i was riding last night, on my way from a wedding. You see, i have two jobs, I am the brides preparer, and the wedding bands henna artist. Both jobs are left to widows. See a widow is ill fortune, and thus only she is immune to other ill fortunes. for example, in preparing the bride, I must wash her feet, the feet touch the ground and ar e often bare, so a djinn could easily seep through the sand and enter through her feet. The middle of the sole is a soft spot, where (like the palm of the hand or the soft spot on a baby's head) an evil djinn could easily enter and steal the soul of the victim! They often chose their victims by beauty, so that they can attract other victims to feed their children. but djinns can easily be protected against by rubbing those spots with salt and a hard stone called a "maj'heed." However, few are brave enough to touch this spot and risk possession themselves. But I am a widow am immune. What djinn would want to be carried by one whose misfortune bars her from society! It is my duty to wash the bride's feet with salt and rub it with the maj'heed. of course, not all of the guests are so fortunate as to be washed for protection,so as the henna artist, i paint the quests even in the ports for Djinns, often with words of protection. I paint in a circle, weavingg out ancient words, Durum, Dekem, Dalam. They begin and end with the same letters and follow the same voweld, so a djinn will be woven in circles untill it cannot enter its victim. I may not henna my hands at a festival, although i may when on my own.
As i rode to my encampment, the markings on my hands almost looked like henna, and i could only smile. i have marked on my hands, feet and head, all my ports, the signs that a widow must bea. They were branded from my husbands cremation fire. They are they marks of my religion, to protect my from further misfortune. I bit my lip and cried when my father-in-law applied them, but now I am grateful, I never need to worry as i walk barefoot in the desert, and upon this realization i started dancing and singing under th moon, yelling "leyli haii leyli! Te Majda!!!!" Night, night, thank you. for only Leyli, night, the goddess of the moon and women, could have offered my such thoughts as i rode home, the party behind me.