Realizations in Passing

by Jacynthe Demorae

The world did not end when Ankh-su-namun abandoned me, it began. Like a hot wind from the mocking lips of Set Himself, the lies enshrouding me tore away. I saw the re-born daughter of Pharaoh, clinging to her Medjay lover, and understood.

Over three thousand years ago, I had been given to Osiris. I became His priest, a tool to do His work. When Seti, first of that name, took the throne and crowns that were his by right of his divine blood, he made me his High Priest. My eyes were blinded by the glory of Pharaoh, the presence of the living Osiris, and perhaps I went mad.

In that madness, I looked upon Ankh-su-namun, concubine of Pharaoh, chosen to become a Great Royal Wife. Cunning, learned, skilled with the sai, in dance, and all the arts of Hathor, she entranced me. My skin still remembered her touch, my ears remembered the sound of her voice when she spoke my name.

Her voice, raised in shrill refusal, still rang from the walls.

The raw stone scraped away my skin, and I slid a little closer to the roiling chaos below. My fingertips bled. I tasted the bitterness of truth. My 'great love' had revealed itself to be but a hollow lie.

For a moment, rage lent me strength. For this false gold I had endured the Hom-Dai? For the sake of an asp-hearted witch, I had risked the anger of the Gods?

The scholar-woman cried out as more of the temple collapsed, tugging at her Medjay lover. Like the wafting curl of smoke on the wind, the lie turned inside out, and showed me the truth.

Another had dwelt in the house of Pharaoh, a smaller sun, perhaps, but no less powerful. Sun-before-sun, she had shone not alone, but added to his glory: Nefertiti, daughter of Seti.

The living Isis, even further beyond my reach than a favored concubine or a Great Royal Wife. The one whom even I, in my pride and ambition, had not dared to covet. It played out before me now with merciless clarity.

'My princess,' I had said to her that night in the square, 'come with me. It is time to make you mine for all eternity.'   Why else had my first attempts at resurrecting Ankh-su-namun failed, foiled twice by the Medjay? They guarded Nefertiti's life and honor, as well. Even my spell, meant to awaken Ankh-su-namun, had sought its true focus: the sleeping soul of Pharaoh's daughter.

When her father had named her guardian of the Bracelet of Anubis, he had set her beyond even a High Priest of Osiris. He honored me as his priest, but not with his daughter! Did he covet her himself? Either as Great Royal Wife or sacred Guardian, he had denied me my Isis. Yet not beyond Pharaoh. Could he not have wed her himself? So, in wrathful jealousy, I slew my Osiris.

More stone crashed down. Even through the thick walls and the roaring below, I could hear the rising wind. Near a still-whole pillar, Nefertiti-Reborn met my gaze, just once.

Anubis, you are revenged! The dark god took my power, but curse still shackled my soul. I would fall--

'It is time to remind you of who you are, and who we are together. For our love is a true love, our souls mated, together as one, forever...Take my hand...'   Nefertiti had taken my hand that night. The great words of power had been spoken over her with my own breath.

I would fall. Let the chaos take my body. 'Death is only the beginning.' By Pharaoh's own curse, I was immortal! Death would release me...and then I would return for my princess.

I slid from the stone, into chaos.

Farewell, my princess...Lady of Words of Power...Swift Huntress of the Soul...Healer of Broken Dreams...Lady of Love...Giver of Life...

Until my return.


Author's notes:

The spelling of Ankh-su-namun: I've seen so many the first movie, it was Anak, in the second, it was Anck, I decided on 'Ankh' as a good compromise. It apparently was a component of female Egyptian names. (Ankhmet, etc.)

High Priest of Osiris: I admit, I pulled this one out of nowhere. The voice-over in the first movie tells us that Imhotep was Pharaoh's 'high priest and keeper of the dead.' Well, one of the Egyptian gods of the dead was Osiris. The Pharaoh himsel f was viewed as divine, and a priest himself (though usually of one of the sun gods, I think.)

The living Isis: Cleopatra was supposedly called this. Granted, she was a ruling Pharaoh in her own right, but I think the claim can be stretched in fiction to cover Nefertiti as well. If she is supposed to be the famous Nefertiti (Amonhotep's Great Royal Wife), she did eventually claim divine right herself via her husband when he decided to overhaul the religion. I don't actually believe the writers meant to imply Evelyn was that Nefertiti...but there's only so far one can try and stuff the Mummy movies into real Egyptology, after all. ;)

Lady of Words of Power...: Allegedly formal titles of Isis. Taken from Ellen Cannon Reed's book, Invocations of the Gods.