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Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Black Sheep of the Family (10/03/13)

TITLE: Alibar; Who put the "end" in "Legend."
By Noel Mitaxa
~2nd Place


In the street markets of old Baghdad, light-fingered urchins often gave their victims the ironic courtesy of a brief smile before they melted back into the seething, swirling, cacophonous anonymity that enveloped these bazaars.

Any cry of “Stop thief!” from a victim would be futile. Nobody could hear. And nobody would care. After all, who would support these urchins if they did not exploit opportunities to support themselves? Victims all wanted to part with as little as possible—after all, wasn’t that the whole reason for bartering? And if a street kid could relieve any careless individual of a few coins or a bag of gold with no bargaining at all, the traders would be assured of their customers being more alert for their next purchase.

Baghdad’s bazaars were a university of cunning for these kids. Like Alibar, who tried to learn...

Yet though this may sound bizarre, he did not learn very well.

Alibar always promised more than he ever delivered to the crime family known as the Middle-East’s Ma’phia.

They tried to mentor him in serious crime, but their dismissal gave his name a disdainful addendum.


(But no, dear reader, he was no relation to the Barber of Seville, nor to his more infamous cousin—the barbarous Seville!)

Alibar recruited a motley crew of apprentice crooks, gaining some notoriety as Alibar-Bah and his Thirty-Eight Thieves!

His ill-fated gang had started out at forty thieves; but unfortunately two of them were stolen—a lasting summary of Alibar’s constant failure to even get things wrong.

One of the legends of Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization, is the mystery of the harem; but Iraq my brain to try and work out why this is so.

Alibar acquired his own harem, a secret asset of all the female company he could ever desire. And no-one was ever to know exactly where it could be secreted.

Yet for Alibar’s harem there were no secrets – for the noise these females kept making was so constant that anyone could harem from miles away.

After the harem closed down, word quickly got back to the , whose scorn was mutual…

“That Alibar – Bah! He’s got to be the Black Sheik of our Family!”

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Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 10/10/13
Nicely told, nicely said, and nicely done.

Hmmm! I wonder who this author could be?

Loved it. Thanks!

God bless~
Virgil Youngblood 10/10/13
Harem scarem, Sinbad the sailor must be an acorn off Alibar’s tree. And the beat goes on. A fun read for sure.
Danielle King 10/10/13
Oh this is so well crafted, comical, clever and crazy. I've no idea who would write such a thing but I think he'll impress the judges!
Beth LaBuff 10/10/13
Your unique brand of humor (humour) entertains the reader, compelling them to discover every veiled wordplay. Your title is superb. :) You are the legend without end! Great! Fun!
PamFord Davis 10/11/13
You "quack" me up! I was laughing out loud; I talk to myself regularly and it was pleasant to hear laughter instead of lament for a change.
My favorite phrase was "Iraq my brain!"

Wing His Words
lynn gipson 10/14/13
I am grinning from ear to ear. What a delightful story told in the setting of old Bagdad. Love that Alir-bah. I know I spelled that wrong but my memory is not what it used to be.

Great writing, as usual, kind sir.
Danielle King 10/17/13
Congrats Mr Mitaxa. Didn't I say this would impress the judges? Even with the missing word. Ha!
Beth LaBuff 10/17/13
The Legend continues! Super congrats on your EC!
PamFord Davis 10/17/13
Congratulations on your ranking!

Wing His Words
Yvonne Blake 10/18/13
Smile - I love your special talent of weaving those puns into your stories! Great writing, Noel. Congratulations!
C D Swanson 10/21/13
Congratulations! God bless~
Leola Ogle 10/21/13
Noel, I always love your entries! Congratulations and God bless!
Bea Edwards 10/23/13
Splendid piece of work. I'm sure reading it through a second time will unearth new treasures.
Well done and a hearty- Congratulations!
Bonnie Bowden 11/06/13
Dear Neel,

Congratulations on your 2nd place EC award. A cleverly worded and fun piece. I've read it a couple of times.so I wouldn't miss any of your tongue-in-cheek commentary.