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Caesar IV Heaven » Forums » Story Archives » The Brave Brick-Maker - An Odd Little Tale of Egypt
Topic Subject:The Brave Brick-Maker - An Odd Little Tale of Egypt
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Civis Romanus
posted 11-24-00 19:23 ET (US)         


Chief Advisor: Chief Advisor to Pharaoh. Nicknamed "Skip".
HipHopHotep: The Pharaoh of Egypt.
Nebhotep: The general of Egypt's armies.
Nefertomuch: The daughter of Pharaoh.
Rahotep: A priest of RA.
Seti: The brick-maker.

Discussions among writers participating in this story should be conducted in the "Discussion Thread" not in this story.

All members of Pharaoh Heaven are welcome.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 12-01-2000).]

posted 12-08-00 14:53 ET (US)     26 / 40       
That night, while Pharaoh was sleeping, he had a dream of Seth, the God of war, talking to him.

"I shall gather together the finest warriors from all over the Black land and destroy this hippo outright. And then, your lovely daughter shall become a Priestess of Seth," whereupon Seth giggled lustily, and marched away from the Dream Pharaoh.

The next day, Pharaoh was in a pretty good mood. His daughter hadn't annoyed him once yet, and if his dream was coming true, Seth's finest troops would have destroyed the hippo already. Then his advisor ran in.

"My Lord, terrible news!" Skip said, breathlessly.

Pharaoh sighed. It looked like today was going to go downhill all the way.

"What is it?" He enquired, almost dreading the news.

"Well, sire, not only has Wrapsalothotep gone missing, presumably from your great fiery wrath, but an unknown army, presumably with no general, was crushed, as a group of hippos stampeded as they were about to attack the Great hippo, wearing what seems to be......" Skip hesitated, he didn't really want to tell Pharaoh the last part.

"What were they wearing, Skip?" the Pharaoh said, fuming at this point.

"Erm.....umm....." Skip paused, and recieved a fairly nasty glare from Pharaoh, "...Tutus, sir."

"Tutus? Seth's finest, beaten by a group of hippos in Tutus?" Pharaoh stood up and screamed at the ceiling. He was really beginning to hate today, and now he was getting a headache.

Civis Romanus
posted 12-08-00 16:26 ET (US)     27 / 40       
Just to add to his headache, the door to his throne room swung open unexpectedly and violently, and in strutted a somewhat short, stockily built man with a boyish face, blond hair and pink cheeks. He spoke strangely and in a boisterously loud voice.

"Oy theh, yo Maijestay! Ah cum toh help yew wit that happo!"

Pharaoh put one hand to the side of his head and winced. "Wonderful, who are you?"

"Why... don't yo know may? Ahm the Happo Huntah from down undah."

"Down undah... err under what?" asked HipHopHoTep.

"Theh, Sar. Down undah theh." The man pointed to the south.

"What makes you so sure you can do what no other has done before you, Hippo Hunter? This is the Great Hippo we're talking about now."

"Kawww! Yer Maijestay. Ah can catch any happo yew cahn point out tew may. Great, yew soy. No problem. Great jus moikes et mor intahrestang."

Nefertoomuch was intrigued by this one. Cute little guy who says things in a funny way... Has strange habits too. He leans forward and yells at you with his eyes bugged open. She studied his stocky build, tan top clothes and legged shorts. Not typical Egyptian wear. This "Down Under" must be much different than Egypt. Its people certainly are.

The little man walked up to the princess and in one swift, smooth move reached into his pocket. "Heh prinsass, hold thes fo a momant." The small brown snake slithered from his hand to hers. Nefertoomuch screamed.

"What?! That leetle booty won't hert yew. It's haamless. Just a lattle moment mowr. Hokay! Yer Maijestay, heh is moy cad. Ah'll be neah the Nile huntang happo. G'day Sayer!" With that, the Hippo Hunter retreived his brown snake from the petrified princess, put it into his shirt pocket and strode out of the throne room.

"Daddy... I don't want anything to do with that man!" protested Nefertoomuch.

"Daughter... a promise is a promise." Pharaoh saw the signs of an oncoming tantrum appear on his daughter's face and beat a hasty retreat from the throne room to his personal chambers.

