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The Good Stay Good and the Bad Stay Bad
The year 665 B.C., was the year my royal mother, Aloli Jahiim, was executed because of the way she spent the taxes her people were paying. Somehow, she had had enough power to erect statues and create a mighty tomb for herself with all of her grandest treasures. My mother used the tax money her people paid, similar to what Ramses the Great did, except she wasn’t a man. On top of that, she wasn’t a ruler with a militaristic background, so there was no military to help defend her in times of crisis. Encouraged by jealous courtiers, the tax payers revolted against her and dethroned her, burying her alive in her own tomb. There were three people included in the burial of my mother. Two of them were my friends, and the identity of the third is still left unknown. I, Abdul Jahiim, should have inherited the throne but did not because of the belief that since my mother did wrong no other man of that royal family could be pharaoh. From that point on, I disappeared into the shadows. For five years, I was lost. Now I have returned back to everyday life as Kabila, a farmer who always dreamed about living a life of royalty.
15 years after the execution of my mother, no one recognizes me as part of a royal family, just as an everyday Egyptian farmer like almost every other man in Egypt. My back aches from hunching over twelve hours a day, seven days a week, ploughing and planting and harvesting. My whole body is cut from head to toe because of my landowners’ whippings, and I am barely supporting my family while having to pay my taxes. I’m drowsy all of the time because of the brief four hours of sleep I get almost every night, but if I’m lucky, I’ll get four and a half. I have patches of black hair growing out of my head, but no hair where I was skinned one day for punishment of not completing my job. The skinner decided only to cut off some skin of my head and not all. Every day on my way home from work, I sneak by the palace, staring at it with jealousy knowing I should be the one in there right now. Since it’s the same time every day, I see all fifteen of the Pharaoh’s youngest children run around the palace playing children’s games, like I used to do. They frolic in the nude while the older ones play along fully clothed in the finest of all linens and silk. While staring at the children in jealousy, I trip over a rock and fall, reopening one of the hundreds of cuts on my body.
“Hey guys, look at that poor man who just tripped over a tiny little pebble,” pointed out one of the Pharaoh’s sons, not caring that I shouldn’t be anywhere near the magnificent palace.
Instead of helping me out, the boys start laughing at me and my suffering, and one of them even started to throw pebbles at me until another one of the little demons tell him that he took it a little too far. They quickly decide that the game they were playing was far more interesting than me and carry on. I quickly get up, embarrassed, ready to cry for the first time since the burial of my mother, and run off into an alleyway, thinking about sacrificing myself to Anubis, the god of the dead. “Why does my mother have to be the only female pharaoh with no control over her people and then decides use all of the tax dollars on statues of herself?” I complained aloud to myself. “Why couldn’t I just have a powerful mother who could control her greed, instead of Aloli Jahiim?”
“So this is where the son of Aloli the Horrible ended up? A torn-up farmer sobbing in an alleyway because of seeing young children who are wealthier than you having more fun then you could ever experience for the rest of your life?” says a random passer-by in his thirties, covered in a long, black silk robe. This man seemed to have served in my mother’s horribly organized military because I notice a tattoo on his right bicep that all of my mother’s soldiers were required to get to be a part of the army. He had short black hair like me, but wasn’t missing any of it. He had wrinkles on his forehead and seemed to have lost some of the pigment to his once green eyes. His hands seemed bigger than my face, but I wasn’t too sure because I didn’t seem to care at this very moment. “I came over here to help see if you were okay but now, I feel I should kill you so there will be no more of your family walking this Earth,” continues the man drawing a knife from his waist, not knowing I have kids at home.
“Please sir; I do not want any trouble. I’m just an everyday Egyptian like you, who wants nothing more than to just get through the day, surviving in the horrible condition I already am in,” I lie, pinching my rags closer about me.
“I came over here to help you feel better, but now you’re just going to lie to my face about something this obvious? You have the exact facial details that you had fifteen years ago at age fifteen. The only thing different about you is now you’re cut up from head to toe and have a miserable look on your face. Because of the high taxes your mother made us pay, I had to leave my family and disappear because I couldn’t afford to support them in any way whatsoever. It’s time for you to pay because of your mother’s consequences, Abdul Jahiim.”
“Please sir; I do not want any trouble.”
“Really? You don’t have it in you to fight me even after you buried your mother in her elaborate maze like tomb? Even after killing your mother, you went ahead and killed your two friends who helped you bury your mother, thinking that one day you would all return and rob her tomb later on in your pathetic lives? It’s great knowing that you killed your own mother because you believed what she did was wrong, but you still are a part of the royal bloodline, so now you must die.”
