These are the adventures of Merchant Arash Zayed. This episode consists of ten threads of ten tweets, published from October 2022 to February 2023. The story is set in the Persian world of the 1001 nights.
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Merchant Zayed’s Harem Adventures
In praise to our Benevolent Ruler Emir Khalaf ibn Ahmad, we will recount the wondrous life of Arash Zayed, a merchant from Qazwin, his mother, his wives and his concubines. It was many moons that Respected Cyrene, mother to the merchant beseeched her son to find a wife. Many good daughters had she introduced, but none could charm his heart. Thus, she visited Ruksana, the witch who lived just outside town.
“O, my Lady of Wisdom. I come to you in my hour of need. Help me find a wife for my son.”
The blue-eyed witch looked upon Zayed’s mother on her knees before her. “Rise, Cyrene, mother of Arash the merchant.”
‘This is truly a powerful witch’, she thought, hearing her own name.
“Your son has passions deep, yes, “ Ruksana said, “but he is gripped by the demon Aesma: lust fills his loins, but rage pushes all away.”
Cyrene recoiled at the invocation of the ancient religions, but in her heart, she accepted the truth of the witch’s divinations.
Ruksana laid out her Falnama cards of oracles then purified herself in the smoke of perfumed and scented incense.
“I call on the Amesha Spentas, the first spirits of creation for devotion, righteousness, wholeness, desirable dominion, good purpose, holy spirit, and immortality.”
Five cards she opened: Jealousy, Greedy, Migration, the Wakwak Tree and Beast of the Earth.
Cyrene was enraptured by the beauty of the cards and her fear of their meaning.
Ruksana spoke: “The first two are past and present, the third what must happen, the last two, the future.”
“Arash has been angry, jealous and greedy of late,” his mother softly said, embarrassed by her judgement of her son.
The witch’s eyes narrowed: “He must travel to find Gaokerena, the life-giving haoma plant growing near the Tree of All Seeds in the center of the Vourukash Sea.”
“Mother, where have you been!” Arash thundered upon Cyrene’s return. “You have been away for three day! Do you know that the neighbors pity me because of you?! They already laugh at us because we have fewer servants than they. Where were you? Out gallivanting with some suitor?”
Cyrene’s cheeks burned from his cruel scolding. She also remembered what Ruksana had said about him; that he probably was in need of oral satisfaction. Only the witch said it differently. Cyrene gave Arash her rehearsed answer: “My son, the Emir is looking for a wondrous plant.”
“What plant?” the merchant’s asked with greedy eyes.
The story Ruksana told her to memorize was about one of the Emir’s children who had grown ill. He would reward any man who fetched the cure. Because Arash didn’t move in those circles, he couldn’t tell it was not true. Just as the witch predicted, he pounced on the opportunity to gain favor and riches from his ruler. The house of Zayed changed into a whirlwind of preparations for the voyage to the Vourukash Sea. His first task: find a ship in the port of Nowshahr. Arash tightened his jaw.
“There is a small island in the center of the Vourukash Sea,” Captain Nisbad said stroking his beard, “but no one goes there; just birds.”
Merchant Zayed nods. It’s the way that he does that alerts the captain. There is something there and it has to do with money. But what?
After Zayed retired for the night, the captain called in Nazneen. Her dark doe eyes, round hips and full breasts have uncovered many secrets for him. Men would sell their mothers for her. And tonight, Nisbad will know what that merchant is hiding from him. She never disappointed.
Arash Zayed was lying awake. Tomorrow he will sail into the good graces of the emir. He long dreamed about being a merchant for his ruler, advising him on trade, negotiating good prices and acquiring great wealth. Nothing would stop him. A knock on the door interrupts him.
Nazneen threw him a smoldering glance before quickly lowering her eyes. A glance is all she needed. Apologizing for the interruption, she placed a tray with wine and goblets on the dresser. She wriggled her body and felt his gaze burning on her. She bent over picking up a napkin.
Zayed hadn’t felt the touch of a woman in many moons. His manhood rose under the covers. He smiled at her blush. “May I know the name of the heavenly angel serving me my wine?”
“Nazneen, my lord,” she answered shyly. “Is there anything else I can do for you?”
“Yes, my lovely.”
