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Dhikr circleA dimly lit flame danced atop a candle in the evening breeze. It was all that separated those in the gathering from complete darkness on that moonless night. The Storyteller seemed to float above the fog-covered ground, taking a seat in front of his already captivated audience. Four young men, or perhaps they would be called boys in our world, settled themselves in anticipation of the fable that was about to be woven into their minds like a loom that slowly gives birth to a new exquisite rug.

“Where is Nestor?” the Storyteller unexpectedly grumbled.

One of the young men, Elian, pointed into the misty eastern darkness. “He is in the tower, preparing for a test. He wanted you to know he’s sorry he could not make it tonight.”

“If only he had known,” remarked the Storyteller.

“Known what, Storyteller?”

“The story of Babak, the lost dervish.”

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