Only a Woman

August 12, 2011
By CarrieAnn13 GOLD, Goodsoil, Other
CarrieAnn13 GOLD, Goodsoil, Other
12 articles 10 photos 1648 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." --Douglas Adams

"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." --Marcus Aurelius


“My Lady, Octavian is here.” Neferura, my only loyal servant was in a panic. “It will only be a matter of time before he finds you here.”

“I won’t hide any longer. Bring my paints, my best red sheath and my most expensive jewelry. I’ve charmed two Roman men; there’s no reason I can’t charm this one too.”

Neferura bowed, then ran out of the mausoleum I had been hiding in for the past few months. Had it really only been a couple of months since everything had gone wrong? Our fleet was destroyed at Actium, Mark Antony committed suicide and now the Emperor had arrived in Egypt. If I couldn’t charm Octavian like I charmed Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, then I would soon return to my mausoleum as a corpse.

Neferura soon returned with all the things I had requested. She helped me wriggle out of my plain white sheath and into my sumptuous red one that left little to imagination. Then she brushed my tangled black hair, pinned it up and slipped my wig of a hundred ringlets into place. I sat very still as she outlined my eyes in kohl, used henna to redden my lips and covered the dark circles under my eyes with powder. From the small selection of jewelry she brought, I chose a silver circlet with a huge red jasper stone that hung on my forehead, bracelets of electrum, a belt of moonstones and rings of lapis lazuli. I looked at myself in the small bronze mirror Neferura brought and smiled. I looked perfect, as usual. Now all I had to do was make Octavian agree.




“You manipulated a good Roman man into turning against his own country.”

“Me? I am just a woman. What influence could a woman have over a strong Roman man?”

Octavian spluttered at my words; he was not buying into my story. And he definitely wasn’t falling for my body like Julius and Mark had. My intelligence only threatened him, so that definitely wasn’t helping my case. Time for Plan B.

“You need a powerful ally in Egypt; I can maintain control over my people. Let me remain Pharaoh and Rome will reap the rewards.”

For the first time in our meeting, Octavian smiled. “Cleopatra, you are an intelligent woman. Tell me why would I need a powerful ally in the newest Roman province?”

“You’re annexing Egypt?” I gasped.

“Of course. I have no wish to quell the rebellion of yet another tempestuous Eastern Queen.” He snapped his fingers. “Take her away, but do not harm her. I wish to display her at my triumph when I return.”

The Roman guards marched me at sword point to a tiny room in the palace that had been a guest room. Before they locked me away for good, I turned to face them and suggestively lifted my sheath to reveal my right calf. One of the soldiers hesitated, but the other pushed me into my prison and slammed the door behind me. To my surprise, Neferura was there, setting up a simple cot by the door. Seeing me, she bowed before speaking.

“I convinced the guards to let me tend to you. My Queen, what are you going to do now?”

“I am going to deny Emperor Octavian his greatest prize.” I smiled reassuringly to hide the fact I was ready to break down and cry. “I don’t care how you do it, but bring me an asp. I’m going to die with the honour that befits the last Pharaoh of Egypt.”

Neferura nodded and I could see the tears in her deep brown eyes. I walked over to her and pulled her into a hug, a huge breech of station on my part. But I didn’t care; I was about to die and I needed to thank her for her complete loyalty to me. I felt the tears run down my face, but I let them flow. After all, if I had my way, I was not long for this world.




After Neferura retouched my makeup, I was ready. She had smuggled the asp past the guards by hiding it in a basket of figs. I reached in the figs and nearly smiled in triumph when my fingers closed around the asp’s cool, smooth body. It hissed as I pulled it out of the basket. Good, it was already annoyed at being kept under the heavy figs.

Its eyes stared coldly at me as I stroked its head, enticing it to bite me. Finally, it struck my wrist with lightning speed. I bit my tongue to keep from crying out in pain. When the snake let go, I quickly dumped it in the fig basket and put the lid on it. I didn’t want it to slither out and bite Neferura, my only friend left.


Within minutes, my breathing became laboured. I lay down on the bed and carefully composed myself. I was going to die with dignity, the way a Pharaoh should. My last breaths were steeped in agony, yet I was strangely happy. I had thwarted Octavian, denying him his greatest prize.

But my happiness didn’t last long. The gods in Judgment Hall were calling for me, Queen Cleopatra, the last and greatest Pharaoh.


The author's comments:
Historical Note: Although we know him today as Octavian (or Caesar Augustus), in his time, he was known as 'Gaius.' I didn't want to fight convention by using his Latin name because that would just confuse everyone.

I hope you like my story! Tell me what you think of my portrayal of Cleopatra in the comments.

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This article has 255 comments.


on Dec. 22 2011 at 1:45 pm
idc-wat-they-think SILVER, Augusta, Georgia
5 articles 0 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
every sinner has a future every saint has a past

this was great i loved it keep writing :)

on Dec. 20 2011 at 7:31 pm
CarrieAnn13 GOLD, Goodsoil, Other
12 articles 10 photos 1648 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." --Douglas Adams

"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." --Marcus Aurelius

Thanks for commenting! :)

on Dec. 20 2011 at 7:30 pm
KatieDeLavani BRONZE, Sierra Vista, Arizona
2 articles 0 photos 1 comment
A celver piece. The description was satisfying, the dialog intelligent, and the format inviting. Though it refrained from delving into a deep story, it reflected built personalities and was definitely worth the time. Continue writing!

on Dec. 19 2011 at 3:25 pm
CarrieAnn13 GOLD, Goodsoil, Other
12 articles 10 photos 1648 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." --Douglas Adams

"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." --Marcus Aurelius

Why do you say there is no point to this?  How could I improve and make it have 'a point', as you put it?

on Dec. 19 2011 at 3:24 pm
CarrieAnn13 GOLD, Goodsoil, Other
12 articles 10 photos 1648 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." --Douglas Adams

"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." --Marcus Aurelius

I'm sorry you feel that way.  Thanks for taking the time to comment! :)

Aron Rogers said...
on Dec. 19 2011 at 10:14 am
i hate this article! there is no point of it.