They exchanged the tenderest of kisses, like the wings of butterflies. She smelled of fresh cinnamon and roses. Fayed helped her hand find his stiffness. His own hand found the rim of her blouse and lifted it. He played her nipples like a setar and asked for her lips on his ney. His head was burning with promise when her tongue licked at it. Then she took him in her mouth, folding her lips around her teeth. Zayed lay back deep into the silk pillow. Then he followed the curve of he divine ass towards her slit. She was almost as wet as she had made him.
Only seeing her eyes (she hid her face behind her veil) Zayed felt her warm pussy grip his cock. Nazreen then moved her hips in circles, squeezing and lifting so now and then. She knew he wouldn’t last long. And he didn’t. She pinched her nipples feeling his juice spurt into her.
Arash woke up, Nazreen gently caressing his chest.
“Thank you, my lord,” her tone like honey, “for this wonderful night. I will pray for your safe return.”
She kissed him telling him she hoped his voyage wasn’t too dangerous.
“A plant?” Nisbad asked her later that morning.
“For the emir,” Nazreen answered. “It will make him rich.”
The winds were auspicious, so that the voyage to the small island in the center of the Vourukash Sea was uneventful. That is just how Merchant Zayed liked it. Refreshed by his night with Nazneen, Arash felt the prophet’s kiss on his adventure. Captain Nisbad smiled proudly.
“At dawn, you’ll be able to disembark,” the captain told Zayed, “best not risk it in the middle of the night, my friend.”
Anxious to find the plant, Arash grimaced.
The captain clapped him on the shoulder: “A few hours more won’t make a difference, Zayed.”
Nisbad was right.
Nisbad’s smile fell when the merchant left the galley. In a few hours, he would reach the shore and ride to the emir’s palace and collect the reward. A new ship, some fine clothes, a rich home was what he would buy. The women would follow. Merchant Zayed would be a watery memory.
The night was comfortably warm. Zayed smiled in his sleep, his thoughts with Nazneen. His manhood remembered her as well. He could almost feel her lips on him, her warmth, her touch. His eyelids butterflied open. He even thought he could make out her shape, her hand stroking him. The scent of the sea tickled his nose. His eyes focused. What he saw, made him gasp in wonder. A feminine form was touching him, licking him, nibbling him. Only her legs weren’t legs. A smooth form ended in a big fin. The mermaid looked up and smiled at him, her eyes luminescent. Her breasts were bare, pearl shape with little pink nipples. The mermaid took him in her mouth, making delightful suction sounds. All the while her eyes were looking into his. There was a hint of a smile in them, and a blissful promise. Arash couldn’t tear his gaze away from her. When her tongue started circling his tip, Zayed felt the fountain of his pleasure rising. The mermaid’s hand gently took hold of his balls and kneaded ever so featherlike. Arash was at a loss how to hold the flow of his eruption. And why should he? His cock started stuttering.
“Let me taste you,” the mermaid whispered. A first splash of his juice splattered her face. Her soft, pink lips closed around his cock again. She mmm-d softly as she swallowed his seed.
Zayed willed himself to keep his eyes open, enthralled by his shiny man-goo blotched on her. Catching his breath, Arash absorbed the wondrous creature at his bedside. Her face was round, her skin smooth. Her golden locks were wet and entangled, as if after a tryst. Her eyes were made of stars, twinkling and shining.
“Beautiful lady of the sea. Your beauty overwhelms me.”
The mermaid wiped her face with her tail. Arash had never seen anything as tantalizing as this.
“Thank you for breakfast, human,” she spoke haltingly, “and for not chasing me away. Because you have been so kind, I will warn about the captain on this vessel. Do not trust him.”
Arash Zayed didn’t know what to make of the mermaids warning about Captain Nisbad. Then, his suspicious mind wondered what he might have told the beautiful cabin girl Nazneen. He remembered telling her about the plant for the emir and the riches it would bring him. The memory of Nazneen, her scent of fresh cinnamon and roses, her hand on his stiffness, made his manhood twitch. But there was no time for this now. Zayed needed a plan on how to survive the trip. Most likely, after finding the plant, the captain would leave him behind or worse. He wished that instead of staring at her tail, Zayed could have asked the mermaid what she knew. Normally, he would offer some kind of bargain, but a seat at the emir’s table wasn’t something he could afford. And it was too late to suggest that the plant wasn’t for the emir. Or was it? Maybe he could tell Nisbad it was a lie? Or that Nazneen misunderstood? No. They would know he suspected them and decide to get rid of him anyway. They wanted the plant and there was nothing Arash could do about it. Even if he gave up the plant, his life was in danger.
