yet,” and he took my hand, “tonight is not the night to dwell on such. It is to be a night in which under the gaze of the Star Maiden that we consummate our marriage.”

I felt sick inside, but I dared not tell him. I wanted to yank my hand away, knowing that to do so would invite displeasure. So, I kept my hand in his, and let him caress it. He ran his other hand lightly through my hair, and lightly brushed my cheek.

“You have such beautiful eyes,” he said. “The name Khejunis doesn’t bestow upon you any justice. I shall choose a new name for you in time. Now tell me, my love, are you hungry?”

I slightly nodded.

“Forgive me, my love,” he replied. “But I fear that either you did not hear me, or I did not hear you. Now tell me, do you require food?”

“Yes, my Love, I thank you for your kindness,” I said, hoping I sounded convincing enough.

Upon my acknowledgement he rang a diamond studded silver bell. A servants promptly came in, making me wonder if he had been standing by the door the whole time. The servant carried a silver dish, covered in strawberries, upon on hand, and in the other hand he carried a small silver bowl full of golden honey. The servant placed the dish upon a little table nearby us, bowed, and said “to my most illustrious from your humble servant. I shall be back shortly with some fine wine.”

“The wine will help wash down the honey and the berries,” said Ooglash. “Still, he should have brought out the wine first. I should have him whipped.”

“My sun shining most brightly,” I laid it on as thick as I could, fearing for the servant, “if thou art to give a wedding gift, I pray that thou wilt have mercy upon the servant’s folly.”

To my request he laughed condescendingly. “Am I not your wedding gift alone!” he pointed out more than he asked. “But fear not, my love. I only spoke in jest. No harm shall befall him.”

The servant was back shortly, with jeweled goblets, and a flask of wine. I’m sure that I would have enjoyed the wine, and the strawberries dipped in honey, as rich as it all was, if I hadn’t of been so nervous, so frightened. I was in such shock over the whole thing that I don’t even remember the whole conversation, though most of it was spent trying to appease him with flowery words of adoration. As the evening wore on, the meal grew richer. The servant brought out a roast duck smothered in heavy syrups, as well as a bowl of seasoned rice. I wish I could have truly enjoyed it. Not even the dessert, a custard cake lined with mangos and limes, could break me out of my shock over what was going on, and what this would culminate into when the fire from the lantern hanging above us would be blown out. I wanted to feign sickness, but I knew that it would be futile to do so.

“You truly are a jewel,” Ooglash clasped my hands in his. “Though I must admit, you’re table manners certainly could use some work.”

“If thou woulds’t only teach me,” I said, hoping that doing so would make him forget his passions.

Once again he laughed. “There will be time for that latter. It grows late, and I yearn to be closer to you.”

I will not repeat the rest of the night. Regardless, it should have been a night of joy and wonder. But it wasn’t such. Again, I was so young, and he so much older. I was afraid, and he took advantage of that fear. Yet, my heart can take solace in that something of great worth happened because of that night, though I certainly didn’t realize it at the time. As previously stated, this I will enumerate more on later. But for now I will say that a lot changed in my life. A lot changed when I moved away from my parents, whom I haven’t seen since, including my name. Khejunis, the name I treasured growing up, was revoked just the next morning by the Ghan, in favor of the name he bestowed upon me being Morning Flower. His attendees and servants all gushed over it, promulgating that it was a name that bespoke my gentle and fragile nature. I on the other hand hated it. The beauty of names is the mystery that they hold within their meanings. Take Khejunis. It means the Rising of the Sun. But one wouldn’t know that unless one studied the meaning of names. Its meaning is subtle, adding to the beauty of it. Morning Flower evokes no thought, being so blatant. I often felt like the Morning part of my new name was more like Mourning. That’s how I felt living with the Ghan and his harem, always a sense of sadness.

Many would have envied my role, even if Ooglash didn’t pay much attention to me, and he certainly did not. Still, if I had of lived one or two steps above in terms of luxury from the average Tsun when I was merely a noble, I was now living above my previous station, being showered with even more luxuries. Servants waited upon me at my every whim. If I needed a sweet plum favored sorbet, or fresh grapes, or sparkling wine, or the finest varieties of cheeses, the chefs would oblige.  As for Ooglash himself, he had given me a token to always remember him by, one of his trophies in war, a gold coin smelted and hammered from a faraway kingdom, with the conscription of that particular ruler on it, a heavily bearded one. I have no idea about how holding a coin of a foreign ruler would help me to always have a part of Ooglash with me. But I do know that he would be seeing very little of me. But in spite of being bothered very little by Ooglash, and in spite of the servants attending my every desire, I still felt trapped.

I couldn’t leave the confines of the yurt, which often felt more like a prison than a home. The harem didn’t help, being full of bickering ladies. The leader Blazing Sun was the worst. In truth, Sun wasn’t officially the leader, but she was the Ghan’s favorite, and gave herself the title of leader herself. Now, while everyone in the harem was hard on me, she was by far the hardest, eager to point out every infraction I committed, no matter how small.

