Novel excerpt from”Dervish”, by Leila Samarrai


He had learned the secrets of the universe from the manuscript itself, and had felt the tones in the best of his fingertip muscles.

The sound of winds and leaves whooshed through the plain through which the Brentariver ran, meandering the old sandy loam soil. Why it was this particular heath not moistened and not watered by rain that Gennardo Schiavone chose to write his new opera, “The Temptation of Don Salvatore”, would become clear if the traveler made three quivering steps on the dry soil, one of hard ossified structure.

After the last fiasco he went through performing the concert for piano and strings “The Espresso Variant on the Subject of Death of Saint Vitalis” in the Italian Center of Culture and the intransigent criticism at the “La Creazione”, Gennardo decided to find the musical solution for the probable salvation and continuation of his music career in the heart of the Great Heath.

„Now, wasn’t it He who went to the desert to know… that, in the wasteland of life, here, under this tree may my body be as the one of the Savior, and may the menace itself visit me, to engender within me a sacred tone…” – Gennardo piously mumbled and the moment he thought of this, he spotted the Dervish emerging from the fog, with a kaval in his hand.

– This isn’t a kaval – the Dervish said, reading his thoughts. – It is a ney..Karghytuiduk, an instrument of wind.The oldest instrument in the world.

“He uses a ney. A Crooked Pan.. Whatever did he do to him?”

– The devil had changed his garb since time immemorial, but the truth is that an Arabic fashion chic coming from a Catholic was not something I expected. O how my bitter salas played at the expense of this poor shepherd – the insides of his carotid arteries were overcome by darkened terror for a moment, which made his neck bulge up and his body stiffen, while he sat, perfectly calm, under the tree and as his head was encircled, halo-like, by the tops of Northern Apennines. A hum of the sea was heard in the distance.- Have you ever heard of him? – the Sufi asked, using his free hand to scratch himself on his mohair.

– I have.

– And have you played him? And what are you hanging on that hillock for – the Dervish spoke nervously whose appearance still largely confused Gennardo considering his height which overshadowed the tree of Gennardo’s hillock and his lush blonde hair.
– It doesn’t match the goat-hair cloth. He doesn’t even look Italian. Which shepherd could this be?

Gennardo shook his head, somewhat calmer, as if a thousand honorable forces presently included him in the congregation of good spirits.

to be continued….

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2 thoughts on “Novel excerpt from”Dervish”, by Leila Samarrai

  1. Leila,

    I just can`t wait for my retirement, to have enough time to immerse in Your writings; It`s absolutely stunning.
    And, for that matter, I don`t want to read `Mathilde` partially; I`ll wait for the whole treat.

    Go get`em, gurl!

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