I haven’t done a blogfest in a while, but I couldn’t resist D.L. Hammon’s High Drama Blogfest. Next week I’ll announce on a new sort of blogfest- one with haikus!
Yes, you heard me right- HAIKUS!
Here’s my High Drama piece…
The chariot rolled back toward the desert, night falling fast.
The closest Nubian corpse was just outside camp, a young man with a pale dusting of sand on his dark skin, his arms and legs bent at impossible angles. A scorpion skittered onto the open maw of a dead horse as the chariot drew near. The rebel had been cut down, a battle-axe in his abdomen. The purplish guts oozed to the outside of his tunic and crusted with a thick film of almost black blood.
Hatshepsut steeled herself against the urge to retch and forced her eyes from the sight of the man’s entrails. Nomti started to pull the chariot from the scene, but Hatshepsut’s hand on his arm stopped him.
“I only need a moment.”
Hatshepsut stepped down from the chariot and walked to the dead man. The lavender intestines quivered as she pulled the axe from his stomach with a sickening squelch. Hatshepsut looked only at his right hand.
“Hemet, stop!” Nomti yelled. “Someone else can do that.”
“Egypt’s men died today.” Hatshepsut grit her teeth. “This is the only thing I can do for them.”
Stepping on the man’s outstretched forearm, Hatshepsut hacked into the dead man’s wrist.
The blade of the battle-axe dulled with congealed blood and the sound of bones crunching became too much to bear. Hatshepsut retched into the desert’s unforgiving sands.
“Let me do this!” Unable to fight and barely allowed to witness a battle waged in her name, the least she could do was collect the hands of the enemy for the official tally of Nubian casualties. Trapped within the frail body of a woman and reminded of this shortcoming all her life, today of all days Hatshepsut craved equal footing with the men who had risked their lives for her. This was a weak sort of vengeance for the men who had died for her- she knew that. But it was all she could offer them.
Hatshepsut struggled to stand and made her way back to the half-butchered hand. Forcing herself to breathe and look at the texture of the sands above the mutilated wrist, Hatshepsut finally freed the hand from the rest of the arm. She threw the offensive appendage into the basket, scowled at the red slick of blood on her hands before stepping back into the chariot. They continued on their way in silence, stopping every so often to free a Nubian rebel of his right hand along the way.
Now the Nubians would pay for all eternity for their crimes in this life. If Ammit didn’t gobble up their hearts the instant those sacred organs were laid upon Ma’at’s scales, at least they would be forced for all eternity to roam the afterlife without a hand.
There has been speculation as to whether Hatshepsut actually went to war during her reign- her monuments say she did, but Pharaohs have been known to pad the truth on occasion. Next week I’ll talk about the historical evidence that shows that Hatshepsut really did go to war, and may have even freed some dead Nubians of their hands.
Yeah, she’s a freaking rock star.