Голубой скарабей

The Blue Scarab

Дженни Дули (Jenny Dooley)



Monica noticed the gift shop, because of the beautiful colours round its door and window. She walked through its entrance which had a sign above it. On the sign, the word Cairo was written in bright yellow, orange and green colours, with small black figures dancing beside it.

Inside, it was just as colourful. Large animals made of paper, painted in very bright colours, hung from the ceiling. The floor had a yellow-brown sand colour to it, and the shelves held vases, plates, boxes, musical instruments and jewellery Monica had never seen before.

No one seemed to be in the shop; not a salesperson or a customer. Light Arab music came from a stereo Monica could not see, but she moved with its sound as she looked at all the wonderful objects in the shop. She saw a blue stone on a gold necklace which looked interesting. Drawn in the centre of the stone there was something which looked like a large round beetle, with thin legs and thick antennae coming from its head.

"It's an Egyptian scarab."

The woman's voice surprised, then frightened Monica. She almost dropped the necklace.

"I'm sorry I didn't know anyone was here."

"It's okay, my dear. I knew you would be here. Come. Come."

The woman took Monica's arm and led her behind the sales counter to a small area where there was a round table and two chairs. It was dark because cloth the colour of sand, with dark patterns, hung from the walls and ceilings. It was almost closed off from the rest of the shop by a curtain, so most of the light came from a few candles set around the room. It was like a small cave from somewhere far away.

"Sit. I've made us some tea, black tea; the tea of judgement."


"Yes. The tea leaves tell us about a person's entire life. Some of us have done things we wish we hadn't. Some of us haven't done things we wish we had. Some of us are messengers. Some of us are waiting for the message."

The woman wore a piece of red cloth tied around her head. It hid the colour of her hair. Her eyes were large and dark. They became larger when she talked. As Monica sat at the table, she realised she still had the necklace in her hand.

"This stone is quite beautiful. I've never seen anything like it."