"Tzipporah, perhaps you shouldn't have come…"
"Please Moses, you wouldn't have stayed this far without me, we are safe, no one will harm us."
She smiled at her husband while rubbing her swollen belly, then drifted to sleep while her husband continued to worry.
In the dark of the night, a woman's scream of pain cut through the darkness, soon the wails of a baby drowned out hers. Tzipporah fell back on the mat with relief, tired from the birth.
Miriam held her niece in her arms and cleaned her up before handing the child to her father. Moses looked down at the wide-eyed curious child that was his daughter and smiled. He had feared that his child would be endangered in the plagues, he had wanted his wife to leave Egypt as soon as they found out she was pregnant, but his stubborn wife refused, saying that he needed her and would be staying, and Moses was glad that she did.
He crept over to his tired wife with their child in his arms and gently gave her to her mother, Tzipporah smiled at her cooing baby, then turned to him and asked,
"What should we call her?"
Moses thought for a moment, but could not think of a word to call her. He asked his wife what she thought the name should be, and she said,
"One name was spoken to me in my sleep, Zehira."
"Protected?" asked Moses, "I think that suits her."
The couple smiled as they looked upon their newborn daughter, unaware of any evils against them.
Rameses let out a roar of frustration and his servants backed away, fearful of their pharaohs wrath. He waved his hand and the servants gratefully left his chambers, Rameses rubbed his forehead with defeat on his mind. He couldn't continue to let these plagues rain down upon his kingdom, but would not let his brother win. Rameses knew not what to do.
The High Priests, Hotep and Huy, poked their heads into the chambers, then slunk in, certain that the pharaoh would be pleased with them.
"My lord," began Hotep, "We believe we have the solution to our predicament against Moses."
Rameses looked upon the two men as if they were insects, they had plagued him ever since he was a child and had not grown any fonder of them since becoming pharaoh. But he waved for them to continue.
Huy stepped up and said, "My lord pharaoh, our informants tell us that Moses' wife has given birth this very night."
Rameses tried to picture Moses wife and saw the woman who had been captured and offered as tribute, that little 'desert flower' had been his gift to Moses. But he saw no reason why her giving birth was of any importance.
"Why on earth should I care if his wife gave birth?" he asked.
"Because," said Huy, "If we were to obtain said child, we would have a bargaining chip over Moses."
Rameses contemplated the plot, it would be a very interesting ploy indeed, but Rameses felt a twinge of guilt over even thinking of such a plot involving a newborn child. He thought of his own son and knew that he would kill anyone who would take his child, and Rameses realized how truly brilliant the plan was. It would get Moses out of Egypt and he would win, keeping the Hebrews. Rameses smiled at his High Priests and said,
"Have it be done."
Moses walked around the Hebrews slum, having grown used to all the squalor his people lived in, thanks to his brother. But today Moses was carrying his child, Zehira, about, showing her the slums. Even though she was only a few weeks old, she seemed to comprehend everything that went on around her.
Zehira was quiet and watchful as they walked, she was covered in a tiny blanket to protect her skin and was attentive to everything she saw. Moses had walked to the rivers edge, close to where his mother had set him out in the basket, but far enough away that the blood didn't splash on them. He wished that he did not have to bring these plagues down upon his home, but Moses had to do God's bidding. He looked upon his daughter and hoped that they would be far away from this place before she grew.
Moses returned to Miriam and Aaron's home where his family was waiting, Tzipporah took her daughter and Moses set out to speak with Rameses again, perhaps he would let his people go if he knew of the next plague that was coming. Moses left as the sun was setting and his family watched him go, unaware that anyone was in turn watching them, waiting.
Moses had tried pleading with Rameses, but to no avail, if anything, he had grown even more angry at the turn of events. Moses knew with a heavy heart that there were those who would be smote this night, and he had looked at Rameses son with a heavy heart.
Moses returned to the slums and was shocked when he saw panic among his people, they were running and hiding from approaching guards who held swords high above their heads. Moses became angry, had they not learned? Moses raised his staff and struck it upon the ground, under the guards feet opened a cavern and they were flung into the abyss, it closed and it was as if no one had even been there. There were still screams heard throughout the air though, as many of the guards had taken slaves to the palace before Moses had returned.
He rushed to Miriam's and was beginning to panic himself, then he got there and nearly collapsed. There, Miriam was crying and Aaron was trying to console her, but when Miriam saw Moses, she jumped upon him and cried, "They took them Moses! They took Zehira and Tzipporah!"
With her words, Miriam collapsed against her brother, tears streaming down her face. Moses was in shock for a moment, then rage overtook him. He stormed away from his siblings, intent upon his destination. But he was stopped by his people, all crying, they knew what would happen this night and were wanting to go for their loved ones, but Moses stopped and realized that if they did not get inside their homes with the blood of the lambs on them, they would die.