Could he appeal to Nazneen? No. Arash already knew on which side she was on. Would she willingly participate in his death? It seemed unbelievable, but Zayed had met some terrifying women before. He couldn’t gamble on her sympathy for him. She wouldn’t help him if it meant riches.
Did he have time to seduce her? Would it work? Zayed was sure it wouldn’t. While his mother was always pushing him to get married, Arash knew better. Women could not be trusted, they would always choose for themselves, just like Nazneen, and Captain Nisbad.
‘Think Zayed, think!’
Even if he managed to escape, they would simply get the plant and take it to the emir. How would he escape anyway? He couldn’t swim back to port. No, he was cornered. And the worse thing was that he did it himself. He had to boast about his future fortune to Nazneen. What future?
A knock on the door and Captain Nisbad entered. Only now did Zayed see the short sword on his belt. The merchant in Zayed couldn’t help evaluate it: silver hilt and decorated silver scabbard. This was more than just a seaman’s weapon. Arash felt some consolation in its quality.
“Time to find your plant, Zayed,” Nisbad grinned.
“Plant? What plant?” Arash answered.
“Don’t play me for a fool. You’re looking for a plant for the emir.”
“There must be some mistake. I told Nazneen that I’m looking for a specific shell, captain.”
“What shell?” Nisbad squinted.
“It’s a rare cerith in the shape of a horn shell. It can be ground to a dust and mixed with herbs. It is then cooked into a medicinal tea said to increase a man’s desire and stamina,” Zayed lectured. “Everyone knows the emir isn’t performing his marital duties in his harem.”
Captain Nisbad was sure that Merchant Zayed was up to something. Probably trying to confuse him, or worse, trying to drive a wedge between Nazreen and him. That wouldn’t work. He trusted Nazreen with his life.
“Plant or shell,” he asked her.
“He said plant.” Her tone was decided.
Zayed lifted his hands in front of him. “Look, I’m sorry for the confusion. I may have said plant… I’m sorry. We can look for a special plant and a special shell. If they are rare, you’ll recognize them immediately.”
Arash was careful not to clench his jaw. His gambit didn’t work.
Nazreen suggested they collect all the shells and plants that looked different. The emir would know which one he needed. She believed Zayed. He had no reason to try to cheat them; he had nothing to gain by it. On the contrary, he would invite certain death. Nisbad nodded to her.
It took the crew a few hours to scour the island and collect shells and plants. A lot more than Nisbad had hoped. They laid them all down on the deck of the ship. Nazreen and he looked at all of them and threw the most common ones overboard. He wanted no more than ten of each. Nazreen also observed Zayed for a reaction while Nisbad and she selected the shells and plants. She only noticed him looking at the one shell.
“I think that’s the one,” the merchant said.
They kept five shells.
Looking over the plants, three stood out. It should be one of them. It took Zayed a superhuman effort not to look at the plants, just the shells on the deck. He already knew which plant it was. The Tree of all Seed wasn’t very imposing, neither was the hamoa plant growing near it. The crew almost overlooked them both. It was still on the ship. It was impossible to pick it up without noticing. The only way he could still get his hands on it, was if they threw it overboard. He could come back for it later… if he survived the trip back. Arash liked to think of himself as a shrewd businessman. His life depended on it. In his mind, Zayed picked the most noticeable plant and gave it a quick peek. As he hoped, Nazreen caught him. Even better, she told Captain Nisbad to keep it and four others and threw the haoma plant overboard.
The captain turned to him now. “And what should we do with you?”
“I don’t understand? You have what you want. Just take me back.”
“You could alert the guards,” Nisbad sneered.
“And tell them what? Pirates robbed me of a special shell for the emir?”
The captain thought that sounded weak as well. But he didn’t want to take Zayed back with him. In the end, Nisbad left Zayed behind on the island – alive.
“It could have been worse,” the merchant consoled himself. He even retrieved the haoma plant. Swimming, he would never make it to shore in any direction.