Eminence Grise
posted 12-11-00 06:21 ET (US)     28 / 40       
LOL, Civis, I'll never manage that accent, so I'll leave his demise to you.
It seems to me our brick-layer friend should show up any moment now...
Darth, nicely done...
Civis Romanus
posted 12-11-00 15:58 ET (US)     29 / 40       
Evening fell upon the waters of the Nile and the local natives were all sitting on the shore watching the famous Hippo Hunter at work. Nearby, but paying no attention was Seti, doing a little last minute maintenance on his mud pit by shoring up its edges, simply to ensure that it indeed remained a pit. Rahotep was there pleading with him as usual to take up Pharaoh's challenge. Rahotep's encouraging words and pleas fell on unlistening ears.

The Egytians sitting on the shore were puzzled. This strange little man from down under would suddenly turn in his boat and talk to a box with a long cylindrical nose. The box was connected to nothing, but the Hippo Hunter carried on so very much that the Egyptians began to think of it as being the Hippo Hunter's companion.

"Hohw, I haf me rope and spar an ahm lookang fo the Great Happo. Thaht booty shood be raht nearby. Lawk at ahl thos stars. What a bootifal sayt! Kawww! Listen. Heah thaht?! It's tha happo, ahl roit! Wers me lantarn? Thea it is!" The Hippo Hunter picked up an oil burning lamp and held it over the water.

"The trick heah is to moik its oys lite up so's to say it. Thehn I'll slip this rope over its had, toy the rope to this boat and go whea he goes. Then my spar will finish the jobe."

The Hippo Hunter's expression suddenly changed. "Krikee! Thars a loot ohf ayes out thar. Which won is the Grate Happo's?! The bayggest pair of coss! Theah, that's him! Ovah Theah!"

Under the full blue moon, the Egyptians watched all of these activities. They saw the Hippo Hunter pick up his boat's long oar and ferry his boat towards a particular spot in the river. They saw him reach down and pick up his rope and attempt to rope something in the water. It was then that the river water erupted into a seething, churning mud stained boil. Hippos were everywhere!

"Krikee!" exclaimed the Hippo Hunter. "Pagmee happos! Dozens of them. Sarrounding the Grate Happo! Kaww! He's a smat one ee is, that one!" The Egyptians then heard the triumphant belly rumble of the Great Hippo at the same time they saw the Hippo Hunter's boat suddenly rock and turn turtle. The man from down under was in the river.

Pygmy hippos, stampeded by the Hippo Hunter's splashing headed for the shore directly near Seti's mud pit. The water at the edge of the river turned grey from the dozens of hippo bodies scurrying to escape from the water. Most bypassed Seti's pit, but not all. First one, then another and another; and then four more pygmy hippos fell into the pit and couldn't escape. The commotion drew Seti from out of his hovel, the ever present Rahotep close behind.

In the moonlight, as Seti stared into the mud pit at its content, Rahotep began to count. One, two, three, four, five, six... seven! Yes, seven pygmy hippos caught in one trap!" Rahotep began to laugh, then his face went blank and he looked at Seti. "Goodbye, Seti. See you tomorrow," said the old man. The priest turned and began the journey to Pharaoh's palace. Pharaoh shall hear of this promptly, thought the old man. Seti, the brick-maker... the man who caught seven hippos in a single trap. Pharaoh will be impressed. Rahotep made sure everyone between there and the palace heard the story... but only the way Rahotep wanted the story to be told: "Seven hippos in one trap".

Meanwhile, the Hippo Hunter, treading water, noticed different pairs of eyes joining the few remaining hippo eyes. These pairs of eyes were lower in the water and didn't have twitchy ears on each side.

"Crocs? Crocs? CROCS! KRIKEE! CROCS!" cried out the Hippo Hunter. The last the Egyptians on the shore saw of the funny little man from down under he was swimming furiously for the nearest sand bar. The last they heard of him was an echoing cry of


Then silence only...

Eminence Grise
posted 12-12-00 08:39 ET (US)     30 / 40       
The next morning Rahotep was presented to Pharaoh by a bedraggled looking Chief Advisor.