I still can’t forget my first day as a young newly married girl in the harem. It had been after that night in which the Ghan would call a night of great passion, but what I would call a sickening void, when next morning I was ushered by one of his advisors into the center of the yurt where the harem was located. I should now say that the reason the harem was in the center of such an enormous tent was for paranoid purposes. It didn’t matter that there were guards posted all around the yurt, and that someone wouldn’t have time to cut through the fabric of the yurt, Ooglash still feared that if his harem had been near the back that someone would cut through and kidnap one of us. So for extra protection his harem was assigned to the middle. I understand that some ghans have no fear of letting their harem be consigned towards the back of the yurt, and are perfectly okay with having a lack of guards to guard them. I can’t say that I blame them. If any of those other harems are as petty as mine was then I would want them to be kidnapped. But I digress. I was directed into a room full of plump and soft feather beds, woven with the greatest of silks. The beds and pillows were a rainbow of pink, scarlet, red, and purple, lining along the sides of the thick fur barriers that separated the harem from the other quarters. Tables and chairs carved from the cedars up north were placed in the middle of the quarters. The arms of the chairs were carved with figures of birds in flight, the back of them with figures of camels and horses. Even the tables had soft etchings of mountains, valleys, and lakes. Many colorful carpets were laid out to walk upon, so that our feet might not get dirty. There were also chests and dresses, stocked with many elegant dresses, crowns, and jewels that we could were. But it was far from a good dream. My first day in the harem was bad from the start.

“I am Blazing Sun, and who might you be?” the self-proclaimed leader had introduced herself to me, as soon as the advisor had left. I failed to see where she got her name. While it was true that she was exceedingly beautiful, her heart was cold. Even the way she had introduced herself was full of contempt for me. There was no warmth in her countenance to earn her that name.

“I am Khejunis, and I am pleased to meet you,” I said, having forgotten to use my newly given name.

“Khejunis!” said Sun, as though the very name was sour in her mouth. “Did the Ghan marry a peasant or another queen?”

“I am sorry,” I quickly apologized. “I’m still used to having a new name.”

“New or not, did you not have an instructor who taught you proper etiquette and protocol?”

“Well, yes, I did. I’m sorry. I won’t make that mistake again.”

“We shall see,” she said contemptuously. She then introduced me to all of the wives of Ooglash, and I care not to name them all.

Needless to say, some of the wives were kind to me, and some were awful. Yet, they all could be, as aforementioned, a bit petty. Yet, some were kinder than others. Dewdrop was true to her namesake, being for the most part gentle and slow to anger. She was the first who really welcomed me.

“Don’t worry too much about, Sun” she said to me. “Her tongue may burn, but she has never known to get physically violent.”

“Violent?” I asked. “How angry does she get?”

“As angry as the fire of a thousand suns,” laughed Dewdrop in such an innocent way, and she was innocent. She wasn’t that much older than I, but she came across as very naïve.

“Why I still remember how scared I was when I first was married to Ooglash,” she continued. “Mind you, it’s not so bad. Even if you despise him, you are given so much freedom.”

“This freedom is only an illusion,” I said. “I am stuck in this yurt.”

“You miss your family, is that it?”

“Hardly,” I made no attempt to disguise my loathing of my own flesh and blood, as tragic as that may sound. “Freedom is being able to travel wherever one wants to travel.”

“And why would you want to travel?” Dewdrop was genuinely confused. “The world is a wicked place, full of war, natural disaster, disease, and starvation. Why it’s much better in here! Why just look at this!” and she opened up one of the cabinets, and brought out a blue silk dress, and a blue silk bandana. “Imagine how beautiful you would look with this dress flowing down your body, and this bandana wrapped around your head.”

She was right in the regard that the outfit was beautiful. The blue of the dress gave the illusion of a cascading waterfall, and the bandana of the evening sky.

“Oh, and these will also go well on you,” she continued as she opened up a jewel-box, in which was a necklace with a bird medallion on the end, all of it being carved out of white jade.

And yet, I couldn’t find any interest in it. Though I didn’t miss my parents, I still found myself in shock over leaving my home. I know that I had mentioned that I wanted to eventually leave my home anyway, but I wanted to leave on my own terms, and not be dragged out without any say. But that’s often how women were treated in my society. We didn’t have a say, not being entitled to one.

The rest of the day I tried to get to know the other wives, but I found myself failing in striking up comradery with any of them. Though I could knit well enough, and was somewhat good at painting, and though I had a fairly good singing voice, it was as if they were a part of a class that I wasn’t. Nor did it help my mood when they would break out into frivolous arguments regarding someone’s singing, or someone’s way of knitting, just to name a few. It was one big competition with them, and that was probably why I didn’t fit in. I didn’t want to compete.

