The Legend of the Flower of Darkness

Chapter 19 Pig

Queen Thalia, formerly known as Lady Nefertari, was dragged, after her coronation, to begin her responsibilities of great royal wife and visit the temples, schools, and weaving workshops that depended on her favor. She met the managers of the lands of the queen, the superiors of the harems; that were in charge of the education of the girls, the scribes destined to administrate her estates, tax collectors, the priests and priestesses that realized in her name the "wife of the god" rituals, and other officials.

For several days, she was taken to countless places non stop. She met hundreds of persons, talked to them, always smiled, and look refreshed without the least trace of tiredness. Everyday, her beautification staff transformed her into the most beautiful woman in the world. From her charm depended the happiness of Pharaoh and Egypt.

Exhausted, she fell as long as she was in a low bed. The delicate silhouette of Lady Khamsin approached her.
"Your majesty, next you'll have to go to another gala where they are going to offer you rare perfumed oils and a lute concert tonight."
Khamsin was appointed by the pharaoh himself as the Mistress of the Great Royal Wife's household. It was a coveted position in the nobility, a position dreamed by many ladies, it had the status of being the queen's confidante. Khamsin was as clever as lovable with amazing diverse skills. Since he saw her for the first time, pharaoh knew that they would work together beautifully.

"I have no more strength left."
Just in time Tata appeared with a tray carrying a goblet with a revitalizing potion made of herbs and juices.
"Here you go dear."
"Thank you so much Tata! Do you know were is Tut right now?"
"No dear."
"I do know your majesty."
"Khamsin, please! Stop calling me that! You were, are and will always be my friend. It is so weird to hear you calling me that!"
"Little one, I must tell you as part of your education on being the queen of the two lands that only in private you call yourselves with your names, and not the titles. For the people of Kemit (Egypt) we are "The good gods" and we have to be always formal, always serious."

The young women nodded consenting in the agreement.
"Pharaoh is in his office with his private secretary, the vizier, cabinet members and high priests. After that he has audiences with his cousins (Tata's sons), Chiefs of secret rituals, House of life scribes, doctors..."
"Is he feeling well?"
"His health is a state affair. He is alright, but the doctors always check up on him."
"The chamberlain responsible for the private rooms in the palace, the director of the communications dispatch; in charge of the royal missives, the director of the treasury, the granary..."
"Yes dear?"
"Can you get another bottle of revitalizing potion for Khamsin, and a whole barrel for Tut?"
"Sure!" Tata's smile was full. "Don't worry about Tut, he's accustomed to all that work. Why don't you take a relaxing shower? You'll feel a lot better, you'll see."
"Tata, did you know that the barbarians submerge themselves in a very small pool and bathe there?"

Tata could not believe what she heard. The barbarians soaked in their own filth?

The queen closed her eyes and put herself in the capable hands of a manicurist and a pedicurist that painted all her nails, and toes red. After that two servants poured warm water with the scents of roses, sandalwood, and lavender all over her body. Then she stretched out on a bed of ten heated stones (clear quartz, snowflake obsidian, aventurine, rose quartz, black onyx, leopardskin jasper, citrine, malachite, red jasper and carnelian.) for an extensive massage with a pomade of sandalwood, passion flower, frankincense, myrrh and lotus. All these things constituted a special spell against tiredness.

Suddenly the hands on her front changed their rhythm, caressing her delicate nipples like they were the soft petals of a Flower of Darkness.

"Hi." His voice was a soothing whisper. "Do you mind?"
She opened her eyes at last and met his adoring green gaze. "I thought that you were with your private secretary and at least a dozen administrators from all over the country."
"Yes, I was."
"I have another two appointments for tonight."
"Not any longer."
"Beg your pardon?"
"I convinced Tata to substitute you in those commitments."
"I want to show you something."

They went to the garden and went to the small pond were close by was the barraza were he declared his love for the first time.
"What do you wanted to show me?"
"I wanted to show you with Nut (the heavens), the stars, and your mother Isis as my much I love you."

