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“My Lady.” Neferura, my body servant, bowed low before me.

“What’s wrong? How did the battle go?”

Neferura bit her lip. “We were defeated. Mark Antony is storming around the palace, demanding to see you. He was furious that the legions he took out defected before the battle.”

I sighed and closed my eyes. First we had lost at Actium, now Mark’s legions had defected…he was not going to be happy. I picked at an imaginary crumb on my sheath, pondering what to do. What would Mark do to me if I answered his summons? Was he so far gone that he’d kill me for abandoning him at Actium?

“Neferura, you will go back to Mark and tell him I’m already dead.”

She gasped. “My Lady, he would never kill you out of rage. You have enthralled him.”

“I have no idea what he’ll do in this state; he may very well kill me. Now go tell him I’m dead. That’s an order.”


She bowed, then ran out of my mausoleum. Ever since we came back from the battle at Actium, I had hidden in my half-finished mausoleum. No one would ever think of finding the Pharaoh in her own tomb. It was the perfect hiding place.


My crypt was illuminated by a single lamp and the flickering on the painted walls made it seem even creepier. I usually had Neferura or a slave with me, but now I was completely alone. It was so silent that I could hear every breath I took and every set of footsteps nearing the tomb sent my heart fluttering with fear. Was Mark going to take his anger out on me? He couldn’t kill me, though. He loved me.


“What is it?”


A pale, flushed Neferura returned. I looked closely at her eyes and saw that she had been crying. What had Mark done to her?


“My Lady, Mark…he…stabbed himself.”


“No!” I screamed. “He can’t do that! Who will protect me now?”


Neferura just stood there.


“He’s still alive, but he’s dying quickly.”


“Get some slaves and bring him here. I need to see him before he dies.”


Neferura ran like the Khatyu demons were chasing after her. I waited only five minutes in agonized silence before slaves bearing a litter rushed in. As soon as the curtains were pulled back, the metallic stench of blood filled my crypt.


The source of that horrible smell, Mark, stumbled out of the litter toward me, bleeding copiously from a self-inflicted wound to his stomach. How could he leave me now, when Octavian was ready to capture me and take over Egypt? I felt hot tears rolling down my cheek.


“Don’t cry Cleopatra, not over me.” He reached up and brushed away the tears that ran down my face. “You’re so beautiful.”



Gods, what an idiot. I wasn’t crying over him dying! I was crying because I was losing my key to power in Egypt. Of course I wasn’t going to tell him that; I would humour Mark for the last time.


“How can I not cry? The love of my life is leaving me.”


“We’ll see each other again in whichever heaven we go to.” He smiled, then grimaced. “Neferura, bring me a goblet of wine. I am the incarnation of Dionysus; I need my god’s wonderful creation before I die.”


Neferura hurried over to my stash of food in one of the antechambers and came back with a goblet of good Roman wine. Mark took it in his shaking hand, then downed it in a few gulps. He sat up, grimacing the whole time and we hugged.


It was a fierce hug, the kind when you don’t know if you’ll ever see the other person again. Mark smelled like blood and judging by the stickiness in my stomach area, I was now covered in his blood. Lovely.


He looked at me for a few seconds, then kissed me. I could taste the blood on his lips; why did he have to stab himself to commit suicide? Couldn’t he have used poison? Finally, I felt him go limp in my arms. Thank the gods!


I unceremoniously dropped his body on the floor, then stood up. Neferura didn’t look shocked in the least; she knew I never really cared about him. She looked at my sheath and saw the blood, then ran back to the antechamber to get me a new one. I scrambled to get my blood-soaked one off and as soon as I did, I draped it over Mark’s body. The affair Mark and I had ended as soon as he died. It was time to get a new man.


After all, Octavian was coming.



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This article has 83 comments. Post your own!

Afanen This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 17, 2011 at 10:37 pm:
Sneaky woman. I enjoy your interpretation of this oft-overly-romanticized figure. A woman who could hold onto a failing empire by the tips of her fingernails probably wasn't a particularly nice person. You show that very well. 
 
