|Soaring over Nile
Author: Ethereal Light PM
AU A defiant Noble girl who longs for freedom plus a young Pharaoh who longs for choice equals love? But what if betrayal, secrets and barriers come into the picture? Still equals love? Think again... COMPLETE - UPDATED EPILOGUE 2008Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Angst - Atem - Chapters: 31 - Words: 82,636 - Reviews: 348 - Favs: 67 - Follows: 27 - Updated: 10-14-08 - Published: 05-08-05 - Status: Complete - id: 2386350
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Soaring over Nile
This story is set sometime before the actual canon and some going into the canon time. As it was said in the summary, this is AU, mainly because not much in the canon is incorporated in this story. We are writing courtesy of the English language (So Atemu is now Atem and so forth). Reviews are welcome-whether they be constructive criticism or just comments. Flames are welcome too if you really can be bothered rambling.
OCs (These are real Egyptian Names and their meanings are included below):
Amuenet- The main character. Name means: Mystery
Omorose- Means: Beautiful
Hamilah- Means: Perfection
Halyma- Servant of Amuenet. Name means: Gentle
Chapter One- The Gathering
The fancily carved doors of a gigantic room swung open toadmit a young boy about the age of sixteen.
Guards bowed to the boy as he walked past them, across the huge room, walls decorated with elaborate pictures of various forms of colourful art. Pillars were carved and decorated with pictures and carvings, depicting many great deeds. The boy ignored the paintings, something unusual, stopping only to kneel in front of a golden throne, placed at the back of the room on a raised platform.
"You called for me Father?"
The Pharaoh of Egypt surveyed his son solemnly from his seat, a frown on his face.
"Atem, you are aware of the Gathering taking place in a few days are you not?"
"Yes Father," Atem replied, his head still bowed.
The tall Pharaoh sighed wearily, already knowing what his son's answer would be.
"Then you will know you are supposed to choose a bride there."
"What!" Atem cried in horror, "Father! I-"
"It cannot wait!" The Pharaoh boomed, his deep voice cutting off his son's protest, "I am old and there is no way you can become Pharaoh unless you have found a wife! You have no siblings to keep the line completely pure!"
"I would not have married my sister!" Atem protested defiantly, "That is just a horrible way to keep us 'pure'! It is purely ridiculous to marry a sibling!"
"You would have had to marry your mother should she have been alive and you had no sister," The Pharaoh sighed but glared at Atem sternly, "I am being beyond fair. The only eligible girls are the daughters of the wealthiest Nobles in Egypt and even members of my imakhu. I have in mind several."
The boy on the floor remained silent and unmoving, giving no indication of his opinion.
"You may choose your own bride Atem. I will allow that. I just want you to choose. This is all I ask," the Pharaohconcluded, sighing again, "I will see to it that she agrees. I predict many would jump at this chance of monarchy."
"But Father! Can it not wait until my eighteenth birthday?" Atem argued, his tone changing instantly,"Surely you will not die so soon. I am too young! I cannot pick a bride at the age of sixteen!"
The Pharaoh was silent, pondering this suggestion. He looked at his son, kneeling on the floor. Atem was certainly old enough to have a wife but to rule the country? He pondered whilst surveying his son. It was very clear Atem looked nothing like him or his wife. The boy was very peculiar. His hair was cut in the manner of the pyramids, spiky and traingular with traces of black, dark brown and gold. His son looked very strange, if not barbaric to be honest.
Today, his son was wearing his white tunic with golden chokers around his neck and arms. As usual, he had on his ankh earrings and rings. The five Priests standing in two lines on either side ofthe Pharaohpeered down, surveying the Crown Prince anxiously as the silence stetched for longer and longer.
"Please Father!" Atem begged, cutting the thoughtful silence that had lingered over the hall; even the guards had fallen silent and were listening intently,"My eighteenth birthday? If you happen to die earlier, then I will choose but if not, can it please wait?"
"Very well Atem," the old Pharaohconsented reluctantly, "Remember that."
"I am not going!" I cried in anger at my father in thelargest hall of the villa.
"Amuenet!" He thundered at me, "You are going whether you like it or not! That is an order!"
No one was going to make me do anything against my will-especially not my dratted father-order or not. So what if he was a member of the Pharaoh's imakhu? That certainly did not give him to authority to strut around the place like an overgrown peacock, commanding one here and there!
I peered cautiously up at him from my kneeling position. He had a long, thick beard, now flecked with bits of grey. His face. No longer the gentle, calm expression I used to know and love, but cold fury etched in every line.
It had been that way-ever since my mother had died.
I pictured her smiling face and warm, brown eyes. She was not beautiful like some but the most loving person in all of Egypt-possibly in this world!
