Saturday, February 1, 2014

Divine Justice

Hello, guys! This is a short story I wrote, trying to imitate ancient Egyptian literature. I hope you enjoy it!!!

The guards came rushing in and took the poor old man by his arms. They dragged him to the punishment stone and put his left hand on it. The man trashed and fought, but age had diminished his strength and the guards had no trouble maintaining him in position. The old man cried and pleaded for mercy, but everybody knew he wouldn’t receive any mercy from the vizier. The vizier was a totally just person that always followed the honorable path of the Law. Some people in the Realm even compared him to Anubis, weighing people’s souls and crimes against their virtues. This time wasn’t an exception: the old man had stolen from the King, and the law punished that conduct with cutting off his left hand. The old man raised his pale blue eyes towards the vizier, crying silently. His strength had run out and he wasn’t screaming anymore. He pledged for mercy with his eyes, but found any in the vizier’s gaze. The vizier gave the order and the khopesh fell on the old man’s wrist. Blood spilled and the man screamed again in agony. The crowd let out a gasp as the hand fell to the ground and the old man fell to his knees, grasping his wrist in pain. The guards took him by the arms again and threw him away, and the show was over...

Khopesh sword

“Justice has been imparted,” announced the vizier. “There will only be one more judgment today, since we are all so tired. Young man over there, you shall come here and tell me what you want from the King’s Justice!”

The young man on whom  the vizier’s gaze was on,walked forward with a selfconfidence strange in those who went looking for the King’s Justice.

“Oh, Great Vizier! I am here seeking for justice, and my case can only be revised by the Great King himself,” said the young man in a strong voice, again full of confidence.

The vizier seemed annoyed. “It is myself who represents the King’s Justice in this place; I assure you that whatever case this is I’ll give you Justice, and if it is important enough, the King shall know.”

The young man remained stubborn. “I repeat, my lord, my case can only be revised by the King Himself. His Majesty is the one to whom my words will be headed.”

“Young man, what makes you so important that you must speak to His Majesty in person? Speak now or be gone, for I am King’s Justice and the King shouldn’t be bothered for nonsense,” asked the vizier, now clearly annoyed.

The young man began again. “I assure you I speak no nonsense, my lord. I have been to faraway lands, with people from other cultures which may be almost as mighty as our Land is; my whole family is dead, my mother and sister were murdered, and my father was killed while trying to protect them. I am the only one who remains from my family’s legacy, the only one who knows the truth about their deaths. They were killed by desert people’s hands, but a greater mind thought of their deaths. I must tell all of this and more to the Pharaoh himself, so justice can be imparted.”

The look on the vizier changed from annoyed to surprised, and conceded the young man entrance to the King’s Palace. He told the Great Pharaoh the situation and was dismissed.

Ra's Chariot

“You say it’s justice what brings you here, but you have never said your name.
 Introduce yourself, young man, and then speak what you must,” ordered the Pharaoh.

“My name is Sehemet, but my name is not what matters, it’s my story what does,” the young man began. “I was born in a loving family, the last of an ancient dynasty. I grew up by the Nile, learning to read and write, to love and fight, to pray and listen to the gods’ guidance. When I reached my 16th year of life, and I was about to get married, unwelcome guests arrived from the desert, I was away preparing everything for the ceremony. These desert people murdered my mother and sister, killed my father in battle, and kidnapped my wife before running away. When I got to the site where all of this happened, I cried, I raged, and I swore to get revenge from these people. I walked for a year in the desert, until I found them. I was taken prisoner and lived in a cage for another year. It was until then that I realized the truth. All my life, I had been trained to be a Pharaoh, to bring back my dynasty to power, to eternal life. And you knew that. It wasn’t the people of the desert who had killed my father. I still wasn’t sure of this, but after 2 years of confinement, they freed me. I spent another year with them, learning their ways, and every day, when Ra brought the morning sun in his chariot, I became more and more confident about my suspicions. The next three years I spent traveling over the world, searching for knowledge, searching for guidance. I went to great cities, I met great people, and I learnt the ways that will never be seen in Egypt. When I felt ready, I went back to the place near the Nile where my whole family had been murdered. My dad’s khopesh and dagger were still lying on the ground. I remembered what I had sworn to myself, what I had sworn to the gods: to get revenge from those who had killed my family. And here I am. I don’t care about power, and I don’t care about becoming a pharaoh. I just care about justice, and not Pharaoh’s Justice, but Divine Justice.”

The king remained silent, without moving. The look on his face was of pure fear.

“May the gods be just with you in the afterlife, Great Pharaoh.” Sehemet took his father’s dagger and stabbed the king three times in the chest, one for every person he had lost because of his command. Then, he took out his father’s khopesh and took the pharaoh’s head off, this time for the life the King had stolen from him.

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