1

I could see it now: the high-walled temple of Edfou. Its sides were carved into slender white pillars and its front painted with the richest colours the Nile could offer: depicting tales of the most powerful of Gods. I could see the high walls of the city-- its bustling interior where merchants cry from all sides to whosoever passes by, arguing that their price is the best; dancers and acrobats practice in squares, children run by your feet, chasing each other and laughing loudly.

Those in the palace are screened away from all this. There, life is more refined and beautiful. Long passageways open out into numerous courtyards where there are ponds with fish whose scales never fail to glint in the sun, and lotuses that are always in bloom. Courtiers and nobles laze on luxurious cushions in the shadow of swaying palm trees.

And then there is the Nile herself: an expanse of blue refreshment, cutting suddenly into an arid sea of sand. Small fishing boats anchor near the harbour, and fishermen, young and old, cast out their nets quickly in hope of having the biggest catch of the day. The larger, more luxurious boats belong to the refiner of the refined and the wealthiest of the wealthy; these glide along with the tow of the Nile, as their noble occupants sip pomegranate juice and catch up on the latest court gossip.

Thus is my Egypt; the place that once used to be my life, but is now no more than a memory.

My story is complicated and has no real beginning or end, for things never truly begin or die. The court of Egypt was a tangled mess of politics and false smiles. Above all was the ever-alluring throne of Egypt. It was the epicenter of all power; whoever sat upon it was an Earth-bound God, worshipped by all people of the sand. Men—and women—would do anything to feel the lust of it; because of this, the throne was like a poisonous golden snake: tempting, alluring— something that always seemed to slither out of your grasp.

At the center of the court were, of course, the Pharaoh Septunamun and his family: the dispassionate wife who loved her son more than her husband; the ambitious and ruthless son who wanted no more than to be Pharaoh; the elder daughter, whose shyness and introversion was often mistaken as weakness; and of course, the youngest of the Pharaoh's children, the daughter who was as dispassionate as her mother, as ambitious as her brother, as guarded as her sister, and as powerful as her father. It was this combination of such personalities in the Pharaoh's family that made each member secretly hate one other, and in consequence brought upon the fall of the free Egyptian reign.