The same thought always came running back to me, like a bee to a flower, whenever I thought about my mother. It wasall myfather'sfault! It was his fault she died. It was his fault I was left without any source of warmth in this estate!
I was aware of my father's voice echoing in the lonely chambers of thought but I paid no heed to it.
My father's voice, again shouting my name in anger, brought me back to reality.
He was angry. Really angry. All because I had refused to attend a Gatheringin Upper Egypt held by the great Pharaoh of Upper and Lower Egypt. Everyone was expected to come but not me. No one was making this girl attend something against her will!
My father had risen from his seat and wasstriding towards me. Every fibre in my body tensed. He was going to be dangerous. The way his footfalls were heavy with anger and how his eyes blazed at mine signalled violence.
I rose quickly to my feet, my legs whipped by my dress. He was getting closer…a little more and…NOW! I sprang up just as he lashed out with a heavy hand. I heard him curse in frustration and lunge for me again.
Jumping aside, I sprang out the door into the cool evening. I heard the sounds of running feet and jumped aside as two guards came blundering into view. They were holding knives. One of them lunged for me. I sprang aside and held myself a fighting stance. I was not sure whether this was right but I had seen many of the soldiers act that way whilst training.
The other, more cunning than his companion, had managed to get behind me and, before I knew it, had slashed at me with his knife. To my utmost annoyance, I felt the sharp metal of the blade slash at my side. A searing jolt of pain shot up my arm, infecting my body.
Biting back the pain, I ran for it. Dodging some servants and maids, who were staring at me in a peculiar manner, I made my way back to my chamber near the garden of the villa.
The Noble of Lower Egypt watched his daughter get away. He was really furious now. His daughter Amuenet, self-righteous and stubborn, was always running away from discipline. She was a reflection of her name. A mystery. Something not to try to fathom with.
Amuenet was strange. She was unexplainable. He could not figure out why she had not enjoyed playing with herlittle toys he gave her or her sisters. He could not explain why she had been the first to best one of the guards in an archery contest- even earlier than his two sons. He could not explain her rudeness or her stubbornness. But it was no use trying.
She was quick and nimble, it was true, with a sharp tongue and lots of wit. But he knew something else was going on. It had started to appear ever since his first wife had died. She hated him.
Amuenet was her only child and, try as he did to comfort her; she had pulled away from his helping hand. She seemed constantly unhappy and shut up. She refused to let anyone into her life. She had refused to care. She had refused to listen.
Now, she was fifteen andbeyond ready to be married. Yet, she still seemed to hate him and whatever he wanted her to do. The Noble knew the hate very well now. It had slowly grown and multiplied, concerning many people.
She was no longer recognized as a sweet, young, caring girl, but as a cold, closed person.
"Amuenet has gotten away," one of the guards reported, bowing at the Noble in a sign of respect.
Pushing the thought of Amuenet to the back of his mind, the Noble walked to his room in frustration. Amuenet needed to be swayed. He would not have her remain behind.
"You are lucky this is not deep Amuenet," a servant girl remarked as she cleansed thewound with some water and papyrus reeds.
Amuenet snorted in disgust, looking away.
"Those guards were blundering bears. My guard was down that is all."
The servant girl smiled secretly to herself. Typical Amuenet. Always keeping her pride.
"Is it done yet Halyma?" Amuenet asked impatiently.
Halyma dabbed the wound with some more water. "It is almost done Amuenet."
"Well, look who is here!" A high, fluttering voice interrupted Halyma's words.
Amuenet looked up to see her half-sisters Omorose and Hamilah standing at the doorway of the chamber.
"What do you two want?" Amuenet snapped at the two.
The twostrutted into Amuenet's chamber. Omorose, the eldest of the three girls, was the one who had spoken.
Her brown eyeswere focused coldly at her little half-sister. Being older, Omorose considered herself above the slim, rebellious Amuenet. Amuenet returned the dislike with interest.
"We wanted to see how badly you had been beaten by father," Hamilah said pleasantly, as though this was as normal as walking in the courtyards on a spring morning.
"You are in for disappointment," Amuenet replied coldly.
Hamilah meant 'perfection' but Amuenet thought this was a far as it could go from her half-sister. Flitting around in the palace as though she owned it. Hamilah was bossy, rude, selfish and vain. Amuenet hated her.
"Aren't you happy about going to the palace Amuenet?" Omorose asked slyly, "All the people and food! You should be happy!"
"I hear the Prince of Egypt will be there too!" Hamilah sighed dreamily.
The two girls collapsed in giggles.
Amuenet rolled her eyes.
