First appeared in talk.bizarre, July 1997
A great many unusual people may be seen in the marketplace of Damascus on any hot summer day, but the Adept was definitely out of the ordinary. She strode, alone and proud, though the crowd which parted unconsciously. Foreigners have written that one veiled woman looks like any other, but even the quality of the material of Fatima's veil distinguished her from the rest. The locals, accustomed to making the most of whatever they could get, stared outright, all as if they'd never seen a woman before. They undressed her in their minds as she passed by. The year, in your infidel's reckoning, was 738.