He slid her short linen dress by her shoulders, and their lips, bodies and souls united.

This time he could not fail. This time he had to be precise. This time he had to kill pharaoh. Silently he hid in the bushes close to the barraza and waited for the precise moment. Pharaoh was on his feet cooing the queen. The killer took one of his infamous arrows, the ones with a vulture as an emblem, and tensed the arc aiming towards his neck. All of the sudden the queen's hands flew to her heart.

"Sweetheart what's wrong?!"
"Tut! Danger, there!-" she signaled the bushes, but it was too late.

The killer let fly the arrow, and using all her strength she pushed her beloved out of harms way, however the arrow bit her flesh letting flow her blood, and a small yelp of pain.

How was this possible? Another murder attempt! In the courtyard of HIS palace! His beloved saved his life once again. But she paid the price with pain, blood and tears. HER tears! Enraged with the fury of the goddess Sekmet (the devourer) he jumped so fast to the bushes, that the killer had no time to escape.

Alarmed by all the commotion the palace staff and guards came to the assistance of the royal couple.
"Are you alright my sweet? Does it hurt a lot?"
"I'll be fine. And you?, are you alright?" Her gaze was low, her voice a murmur.
"Of course! Not a scratch!" The killer wasn't going to be alright though.
"I felt that you were in danger, before everything happened, how could this be?"
"Is very simple darling. From the moment on that we pledge ourselves to one another, our spirits, our souls and our bodies became one. I wanted to know how you were doing and then felt your exhaustion, and I sent Tata with the revitalizing potion. You felt the danger towards me and warned me. It's the psychic connection between the king and the queen. We are one now and forever, in this world and the next."

Khamsin and Tata took Nefertari away, so she could have a well deserved good night sleep. The pharaoh followed her with his eyes, when at last she was nowhere to be seen, he turned around, and went to palace guards. The ones that held a very nervous prisoner.

Who could blame him? At first the guards wanted to stick all kinds of sharp and pointy things on him. However, Lord Durrah had other plans for him.

Stark naked, and chained, the killer was forced to hold his ankles, making his posterior look upwards. His eyes almost came out of their sockets when an evilly smiling Lord Durrah appeared with a pair of thongs holding a red-white hot coal.

"Ah! The ways of the gods are amazing! You tried to harm us depriving us of our pharaoh and our beloved queen, and now *sigh*...I'm going to do you good, eliminating any past or future problems with your hemorrhoids."

"I have a better idea." The wig of the assassin almost fell off when he heard the voice of the living god. He was made to kneel in front of the king, and Lord Durrah bowed at his cousin's presence. Pharaoh didn't show emotion at all. He had in his hands one of the arrows. The pennant at the end said it all. Bes.

At long last the assassin of his father, the one that literally broke his mother's heart, the one that tried to kill him, the one that injured his beloved, was at hand.
"But first I need to know...WHY?"
"Because Lord Bes is stronger..." The demon like face of pharaoh made him gulp. "at least that is what he said. Besides he also wanted to get rid of her..."
Durrah took two steps back when he saw his divine cousin's eyes turn in their sockets showing the whites.
"Yes, she didn't cure a wart on his feet."
"You mean the queen."
"Is there any other?"
"Does he knows that with every cure she losses her life essence?" Tut faced the killer, chest to face. "SHE DIES?"
The two cousins opened their eyes big as feast plates when they heard the answer.
"That is not his problem."

"Please divine one, let me avenge this treachery, I can make miserable the rest of his life when nature calls." Durrah eyed evilly the pair of thongs that carried the red-white hot coal. "Or let your loyal subjects avenge you. My soldiers want to use him as a pin cushion."
"Durrah it has been seven days after I got married. The custom is to have ten days of feasting. I don't have any desire for sad, public demonstrations. I want my creatures happy. Tell you what." Tut fraternally passed his arm over his cousin's shoulders. "I want you to tell the cooks that I want roasted oxes, and a roasted goose for tonight. Yes?"
"Those things have been already cooked milord."
"Good! But after that I want one of the ovens. I want to roast another animal."
"You want to eat something else?"
"No. I just want to roast a pig."
Durrah's confusion was evident. "What pig your highness?"
Pharoh looked squarely at the face of the killer, and pointed. "Him!"

