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Forbidden Love

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The earth trembled as I took her dark hand in mine. She smiled faintly as she tossed her hair behind her shoulder and faced me. The sun began to rise gradually, signifying the arrival of her betrothed, Ra, The Sun God. Her breath quickened as he materialized in front of her. Ra’s face, a mixture of disgust and astonishment, loomed over us. I tried my best to give Nut a reassuring squeeze. Taking a deep breath, she spoke with an unwavering voice.
“I cannot marry you. To do so I would betray my heart and ignore my feelings for Geb, the God of earth.” Nut spoke quickly, the words rushing out of her mouth. Her voice was airy and lulling. She took the star shaped amulet from around her neck and tossed it to Ra. It burned and melted before it could reach him, incinerating the token of their marriage. Ra’s expression was cool, but the blistering heat that surrounded us told me otherwise. He was furious. He knew that a God’s decision was made final. They were not weak and naïve like humans, they stood strong and unwavering, refusing to be swayed by emotion or negotiation. He made no effort to contradict her.
“You fool. You refuse to marry the Ruler of the world,” he shot us an evil grin,”Nut, goddess of the Night Sky, I hereby proclaim you may not Give birth to any child during 360 days of the year.” His face turned dark and angry. Nut felt limp in my arms. With a final heat wave, Ra vanished. The air promptly turned chilly. Relief washed over me like a river but Nut’s face was blank, her hand fluttered absently to her swollen belly. The tears she held back flowed freely down her face now that Ra was not here to humiliate her. Rain plummeted down on to me as she wept, I could not comfort her. I helplessly petted her shoulder hoping that she would recognise my sentimental efforts.
We gods were powerful. We could cause danger and destruction, but what affected us internally was even more overwhelming. A human’s emotions are weak, insignificant. A god’s on the other hand are potent enough to cause the eradication of the world. A storm brew in the sky, and I knew this was her doing. Thunder crashed vengefully as she screamed curses at Ra. The rain came down harder on to the earth and lightning flashed as her eyes did, full of loathing.
She untangled herself from my embrace and stared up despairingly into my eyes. Her dark skin was covered in stars that were placed by Ra when she lifted him up to heaven. Suddenly, an Ibris headed figure sauntered towards us. He examined us as meticulously as he would do his papyrus scrolls. “Thoth!” my wife called out. Thoth took several moments to reply, still examining the situation, as though trying to figure out an impossible math equation.
“What seems to be the botheration? I sensed the storm and wondered if beautiful Nut was despondent.” His eyes widened, questioning and expectant. His voice was papery and ragged…wise, as he liked to think. I spoke up and confronted him.
“Ra has forbidden Nut to give birth to our children during 360 days of the year. He was upset that Nut wouldn’t marry him and chose me.” I raised my chin slightly in defiance, my egotism dominating any remorse I felt for my unborn children. My grumbly voice was throaty and low. Thoth’s face perked up in amusement.
“Foolish young Gods.” He accused delightedly. I was about to object when he continued,”He did not hinder your parturition due to unrequited love. He did it as he was not desirous to be overthrown.” He spoke with a wrinkly smile plastered to his Ibris head. His pompous language tempted me to manifest a hole under his feet.
“Can you help us, Thoth?” Nut said pleadingly. She was near 500 years old, but her hopefulness made her seem innocently childlike. I watched as Thoth cocked his head and squinted his eyes. This was his ‘pondering face.’ I did not know why, but I found this God of Knowledge incredibly annoying, vexing, if you will.
Finally, after eons of waiting for a reply, he said,”You must see Khonsu.” He dragged his words agonizingly, trying to torment us with his slow speed.
“Khonsu?” I asked,”The Moon God? How will this help us?” I heard Thoth sigh exasperatedly.
“He has the innate capability to control the moon and time. As the moon wanes and waxes, so does time. If you gather sufficient moonlight, you will be able to increase the number of days in the year.” His slow pace was about to earn him a free fall through the earth, but his solution to our predicament was impressive. “I must adjourn now. I bid you good tidings young ones.” He granted us a bow and summoned a portal. He stepped into the rippling air before him.
Nut was suddenly filled with enthusiasm and hope. She and I prepared to summon a portal. We placed specific amulets and engraved stones in a circle so we did not end up materializing ourselves inside a wall. Nut was better at conjuring portals, so I stepped back to let her concentrate. She raised an arm in front of her and I watched as the ripples formed before her figure. She opened her eyes and stepped into the liquidized air. I followed suit.
When we stepped out in front of Khonsu’s pyramid, we were greeted by bursts of multi-coloured light. Realising Khonsu’s pyramid was under attack, we rushed toward it. Demons were clambering up the sides of the pyramid, trying to find a way to breech it. Several winged demons circled the top of the pyramid threateningly, hurling fireballs at it or smashing their way in. However whenever they attacked, the pyramid gleamed an electric blue and rapidly recovered itself. I could see the silhouette of Khonsu. He stood at the entrance looking up at the demons in combat. He tossed glowing hieroglyphs at them, causing lustrous explosions around him.
“Ha-di” I yelled, the hieroglyph to make victims explode. The hieroglyph shimmered in front of the flying demons and a fraction of a moment later, they shattered into pieces.
“ Ha-wi” I heard Nut call out. A hidden force caused several demons to fly back and whack painfully against the pyramid walls. While we were struggling to fight the demons, Khonsu, I felt, was having too much fun fending off the demons.
