Chapter 14

Father's Return

I could almost feel the breeze from the Nile brush against my cheeks. I rest along the river that appeared to have no ending. I could see the moon peek from one side of the river while the sun peeked from the other, neither daring to come hither near the other. Despite the sun's glow, the sky above is dark. Is this a limbo created by the gods.

"Why hello there, sister," a voice sneers.

I turn my head and spot my sister, Trypheana, casually sitting beside me. I try to gasp but feel no breath go in.

"Trypheana? How can this be? You're dead!"

She sighs, flipping her thick dark hair behind her shoulders. "Yes, no thanks to you. But at least soon, I'll have my little sister to keep me company."

"What do you mean?" I ask her, feeling a sudden chill.

Trypheana lets out a sneering chuckle. "You can't possibly think father will let you live after stealing his throne and chasing him out of Egypt?"

I glare at her sharply. "You chased him to Rome and stole his throne."

She shrugs. "Yes, but at the time you and I had a joint rule. As far as our father is concerned you're just as much to blame as I am."

I shake my head. No. It can't be!

I hear cries. "Berenice!"

Trypheana begins to laugh as they continue.



"Berenice, wake up! You must wake up!"

I find myself lying in my own bed. Rubbing my swollen eyes, I slowly sit up. Gradually coming into vision is Pythagoras.

"Come, Berenice," he urges in short breaths. "We must leave this instant!"

"Why?" I ask, sheepishly.

"Your father has won! He is marching in with Roman troops by his side as we speak now! We must leave Egypt or he'll kill us all!"

Without uttering a word, I sit up straighter.

"Berenice!" Pythagoras grabs my arm and tries to pull me out of bed. "Please, come! Perhaps there will be a chance to fight another day but now we must run!"

I shake my head. "No."

"But Berenice… Your father, the king…"

"NO!" I took in a breath and said more placidly, "I will remain here."

My advisor starts back, one foot at a time, looking at me as though his eyes were about to drop out of its sockets. "Then there is no hope."


Just as I predicted, I learned Pythagoras fled the palace within the next hour. I wonder how far he would get. Most of my servants, guards and ladies chose to run along with my former advisor. The palace now had a certain stillness as though it were stuck in a place between light and death.

I walk down the hall slowly feeling no purpose. The sun's light shining through the openings made this feel like an ordinary day. However, I dreaded, it would soon be a day as no other.

"My Queen."

I turned my head to see my maid, Thalia. For just a moment, I smile. Even now, she remains loyal to me. I notice she appears timid. I could almost see her flesh shivering. Yet, she could have run. Instead, she stays.

"Yes Thalia," I say, gently.

"I was only wondering what you wish to do now… In preparation of your fa… I mean the false ki…"

I hold up my hand. "Its alright. You can say father. Nothing can change that. As for the king… Well, I suppose he will be again soon… Its what the people I guess want…"

As my tone trails off Thalia states, "You will always be queen to me. But what do you want to do now?"

I sigh and turn back, slowing stepping forward. "I think I'd enjoy a bath now if you don't mind preparing one."

"Yes, Your Majesty." Thalia bows her head and leaves to do my wishes.

The warm bathwater sooths my skin, but does not evanesce the prickly feeling crawling underneath my flesh. I take a moment to admire the golden walls and the lilies my servants placed about this room because they know it pleases me. I rest my arms over the edge of my bath and rest my head. I would miss this. I then lean back and press my feet against the side, pushing my body back. My eyes move to the ceiling, also splattered with gold. I close my eyes and let my body drift down, the water slowly rising over my head.

I know Father will likely kill me when he returns so perhaps this is a better, more peaceful way to leave this world. But I remember something. There is a possibility I may just be carrying Archelaus's child. Would this convince my father to spare me or make him that more inclined to kill me? I know I have to try.

I crack my head above the water, soothing my hair behind my shoulders and gasps desperately for air. I soon see I am not alone.

"Berenice," Cleopatra says, timidly with her hair down. "Father's home and he wishes to see you."

Berenice she says. Not Your Majesty or Queen but simply Berenice. It must been done. Everything is restored back to my father.

"Tell him I'll be there to greet him as soon as I am dressed," I reply, unable to wind out of shakiness in my voice.