"I have good news, my Lord"

"Do you now? " Hiphophotep asked, "Do you mean you caught the Hippo?"

"" Skip squirmed under Pharaoh's level gaze.

"Has someone else captured the Hippo?"

"Please, don't tell me that bandy-legged little man caught it" Nefertoomuch interupted.

" your Majesties."

"Thank the gods, " the Princess sighed as Pharaoh roared,
"Then what in the name of the Devourer of Souls is this news you have!"

The Chief Advisor went paler than his white robe and started stammerring.

" lord, Seti..."

Rahotep could no longer contain himself and answered

"The brick-maker Seti caught Seven, your majesty! Seven!"

Vizier Johnleemk
posted 12-12-00 22:01 ET (US)     31 / 40       
"What?! You mean to tell me, Pharaoh, that a lousy no good poor brickmaker has a good chance to capture the Great Hippo and thus marry my daughter?!" cried out Pharaoh angrily.

"Uh, well, er, yes sire," answered Rahotep timidly.

Suddenly, the Pharaoh regained his composure. "If he can capture this 'Hippo' then I suppose he can marry my daughter. But surely he will not stand a chance against the Great Hippo. We all know it is as strong as 20 Hippos, yes?" the Pharaoh said with a twinkle in his eye.

"Are you saying you will let him capture the Great Hippo?" the Advisor asked.

"I'm not saying I'll let him. I'll make him! Guards! Drag Seti the Brickmaker before me so I can have a chat with him."

Visit My Forums and My Homepage. Particularly my forums. Please!! *grovels* Pretty please!!!

Romans 5:1-2 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Civis Romanus
posted 12-16-00 13:51 ET (US)     32 / 40       
The doors to Pharaoh's Hall opened and a youngish man in mid twenties stumbled through. The two guards behind him laughed as they finished pushing him towards the middle of the room. They bowed to Pharaoh then the burly soldier on the right kicked Seti in the seat of his skirt as a "gentle" reminder to bow in the presence of Pharoah.

The highly irritated young man, finally putting aside his anger and remembering the protocol, dipped to one knee and lowered his head. Pharaoh's expression changed from a deep frown to a self-satisfied smirk. "So you are Seti... the brick-maker?"

"Yes, Pharaoh." Pharaoh took measure of the man. He was of average heighth, no distinguishing characteristics, of good health and appearance. He was obviously not a wealthy man, nor destitute. He seemed moderately, unquestionably, undeniably... average.

"Tell me, Brick-maker, how came you to trap seven hippos in a single trap?"

Seti, annoyed once more, was preparing to tell Pharaoh the truth of it. "Pharaoh... I caught seven pyg..." But just then, Nefertoomuch entered the room. Seti's eyes opened wide, his mouth followed suit and his chin took a ride to the floor. She was beautiful. Her hair was expertly coifed, kohl was perfectly applied and face paints immitating the blue of lapis lazuli were placed in the most appropriate locations. Full painted lips completed the portrait of her face. The rest... well, the rest was most impressive and clothed in a sheer little nothing she barely wore, except in places where modesty dictated some care.

"My daughter, the Princess Nefertoomuch..." announced Pharaoh. Seti responded by falling to one knee as before. "She is the prize so many seek and fail to achieve. Now, again tell me, how did you capture seven in one trap."

This time Seti carefully considered his answer. And for once, in the Princess's mind, all thought of a tantrum was gone. This one, she thought, might not be so bad. And she began to wonder what would happen if he indeed won her hand, as he also wondered what life whould be like as husband to a princess.

Eminence Grise
posted 12-19-00 08:50 ET (US)     33 / 40       
"Ahum, your Highness, " Seti cleared his throat.
"I, err, ahum, did catch Seven. Just the other day I did.
If you are sitting comfortably, then I'll begin.
It happened like so"

Seti launched into a rousing report of how he had single handedly managed to catch not one, not two but Seven hippos. He did skim over the fact they were only pygme hippos, but the eyes in Nefertoomuch face sent his story into heights of poetry not reached by any of the court bards in the past few generations.

