Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Staff of Musa

Allah has vouchsafed the power of his Rod only three times in history. We were godless fools the first time, fresh out of Eden, using it to cross Bab-el-Mandeb with less understanding of its might than if it had been an ape’s walking stick. The second time the prophet Musa was given the power of the staff, both to invite the pharaoh to accept God’s divine message as well as to help the Israelites escape Egypt. But the staff was wasted on the Jews as they were unwilling to fight the Canaanites once they reached the Promised Land.

“After the prophet’s death, the staff was moved to Jerusalem. Many comers then tried to get their hands on it but all were denied even the chance to shift it from the stone where it lay entombed. The third and last time Allah bestowed the power of his staff was on the 13th-century Muslim Sultan Baybars, who was allowed to remove it from Jerusalem, as it was otherwise destined for the hands of Frankish barbarians. He placed it in a nondescript box, and took it to the Land of Punt where it was reburied in the desert. And there it has remained, hidden away under the sands of time…”

Excerpt from the first draft MS for PIRATES (Cutting Edge Press) © Greg Cummings