The killer began to scream like a banshee, his eyes looked like they were coming out of their sockets, paling and swaying on his feet. By destroying his earthly body in a way that it could never be embalmed and preserved, Tut-Ank-Ra was condemning him to oblivion. There couldn't exist harsher punishment, he was being denied the fields of paradise.

Three guards with golden hair came and tried to restrain him using punches, kicks, and brute physical strenght. Pharoh signaled one of the ovens and they tried to shove him in it, but he resisted deperately, four more guards had to interveine to at last get him inside the oven. The condemmed tried to escape but the guards redoubled their efforts when they heard the king.
"If you let him escape, then you'll be the ones inside that oven."
Inside the small infeno everything was pitch dark, and he was in all fours. Screaming his lungs out, he began to lose his mind. Then very slowly the floor of the oven began to iluminate turning from yellow, to white, to red. Each second more hotter than the other, he began to cook himself from the inside out, all of this happening between his agonizing screams.

Without remorse pharoh turned around and went inside his castle. In his bedroom Nefertari waited for him.
"Is everything all right?"
"Yes dear. How's the arm?"
With her gaze low because of what he thought was the attack from the assasin, he tried to cheer her up. "The festival of the hippo goddess, Opet, is upon us. What about if we go to one of the cities celebrating the festival?"
"Which city?"

Chapter 20. Crocodile.

Pharaoh had to visit the whole country at least one time in his reign. Was there a better way to make it than with the new Queen? The complete court accompanied them. In the Royal Barge, five doctors, pharaohs secretary, viziers, ministers, priests, even Tata and Lady Khamsin were on that ship.

At that time the festival of the goddess Opet was in full swing. Opet was the goddess of safe childbirths and maternal instincts. At that time of the year, the priests allowed the slaughter of the river cows so the people could enjoy the meat. The ivory tusks would belong to the vizier and the hides would belong to the army to make war shields from them.

Army squadrons would spear and kill the beasts, harpooning them, and the court would follow the action with a commotion of their own. Only two things were more impressive than the drama developing in the water. The Pharaoh and The Queen.

He, serene in his throne looked with a imperceptive smile at all the happenings, and proud because the Queen would look at it all in total awe.

A servant brought them a thick, beige, liquid.
-What is this?
-Is a sweet delicacy from the mellow tree of the marshes near by. Try it!
(Many centuries later, and using other processes that delicacy would be called, marshmallows.)
The couple attracted the looks and gazes of everyone. He was openly admired by the ladies.
-Oh! He is sooooooooooo handsome!
-He is truly a god.

Meanwhile, the queen was equally admired as well by the male courtesans, but not so openly, for fear of the bad tempered, and jealous, red-headed pharaoh.

Lady Khamsin was with Tata and the court cheering and shouting, admiring the skill of the harpooners. Because of the blood that came out of the carcasses of the hippos, another creature came to see the spectacle. Crocodiles.

When Khamsin saw the first one of those monsters she felt a sudden chill. Closing her eyes she hear a courtesan ask:
-Which is the next city that we are going to visit?
-The city of the god Sobek. Cocodropolis.

She felt the wind going strong, and messing with her hair.

-Divine one? Can we go closer to what is happening?
-Can't you see from here?
-May I remind you that you'll always have a different point of view from mine?

The soft joke about his height made him smile fully; standing up, and extending his big, white and soft hand to her, they went to look closer.

In the commotion a small squadron of harpooners was battling with a huge crocodile. So big, that it was thought to be three times the size of a common man. More harpooners came to their help, and killed the dragon. The court cheered and shouted their courage. The skinners were pleased to see such a magnificent specimen. It's skin would become hard enough to shield from arrows and swords, lighter than bronze, it also could be converted into an armor that could strike terror in the hearts of the enemies.