The girl's eyes started to twinkle, this man was a hero worth of legend. Even Pharaoh's mouth slowly opened.

"...and that my Pharaoh is how I captured Seven hippos."
He glanced at the Princess for a moment, then put his eyes straight back on Pharaoh's face when that worthy spoke.

"Hear me, hear me. " Hiphophotep spoke.
"Seti the bricklayer will set forth at dawn and capture the Great Hippo. When he brings back the hippo I will give him my daughter's hand."
Seti started to smile.
"However...if he fails he will be used as pyramid foundation in my tomb to be."

"As your Pharaohness commands." Seti bowed down low and walked backwards out of the room. As soon as the doors closed behind him the young man swallowed hard.
"The Devourer eat me, " he muttered under his breath, " again I let myself be led into folly for a pair of pretty eyes...and arms...and legs...and..."

His smile returned, there would be a way to make this girl his. There just had to be.

Civis Romanus
posted 12-19-00 12:28 ET (US)     34 / 40       
Seti sat on the ground near his hovel pondering his fate. Dancing before his mind's eye was the image of the princess with her kohl lined eyes and sheer court gown. Then, as if invading his thoughts without regard, a hulking grey shape took the young woman's place and danced about, its obscene bulk completely displacing the pleasant curves of the princess.

The brick-maker shook his head. "Too many such thoughts, Seti, and you will be a candidate for Pharaoh's tomb for sure," he said out loud though nobody was near who would hear. He stood up and entered his hovel to do what he always did when disturbed by persons or the events of the day.

From a crudely hewn wooden shelf embedded into the dried mud brick of his hovel he withdrew a box made of cedar and engraved with heiroglyphs. This was something his father had given to him before his father began The Journey three years ago. His father had said it had been his father's before him, and his father's father's before him. He did not really know how old the object truly was. It could be as old as Nile itself.

Seti opened the box and withdrew the hollow object nested inside. The wooden object was about one foot long, drilled with holes, a circular opening at one end and a compressed opening at the other end. Seti remembered how his father would spend time each week teaching Seti to place his lips on the compressed end, his fingers on some but not all of the holes and to blow into the object. The boy learned he could change the pitch of the sound the object emitted by changing the mix of holes he covered with his fingers. Then his father taught him how to create a pleasant progression of sounds by systematically covering and uncovering the holes in the object as he blew with forceful or gentle breaths.

Seti now set down the cedar box and carried the object outside. He sat down outside the door of his hovel and brought the object up to his lips and began to make the sounds the way his father taught him.

Pleasantly soothing tones fled from the object as he varied his breaths and changed the positions of his fingers over the holes. He felt the sounds travel across the open area between himself and the mud pit. The area fell strangely quiet except for the sounds made by the object. He could see his workers cease to stomp straw into the mud with their feet and halt filling their brick molds with mud/straw slurry. They all turned to look at Seti as if mesmerized by the sounds.

Small creatures too seemed intrigued. Field mice cautiously crept up to within a meter of the brick-maker. Birds circled overhead then found perches in nearby palms. Even the surface waters of the Nile seemed to soften their turbulence when passing by the brick-maker's land.

Near the edge of the river's waters, the surface broke as a small grey creature planted its flattened feet on the muddy shore. The pygmy hippo sniffed the air and cocked its head in such a way as to direct one of its small twitching ears towards the origin of the sounds. The creature waddled towards Seti and with only a few meters left between itself and the brick-maker, it plopped itself down on the ground, layed its chin on the sparse ground vegetation and simply stared at Seti as the brick-maker played sounds on his object. Seti continued to play.

It was then Seti realized there was a way to capture the Great Hippo after all... and it did not require violence or any harm at all to befall the fabulous creature. Contented and smiling he continued to play the object. In his minds's eye the obscene bulk of the hulking grey shape changed back into the voluptuous image of Pharaoh's daughter... and in this vision, she smiled at Seti with appreciation and invitation.

Eminence Grise
posted 12-20-00 09:45 ET (US)     35 / 40       
Seti finished his music and the little hippo looked up at him. It blinked it's wet brown eyes once then waddled back to the Nile. With a soft splash it disappeared.