He urged his people back into their homes, that their families would be all right, but hey had to go into their homes immediately. Moses was intent on going to the palace, but Aaron grabbed him.
"Moses, I know that you want to get your family, but if you don't stay safe, then who will help your people?"
Moses saw the reason in Aaron's words, and with a heavy and saddened heart, returned to their home.
Tzipporah woke, drowsy from the hit she had taken to the head when they could not pry Zehira from her arms. Tzipporah shot up, where was Zehira? She frantically looked all around, but soon admitted defeat as the guards had taken her daughter from her and left her in this cell.
Those animals had invaded their home and had tried to take Zehira from her bed, but Tzipporah had clung to her daughter, so she was taken along. Once in the palace, those damned High Priests had tried to take Zehira, but Tzipporah had fought against them. So she was struck over the head and had fallen unconscious. Now, trapped in this cell, Tzipporah realized that it was night, and that another plague was about to descend upon Egypt. She knew that there were those who were going to die tonight, but the Hebrews would be protected by the blood of the lamb, but there was no blood here to protect her.
She realized she still had the blood of a lamb on herself and tried to rub it over the doorway, hopeful that it would be enough to protect her, then she began to bang on the door, screaming for her daughter.
Hotep and Huy entered Rameses chambers with a bundle in Hotep's arms. Rameses sat up and asked, "Is that his?"
"Yes my lord, taken straight from the mother's arms, who is now in a cell."
"I want to see it."
Hotep approached Rameses and pulled back the blanket over Zehira's face, who was squirming in the fat man's arms, not liking these new people who had taken her from her mother. Rameses looked upon the small child, it was very beautiful with her wide eyes bouncing over every surface. He couldn't help but wish this was in fact his own child, Rameses said, "Leave us."
Hotep and Huy left their pharaoh with the child and Rameses held her in his arms and realized that he knew not her name. He didn't want to call his ridiculous priests back, so he went straight to the source, the mother. When he got to the cell, shouting and bangs were emanating from the chamber. He motioned to the guard to go in, and her yells would not cease, he walked in with her child in his arms and she screamed at him,
"Release my child from your dirty hands!"
"I had hoped this would be civilized, if you do not quiet, then you shall never see your daughter again."
Tzipporah shut her mouth, wanting to scream obscenities at him, but instead focused on her child, who was holding her arms out toward her.
"Now tell me," said Rameses, "What is she called?"
Tzipporah remained silent, but he made a move to leave and she choked out, "Zehira."
"Lovely name, it means protected doesn't it? But from what would she need to be protected from?"
"From Godless people like you."
Rameses said, "Rather harsh don't you think? I hold your child in my hands, and you insult me, had the desert sun warmed your head to much?"
Tzipporah said nothing, and fixed a glare upon the ground. Rameses sighed, he would get nothing else from this stubborn woman. He approached her and said, "Since you have been so helpful, you may hold your child."
Her head snapped up and he held out her child to her. She reached out and pulled her daughter close to her chest, just glad to have her back in her arms. But Tzipporah knew Rameses would take her away again, so she smeared a little lamb blood on her leg to protect her, and slid a bracelet around her ankle.
"Enough, I am taking your daughter as my hostage until your husband stops these plagues. If they do not, then you will never see her again."
A guard ripped Zehira from Tzipporah and Zehira began to cry, Rameses left with the wailing child and Tzipporah was struck once more, rendering her unconscious.
Rameses handed the child off to a servant and went to his own son. His son smiled big and ran to him, Rameses son was the biggest light in his life, he couldn't imagine anything ever happening to him, so it sent guilt into him when he thought of taking Moses' daughter. But once Moses stopped, he would return his daughter unharmed. He was not so heartless as to harm his own brothers' daughter.
So Rameses put it from his mind, unaware of any harm that would soon come to his own child.
That night, a great smokey light filled Egypt as it went through the all the homes. It passed over the blood of the lambs, and continued on to the homes of the Egyptians to kill the first borns. The light slowly made it's way to the pharaohs palace and entered, going through the rooms one by one. It passed by the cells where Tzipporah was held and didn't enter, for the blood of the lamb was upon the door.
It was finally up in the pharaohs rooms and was in Rameses bed chamber, it went into the young prince and he breathed his last breath. His father didn't even realize that his child that he slept next to had died.
The light went into the servants rooms aside Rameses and Zehira was awake in a swaddle of blankets on the floor, she reached a hand up to the smoke, that seemed to fall back, the blood still upon Zehira's leg. She cooed at it, then it was gone in a flash.
