Aten in the Palm

Jul 8, 2013 by

egyptian_temple_2_by_magikstock-d4rvw7d

Being queen had its moments. The roar of the crowd as she’d ridden on a chariot formed in gold and lapis lazuli had dazzled her mind. Their cries of her name, their reaching hands, their words had been thunder fit for any god, boiling along her veins. Later, when her husband hunched his groaning way off the chariot, drooling and mumbling she did not even seem to care this time. The crowd was still singing in her blood. The danger and the fire still burning. She dared drop a lotus flower, their signal, and run off breathless as a maid away from her Queen’s guard.
He was there waiting. So tall, so dark with eyes as warm as honey. His beautiful face was a adder in disguise, she knew, but she could not help herself. He was everything her King was not. In his mad embrace for wild moments, in between kisses and hungry hands, they spoke of their love, their lust and…their problems.
“And what, he who gladdens my heart, makes you think that he will believe such things?” In the shade, away from the harsh daylight, none would dare say anything for fear of their death at her bidding. He nibbled on her earlobe, he suckled at her neck then pressed his mouth against her temple before speaking.
“Oh lotus flower, oh sweet sister–” Laughter and desire made his voice warble as a birds. “Are you not Queen of all? Are you not his beautiful companion? Are you not a goddess yourself?”
Before she could grow angry at his daring, his words–he pressed a small trinket to the skin of her breast. She reached up in annoyance to grasp it from him as he laughed in the face of her anger. Too pretty to be smart, she thought in annoyance before glancing down at what was in her palm.
It was a single, small gold disc. Aten, a representative of the sun no bigger than her thumb, scratch free, flawless and polished so well that even in the shadows it somehow found the sun. Clever, clever one, she thought. A smile bloomed as wide as the river.
Akhenatan, and soon, Egypt herself would stand in the shadow of Nefertiti’s brilliance. Neither would be the wiser.
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Fate and a Gun

Jul 2, 2013 by

gun_png_by_doloresdevelde-d5fye4hHe was, quite simply, mad.
Though she knew he did not start that way and his thread was never knotted to be so, some things were well out of her hands. Which, in retrospect, the thought would have made her slightly smile if it wasn’t for the fact the chill barrel of a gun was pressed as surely as a lover’s kiss upon her temple.
“I said, undo it! Unravel it! Un-unknot it. Whatever it is you do, you fucking do it, got it?” In the caverns, his tremulous and cracking voice bounced along the walls as a child’s toy thrown in grief.
“I cannot,” she repeated herself quietly. He smelled like sorrow: salt and tears and sweat and fear. He had not washed in several days. She did not think he had eaten, either.
“You can,” barked. The gun was painfully shoved into her temple, pushing her head violently to the side. She straightened herself best as she could and noticed that she could see the smallest sliver of light underneath the blindfold.
“I cannot, there are rules I must not break.”
Even the smallest click of metal as his finger tightened slightly about the trigger felt louder than any of the screaming he had done earlier.
“You can either break the rules or you can be dead. This is the last chance I am giving you.” His hand had trembled earlier, his voice wavered with hidden tears. Now she heard another note. A note that finally made her hands on needles and thread in her lap move. She picked up her golden needles and began to weave the hole in the path of Fate that the death of his wife made.
A car accident a week ago. It had not been her wish to end the woman’s life so suddenly and it had not even been knotted into the string of the woman’s life. But Death also had his own rules and his own way of things. His string she could never see or touch, so she could not tell when he would throw an unseemly tangle in her careful stitches. And so it is what it is, she had thought seven days ago. But she had not counted on him. There had not been a human in the caverns of the oracles in thousands of years, the old gods should have been long forgotten, the old ways of summoning buried deep.
Should. Yet, here he was now, grieving for his wife with a gun to the head of Fate.
“Please,” softly. “Please rethink this. You do not know the consequences. There are some things which cannot be re-done,” she pleaded, even as her hands skimmed over the work that was usually familiar to her. It was a tad more difficult to knit blindfolded, with a gun to her head.
I don’t care!” Shouted. “I don’t care. She’s…She’s my everything. She was everything. She’s all I have and if you do not bring her back I will end you. I will end you, and then find all of you and kill them too until I have what I want.”
She did not doubt him. “All right,” soothed. “All right,” her voice was calm but it was her turn for her hands to tremble. She found the string she wanted, knotted it around her needle and slipped it through. End over end and around and about, in her mind she could envision the faint cavern’s light flickering off gold as it had done and always did for centuries.
“It is done,” she intoned. There was a strange echo to those three words: a warning, a sadness, and a finality that even made him hesitate. She could feel it in the way the gun barrel pressure on her temple lessened.
“What–?” He did not finish. The sound of Death’s footsteps were that of long passed leaves, dry shed skin of serpents tussling with one another in the wind. One moment silent and the next moment she could hear the silk rustle of his robes as he rush-stepped (never ran. Death ran for no one) over to touch the man on the shoulder. As he did so, the man died. The gun, his last breath, crashing to the stone floor.
Death eased the blindfold from fates eyes. She blinked the light back into her vision and glanced down to the lump of the human who dared to find and threaten a god.
“If only they listened to our warnings,” she murmured sadly.

What is FF month?

July is Flash Fiction month, where authors and writers attempt to write a 55 – 1000 word story a day for the month of July. Fate and a Gun is the first Flash Fiction for July, inspired by Flash Fiction Month deviantart’s group; where text, visual and audio prompts are given to inspire fellow writers. Join in and visit Flash Fiction Month here: http://flash-fic-month.deviantart.com/
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