"You two really think you have a chance with the Prince?"
"Better a chance than you have!" Hamilah said, still smiling maliciously.
The two collapsed into more raucous giggles, now almost giggling hysterically.
Amuenetfelt herself blazing in indignation. Her voice came out very icy as she said, "You claim you are daughtersof the Noble and yet, you act like common village girls!"
Omorose glared at Amuenet and said haughtily, "Watch your tongue Amuenet. I shall not tolerate disrespectful behaviour!"
She signalled for Hamilah and the two strode out of Amuenet's chamber. Hearing the two saunter away,Amuenet gave an audible groaned and sat back down on the bed.
Halyma glanced at her mistress in sympathy.
It was true Amuenet was not interested in associating with any other people her age, especially young men but Halyma believed her mistress was not as bad as everyone thought.
Taking a closer look at Amuenet, Halyma realized that the girl was, in fact, almost pretty. It was just her mask ofsorrow and contemptthat really hid hertrue face. Amuenet wore a frown of suspicion all the time, without any sign of laughter or joy.
Halyma could recall coming to the palace at the age of six, bound and treated like dirt as all servants were. She remembered that Amuenet's mother had saved her from a hard beating after she had spilt a bowl of soup over the Noble's sandals. She also recalled being brought to a five year old Amuenet as a servent and playmate.
I felt rough, heavy hands grip my small, slender arms as I was dragged to a wide door. I felt tears of pain prick at my eyes when the guard holding me threw me on the floor like I was a sack of potatoes.
I scrambled to my feet, looking around the room. It was magnificent! The woven cot in the center of the room was the largest one I'd ever seen in my life! Many wooden toys were scattered all over the place, ranging from wooden horses to a doll.Sitting on the cot was a small girl.
Her reddish-mahogany eyes met my own and I immediately bowed as a sign of respect. The little girl slipped off her bed and walked towards me.
"Who are you?" she questioned, her childish voice lilting with innocence, "What are you doing here?"
"I'm Halyma," I responded but seeing the warning glare from the guards, quickly added, "Miss Amuenet."
"Don't bother with the 'Miss' Halyma!" Amuenet laughed, sounding older than she appeared, "Please call me Amuenet. I'm five this summer. How old are you?"
"I am six."
"Mother!" I watched in anguish as I heard my mistress cry out.
The woman lying on the bed made no sound or movement. I walked slowly up to the ten-year-old Amuenet, gazing sadly at the kind face of the Noble's first wife.
The face still looked kind and peaceful with a small smile still on its features but it bore no resemblance to the youth I had gotten used to. The skin was deathly white, ashen and bloodless. The breathing was shallow and distant. The eyelids were closed…closed and would never open anymore.
I saw Amuenet look in anguish at me, her tanned face streaked with tears. Her brown eyes searched mine for some kind of explanation I did not have.
"Why Halyma?" she asked, almost whispering, "Why did she have to go?"
I shook my head, unsure of what to say. My own mother had died quickly, killed as she tried to defend me from bandits. I could remember the blood, the screaming and the confusion. I did not know any of the symptoms Amuenet's mother possessed. Being merely eleven, how could I have?
Bowing my head, I backed out of the room, thinking Amuenet might like some time alone. I thought I heard her whisper, "Father…" before I shut the door.
But from that day on, Amuenet began to change. She grew colder and colder, constantly unhappy and locked up. I could tell, from the hate that radiated from her every time she saw her father to the way she constantly glared at her 'family'that she blamed her father for her mother's death.
She was unhappy, as unhappy as a bird locked in a cage. But what was I to do? A lowly servant was not expected to help her mistress in personal things like that. So I could only watch sadly for five years as the young, vibrant girl I used to know disappeared, leaving a cold empty shell behind.
One could only hope she turns back…while she still has time…
Halyma noted that, although Amuenet looked rather ordinary, with simple tanned skin and dark hair, that she was more than a common girl. The dark brown eyes hinted intelligence but stubbornness. Halyma knew her mistress's only desire was freedom. Sadly, freedom to a Noble's daughter was like waiting for rain in the desert. She would never have freedom with her father.
Sighing, Halyma continued brushing her mistress's hair with the ivory comb, still lost in her own thoughts...
Repost for every single chapter here and, unfortunately, it is rumoured that has banned review responses. Yes, they have taken away yet ANOTHER aspect in creative writing but we have no choice-we certainly don't want this version to be deleted-so we have eliminated the review responses at the end of all the chapters.
Very sorry reviewers. A little website will be put up if you want to read your response. Go to: h t t p / w w w . f r e e w e b s . co m / f a d i n g - r e v e r i e without the spaces.
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