He perched on the leather seat of Mubashir’s flying car. It kept drooling, moving up and down. The one Zulfiqar had was more comfortable than this one.

‘Shall we go?’ asked Mubashir.

Zulfiqar nodded.

They sprinted through the bazaars of Manoolia. People kept looking at the sky and children raced through the narrow alleys. Running and jumping over the sacks of wheat. Not many could afford flying cars by that time. Up in the air, Zulfiqar felt like Aladin on his flying carpet with his genie Mubashir, headed to take a treasure that no one dares to dig out.


 

People were gathered, chattering and muttering things.

‘One more fool’ said a man in shaky voice. He was old and wore a dhoti with formal shirt, buttons closed up to neck.

Children were snaking their way from the crowd to see something they only heard in stories.

He lurked out from the hovering car and stood in the center. He saw himself going down, but felt nothing. He saw people and children with foods in their hands, which reminded him of his family. But he was determined to see beneath. He had made a deal with Mubashir. If he doesn’t come out of the quick sand, Mubashir would feed his family.

Mubashir hovered his car up in the air and saw him sinking. He was silent like a falcon, and stared like an owl in the night. From his armor and mail, one could see his glinting eyes that now stared at the ground.

It took not more than three minutes for the soil to almost vanish him. His torso was still out when he felt the pressure increasing on his legs. The armor stopped the soil touching his body and blocking the blood passage. But when he tried to move his legs, he felt like he was in concrete. He saw in the air and couldn’t find Mubashir. Gone. Didn’t even say farewell to his favorite student.

He started to move his hands, throw away the soil he could. But now, it was of no use. Crowd started to disperse and people started to mutter again. The old man was gone too. When he was about to vanish and he could only see a little boy with his sinking eyes, he realized what his real treasure was.

It was his family, his treasure that he now lost.


 

Zulfiqar opened his eyes in a new world. Before him were the steel sections of halberds and holding them were the knights wearing attires akin to his. Mail was removed, hands were cuffed. On a human driven cart, he rattled under a sky less world.

He was presented before a queen. She had hip-length golden hair and hazel blue eyes that had a peculiar shine in it. Her teeth were milky white and even. She wore a pink cloak that her servants holstered in air.

‘Who are you with this old golden attire’ she said with a light grin and lifted her chin up with pride.

‘Zulfiqar, my lady’ he said. ‘Am I dead?’ he asked. His mind churned with things that didn’t make sense.

The court riposted with a light laugh and queen frowned at the disorder. She lifted her hand up and with a single gesture, there was pin-drop silence in the court. It felt like being in a room of carcasses.

‘You’re from the other world. You come here for the treasure like many came before.’ She said and lifted up from her royal sitting. ‘And, you shall face the same fate like people before you had’

Hail to the queen chanted the court.

Zulfiqar stood silent and looked down in disdain. He regretted the decision of coming here in a world he had never imagined. Digging out the treasure and coming to the world he had never heard of were two different things.

‘I sentence you to death’ she said.

The queen took her cloak and clenched it in her hand. She galloped away from the row of people chanting the queen. Their hands were in the air and heads bowed down.

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