Issue 153, Winter 1999
As the army prepared to set out on its homeward march with my body, leaving behind only my blood gathered in a leaden vessel, I felt for a while that the world had fallen silent forever. But then I heard the rumbling of the iron chariots and the trampling of hooves growing fainter in the distance, and I realized that I had been left here on my own.
I had heard my father say, as he had heard his father say, that all aberration, memory, fury and vengeance are imprinted in a man's blood. And yet it seems that I was the first monarch whose blood was so violently pressed out of his body on these cursed plains.
My corpse—limbs, crowned head, hair, my gray chest with the wound in its center—was carried to Anatolia, taking nothing with it. Everything remained here, and I have come to believe that my viziers hd done this to elude the shadow of my blood.
Thus they left, abandoning me here in this tomb, with an oil lamp above me burning day and night. I thought they would be quick to return, to attack Europe, now that the road lay open, or at least to pay homage to me, to show that they had not forgotten me. But spring came and went, as did summer, and then another spring, but no one came.
Where were they, what were they doing? Three years passed, seven, thirteen. Here and there a lone traveler stopping at my tomb brought me smatterings of news from the world. I wanted to shout—“Serves you right, Bayezid my son!”—when I heard that Tamerlane had battled his way into Ankara and locked him in an iron cage like a savage beast.
So this was the reason why they had stayed away so long.