Monday, October 5, 2009

Egypt, land of the dead

The papyrus sway in the cool night air, dancing to an unheard song. The muddy water of the Nile swishes against the river bank keeping rhythm with the wind. I've always enjoyed this time of night alone. My chance to think and study. I am not supposed to know how to read, much less study the practices of the High Priests. Daughter of the Pharaoh, I am to be seen, not heard, as if I were a child. I am merely a decoration to be adored and catered to.

My twin sister, Kakra, who is minutes younger than I, loves the attention . She is a self indulgent, narcissist. She thinks she is prettier than me, although we are the same. Kakra constantly chides me " You are father's favorite, blessed and named by the Goddess Isis at birth, you really think you are something special. One day I will see that you pay, Eshe!! You will NEVER rule these lands as Queen. I am stronger than you and will be ruler!!"

Dealing with that who wouldn't love a little time alone with the crocodiles and toads??? "I heard that," I hear Kakra say in my head. Okay so I don't ever really get much time alone, my sister and I, while completely different in personality, share a psychic bond and are in each others heads all the time. As little girls, this was fun. We could share secrets and no one could over hear. I know everything about her and she about me. I know she too, has been studying, although she has a preference for the black arts. "Leave me be, Kakra." I hear her laughing response, oh how she loves to torment me.

I open my book to read, but begin to feel very sleepy after sipping from my cup of wine. The words on the pages are a blur and I cannot make them out. As I drift off as I hear echos of my sister's laughter.

I awake to find myself laid out on a stone table stripped of my garments and adornments. My eyes are open and I can see. I can hear the High Priest cast his last rites as the others, adorned in their death ceremony masks chant around us. I wonder who has died??? I try to sit up to see, but cannot move. I feel hands on my body, rubbing scented oils and realize this is the purification ritual of the dead, and they think I am the dead. Panic seizes me, I try to fight, but once again find my body paralyzed by whatever evil spell has been cast. I feel a burning like acid, begin to course through my body and know that she has poisoned me. My own flesh and blood. "I told you I would be Queen" I hear Kakra in my head. "Help me, Kakra, please. This is wrong!!" All I hear is her evil laughter in response to my begging.

A hand reaches across my face and gently closes my eyes and I feel the cool, metal of silver coins being placed on my lids, my fee to cross the river Styx. I scream, but it only resounds in my head. I begin praying to Isis, who blessed me at birth. "Mother Isis, please help me, please let them see that I am still alive." I hear Kakra "No one will help you, you are dead to everyone."

Two strong, masculine hands grab my head and tilt it back. It is the priest. I can smell the burning incense mingled with the sweat of his body as he speaks the death blessing to me. I know what is next and try with all my might to move, to blink, anything so this madness will stop!! I feel the hook begin to make it's way up my nasal passage. It's goal is to remove my brain piece by piece. I try to mentally block out what is happening. It seems to work as the world goes dark.

I come to, feeling dizzy and confused. I can move and breathe, it was only a dream! I open my eyes fully and am taken aback. I am still in the death chamber, although on the floor. I see my body laid out on the table, the priest inserting the hook. I hear my sister in my head "NOOOooooOOo!!! How can this be???? " Now it is my turn to laugh "I am the blessed one Kakra, my name, Eshe is life. You were merely a shadow of me. Now you're body is my vessel, and how convenient it is that I don't have to change a thing. It's great to be twins, is it not, Kakra??" I laugh again at her horror. " I must excuse myself now, it's seems Father is about to come down with the same ailment as I, oh wait, you. I must prepare myself to step into his place."

As I walk out of the chamber, I hear the wet pop and squishing noise as the hook jams into Kakra's brain. I giggle softly as I set out to rule the world.

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