The young brick-maker rose and started asking people where they had last seen the Great Hippo and was pointed in the direction of the water gardens at the back of the Pharaonic Palace. He grinned as he made his way there.

Wading through the papyrus reeds along the shore he made his way to the steps that lead from the Nile into Pharaoh's garden. The ceremonial barque was tied to the waterfront. He wrung out the base of his kilt and sat down.

Ra's barque was slowly moving towards the Land of the Dead as he started playing. The melody was old, older than any heard in the last two or three dynasties. It's haunting tones whispered and beckoned as they flowed into the evening.

After a while he heard a noise behind him. Without stopping to play he looked 'round carefully. He almost choked.
Nefertoomuch, wearing a possibly even sheerer gown than before sat on the higher steps. Her malachite and kohl enhanced eyes rivited on his back. As he watched she was joined by a maid or two and even an guard.

This was getting seriously strange he thought and tried to concentrate even more on his music.

Only a bare handspan of sun was still above the horizon. A half dozen small hippos, birds and even a crocdile or two were watching him from the water. A second look behind him showed that almost every on ein the palace was now watching him and listening. Even Pharaoh himself was there, slowly tapping his sandeled foot.

Sweat started to roll down Seti's face, dripping in his eyes as their accumulated stare bore down on him as the weight of the Great Pyramid itself.
This was not going to work, he thought.

Suddenly a shape moved in the red tinted river. Two ears and eyes sticking out of the water a shape approached.

[This message has been edited by Jayhawk (edited 12-21-2000).]

Civis Romanus
posted 12-20-00 15:56 ET (US)     36 / 40       
The surface of the Nile separated as the back of the great grey creature broke its surface. Two large flat feet found a perch on the muddy riverbank and began the laborious task of pulling the rest of the creature's bulk onto the shore. All the while, the creature's twitching ears remained atuned to the notes being played by Seti on the ancient object.

The Great Hippo moved its ponderous head from side to side to enable himself to see the source of the inviting sounds. Convinced there was no threat of danger, the mesmerized hippo slowly approached Seti. Then, a few meters away and exhaling a great sigh, the creature plopped itself onto the ground. It continued pointing its ears towards the sounds coming from the object and its eyes remained focussed on Seti.

The hippo showed no fear as Seti stood up still making his soothing sounds and walked towards the resting creature. It was then that Seti nearly met his doom. A rivulet of salty perspiration found his right eye, entered the opening and stung it mercilessly. Seti instinctively stopped blowing on the object and used his right hand, the one that stopped up the holes, to wipe the perspiration away. Almost immediately the Great Hippo's head rose off of the ground and a great belly roar followed. Frightened Egyptians scurried into their hovels, and Pharaoh and others retreated to the inside of their compound.

Seti froze instantaneously, petrified with dread. The Great Hippo began to collect itself and struggle to gain its feet. Seti's mind screamed at him to run, but he would not. The object was his release from stress and turmoil and it would be so again. A little corner of his mind said, "Make the sounds, Seti... Make the sounds." And so he did.

The Hippo's eyes glazed over once more and the creature ceased its struggle to rise. Instead, it lowered itself to the ground and resumed its quiet listening to the sounds being made by Seti. All of the creatures returned to their places to listen once again. Pharaoh and his daughter heard the melody begin anew and they and their entourage also returned to the steps to sit and listen.

Seti knew it was time to take the chance. He changed the melody to something more ancient than anyone knew. It was a slow progression of notes that his father taught him, but could only do so for short periods of time. That's because Seti could not stay awake for long once the progression of notes began. He began the melody almost as if it were part of the original notes played to lure the Great Hippo from the Nile. Then it transformed into the slow progression of notes he learned from his father.

In only a minute or two Seti could hear the Great Hippo's breathing become slower and longer. Its large, liquid brown eyes began to close a little... then a little more... again a little more... and then finally close completely. Moments later great snores coming from the creature could be heard echoing from all around. Seti softly, slowly, purposefully blew the last few subtle notes through the object, then withdrew it from his lips.

