Beyond The Beaded Curtain
By Valerie Muriel Mckinley
Published: August 18, 2008
Updated: August 18, 2008

The Malaysian woman stood in the doorway of her small, spotless flat, a smile deepening the lines on her already wrinkled face.
She beckoned me closer. I hesitated, uncertain, I had heard strange things about her. Her smile broadened, her small head nodding slightly as she persistently motioned me forward.

Finally I advanced, she stepped aside indicating I should enter, my heart beat faster as I did her bidding, I turned, watching her fasten the door behind us.

She pointed to a back room beyond a beaded curtain, it was dimly lit, I became conscious of a sweet pungent fragrance emanating from within.

My head began to swim, I was faintly aware of moving slowly towards the swaying beads, I could discern the high reedy hypnotic sound of oriental music. Blackness came upon me like a giant raven smothering me with its all encompassing wings.

Alertness was slow in returning, I couldn’t perceive anything familiar; all was mysterious, my body felt light, cool in fact it felt good. I looked down and saw I was wearing the loveliest silken sarong I had ever seen. I touched its softness and liked the feel.

“You are truly beautiful my wife”

I stiffened at the sound of the deep voice, I turned to the direction it came from and saw a handsome man similarly attired to me only his sarong was of a plainer cloth but still a rich silk. His dark features appraising me with love. He reached out a hand taking my smaller one into his. Gold rings adorned my fingers. He was speaking again in an exotic tongue; yet I understood his every word

I had a compelling need to look at my reflection, as if he had divined my wish he produced a mirror, I looked at the likeness staring back, fear spiking for an instant. What had happened to my blue eyes, my mousey hair? who was this almond eyed beauty gazing back at me with hair softer than black velvet?

The rustle of my husband removing his sarong sent all other questions fleeing from my thoughts