A Tale of Two Times

Summary: Cammie is your normal, slightly insane teen. That is, until she gets this whacked out dream that transports her to a different time… and the Crown Prince of Whatever (she can't pronounce the name) decides to fall in love with her. Uh oh?

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Chapter 6 –Mister Just Bob!

June 21, 2006

All right! Sakana's left (again), and this time, she's left me with food that doesn't look like a pile of undead carcasses.

I'm serious. First, she left me with this pile of wrinkly brown stuff that looks like dried poo (I'm laying off on the "obscenities" for the good of the delicate little "whores") and smelled weird, like really sickly sweet or whatever.

For the second meal, she left me with this really thick pita bread thingie that they call nan, and it was actually okay, but it was really dry and made me want a whole Arrowhead water bottle thinga. Except there wasn't any.

Then, they gave me this kind of gravy with more of the nan. The gravy was really thick and spicy, with something like lentils in it. I tried dipping some of the nan in the gravy thingie, like chips and salsa, and it tasted okay, but it was really spicy and left my throat feeling like it was burning. I swear, I think I cried.

Anyways, the rest of the water they've given me, although really, really hot and dusty-feeling (is that possible?), was filling. Which was totally great, I'm telling you, since I'm ate the rest of the food like a bird. But (sorry, Cath drummed this fact into me) birds eat a lot, compared proportionately to their body weight, so I guess that saying's not really correct.

Going on, the meal today was okay. Or decent, at least. The water was actually clean, this time, and actually really cool. Shish-kabobs, they've finally realized that I'm human and I need good food. Cue face-splitting grin of relief. And there was some bread to dip in camel milk or goat milk or whatever (do camels even make milk?). Going on… The bread wasn't stale or moldy or dry. It was dampish and soft and light and airy. But, you know, not float-y or whatever.

And while I was pigging out on the bread and milk (which tasted almost as good as shish-kabobs, which are not a food, but shikh-kabobs, but anyways), Tatanope paid me a visit. You know, the guy that freed me from the cursed old-sock-tasting-rag-stuffed-in-my-mouth.

Me: ''Hi.''

Tatanope: ''A-salaam-mua-alakum.''

Me: ''What is it with you guys and saying that all the time?''

Tatanope (sounding real apologetic): ''That is the way our people greet one another.''

Me (feeling really stupid): ''Oh.''

Tatanope: ''I suppose a foreign country's traditions might be different and frightening to a stranger.''

Me: (thinking) Boy, did he get that right.

Tatanope: ''Well, I suppose I should leave now…''

Me: ''NOOOOOO ! DON'T ! PLEASE ! THIS PLACE IS SO BOOORING!''

Tatanope: (grinning) ''Make me feel appreciated, then.''

Me: ''You're cruel. You know that?"

Tatanope: "That is why I am part of the king's guard."

Me: "Yeah, sure. You guys just had to send me to a country full of vindictive old assholes."

Tatanope: Looking very surprised.

Me: "What?"

Tatanope: "I am just not used to hearing females curse. Especially those of the Prince's harem."

Me: "Excuse me? Did you just say I was part of the Crown Prince of Whatever's harem?"

Tatanope: "I believe so."

Me: "I am sooo NOT a concubine or a whore or a wench or a slave or property, 'kay? We got that clear?"

Tatanope: (amused) "Crystal, missus. But, doubtless what you say, the Prince's word is law, as is the King's, and both have decreed that you are part of the Prince's harem, so, of course, you are."

Me: (resigned) "Whatever. Path of least resistance. If I'm part of the Prince's harem, why don't I get decent food? I mean, shish-kabobs, I'm not a horse."

Tatanope: "But you are given decent food, which is quite yummy, might I add. You are the envy of every village girl."

Me: "Well, I sure don't feel like it. What kind of pita bread did you give me in the first place? And the dates and gravy made me choke."

Tatanope: "Count your blessings. We guards get only some rice and holy water to last us through the day."

Me: "No kidding? That's only a meal a day!"

Tatanope: "That is a guard's life."

Me: "Wow, I feel so sorry for you."

Tatanope: (uncomfy-looking) "Well, let me tell you about Saudi Arabiana."

Me: "Sure! I mean, shish-kabobs, I'm real curious about this place."

Tatanope: Looking strangely at me.

Me: "You know, not this mud room adobe house palace thingie, but the place, in general. You know, the country?"

Tatanope: Nods. "You have such strange mannerisms, and you are so different and outspoken."

Me: Rolling eyes. "So I've been told. Wow, this place is getting me really grim and sarcastic. I'm starting to act like a mix of Fabiah and Rita."

Tatanope: "I won't even ask who they are. The main exports of Saudi Arabiana are frankincense, myrrh, and oil."

Me: "Oh, come on, Tatanope. Don't turn this into a freakin' history lesson."

Tatanope: "How do you know my name?"

Me: "You know, while you guys had gagged me, you were saying Arbritan and Tatanope and whatever."

Tatanope: "But I thought Arbritan had told you that our names were not Arbritan, Tatanope, and Afarka."

Me: "And you expected me to believe him? Holy shish-kabobs, I might be ditzy, but I'm not plain stupid."

Tatanope: "That is strange. Most wenches—I mean women—are stupid and dumb and have no formal schooling at all."

Me: Giving infamous death glare. That's why Tatanope had broken off at wenches. Ha.

Tatanope: "Oh, my, look at how the sun has flown! It is my shift already!"

Me: "NOOOOO! DON'T LEAVE! IF YOU HAVE ANY DECENCY AT ALL, DON'T LEAVE!"

Tatanope: Grinning and leaving, that little treacherous coward.

You may be wondering why I was so desperate for Tatanope's company. Well, you'd be too if the only company you'd had for a day and longer was a wacky woman who was a few sandwiches short of a picnic (if you get my meaning). I'm sure you understand, Just, seeing as how Sakana, the wacky woman, is constantly trying to burn you or my suck-y ballpoint. Yeah, I'm gonna call you "Just" from now on. After all, your first name is Just, and your last is Bob. Mr. Bob! Mister Just Bob! Are you in trouble now! Sorry, I was just trying out a nagging "mothering" accent with your full name, like how mothers say your full name when you're in trouble…

Yeah. Going on.

Shish-kabobs, my hand's exhausted. It gets that way after you've been scribbling for who knows how long.