Chapter 3- The Flight

Chapter 3- The Flight

The Queen smelt the whiff of Neroli and promised to remember for love is most recalled from the scent of shared secret more than anything else. He gave her a bottle of neroli which she brought with her back to her room. Each night she would place a dash of it on her delicate white wrists and visit Philtre in his chambers where they would make love and make plans to escape. He would bribe another soldier to take them out of the palace and from there they were to travel on foot towards the nearest town where they were to buy camels for their journey far, far away from the King. Philtre kissed his beloved on the forehead and told her to meet him tonight again for the flight from the palace.

The Queen dressed simply and brought nothing but the bottle of neroli in her pocket. She was about to leave when the odalisque came to ask her where she was going. In haste, she made the mistake of telling her consort that she was to leave the palace with Philtre.

The odalisque, who knew she was next in succession as the Queen, smiled in pretense of making the other feel as though everything would be alright. After the Queen left, she summoned presence with the King and whispered to him the Queen’s decision to leave.

All sorts of emotions surged through the King who had no idea but for an instant realized who he had just lost. The loss of the Queen made him jealous and embarrassed if it were to be known she had left him for an upstart, an alchemist no less.

Immediately, he summoned his soldiers and best, fastest horses to catch up on the lovers who were now, he surmised, in the desert, on foot.

They found the tracks of the Queena and the alchemist for they had brought dogs to follow the scent of the Queen’s dress. There were two pairs of footprints. They seemed labored and in haste. In truth, she told Philtre that she told the odalisque that she left with him and this made Philtre acutely aware of the tenuous situation they were possibly in because he, of all people, knew the succession of the women of the harem. These women talked when with him for they flirted with him and talked beyond their drunkenness and the opium they inhaled which loosened their tongues and made them feel sensuous. He listened but never fell for any of them. He never realized that this would finally be important to know in the final moments of their life.

They hastened their walk. He tried to lift her on his back and he had to tell her that the King is tailing them by now. The Queen agreed to saddle on his back. Finally, weary of awareness of their fateful end, he brought her down and looked deep into her eyes which held the stars and moon above. He kissed her forehead and pulled out the bottle of Neroli. They were about to drink the Neroli scent for its toxicity which would end them and save them the fate of being killed tortuously by the King when a strong gust of wind blew and turned them to dust.

The King followed their trail and as soon as the soldiers found out that the footprints had disappeared, he was informed and he slapped the soldier for how could the footprints disappear unless there was a powerful sandstorm and there was not.

The lovers simply disappeared.

The King had the nearby towns ransacked and searched but the lovers were simply gone.

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