“Do you need some company?” the mermaid asked, her tits swaying.
Arash Zayed couldn’t help peeking down at the mermaid’s nipples. The silver-green scales of her tail faded as it went higher up her body. There were some visible on her sides and just a hint on her breasts. The silvery nubs were eye-catching to him. He heard her soft chuckle.
“It’s alright,” she said, “I haven’t seen many humans from up close either.” Her eyes shown with mirth.
Arash realized he didn’t know her name. He asked.
“Magali,” the mermaid smiled.
She smiled in the sweetest way when he placed his hand on his heart and gave a respectful nod.
“Would you like to taste them,” Magali teased, shaking her breasts.
“Very much!” He realized he would never get an offer like this again. However, he decided to kiss her first. That surprised the mermaid as well.
“You are a kind and generous human,” she said through her lips.
Just like her lips, the mermaid’s nipples tasted salty. Zayed flicked his tongue over the left one. Magali held her breath. He held her right breast in his hand and carefully squeezed that nipple as well. Then he nibbled a bit.
Magali felt an energy pulse shoot down to her hips.
‘Could this be him?’ Magali wondered. The fate of all mermaids is to have a human mate once in their lives. This was their way. This was how they continued their line. She pressed him against her bosom. He was doing wonderful things down there.
‘Yes,’ she decided, ‘this was him.’
Magali pulled Arash into the water. He gasped. Further and further down they went. Zayed struggled to go back up for air, and still she dove deeper. Just when he was sure this was the end for him, the mermaid kissed him. Bubbles tickled into his mouth and refreshed his lungs.
Her lips on his, Magali danced the ritual that had been passed down thousands of years. Her tail transformed into two, her pussy appeared in between.
Arash gave in to the mermaid’s twists and turns. He felt his cock enter a cool tight opening. When it squeezed him, he was lost.
Zayed fondled her breasts, his tongue finding hers. Soft feathers floated in his head, like snow in a mountain blizzard. He held onto her ass cheeks next and thrust into her again and again.
Her eyes looked into his with tenderness, their ballet centered around cock and pussy.
With a last groan, Arash pushed into the mermaid, releasing his jizz. His seed filled her, spurt after spurt.
Both the merchant and the mermaid knew they had sparked new life in her. A blue-pink light flashed before his eyes. And he was certain she saw it as well.
Only when he took a breath of outside air, did Arash remember the tightness on his chest when the mermaid pulled him down. Now, however, a comfortable warmth spread inside him. The ritual done, her tail was whole again. She kissed him goodbye.
Zayed looked at the familiar shore.
“Mother, I have the plant for the emir!” Arash Zayed crowed, entering his home.
Cyrene let go of the breath she had been holding since her son left in search of the magical plant. Unbeknownst to him, the plant was not meant for the emir, but for the seeress Ruksana. She had promised her to use it to find the perfect first wife for Merchant Zayed. It wasn’t that there weren’t enough interested families. Arash simply had no interest in marriage. Gaokerena, the life-giving haoma plant growing near the Tree of All Seeds would change that.
Cyrene could tell her son was too awake and alive to fall asleep soon. He talked of the riches his connection with the emir would bring. ‘He is truly a merchant at heart,’ she concluded. ‘My duty as his mother is to have it open for a woman as well.’ She poured him heavy wine.
Finally, Arash was asleep, breathing heavily. His drunken stupor gave her the opportunity she needed to take the plant.
With Ruksana, she had rehearsed what to tell her son when he woke: “The emir’s men came to collect it. An invitation for Merchant Zayed would follow soon.”
Her son roared when he discovered the plant missing. He opened every bag and every drawer, emptying the contents on the bed and floor. Arash’s cheeks were still rosy from his drink. He calmed when his mother told him what happened. It was the end of the midday, after all. Merchant Zayed wanted to go to the market and boast about his find. Cyrene wasn’t surprised. She was prepared for this. The seeress had foretold it. This was the crucial moment:
“Arash, go see Ruksana,” she suggested softly, “to help you prepare for the meeting.”
Her son nodded.
Zayed almost sneezed at the heavy scent of perfumed incense. A candle stood in each corner of the table. Ruksana’s face shone in their light. Four candles on the back of her chair, cast her shadow in the room. The merchant’s eyes only now noticed the fullness of her breasts.