All around was quiet..The villagers, the servants, Pharaoh, his daughter, and the Great Hippo stood, sat or slumped where they were in the deepest of sleeps. Seti cautiously walked up to the Great Hippo and placed his hand on its huge head. The Great Hippo never stirred.

Well, now that I have him, what shall I do with him, he asked himself silently...

Eminence Grise
posted 12-21-00 09:29 ET (US)     37 / 40       
Seti looked at all the snoring people and yawned widely. Then he walked towards the Princess and gently pressed a kiss on her forehead.
Whatever happens, he thought, I kissed the princess.

Next he walked to the Chief Adviser and gently nudged him.
"Huh? what? Where? Aaargh...frflt."
His shout became a splutter as Set put his and infront of the Advisor's mouth. The man dragged Seti's hand away and muttered.
"You got the Hippo, boy, you actually got the hippo!"

He smacked Seti on the shoulder and nudged Pharaoh awake. Pharaoh took a look at Seti, at the Hippo and shrugged. At least the Hippo was not going to be a problem anymore. Then he rushed off and sandaled his (new) general awake.

The Chief Advisor took Seti by the arm and let him inside the palace. As they walked in Egyptian soldiers carrying large coils of rope. The Advisor hustled Seti in to a bed room and closed the curtain behind him. Seti looked around in amazement and turned back to the curtain. Two soldiers made him turn back into the room. He took off his kilt and his wig and fell asleep on the bed.

The next morning he was pulled off the bed by an aarmy of servants that bathed him, shaved him and then dressed him in good finer than he'd ever seen. When he was dressed and judged presentable he was quickly hustled of to the garden.

Here Pharaoh, Nefertoomuch, looking more beautiful than ever, and a priest of Isis waited. It looked like he was actually going to marry the princess. Then his glance fell upon the trussed up bulk of the Giant Hippo suspended between two barques.

Civis Romanus
posted 12-21-00 16:29 ET (US)     38 / 40       
Seti's mind was tortured, his feelings of guilt nearly overpowering. On one hand, here was the princess at his side, beaming up at him, expectant. Then on the other hand was the Great Hippo, hunted, imprisoned and now to be caged, enslaved or worse.

Sounds of misery unlike any he had ever heard before came from the great grey hulk trussed up in ropes stretched between the barques. Seti looked about, lost in troubled thought. Then he looked towards the horizon, where the moon was setting even as the sun was rising higher in the sky in the opposite direction. The moon was very low to the ground, quite full and it was... white, not blue!

Seti immediately knew what he should do. He felt at his belt and found his ceremonial knife in its sheath. He looked left and then right, saw the open path all of the way to the barques; then on legs strengthend by years of labor making bricks, he began running at his fastest pace straight for the bargues and the trussed up hippo. Startled, neither Pharaoh, his Chief Advisor or the guards reacted particularly quickly. Before they could respond and shout orders to catch him, Seti had already covered the short distance to the barques and was scampering across the first, heading straight for the captured hippo with his sharp-edged ceremonial knife out of its sheath and ready to cut rope.

Cut, hack, hack, hack, cut... snap. The final rope tentatively holding the hippo came apart under Seti's knife just as five pairs of Egyptian soldier hands grasped him by the ankles and dragged him up and into the barque. Too little, too late. The sheer bulk and strength of the hippo guaranteed that it would easily work its way out of the ropes and find its way safely back into the waters of the Nile. And that is what it did.

With a tremendous splash the hippo dropped into the reddish brown water, disappeared completely below its surface, then reappeared with only its ears, eyes and head above the water. It released a great belly roar, looked in the direction of Seti as he was being carried back to Pharaoh, smiled a little more than a hippo should, and then disappeared once more below the surface of the water.

The Great Hippo was never seen again...

Seti stood before the enraged HipHopHotep, Pharaoh of Egypt and his teary-eyed daughter. The King saw nothing in his mind's eye but more destruction in the future, and the princess saw nothing in her mind's eye but a long line of unsuitable suitors. Unlike the King, she really didn't mind that the hippo escaped (she thought it was cute) but she did mind that Seti would soon be dead, that is, if her father was true to form.