“Squash, Explode, Indigestion!!” he shouted gleefully. Egyptian symbols shimmered in the air and the first demon crumpled like a piece of crushed paper and fell limply to the ground. The second one exploded in a series of fireworks and the last, turned a sickly pale and started convulsing in front of us, vomiting and expulsing feces at the same time. The combat caused tremors across the ground and the hard earth began to crack. In despair, I started to chant. As Nut and Khonsu continued battle, I worked on patching up the cracked earth so we did not fall and plummet to out deaths. Nut used her powers to summon lightning and thunder. This was successful in chasing the demons away. When Khonsu finally thought he had had enough entertainment for the evening, he called out one last hieroglyph.
“Hah-ri!” silence fell over us and the air seemed to weigh us down. The ground was still, to my relief. Our demon pursuers fell down fast asleep. With a triumphant smile, Khonsu turned to us.
He definitely perked up when he saw Nut. I suspected he fancied her star covered body. Khonsu looked almost completely human, except for the silver irises. He wore a midnight blue suit that shone like aluminium foil. A crescent moon amulet hung lazily down his neck. It was big and looked very heavy.
“Khonsu, we need moonlight. We plan on winning it from you.” Nut said. I was surprised that her voice was confident and demanding. Khonsu chuckled.
“That would be if you do win, but what would I receive if I were to win.” His eyes wiggled boastfully, he was known to be an impassive gambler. I saw recklessness and desperation in Nut’s stance. It was obvious that she had already thought of the answer for she answered immediately.
“I’ll give you my ren to devour. In doing so, I’ll pass you my memories…my identity. I will no longer have that part of my soul.” Normally, I would admire her confident voice, but right now I was too shocked and numb from her gamble.
“No.” I said. “You can’t do that. You turned Ra away so you could be with me. I will not let you give away part of your soul and turn into someone I won’t recognize.” She looked up at me with a stubborn gaze and I was once again reminded of how a God wasn’t easily swayed, but I had made a decision too. I would not lose her.
“I will still be with you if I lose. I have to try for our children. Future gods, Geb. I will always be me, and it is me that you love, is it not? Will you not look after me if I am sick? Is losing my ren any different? If I turn into someone you don’t recognise, does that mean I will turn into someone you will not love?” I looked down at her. How was it that she could so easily get to me? She had too many questions.
“But..you will have forgotten you ever loved me.” I said looking down, embarrassed that Khonsu was probably mocking my sentiment. I felt her hand reach up to my face gently.
“Love, Geb, is not a memory, it is an emotion. Even if I do forget your face, I will still feel the love I have now, for you. He may take my memories and soul, but not my love.” With that, she kissed my cheek and took Khonsu’s hand in hers, agreeing to play the game. I felt vulnerable. I could not help her while she gambled for only a God with the purest intentions could play, I had exactly no intention in letting her give up her ren. Nevertheless, she was determined enough to continue the game without my help. I stalked off to a chair in the corner of the room and sat down and watched my wife, in worried agony, risk everything she had for the unborn children that she had already chosen over me…
She won. The game looked quite simply like a board game to me. I heard several victory cries from Nut and groans of defeat from Khonsu. Though Khonsu had lost, he seemed amused and rewarded Nut the moonlight willingly. “To win that amount of moonlight from me, you would have to be astronomical. Oh, well, I guess you are seeing that your body is covered in stars.” He chuckled at his own joke, not bothered that neither of us joined in. I was pleased that she won, but it still stung to realize what she would do for her children. I guess my huge ego was bruised. I leaned down to give her a smiling kiss. We now had five more days in the year. She clapped her hands in glee. Relieved, I pulled her into a hug.
When we returned from Khonsu’s pyramid, she gave birth to five children. Osiris, Horus, Isis, Seth and Nepthys. I held her hand enduringly as she produced these five gods. She didn’t have time to recover from her labour as Ra found out and immediately sought us. The sun rose higher and higher, signalling his arrival. Overwhelming heat enveloped us. Rage arranged his features into an ugly expression.
“You dare disobey me?! You will be punished for your disobedience, my goddess.” Nut huddled in my arms. She was not his goddess I decided defiantly. Ra grew higher into the sky…he waved a staff in his hands, summoning Shu, I realized. The god of air. “Shu! I order you to separate these two lovers for eternity, if they should ever come together, chaos will engulf the world.” Ra no longer held that smug expression that he had when he forbade Nut giving birth and I knew that Thoth was right. Ra was only looking for a reason to banish any heir to the throne…and I was it.
Shu took Nut from my arms and propelled her high into the sky. He supported her with his hands and stood on me so I lay flat on the ground where I was secure. I struggled against Shu but it was impossible. He had a physical advantage since he couldn’t be touched or physically manoeuvred. I heard Nut wail helplessly above me. Her tears rained onto me and my arms, that humans refer to mountains, reached up to her. My heart ached for her. After all we’ve done, we should have been allowed to stay together. Shu remained indifferent to our misery. He was forever loyal to Ra.
****
A millennia later, I still lie, looking up at my beloved, The beautiful sky goddess. Stars decorated her body and illuminate the night sky. She looked down lovingly at me, shooting stars dancing across her body that stretched endlessly over me. My undiminishing love for her was enough for me to find comfort in merely looking up at her. Fireworks exploded in the sky and the earth quaked as I laughed.




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