Whenever Murat visited our family farm during the Festival of the Great Slaughter he used to gather all the little boys and all the little girls in the pagoda overlooking the lake and declare that the place was our own nascent empire. It didn't have a name, or even an organizing principle, except, of course, Murat's inner vitality.
Ali Eteraz is an American writer who has lived in the Middle East, South Asia, and the Caribbean. His first prose work, Children of Dust, was published by HarperOne in 2009. His website is alieteraz.com.