Stranger in Strange Lands I
The dust and dirt of a hundred kingdoms powdered the smooth, yet tough feet of the Master as he walked down the road. His stride was even and measured, almost slow. His gait was rolling and easy, as if he were striding across a suspended rope bridge or the deck of a heavily masted clipper. With each step, the dust below his feet billowed out in soft reverberating puffs, and his large footprint remained in stark contrast to the untrod earth around it.
In front of the Master the road stretched lazily and long toward a bustling city in the valley below. On the hill behind it, a large palace stretched defiantly across the horizon. The sunlight gleamed off its marble walls and the blue background of the sky framed as if from a painting. The beauty of the palace, the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the city and its eagerly scurrying inhabitants did not escape the Master's notice, but neither did they command his attention.
The Master, it seemed, consumed each sight upon looking and internally metabolized it just as his eyes alighted on the next scene. As the Master neared the city, the voices of her denizens washed over him like waves over pebbles in stream. And to the Master, the sounds were equally intelligible. The Master sighed. In this city, he would be a stranger, again.
As the Master entered the city, he passed stalls in a market, blank eyed thralls trudging from work to home and back, thin and long-legged concubines in flowing colorful dresses with thin golden choke collars, old bent men with heavy beards and covered heads, dirty dogs covered in the same dirt and dust as the master's feet, lazy cats lounging on window sills and in the shadows of doorways. The Master stopped by an open window and listened to the sounds coming from the house. He closed his eyes and listened.
Soft cooing mixed with softer moaning. He heard heavy breathing and gentle sucking. The Master smiled. He lifted his head slightly to catch the scent in the air. Almost tangy, almost sweet, salty and heady. The Master lingered longer by the window, and though it was too high for him to see inside, his mind's eye watched the two women lying together naked on the soft bed. Their bodies intertwined and their hands clasped tightly as their hungry mouths closed atop one another and their tongues met and twisted inside. He could see their soft full lips brushing against now a neck, then a nipple, and planting kiss after kiss on smooth bellies until they ventured lower to kiss those sweeter lips. The Master smiled, and again sighed as he walked away from the house.