Izdihar woke in a small bedroom in the second tallest tower and wept as the previous day’s events came flooding back to her.

            Her situation could hardly have been worse. Father was gone. Sayyid had vowed to kill him if he ever returned to the city. She couldn’t bear the thought that she might never see him again. And that was assuming he made it across the desert to civilisation with his injuries. Faruq was in the prison, which was now completely in Sayyid’s control. And everyone in the city was now at the mercy of the unscrupulous new king.

            How had everything gone so wrong? If only her father hadn’t had to have that fight with Sayyid. He had done it to avoid a full-scale battle with Sayyid’s guards, she knew, but maybe, even though Basir’s most loyal guards were locked up, if enough of the people were willing to fight they would have been able to overpower them. She thought of the crowd in the square. They would have massively outnumbered Sayyid’s men. But Basir hadn’t wanted anyone else to get hurt. He had taken a gamble, and it hadn’t paid off. It hurt to think how he had just left her like that, turned his back and walked away with barely a word. She could still see in her head the look in his eyes in those last few moments. They were full of pain, regret and despair. How was he, right now? She was assaulted by awful visions of him sprawled on the ground, blood seeping out into the sand. She forced them away and went over to the window.

            She was lower down than she was used to, maybe a couple of floors down from the top of Sayyid’s tower, and was looking out in the opposite direction to her balcony. She could barely remember being taken here. She had still been in such a daze after what had happened that she had barely cared where she was being taken. She had been given a drink which must have made her fall asleep.

            She went to the door. It was locked, as she had expected. Why was Sayyid doing this? What could he want with her now?

            She sighed and sat down on the bed. She would just have to wait.


The End

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