Zehira's eyes filled with tears and she let out a wail when the smoke was gone, she woke a servant who rushed over to shush her, so she would not wake anyone else.
The sun had risen and Moses was running toward the palace, he didn't know what had happened to his family and knew that Rameses would not be forgiving, especially with the plague that had descended upon the land, killing the first born. He feared for his family and hoped that they had stayed safe.
He met no resistance when going inside, normally many guards would be there to escort him through, but today, the halls were silent as he padded through. He first went to the cells where he suspected his family would be and began throwing open doors. He finally found who wife who still laid unconscious upon the floor, but felt panic arise when he did not see his daughter, he roused his wife,
"Tzipporah! Wake up! Where is Zehira?"
She opened her eyes and shot up, grasping at Moses' robes, "They took her! He took her!"
He helped her up and they ran through the palace, they finally burst into the darkened hallways of the pharaohs chambers and Moses began yelling out,
He called his brothers name again and again until they came to a large empty room, there, Rameses was bent next to a table where a small covered body laid. Moses had a lessened rage, but was now fearful for his daughter, he knew Rameses, that he would react irrationally. He crept slowly toward his brother, who lifted his head slightly, but did not turn toward the couple.
"I suppose you'll be wanting your precious daughter back?"
Moses replied that he did.
"Well, you're too late. I had your child killed."
Tzipporah let out a cry of rage and pain, she tried to lunge toward Rameses but guards burst from the pillars and restrained her. Rameses stood and faced them,
"I have lost my child, and for that, I made it so you lost yours. I can take no more pain, you and your people may go."
Rameses turned back toward the table where his son laid and hunched over him, cradling his head. The guards forced the couple back out, but Moses said,
"Please Rameses, please give us our daughters body, please."
"Impossible, she was fed to the lions."
The screams of pain that erupted from Tzipporah were heartbreaking, and Moses could barely keep himself together, but he still held his wife as they cried. They were forced out of the palace into the arms of their people. Aaron and Miriam were waiting there, and caught the two in their grief.
The family stayed for a week, trying to deal with their grief, when Aaron finally said, "Moses, we are all hurting, but we need to get our people out of Egypt, who knows when Rameses will change his mind?"
And so Moses managed to pull himself together, they made their way slowly out of Egypt. Once they had started onto the path to the Promised Land, the couple seemed to have some acceptance of their daughters death, and tried to be happy once they got to the Red Sea.
Then came the moment when a furious Rameses appeared with his army, intent on killing all the Hebrews. Moses wanted to fight this man, the one who he had called brother, the murderer of his daughter, but Tzipporah pulled him toward the sea, where he parted it so that his people could cross. The pillar of fire that stopped Rameses disappeared once the Hebrews were far enough across the sea.
The sea caved in on the army while the Hebrews were on the other side, relieved to finally be free, uncertain of what to do.
Moses stood at the edge of the water with his wife, staring across where his daughter had been born and died. He could almost swear he could Rameses calling out his name, but he turned from the water, determined to leave the pain behind.
Tzipporah stood staring across though, uncertain if Rameses had been truthful. A mother would know if her child was dead, and she had no such feeling. Around her neck was a locket that held a lock of her child's hair, and she clutched it, the locket being a twin to the bracelet she had left with her daughter. But Tzipporah would not tell Moses of her uncertainties, she knew he had slowly began to accept his daughter's short life, and she would not pain him with the idea.
So Tzipporah sent up a prayer to God, that if she was alive, to protect her, if she had passed on, to keep her happy until they could join her.
Tzipporah turned toward her people, and they began their walk to the Promised Land.
Rameses stormed through the destroyed kingdom, wanting to rip apart anything in his path. His slaves were gone, his son dead, and his brother hated him, nothing would ever be the same for him.
He ran up the steps to his palace and yelled at anyone who came close. He entered his throne room and servants were trying to clean up the rubble, they froze at the sight of their angered monarch, all were silent. Rameses was ready to scream at the slightest infraction, and the cries of a baby seemed to render him speechless. He ran from the room toward the cries, bursting into a slaves room where a young girl was trying to quiet a wailing Zehira.
Rameses froze, in his anger, he had told Moses that his child was dead, wanting for him to have the same pain that he had, but in reality he could not kill his own brothers child. He would not have the blood of a child upon his hands.
He strode over to the servant and pulled Zehira into his arms, she wailed, but shushing her was simple, as he had done so many times before with his own son. He cradled her close to his chin and closed his eyes, just imaging that she was his own child, alive.
Rameses knew not what to do with this child, Moses was far across the sea and unlikely to come back, he saw no reason why he could not have this child as his own.
So this was a plot bunny that hopped into my head and refused to leave, so I began this story. I don't plan on making it very long, just a few chapters.