An Egyptian Manipulation

At only 18 years old Cleopatra ascended to the throne. With 'unsurpassed' beauty and conquests of some of the most renown male historical figures of her time, Cleopatra certainly has a story to tell. A story of manipulation, politics, love and murder, the Egyptian life is about told. (Entry for the Historical Fiction competition) Not historically accurate.

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2. Her eighteenth year.

Cleopatra rolled her eyes as she noticed her younger brother's eyes peep around the edge of a statue for what could have possibly been the tenth time in the last minute. He was infuriating, although unlike his older brother, both named the same as one another, he was not a sexual demon. At the thought of her other brother she shivered. Thankfully he had died many years ago and now, most unfortunately, her father had also died which meant that she would have to marry her one remaining brother.

Ptolemy once more peeked around the edge of the statue and after letting off a volley of oaths and a prayer to Anubis for his immediate repatriation to the underworld  as soon as it was manageable Cleopatra left the room. Ptolemy soon followed and before Cleopatra had even made it to the next chamber he was scuttling around her like a scarab beetle in a sarcophagus. Cleopatra stopped, as did Ptolemy, but instead of staring at her gormlessly as she had expected him to, he began to cry.

He fell to the floor at her feet and continued to cry, broken and gulping sobs that echoed in the marble halls. Cleopatra rolled her eyes heavenward before crouching down so as to be closer to him. She did not do weakness, she did not cry and more importantly, she did not love. How could she, when a demon has so roughly stolen her innocence from her? She hated to see weakness in others, especially men. How can they claim to be weak and cry when they are the sex that destroy all others? How can they demand pity from the people that they will destroy?

Her eyes blazed as drop after drop dripped forth in a torrent from Ptolemy's eyes to crash onto the floor. She could feel the burning in her chest as her mind battled against the thoughts crowding in on her conscience. She knew that she should be consoling the young boy, petting his hair and whispering to him that it would all be alright. He was her brother, and their father had just died and as easily as it had been lit, the fire in her chest went out. She consoled him.

She placed her hand on his head and wiped away his tears. She told him how much his father would want him to be strong and that he would be a great Pharaoh, that Egypt would prosper once more. She told him tales of gold and power and fame. She wove such tales that he could see the sand worn statues she had conjured for him in his mind, he could hear the cheering of his people, feel the warmth of the sun on his body as he was revered all across Egypt. Glorious battles and blood poured from the borders for him only for him to stop them with a gesture of his hand. Gold painted the entire land in its glorious sheen. 

But in her own mind's eye Cleopatra could only see darkness. She did not see gold painting the land or hear the cheers of the people. She saw only darkness, darkness and pain as both her body and mind were assaulted by the men she would be paired with. She could hear the screams and torturous crying as her body was racked in pain because she would not bear child for her brother. She could see his face sweating and twisted as he lay on top of her in the dark. She could feel the blood as it trickled from the bites on her body where his teeth had torn her flesh. She could feel the agony that shook her body and left her shivering and convulsing on the floor for hours afterwards. She remembered the brief years of freedom when her brother died. She remembered the hope, like a candle it had burnt brightly in his absence.

Yet now, in the presence of her other brother, the candle was once more preparing to be snuffed out and so involved in her own pain and anguish she almost did not hear the words that escaped her brother as he dozed off in her arms.

"You will make a most beautiful wife and mother to my children, Cleo."

The candle went out.

 

 

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