Desertion

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.” 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.


The author's comments:
Historical Notes:
1. 'Mark Antony' is the English version of Marcus Antonius, his Latin name. I didn't want to confuse people by fighting convention, so I called him Mark even though Cleopatra would have known him as Marcus.

2. Octavian was known as Gaius in his day, but since everyone knows him by the name Octavian or Caesar Augustus, so I didn't fight convention.

Tell me what you think of my portrayal of Cleopatra in the comments! I'm curious as to what you guys think. Oh, and credit for my title goes to Teen Inker MorenSore. Thanks!

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This article has 83 comments.


on Sep. 17 2011 at 10:35 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 Sep. 17 2011 at 3:07 pm
TheGirlWhoDancesWithSnowflakes SILVER, Sunnyvale, Texas
8 articles 0 photos 99 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the world together."

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another,
"What! You too? I thought I was the only one."
- C. S. Lewis

I loved the way you portrayed Cleopatra as a cold hearted, power hungry woman who has no care for anyone who gets hurt along the way. :) Brilliant!

on Sep. 17 2011 at 1:22 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 the feedback! :)

on Sep. 17 2011 at 1:18 pm
CarsonFaircloth, Nowhere, New Hampshire
0 articles 0 photos 20 comments

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 protection. The end was especially amusing, as Cleopatra was willing to change her preferences in order to stay alive. Well done!

 

The only mistakes I saw were one or two comma/semi-colon errors. Otherwise, perfect grammar!


on Sep. 17 2011 at 1:17 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

The title is about Mark Antony deserting Cleopatra just when Octavian is coming.

 

Anyway, thanks for the comment!


on Sep. 17 2011 at 12:56 am
Love.Hate.Passion., Spring Valley, Illinois
0 articles 0 photos 356 comments

Favorite Quote:
~Hope. Faith. Love~
~Be proud of who you are.You are all unique in a different way.~
~I WILL NOT fade into oblivion , and become less than
a distant memory.~

You did a superb job of capturing the essence of everything Cleopatra was. I enjoyed your avid descriptions and your marvelous character development , although the title does not seem to fitting with what the story is about. Your spelling and punctuation seem to be in order , great fiction piece!

5 stars :)


on Sep. 11 2011 at 5:18 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

Thank you! :)

julian GOLD said...
on Sep. 11 2011 at 1:57 pm
julian GOLD, Eugene, Oregon
17 articles 17 photos 223 comments

Favorite Quote:
The goal is not about living forever, the goal is about creating something that can.

You have a beautiful way of creating story progression in this tale. I like the pacing and the flow of of things. Wonderful! Personally it would be nice to have an opening paragraph to explain the setting, and the current situation, or maybe you could interweave it into the story more. But really, the dialogue was brilliant, the descriptions were detailed, and the characters were well developed in a short amount of time. Great job!

on Sep. 5 2011 at 10:00 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

Mark Antony knew what he was getting into when he fell for Cleopatra, I think.  He just let himself be deceived.  Anyway, thanks for commenting!

on Sep. 5 2011 at 9:59 pm
InsaneKitten BRONZE, Miami, Florida
3 articles 0 photos 24 comments

Favorite Quote:
Even shadows need light..... "Melissa Marr, Ink Exchange" :D

It's so awesome, but poor Mark that little sap of an idiot  D:

on Aug. 31 2011 at 4:29 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

This is historical fiction, not from my imagination.  What would you say is inaccurate?

on Aug. 31 2011 at 12:00 pm
ItsAshMal SILVER, Guilford, Connecticut
8 articles 0 photos 44 comments
lovely work and all, but I'm confused. If this is supposed to be historical fiction, it is inaccurate. If it is supposed to be a work of your own imagination, it is too close to history. Beautifully written and a nice concept, but I am a bit wary of it still.

on Aug. 28 2011 at 12:12 am
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 Aug. 27 2011 at 11:20 pm
Saphirra BRONZE, Auburn, Pennsylvania
4 articles 13 photos 109 comments

Favorite Quote:
“Falling is just like flying except there’s a more permanent destination.” -Some person on Tumblr

It's Great! I love how you give Cleopatra a modern kind of outlook and, well i just love the way you wrote it. Cleopatra is such an interesting topic!

on Aug. 26 2011 at 12:43 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! :)

on Aug. 26 2011 at 10:32 am
BellaPrincipessa SILVER, Green Bay, Wisconsin
5 articles 0 photos 19 comments

Favorite Quote:
Love isn't always fireworks. Sometimes love just comes softly.
-Love comes softly by Jannette Oke

This was the same one you entered in the contest, but I am still blown away at how you can capture the inner workings of Cleopatra's mind, and how it draws me in. Bravo!

on Aug. 25 2011 at 12:14 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 detailed critique! :)

alex198 said...
on Aug. 25 2011 at 11:45 am
alex198, |, Other
0 articles 0 photos 113 comments
I'm really impressed with your ability to write historical fiction. Your style of writing is simplistic but effective and believable as a piece coming from the time itself. The only reason I didn't enjoy it as much as I possibly could have is because when I read historical fiction I prefer to read it in a novel form. I just don't feel that a short story always has the length necessary to draw you into the era and the world that the characters are living in unless the history within the story is very much background information and just provides an interesting setting to a story, however as your characters are actually figures in history I find it hard to really enjoy the story without knowing much more about them and the time they live in. Of course that's just my opinion and I'm sure other people feel differently. I still think you are an excellent writer and this piece was extremely well written :)

on Aug. 24 2011 at 11:42 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

Wow, thanks!  If you want to read more historical stories, I'm writing one about Nefertiti that'll be in the forums soon (like the next two days).  Thanks for commenting! :)

on Aug. 24 2011 at 10:32 pm
CelesteJones SILVER, Williamsburg, Virginia
5 articles 0 photos 2 comments
LOVE IT!!!! The historical value of this story, and your other ones, is magnificent. You should definitely write more stories like this. You have talent.




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