The second I heard the word “die,” I lost all control of my body. Before the man could react, I jump up, and I land a good right hook to the man’s jaw, but he quickly retaliates with an uppercut to the chin that sends me stumbling back a little bit. I decide to go for a low blow so I can finish him off, not caring about my honor and dignity. I thrust my knee into the man’s groin and he falls to his knees in a serious amount of pain. I then put the palms of my hands on each of the man’s ears, and twist his head to the right as fast as I could, snapping his neck.
The man hit the ground, blood seeping from his mouth, while I stood in astonishment at what just happened. I had no idea what had come over me. It was as if Onuris, the god of war, took control of my body. Now I remember what I was doing the night my mother was executed. That’s the exact same feeling I had after I buried my mother. Yes, I killed my mother, but not because of what that young man said, but because I believed I could be a better ruler then my mom, even at age fifteen. I let greed and selfishness take over my body, but hey, it’s a great feeling because you feel nothing can go wrong during the time you let it take over your body. Think of it as an alcoholic’s alcohol or a druggy’s drug. I get a feeling that I can’t live without it, but the buzz will shortly go away, so I’ll use it while I can. When I killed my friends, I felt no pity for them, or even sorry for them for some strange reason. All I could think about how much I would be even more powerful and richer in the future with my friends out of the share, that’s when I let greed take over my body. I just wanted to return later on, and steal the mighty sword that lay in her tomb along with all her other treasures. It allows any mortal being, to kill any other mortal being, without angering the gods or any other mortal. With that sword, I could gain position as pharaoh, and be the great pharaoh my mother always thought she was. Until now, I had completely forgotten I could walk to my mother’s tomb and memorized the exact passage to her tomb, where I buried her alive. With a rush, I remembered my dream of becoming the richest man ever to step foot in Egypt.
I decide it is time for me to make my last journey as a farmer. I will make the greatest theft in Egypt. I hide the body under a pile of bricks, and take his black robe to cover up the blood on my body. From there, I calmly return home, tell my family that I will be home in a couple of hours, and start towards my mother’s tomb. After two hours’ dusty walking, I inquire of a bearded man who walks by. Luckily, the man was well over the age of forty, so he is bound to know who my mother was.
“Excuse me sir, do you happen to know where the tomb of Aloli Jahiim is located?”
“Oh that selfish ruler who did nothing to benefit our people, only herself? What’s it to you?” says the man.
“I feel I should go visit it to spit on her tomb because of how bad a ruler she was,” I lie in hopes of finding out.
“Ah, what a good boy you are. If I was your age, I would do the same, but I can’t since my legs aren’t as strong. It’s about a 20 minute walk from here to the north.”
“Thank you kind sir, I’ll be sure to spat on it multiple times for you,” I say winking at the man as I start my walk. This will be my last twenty minutes walking as an ordinary citizen. But then out of nowhere, the man seizes me by the shoulders and shouts:
“Hey, wait, I recognize you from somewhere. You’re….”
Before he can finish what he says, I elbow the man in the gut and sprint as fast as I can away from the man. The man decides it’s not worth the effort to chase me down because of his older age and lets me be. Now I can finally steal what’s rightfully mine.
I, Abdul Jahiim, arrive at the entrance to my mother’s beautiful and luxurious tomb. Now I just have to get to where she was buried, grab the sword and treasure, and leave. I’ll kill the pharaoh tomorrow and my family will once again be the most powerful in Egypt. Dreaming of revenge, I walk on...
As it turns out, my mother wasn’t the brightest person in the world, so she didn’t hire the greatest engineers either. The engineers believed that being very elaborate and difficult to finish, mazes were actually very simplistic to them, so to get to where my mother was buried, all one had to do was walk about fifty steps forward and then make the choice to turn left or right, or barrage through the thin stone wall in between the right and left path ways. Turns out, my mother believed everything she said was right, so secret to the maze was always to turn right. Once inside, all you had to do was barrage through a wall 50 feet from the final turn to reach all of her magnificent treasures.
As I entered the “complex” structure, I started to get a feeling that something was wrong. Many of the paintings that used to be on the walls seemed to have disappeared. As I looked closely though, I was able to depict the message it was trying to convey. Down the fifty meters of wall, I picked out a phrase that said “Abdul, leave now.” I felt some warm feeling arise in my abdomen area that had a sticky feeling to it, but I wasn’t scared. In the back of my mind, I know that there’s a slight chance I did that because I was a little intoxicated when I buried my mother. I dismissed the unlucky thought and arrived at the wall to run through. I turn around, walk back toward the entrance twenty feet, and turn back around. Through the dimly lit hallway, I see the wall and start to run. The light outside suddenly goes pitch black, and not knowing if I closed my eyes or not, I keep on running. I soon figure out I just had to open my eyes, so I open them to see a mysterious figure lunging at me with the sword I’ve been trying to retrieve. I feel my head hit the ground, and look over to see my headless body oozing blood out of my neck where my head should be. . .