Aron Rogers said...
on Dec. 19 2011 at 10:12 am
i realy hated this article. there is no point of this.

on Dec. 17 2011 at 9:50 pm
CarrieAnn13 GOLD, Goodsoil, Other
12 articles 10 photos 1648 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." --Douglas Adams

"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." --Marcus Aurelius

Thanks for such a thoughtful comment!  I really appreciate it. :)

Andromeda GOLD said...
on Dec. 17 2011 at 9:48 pm
Andromeda GOLD, Wichita Falls, Texas
12 articles 0 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You don't have time for self-doubt. Self-doubt hinders your ability to write and all writers experience it anyway. You just need confidence in your own ability." -CarrieAnn13

I really enjoyed the story line, I've always liked historical fiction. I personally, do not like long dialogues so I liked the fact that the dialogue that was present was short and direct.

Your grammar and spelling had no issues that I could detect. The only wording that maybe was a bit awkward was "I was not long for this world", though I'm not sure if that was for a specific purpose.

Your story was descriptive without being wordy.

Overall I really liked your writing style and the idea of the story.


on Dec. 17 2011 at 8:23 pm
CarrieAnn13 GOLD, Goodsoil, Other
12 articles 10 photos 1648 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." --Douglas Adams

"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." --Marcus Aurelius

Thanks for commenting! :)

Cams05 said...
on Dec. 17 2011 at 8:22 pm
Cams05, Santa Marta, Other
0 articles 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
"For you I was born, for you I have life, for you am I now dying." -García Marquez Of love and other demons (Garcilaso de la Vega)

"If we live a life in fear, I’ll wait a thousand years just to see you smile again"-Muse, Resistance

vey good. I love the history and I really like the way you write. :) 

on Dec. 12 2011 at 8:46 pm
CarrieAnn13 GOLD, Goodsoil, Other
12 articles 10 photos 1648 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." --Douglas Adams

"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." --Marcus Aurelius

I'm sorry you feel that way.  Thanks for commenting!

on Dec. 12 2011 at 8:14 pm
seanspiveyjr BRONZE, Poughkeepsie, New York
3 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
"All human beings are also dream beings. Dreaming ties all mankind together."
Jack Kerouac

It might just be me but I didn't really like this. I'm not into the historical fiction that much but I did like the way you set things up. I'm the type of person that likes to feel what I'm reading and I didn't feel that here. Maybe that's not your style but it was still pretty good.

on Dec. 12 2011 at 6:28 pm
CarrieAnn13 GOLD, Goodsoil, Other
12 articles 10 photos 1648 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." --Douglas Adams

"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." --Marcus Aurelius

Thanks!  :)  I'm glad you took time to comment now.

on Dec. 12 2011 at 6:23 pm
Noni3280 BRONZE, Warrnambool, Other
3 articles 0 photos 19 comments

Favorite Quote:
Take each day as it comes.

i looked at this the other day and didnt get a chance to comment. I really like it. This was AWESOME!

on Dec. 11 2011 at 1:46 pm
CarrieAnn13 GOLD, Goodsoil, Other
12 articles 10 photos 1648 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." --Douglas Adams

"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." --Marcus Aurelius

It was Neferura.  It means 'Beautiful one of Ra.'  Anyway, thanks for commenting! :)

BluBliss GOLD said...
on Dec. 11 2011 at 1:45 pm
BluBliss GOLD, New York, New York
14 articles 0 photos 161 comments

Favorite Quote:
Bella's love for Edward was like, "Omg. He's hot. He's mine because he sparkles. Now I'll brood the wholle book while I'm with him."

Hey, I thought I commented on this already. Oh well, I'll do it again. I'm mutual with Tristis. I usually don't like history, but this was cool. Neferuru... i like that name.

on Dec. 11 2011 at 1:42 pm
CarrieAnn13 GOLD, Goodsoil, Other
12 articles 10 photos 1648 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." --Douglas Adams

"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." --Marcus Aurelius

Thanks for your comment! :)  Oh, and you don't get to be Queen without manipulating a few people.

Tristis BRONZE said...
on Dec. 11 2011 at 1:41 pm
Tristis BRONZE, 28 Highland Avenue, New York
2 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You have a demon inside- a demon who, when you are provoked by anger, drives your imagination into a realm where that anger-inducing thing is slaughtered. To deny that is to deny an emotion."
Everything is capable of changing, but not will to.

I love the historical contents in here. She sounds like a ... a bad woman, though. Manipulating through... gender. But that's probably exactly what would happen back then.

on Dec. 10 2011 at 10:24 pm
CarrieAnn13 GOLD, Goodsoil, Other
12 articles 10 photos 1648 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." --Douglas Adams

"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." --Marcus Aurelius

Thanks for commenting! :)


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