CarrieAnn13 replied...
Nov. 18, 2011 at 8:05 am :
Thanks! :)  I'm glad you like my portrayal of Cleopatra.
 
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.Izzy.This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Nov. 16, 2011 at 8:38 pm:
You seem to be really inspired by Cleopatra, I like this (I also really like Only A Woman). You seem to give Cleopatra a bit of a modern twist, which makes her more relatable to the readers. Poor Mark though, so in love that he can't tell Cleopatra's true intentions.
 
CarrieAnn13 replied...
Nov. 17, 2011 at 8:02 am :
Thanks for commenting! :)  But no, I'm not particularly inspired by Cleopatra.  She's not a very nice character.  Then again, that's probably why I like her!
 
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Emiri said...
Nov. 16, 2011 at 9:50 am:

Cleopatra really is..narcicstic. I like how you wrote this, whatthe thing is about. But the dictation doesn't seem to match the time period. But I did enjoy reading it. :)

 

 
CarrieAnn13 replied...
Nov. 16, 2011 at 5:41 pm :
Thanks for commenting! :)
 
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AnimaCordis said...
Nov. 15, 2011 at 10:44 am:

Wow! I like this one! That woman's chracter is quite something. I like how she is so cold towards mark. It's very shakeserpian! 

I like how you've been writing historical pieces, this is insperational.

 
CarrieAnn13 replied...
Nov. 15, 2011 at 2:50 pm :
Thanks!  I'm glad you like it. :)
 
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kingofwritersThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Nov. 10, 2011 at 7:41 pm:

Wow, you seem to like writing these historical fiction stories about Cleopatra, and you always do a great job with it!

Your vocabulary is great, and you had no grammar or spelling issues as far as I could see.

Keep it up! :)

 
CarrieAnn13 replied...
Nov. 10, 2011 at 9:12 pm :
Thank you! :)
 
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Jakethesnake said...
Nov. 9, 2011 at 8:44 am:
Hahaha. what's funny is that's almost exactly what happened. stupid generals and their queens. I like it.
 
CarrieAnn13 replied...
Nov. 9, 2011 at 3:26 pm :
Thanks for commenting! :)
 
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RayBaytheDinosaur said...
Oct. 18, 2011 at 11:30 am:
It was very touching, you have a great talent as a writer, dont stop! =)
 
CarrieAnn13 replied...
Oct. 18, 2011 at 11:00 pm :
Thank you very much!
 
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Steph0804This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Oct. 1, 2011 at 11:42 am:
I read "Only a Woman" before I read this. What if you extended both articles into a whole book, a book about Egypt from Cleopatra's point of view? I'm pretty sure you would do a magnicent job! :D
 
CarrieAnn13 replied...
Oct. 3, 2011 at 3:21 pm :
Meh.  I'm too lazy to write a whole novel from Cleopatra's perspective; she's not my favourite character to write.  Anyway, thanks for reading and commenting!
 
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JustAnotherOwl said...
Sept. 18, 2011 at 2:57 pm:
I love the attitude of the her thoughts you write. :) It makes it feel like you know her, almost. And it wonderful! I love all your stories about Ancient Egypt! :) Keep writing; you're really great at it!
 
CarrieAnn13 replied...
Sept. 18, 2011 at 8:29 pm :
Thank you! :)  It's good to see you back on here after your long break!
 
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CarsonFairclothThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Sept. 17, 2011 at 1:18 pm:

I am now on the third piece. :)

 

I actually enjoyed this more than I thought it was. I believe in reading the actual story without looking at the summary, and though I was confused a few paragraphs in, I got it near the end. However, I would suggest mentioning the main character in Cleopatra sooner on.

 

I did love the spin you put on the story, how Cleopatra was actually rather cold toward Mark, and only cared for the affair because of his power and pro... (more »)

 
CarrieAnn13 replied...
Sept. 17, 2011 at 1:22 pm :
Thanks for the feedback! :)
 
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