Author: aphoenixsong PM
Phoenix is a Grecian girl trapped in the ancient Egyptian world. It is her duty to look after a most curious creature. Only time will tell how said creature(s) will shape her future, though they have already given her hope and purpose in a world barren of comforts.Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Adventure - Chapters: 2 - Words: 1,423 - Reviews: 1 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 01-22-13 - Published: 01-14-13 - id: 3092263
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She felt the sun hot on her forehead. The sand was digging into her knees, causing her more than a little discomfort. Fate was not going to be kind to her today. The shadow of Pharaoh's massive pyramid hovered tantalizingly close. Yet, as always, it evaded her.
Comfort - even in the most menial sense of the word - was not meant for slaves. The best she could hope for was to escape, for a day, the crushing, stinging blow of a whip. Then again, she would have much preferred to be the recipient of those lashes if it meant others would be spared.
How had her life come to this? She could not recall a thing she or her fellow women had done to deserve this hot hell. Yet it was their fate to remain here - for the time being - all the same.
Surely the future would offer something better.
The soft voice was filled with warning. She felt every muscle in her body go rigid and her fingers slip from their task. Thankfully it wasn't a task that required much precision. The eggs were harder than rocks and it would take far more than one jolt to crack them open.
Not that she wanted to. Phoenix had grown attached to the birds in her care. Perhaps that was why the other slaves - most of them women and most of them apart of Pharaoh's harem - had taken to calling her Phoenix. In Egyptian, her name meant "red". However, in Greek, her native land, it referred to a - thought to be - mythological bird.
The eggs before her proved the truth behind said myth.
"I am here." she craned her neck and peered over her shoulder. Beside her stood one the servants to Queen Khamerernebty. The woman's expression was usually severe, which did nothing to accentuate the mostly pleasing lines of her face. Phoenix had always wondered why the Pharaoh hadn't added her to his harem. Then again it was possible that Khamerernebty had snatched the woman up before her husband could claim her for his own.
Not that Khamerernebty was a jealous woman. Phoenix could not - and would not - blame her for wanting a close friend - or even a confidante. Politics was a messy affair no matter who was in charge.
"The Queen is concerned that the birds will not hatch in time."
It was remarkable how the woman didn't even need to raise her voice to make Phoenix nervous.
"I am aware that the funerary services for the Princess are already in motion. My eyes have not left this particular patch of sand and I am turning the eggs every hour." she paused before stating the obvious, "The chicks will hatch when they are ready."
Sometimes she felt as if only she realized how difficult it was for the chicks to leave their shells. She would have helped them if it had been allowed. Yet the Pharaoh and his Queen only had "use" for the chicks that proved themselves by breaking through the rock-hard shell without guidance or aid.
It was all very sad to watch a chick or even a nest of chicks fail to survive their first obstacle.
"Are they showing any signs of movement?"
She was persistent. Phoenix had to admit that.
"I haven't seen any movement as of yet." she dropped her gaze to the black eggs, gently grazing one with her fingertips, "May I inquire what the Queen wishes to do with these chicks?"
But her use had reached its inevitable end. The woman turned sharply, kicking sand into the air and marched back to the palace. Wrinkling her nose, Phoenix cleared the air with a wave of her hand and suppressed a deep sigh.
"It looks like your future is as secure as mine."
Yet if they didn't hatch, perhaps that would be better? Phoenix's heart clenched at the idea, but she couldn't push away the thought that something awful awaited them.