Seti stood there, resigned to whatever Fate had in store for him...

Eminence Grise
posted 12-22-00 09:08 ET (US)     39 / 40       
"You, you, you dung shoveler, " Pharaoh hissed, his face taking on the colour of Aswan granite.
"You, you, you rotten bit of mummy wrapping!
Why did you do it?
Why did you free that great lump of lard?
You would have become Pharaoh after I was laid in my tomb and yet you gave it all up by letting the monster loose again on the Two Lands.
I would have called you son.
Made you one with the immortals

Nefertoomuch looked worried her father almost sounded sad at the end of his tirade.

"mumble mumble mumble" said Seti
"Speak up, boy" the Chief Advisor prodded Seti with his flyswapper.
"I said it would be unfair to the hippo. Nobody behaves bad enough to deserve to spend the rest of his live in chains. Whether they are your subjects or the Great Hippo." Seti said defiantly eying the two burly soldiers that had shown up with a rather large piece of rope.

The crowd fell silent.
Hiphophotep opened his mouth then closed it again when Nefertoomuch spoke.
"The boy is right, father"
Pharaoh was stunned. That was two unbelievable things happen in one day, first Seti defying him by releasing the Hippo, then daughter actually talking sense for once. He started to believe anything could happen today.

Anything, or rather something did happen then. He felt the people around him fall even more silent. Some actually fell on their faces, bowing but to whom? Hiphophotep looked up and saw a figure somewhat behind Seti. A lovely figure he tought and then took in the glowing disk above her head. Eyes darker than onyx regarded him from beneath kohl and malachite.
"Isis..." he stammered and bowed.

The Lady smiled and Pharaoh felt his heart caught in that smile.
"The children are right, Hiphophotep.
No one should be kept in chains, especially not the Great Hippo. Tawret would be most didspleased. The Great Hippo is her messenger brings change and fruitfulness.
Your line was ready to fade, Hiphophotep but with Seti's blood it will be revived and will last for generations.
Be careful what you choose, Child of mine."

Pharaoh looked at the two youngsters and the immortal goddess, then bowed his head.
"It shall be as you wish, Great Lady.
It shall be as I promised, Nefertoomuch.
Seti, you caught the hippo, that was all I asked and you shall have my daughter in wedlock."

Isis smille blessed the children, their loins and with that the Two Lands as the Priests started the ceremony. She looked at Hiphophotep and faded. Pharaoh would have sworn she winked at him, just before she was gone.

Hiphophotep looked at his people and raised his hands wide.
"My people.
I give you my son.
I give you Seti!"

Civis Romanus
posted 12-24-00 01:25 ET (US)     40 / 40       

And so it came to pass one day soon after they were wed that Nefertoomuch entered Seti's chamber in the House of Pharaoh... absolutely furious.

"JUST LOOK AT THIS HAIR!" she bellowed in feminine indignation. "See this mess?! I will have them enclosed in Pharaoh's jails for fifty years for this!"

Seti looked up at his recently acquired spouse. "Well from here it doesn't look so bad." Wrong comment.

Nefertoomuch's face turned red and then purple as a royal rage built up to explosive force. Seti's eyes opened wide as he watched the contortions begin in her face that signaled a purely magnificent snit soon to come.

He reached under the couch on which he lay and quickly extracted his extraordinary object, now named a flute by direction of Pharaoh, only the second time in HipHopHotep's forgetable reign that he had an idea of his own.

Seti watched the princess's rage grow and grow even as he pulled another melody from memory and began to play it on his flute. With each note he played, Nefertoomuch's face began to soften just a little, then a little more and finally the rage followed the snit into oblivion.

The princess sighed, then walked over to where Seti filled the couch. She collapsed full forward on top of him and placed a moist, warm kiss full on his lips. Seti only barely had enough time to remove the flute from his lips before Nefertoomuch took the object's place.

The last thought Seti had for the moment and for as long as the moment lasted was... "My but this material is sheer."

And so we depart from the world of Nefertoomuch, HipHopHotep and the brave brick-maker, who is now a prince of Egypt and a brick-maker no longer.


[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 12-24-2000).]

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