He held his breath as Ruksana laid out her Falnama cards of oracles.
“I call on the Amesha Spentas, the first spirits of creation for devotion, righteousness, wholeness, desirable dominion, good purpose, holy spirit, and immortality,” the seeress chanted.
His heartbeat quickened.
Her purple eyes captured him. “Only after you have found heart, will you be true to your emir.” Arash had to come closer to hear her, his eyes dipping into her bosom. Orange blossom perfume wafted from her to him.
“I have heart,” he tried to protest.”
“Not a woman’s heart…”
His ride back home was cloudy. No, not outside, the weather was beautiful. Storm, wind, rain swirled through his mind. Arash Zayed knew it could be very easy to find a wife, but not a woman he loved and who loved him for who he was instead of for what he did. Ruksana would help.
Ruksana cooked the Gaokerena, the live-giving plant. It smelled of wet palm leaves. The plant became pasty with the heat. On her table, next to the cauldron, stood a thin figurine of a woman. It could have been a young boy as well, if it weren’t for the small, protruding breasts. Cyrene watched in awe.
“We will bring this figurine to life,” the seeress told her. “It will be his future wife. But you will have to give it your son’s lust.”
Zayed’s mother frowned. What did she know about his interest in women? What if she got it wrong and their plan failed?
Ruksana splatted the pasty plant on the figurine. Her eyes were alight because of the wet sounds it made. A blush appeared on her cheek when the seeress formed big breasts and a round ass. It resembled an ancient fertility statuette. Cyrene felt the heat crawl between her legs. She blushed when Ruksana gazed into her eyes. “Yes, think of lust, think of stiffness of your nipples, think of the wetness of your lips… those lips!”
Cyrene’s cheeks were on fire. The seeress looked straight at her lap.
“You smell good, O mother of Arash Zayed, like fruit.”
Cyrene hid behind her hands. What was this woman saying to her? It was true that one of her friends told her to eat limes, lemons and oranges to smell ‘sweet for your man’. She had kept that diet even though there was no one in her life anymore.
“What about the young gardener?”
Oh gods, the seeress knew!
“Don’t worry, your secret is safe,” Ruksana’s smile was comforting. “Now you have to tell me what woman Arash lusts for. Does he like the swift and dainty deer? The sleek cat? The strong bear? The haughty falcon? Does he want to hunt or be hunted?”
Cyrene listed the women she introduced to her son. They had different figures, but he seemed to like those with broader shoulders with matching breasts and waists. He preferred almond eyes to round or squinting. He smiled at wild, mid-long curls instead of smooth, straight locks. His woman would look like a combination of the carpet merchant’s wife, the garrison commander’s daughter and the gardener’s sister.
The seeress smiled when Cyrene looked up, her eyes shining with hope.
“Make her,” Ruksana whispered, placing the mother’s hands on the wet figurine.
Together they shaped Merchant Zayed’s lust. It was exactly as Cyrene saw her.
“Now you have to tell me about her soul,” Ruksana encouraged. “Does she know her own mind, or must she be directed. Does she play or pray? Does she want him to teach her about her body, or will she?”
It was easier now: the potter’s shrewd wife, the constable’s spirited daughter and the independent apothecary. Arash wants an equal, not a servant. He wants to be challenged, not pampered. And he wants to trade and not command.
And then, Ruksana blew life into the new zambānūg.
Merchant Zayed sat on the veranda overlooking the village of Qazvin. Behind the village Arash saw the Arlburz mountain range with its snow-caped peaks—so massive, that it could be seen from Tehran. The words of Seeress Ruksana weighed heavily upon him: “Not the heart of a woman.”
His mother Cyrene was nervous and sad. The seeress said it was imperative that Arash meet with their zambānūg within five days, otherwise their creation would turn back to dust. It was up to Cyrene to arrange the meeting. Ruksana could not see if he would be convinced to do so.
Cyrene’s sadness stemmed from her deceit to her son. She had prayed for a wife, because he would have none. In an act of desperation, they had built one for him: a zambānūg they called Rohzin. If not the deception, there was a murder. Rohzin’s destruction would break her heart.
“What did the seeress foretell you, Arash?” She asked her son, already knowing the answer.