That first night I tried hard not to cry. But I felt very alone, even more alone than I had living with my unemotional parents. The only thing I could do was cry softly into my pillow, with the sheets covering me, while I hoped that none of the other women could hear me.

But one of the women did hear me. It was Dewdrop. She crawled into my bed, and wrapped her arms around me, cuddling close to me. Her body felt warm, and I felt a small measure of comfort. We didn’t say anything. I don’t know if it was for fear of waking the others, or if words just didn’t need to be said. That’s not entirely true. I did whisper one question to her. I asked her if she missed her home. She told me “all the time.” But aside from that, nothing else needed to be said. And with her by my side I fell asleep quickly.

Whatever little peace of mind I had in the morning, however, was quickly dashed to pieces by Sun. The favored wife of Ooglash was quick to chastise me for my weakness.

“You are a part of the harem of a great Lord, the greatest Ghan in all the world,” she wagged a finger at me disapprovingly. “And you show your gratitude by crying in your bed at night.”

“I was crying tears of joy,” I lied.

“And now you cover your weakness by showing another weakness, that of dishonesty.”

“Forgive me. I will try harder.” But if I expected understanding, I would soon learn that I would receive none. Rather I received scorn, a dagger to my heart instead of a flower.

“Try as you might, you shall never be one of us,” she said to me without mincing words. “You may have been born from a noble family, but I fear that your family was given a beggar and a wastrel instead of a lady of nobility. I don’t know who crafted you, but it certainly wasn’t the Star Maiden who forms children out of gold. I tend to think it was her mischievous brother who formed you out of the weakest of clay.”

And thus was my lot in life. The other women of the harem had very little to do with me, unless I infringed upon them in some way. If I picked out a dress the other one wanted, I would soon hear an earful of angry words, in which they imagined I had intentionally done them some wrong. I had to be careful where I chose to sit when eating, lest I take one of their favorite spots. The offenses I could cause against the Ghan’s harem were too enumerable to mention, and when they weren’t chastising me, I still had to listen to them squabble amongst themselves. Dewdrop had become my only friend, and for her I was truly grateful.

Afore briefly touched upon numerous times, I had said that something good would come out of the loveless night with Ooglash, and it did. But at first I didn’t realize it. As the months passed by, I soon found myself feeling sick, to the point I was throwing up at night. It was confirmed by the court physician that I was with child. This terrified me seeing as I didn’t want a child to grow up in what I saw as a toxic environment. Also, I wasn’t sure, being as young as I was, I would be able to take care of him. It was true that he wouldn’t be without some sort of care, though I use the term care lightly. He would certainly be raised like the other children of the harem were, away in a private section of the yurt, with specially trained servants to attend to them. It was with much sadness that I learned that the children hardly ever saw their mothers. I didn’t want my child to grow up that way. If I were to have a child I wanted him or her to be able to be by my side, in which I could show such child parental love. The children were given everything from the servants, the desires of their minds being satisfied with whatever things they wanted, much like their spoiled mothers. But their hearts were never satisfied with true paternal care. Such a way to raise a child can’t help a child bloom like a flower, but can only make one crooked with selfish desires, like a tree who hasn’t received enough sunlight.

I knew I couldn’t confide my fears to Ooglash, so I turned to the only whom I could, Dewdrop.

“Oh, but the children are quite happy,” she tried to reassure me.

“Are they?” I asked. “It seems to me they are always quarreling amongst themselves.”

“Oh, but things could be worse,” she protested.

“Yes, and they could be better,” I pointed out.

She looked at me thoughtfully and lovingly. “Well, what do you suppose you’re going to do?”

“I want to raise the child myself. I want my child to be by my side. I don’t want some nursemaid to nurse him or her. It is my child, and mine alone.”

“But you are only fifteen,” she reminded me.

“I know that. You think I can’t handle it, do you?”

“Well can you?”

I paused at such a probing question. In truth I didn’t know if I could. Fifteen is such a young age to have a child. I certainly wouldn’t wish for any young girl to be placed in the situation that I was.

“I don’t know,” I said. “But I know in my heart it’s what I must do.”

“But the harem will never allow a screaming baby within the confines of their living quarters.”

This was all too true. I could only imagine how Sun would throw a temper-tantrum to outdo all of her previous ones. Nor would any of the other women of the harem for that matter consent to the child living in the harem with me. With this thought in mind, I knew that there was only one course of action I could take. I would have to talk with the Ghan himself. If he said no, then I would escape, somehow, from the yurt, leaving it all behind to escape into the wilderness. Such thoughts scared me, as I had no idea how I or my soon to be born child could survive. Furthermore, I hoped that it wouldn’t come to that. I hoped that Ooglash would grant me my request to raise the child as I saw fit, having my own quarters to raise him in. Such was a stressful moment for me.

 


© Copyright 2019 Jonathan Scott Griffin. All rights reserved.

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