Sûrah VIII
"They only are the true believers whose hearts feel fear when Allah is mentioned."


Nightmare One:

Dark. I am made naked in transgression of the Law. Hands touch my body. Rude; so rude, this brand of wayward touching. I feel shame. I cannot see, but these are manly hands that pinch and prod and maul me. Disrespectful are their gropes. They tilt me back. The slab is cold. Its marble hard and doubtless polished. I imagine my reflection, as both wrists are seized, both ankles pulled, by brutal force, apart. I have not known a man, or any carnal trespass on my person, thus I shrink from what foreshadows violation. There is light! It cannot penetrate the blindfold, yet I sense it. Almost taste it. Kerosene, I smell, and incense. Also sweat; it is my own. I sweat from fear on hearing stropping sounds—a blade applied to leather. Allah's Scabbard must hang empty. Allah's Sword, unsheathed, is sharp. I hear it sizzle with The Dousing. I grow tense, attempt to struggle. But the strength of those who pin me down surpasses mine. How I quake! The invocation: "Sword of Allah be thy Husband" is recited. It offends my very hearing. It molests my sex. IMPALED! I must awaken; I cannot! The pain is searing, raw, unspeakable. TAKE IT OUT! I scream without the breath to give my outburst voice. The blade withdraws but tenders no relief, its damage irreversible. "Bride of Allah's Sword thou art now" is confirmed—my innocence slain.