“I think Ruksana and you are working together, mother…”
Cyrene’s heart froze.
“You both want me to have a wife,” he said with a wry smile.
“The seeress is wise, Arash. heed her words.”
“You introduced me to every woman you could think of, from far and wide. I want none of them. How will I be able to present myself to the emir now?” Cyrene thought she had taught her son too well. Other men would marry for wealth’s sake. Arash wanted to truly love his first wife.
“What else did the seeress say?”
“Nothing more.” Arash looked at the mountain range, his thoughts traveling the distance. Cyrene wanted to tell him about Rohzin, but instinctively decided not to. She was angry with herself for playing with his emotions. She hoped it would work.
“You always liked the carpet merchant’s wife.”
“Yes. But I’m not going to kill her husband, if that’s what you’re suggesting?”
Cyrene was hurt that he could even think that.
He gave her a pained look. “My apologies, Mother. I spoke in desperation.”
She nodded. He’s almost there.
“And the apothecary…”
“Everyone knows she will never marry. Her love is for other women. She doesn’t even hide it.”
“So, if I find a woman like those two, you might finally meet your destiny.”
Arash wanted to laugh at how his mother said ‘destiny’ in capital letters. He didn’t. But it was. It was part of his destiny now. His riches depended on finding a fitting wife. The practical thing to do was to marry one of the good women in Qazvin. His friends told him that if he didn’t like his first wife, he could always marry another. Arash couldn’t do it.
Cyrene looked at how her son worked his way through his thoughts. In the meantime, she conceived a simple plan for an encounter between Arash and Rohzin. She hastened back to Ruksana to put it in motion. Listing what she needed, the most difficult would be to secretly buy a cart.
Descending, Arash tied his caftan. His servant told him a visitor was asking for his help. When he came outside, he saw a wonderful woman’s bottom. She was bending over the wheel of her cart. Her pants were yellow, her robe was orange—just like his!—and her cotton belt was white.
When she heard him arrive, she turned to him. Curly brown hair, happy amber eyes, and a wide mouth with pink lips and rosy cheeks. Her body was plump and strong: the combination of the carpet merchant’s wife and the apothecary.
“Forgive me for appearing unannounced, Master,” the woman said. Her voice was soft and decided. She was used to being listened to. “My cart is rattling in a dangerous way, and I respectfully request your assistance in mending it.”
Arash’s eyes looked up from her deep neckline. She blushed a bit and closed her robe.
“Mistress, please come out of the sun. I’ll send a servant to fetch the cart maker.”
“Thank you. I will pay for the repairs myself, of course.”
Arash clapped his hands, ordered a jug of Sekanjabin syrup and invited his visitor to sit down.
Time flew during their conversation. Merchant Zayed had never met a woman like Rohzin before. She was also a merchant. He wasn’t surprised—and very happy—that she wasn’t married. His heart swelled when she accepted his invitation to stay the night. The repairs weren’t done yet.
After dinner, she took his hand. In her rooms, she kissed him. Her lips pressed hard against his. Then they slipped open and the tip of her tongue slid into his mouth. She undressed him, and then Rohzin kneeled in front of his cock. It needed little coaxing to stand up for her.
Her hand fondled his balls. Arash held her shoulders and closed his eyes. He looked down into her eyes, pushing away thoughts of Nazreen or Magali. He wanted a perfect image of Rohzin’s face, her bosom, her full figure—everything that made her the woman who captured his heart.
Arash pushed her down on the bed. He kissed his way along her generous thighs to her curly bush. Her pink blossom flower peeked through it. Rohzin had delicately sucked his cock. He would devour her pussy, then stop, then lick some more until she begged for her release. She did. He kissed her ample breasts. Then, he pushed his stiffness into her. Rohzin gasped. She grabbed his ass and pulled him as far as he could go. Her cheeks grew redder and redder as he pumped into her with vigor. Her nipples stiffened, her pussy churned. His jizz geysered into her.
Arash helped Rohzin up onto her cart and held onto to her hand a bit longer. She smiled.
“Is there something you wish to ask me, Merchant Zayed?”
His cheeks warm, he smiled back.
“When will I see you again, Merchant Rohzin?”
Through her window, Cyrene looked at the happy couple.
The End of Season 1
Read Episode 1 Season 2 here.
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