He sat at his throne and his wife sat beside him. The entertainment enthralled the two with their dance and music, as there was cause for celebration. His temple, the greatest of all the land and past dynasties was finally completed. His strong face, chiseled above the entrance along with the very Gods of Egypt, both acting as sentries to that entrance. The grain was gathered in abundance causing his people to rejoice with full stomachs and praised their ruler. He applauded himself along with the rest of Egypt. He, Pharaoh Anu the star of the morning and night sky, would be remembered as the greatest Pharaoh to rule over the land of Egypt.
“My dear Pharaoh, this is a glorious day. Surely, the gods have blessed you along with the people of Egypt.”
“Yes, my desert flower, the gods have blessed me with much wisdom and power. These blessings allowed me to extend our empire borders, and usher in a reign of abundance and wealth.” Anu said looking into his wife’s eyes. He took her soft hand and brought them to his lips.
“Your majesty.” Heptah, a respected wise man approached the King and bowed in respect. Heptah’s family had a lasting impact on the past dynasties and always was somehow connected to the Royal family. Heptah’s father even served under Anu’s Father, but died a mysterious death on the returning march from battle.
“Heptah! The wisest of my wise men, how are you my friend?” Pharaoh Anu said with a smile.
“I have bad fortune to tell, Pharaoh Anu.”
“Must it be told now, Heptah? On such a great day? Surely, it can wait until tomorrow.”
“I apologize, but it is quite urgent my Lord. The window of clarity is closing as we speak.” Heptah stressed the importance to the young pharaoh the best he could. Anu obviously contemplated his decision before he said it aloud.
“Very well Heptah. Show me the future of Egypt.” Anu stood from his throne and grabbed his Golden scepter that leaned upon his seat, and after correcting his large crown on his head he walked before Heptah to one of the temples.
They now walked through the empty halls of the palace. All of the inhabitants of the palace, exempting a few guards and servants, were in the throne room enjoying the festivities. The two walked in silence together with the distance sound of the festivities in the background. Anu decided to break the silence.
“Which temple are we going to Heptah?”
“The Far East temple of the forth dynasty, my lord.”
“Ah, a very nice temple, but it is now shadowed in comparison to my temple!” He said with a hearty laugh.
“Of course my lord.”
They trekked across the rest of the palace in utter silence until they arrived. The large temple doors were adorned with gold and silver décor. The faces of the Gods and predeceasing pharaohs also were sculpted upon the large doors. Heptah struggled to pushed the heavy doors open and lit the torches with his own to light the temple. Statues of the Gods filled the room with the largest statue of Ra, the sun god, prominent above them all. The marble statue stood to the ceiling with the body of a man but the head of a hawk. A sun-disk sat on his head and in it burned with a never-extinguishing flame.
Heptah fell to the floor and bowed in front of the statue of Ra and Anu fell to a knee with a bow of his head. Heptah rose several moments later and laid a bowl of water in front of the statue. He stood in front of the bowl and spoke out loud as Anu watched on.
“I call on you gods of Egypt to show the future of the land. Ra, Sia, Hu, Heka…” He called on the names of these gods as he threw a potion onto the bowl of water. The water bubbled and foamed producing a yellowish smoke to fume from it. Heptah picked up the bowl and carried it to Anu.
“Inhale deeply, my lord.”
Anu was unfamiliar with this form of fortune telling, but trusted in his closest wise man. He took the bowl out of Heptah’s hand and brought it to his face and inhaled deeply. The thick smoke entered his nose and filled his lungs. His vision suddenly blurred and it became harder for him to breathe or stand. He began to sway back before his legs failed him all together. He fell to the ground and bowl hit the ground with a large crash.
“Heptah, what have you done to me!? What do you think you are doing?!” Anu yelled.
“I am avenging the death of my father. I am killing the son of my father’s killer!” He said as he looked over the pharaoh.
“What? Your father died valiantly in battle.”
“That is the story they told isn’t it?” He chuckled sadistically. “Your father, the Pharaoh before you killed my father… After shamefully lying with my mother. Your father was lying with my mother and feared that my father would soon find out of his adulterous ways. He killed him off in the night on the return from battle, and no one questioned it. No one questioned, but a young fatherless boy.
Once I learned the truth. I planned to exact my revenge, but your father died before I could take it, the coward. But this was not going to stop me from attaining my revenge. Someone will pay for the murder of my father… And that person will be you. Right now, in front of the very gods you claim to embody.” He had turned away from the Pharaoh as he pulled a potion from his sash and began to mix it. Anu struggled on the floor to reach his fallen Scepter that laid only inches from his reaching hand. Heptah turned with the potion and walked towards Anu, watching him struggle to preserve his life.