After my little sister leaves, Thalia is the only one to come assist me with putting my sheet white gown and heavy golden jewels on. I slowly walk to the throne room with Thalia directly behind me.

My father appeared proud as ever, sitting on the throne, wearing his tall double-layered red crown, only a Pharaoh could wear.

The moment I entered the room a guard snatched my arm and dragged me to father's feet, thrusting me down. I hit my cheek on the steps leading up to the throne. I only rubbed it for a moment. I do not know if I have the courage to even look up at the Pharaoh. I spare him just a glance as he raises his hand to motion his servants.

"Remove these jewels from this woman," Father orders. "She no longer has any right to them.

I feel tears start to streak down my cheeks as the servants aggressively tear off my necklaces, yank out my arms as far as they could go to remove my bracelets and rings, and then prick out my pearl earrings.

The jewels were then presented to my father, who merely pointed a casual finger to my sister, Cleopatra, to his right. I only just noticed her presence. At first, when the jewels were presented to her, Cleopatra shakes her head. Her eyes appear watered. However, when father shoots her a sharp look, she nods and takes them.

"Now," Father continues, briefly looking down at me. "Take her away. She shall be executed tonight as a symbol of our victory."

"Father, please… No!" My own tears start to choke my breaths. I cannot speak anymore.

He looks down again. For a brief moment, I could have sworn I caught a hint of sympathy or regret in his eyes. But just moments later, he shakes his head and waves his hand. This time two guards grab each of my upper arms and drag me away.


I get placed in a dark room with only one square opening out of my reach. All I could do the rest of the day was watch the light slowly drain from that window until there is none left. It is time.

I hear footsteps approaching. My heart thuds along with the sounds. My face is soaked from all my tears.

As I rest in the corner of this room where there is nothing but walls, I hear the door creak open.

My father enters and glances behind him out the door. "Give me a moment."

The door shuts and he approaches me and orders, "Rise Berenice."

Is there a point in trying to convince him to spare me? At this moment, I realize his mind is already made up.

"How much like your mother you appear," he comments, tilting up my chin. "You know I loved her very much when we first married. I just wish she was not taken away from me so soon. You girls would have faired much better with a mother around, I imagine."

"Father," I begin, but he soon cuts me off.

"I know it was not you that drove me out of Egypt," he says pacing around me, "but your wicked sister, Trypheana."

I nod and mumble, "Yes."

"For that, every notion or writing of her in this palace shall be vanquished," Father declared. "Years from now, people will never know she was queen, or ever even existed for that matter."

I remain quiet, too fearful to say anything.

"You, on the other hand, I will allow to be remembered," he continues. "I imagine you are the reason your elder sister is gone."

I start to nod but then decide it is better to neither agree nor disagree.

"What will happen now?" I ask him quietly.

"Well," Father straightens his robes promptly. "Your sister, Cleopatra is next in line for the throne. I imagine she will make a fine queen."

I feel my breath start to drain, as I ask more meekly, "I meant what will happen to me?"

Father walks directly in front of me and places both hands on my cheeks. "I am sorry it has to end this way, but I fear this is the only way Egypt can move on from this."

He leans in and kisses my lips. "Truly, I wish there could be another way."

As Father turns to walk to the door, I sink to my knees, which were so shaky I could not even feel the ground. The door opens wider and a man with a sword enters. He is a Roman. I can tell by the red cloaks and gold armor. I want to cry out and plead him to spare me but I know it would only make me look foolish. The only means that would make this worse, if I died appearing like a fool. Instead, I hold my cold clammy hands together and close my eyes for the rest.

Historical Note:

Berenice IV reigned over Egypt for two years until her father ordered her execution in 55 BC. Some records say that she jointly ruled with her sister, Trypheana VI, who was killed on Berenice's behalf. Other historians say that there was no Trypheana VI, and Berenice ruled jointly with her mother, Trypheana V in her father's absence. Once Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysos returned to the throne and ordered Berenice and all her supporters execution, he declared Cleopatra VII, his next legitimate heir.


My information was found on Wikipedia and

This story was inspired by The Royal Diaries: Cleopatra VII Daughter of the Nile