THE GREAT RUBY OF CONSTANTINOPLE

At the dawn of the Second Millennium, when Constantinople was ruled by the Empress Theodora, a ruby was procured from the deepest mine of the region; a ruby so ethereal that it was said even the blind were entranced by it.

It was declared too beautiful for anyone but the royalty to see, and so it was placed within The Great Palace of Constantinople, where only Theodora and her court could gaze upon it. 

Being the most valuable object in the world, it is understandable that an assortment of thieves should attempt to steal it. It is here that we come to a man named Bahadir, who on one Arabian night found himself dangling off the palace parapets.

It cannot be said how he managed to find himself in that situation. It was said that it was impossible for any thief to hope to scale the mighty palace walls. However, Bahadir was no ordinary thief.  It should come as a surprise that a man so popular and well-liked should even follow the path of ignominious crime in the first place.

Bahadir had five beautiful daughters who he loved and cherished dearly. Many men told him that to have no male heir was shameful beyond comparison, and that he should divorce his wife immediately, yet Bahadir would not listen. He loved his wife, and he loved his daughters, and with them he managed to bake the most popular bread in the bazaar.  

That’s right; this thief was a baker! He could always be seen roaming the crowded streets, selling his bread to passer-bys while keeping his own eyes open for rare and valuable items.  

One such item was a mysterious elixir procured from the local apothecary. It was said that the very instance one sniffed it, it would completely drown their senses and they would fall into a deep sleep. It was made for the insomniacs of Constantinople, yet Bahadir saw no problem with using it so subdue the various guards on patrol.

From there he traipsed over to the ceiling sealing the ruby within the palace. He was directly above the Great Hall, where, if his sources were correct, the ruby lied upon a marble pedestal upon a luminescent marble floor. The reason the floor was luminescent was because of a large hole in the ceiling, designed to let sunlight and moonlight in. One could not deny the beauty of this feature, but its security hindrance proved to be quite bothersome for the royalty.

The palace was simply too easy to break into, which may explain why, while he was slowly abseiling downwards, Bahadir found himself crashing into the ground, having fallen twenty feet to a broken right leg. As he stifled his screams, so as to not alert the outside guards, he looked up at the ceiling, where he saw a man untying his rope. Bahadir had already said his final prayers when he realised that this man was not a guard, but another thief; just as cunning, yet marginally slower, than Bahadir.

Bahadir chastised himself for the foolishness of the whole ordeal. At this moment he valued his livelihood far more than the ‘Iris of Allah’ resting a few feet from him. Nonetheless, he placed it in his pouch and set off to escape.

After quickly creating a makeshift cast out of tightly wound rope, Bahadir set off to escape. He proved to be a surprisingly fast hobbler, and much to his amazement, hobbled right out the front gates to safety.

When Bahadir returned to his family he showed his daughters the ruby. He told them that even though they were a humble family of bakers, they could experience the same beauty as the Empress of Constantinople. Listening to the newsreader in the plaza, Bahadir discovered the reason he so easily escaped.

The guards were busy interrogating the thief found prowling the palace ceiling. 

 

Austin Bond 

(Please provide constructive criticism via comments. Thank you!) 

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