The court looked from a distance the fallen beast, and Lady Khamsin noticed something strikingly different about that beast, and it wasn't the enormous size of it. It was the color of the eyes, one of one color, because it was blind from it, and the other black.

How to describe it? How to say that she has seen that creature before? She didn't know when but she knew that she had seen it before.

The skinners went to work, but stopped suddenly, and a shout of horror came from the mouths of the ones observing the scene. Then Khamsin understood all a sudden. Her powers of sia, the premonition, had occurred again. She remembered the voice of her beloved Set warning her about the dangers that would come soon. However she hadn't expected it to be so soon. When she saw the contents of the belly of the animal her revulsion was complete.

-Step aside! Step aside! The Good Gods are coming! The Good Gods are coming! Step aside! Pharaoh and the Queen! The Queen! She must not see this horror! She mustn't!
-Tata! The queen must not see this! No!
Tata was still in shock..
- Does she knows this poor soul?
- Yes.
- Who was it?
When Khamsin said it, both women could not stop the tears.
- Her bibi (mom).

- What happened here?
Too late, the ladies swallowed hard, but tried to block the queen's vision.
- Please your majesty, is too horrible...
- A goddess shouldn't see such things...
Pharaoh was puzzled, but the look on Khamsin's and face told him this was
very serious.
- Thalia, please come with me.
- But beloved of the gods! I want to see! I want to learn!
The look in Tata's face!
- Thalia!
The queen saw the fatal scene at last.

From the opened belly of the creature, the partially digested remains of a middle aged woman slithered to the ship's board. The animal had swallowed the woman in two bites. The flesh was pasty white and bleached from the strong digestive acids. The rest of the body was sloughing, the only thing that remained intact was the face. A face that looked scarily similar to the queen's. That would be the face of the queen when she reached maturity. However, The Queen called the owner of that face mom.

From his view pharaoh saw from the macabre remains, a necklace identical than the one Thalia was wearing. There was no mistake, it was her mother.

No sooner he realized the horrible truth, from Thalia's throat came a shriek so high and heart rendering that it cut through the heart of all the people there. When he looked, Thalia's eyes turned in their sockets just like when he was in tension, but her legs were failing her. In her dismay she uttered softly:
- This is my fault, I have lied and the goddess Maat, (the goddess of truth), is punishing me.

She felt a numbing darkness arise, the last thing that she saw was her beloved, darting to catch her.
- How is she Tata?
- Very weak. She cried until she couldn't do it anymore.
Tata's eyes were red because of the crying.
- We must do a decent burial, Tut.
- Tata, despite all the rituals and prayers, and the mummification as royalty; as the mother of The Queen, her shade will never find the beautiful Land of the East. For that to happen the corpse must be intact. She has been condemmed to never find paradise.
- Is there something more horrible than that?
His laconic, deep voice gave the answer:
- No.

At last Thalia opened her eyes. Thanks to the gods that he was there, and he hadn't forsaken her...yet.
- Tut.
- Sshhh!
- I must talk to you.
- Not now, you must rest.
- But I have to tell you.
- But I know, my love, I know.
What! He knew?!
- You know?!
- Yes.
His smile was soft, but complete.
-You are pregnant.

After he spoke to his wife, he went for his aunt.
- Tata?
- Yes dear?
- I have to leave Egypt to do a campaign, the most important campaign ever.
I will command the army, and make war outside of Egypt. I want you, and Durrah to help Thalia to govern in my absence.
- You are leaving? When? To where?
- To finish with Bes, Tata. And this time is final.

With two claps of his hands a small crowd of servants arrived, and listened to his instructions: to bring him his war outfit, his black cape, and the mask of the jackal god of the underworld, Anubis. The Lord of Darkness was going to fight his final battle against Bes.

Legend of the Flower of Darkness page one
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