Synopsis: The Qaraq

Sahara Fleming, suburban housewife and Arabic scholar, is having disturbing visions of a Red Isle Goddess harboring a grudge, and a 4th Century Persian orgy.  Being four months pregnant and married to a volatile stockbroker doesn’t help.  Using secretive and mysterious means, a circle of her neighbors, the qaraq, reveals images linked to hers, draws Sahara into its clandestine meetings, and claims that the visions are memories of past lives.  Enthralled, Sahara begins piecing together the intricate puzzle of the qaraq’s karmic history.  For example, her husband Amar has been her Red Isle God-brother, an assassin in the Persian harem, and a cantankerous Arctic wind messing with her desert wind’s climate pattern.  No wonder she can’t escape his dramas!  Reviving her marriage with the dark, seductive fables, Sahara incenses Amar with her divided loyalty between him and the secret society.  She must either quit the marvelous group or give up her family.  Can she preserve her wits when she uncovers the ultimate secret of her past lives?

2 Responses to Synopsis: The Qaraq

  1. Steve,
    In the worlds list in the front of 1001 the Red Isle instrument is said to be Vaalat, yet in the story it’s called the dyxlo-dxyla? Are these words/names synonomous? I haven’t come across Vaalat so far. It’s a fine story – just not sure if I missed something.


    • Jerry,

      Thanks for the detailed questioning of names and characters; that’s the kind of reader I love! Simply answered, Vaalat is the name of one of Verle’s incarnations, who you meet in Ch 74, and which is a xylophone. At that point, the name of his mallet instrument is called the xalaphon. If you named your instrument Daisy, the analogy would be Daisy/xylophone = Vaalat/xalaphon. Mallet aficionado that you are, you’ll recognize xalaphon as a cross between xylophone and balafon, the African ancestor of the marimba and xylophone. Similarly, the xalaphon is an ancestor to the dxylo-dxyla, which preceded it by a few centuries in 1001’s mythology. A bigger answer is that there are many incarnations in the series of an Instrument archetype, in this period it’s mallet instruments, but at other times it’s intelligent Instruments with a variety of keyboards.

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