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The Last Pharaoh
Immortality. It was within my grasp. To live forever. But what would become of my great kingdom, Alexandria? Would all my hard work fade, to never have existed? My children. What would become of them? Surely they would be slaughtered. My hope of my eldest son taking rule over Egypt was impossible now. The dreadful Romans would take over, Octavian taking rule. I cannot bear the thought of that barbaric man sitting on my throne! However, there is nothing in my power that I can do now. He has won.
“My Queen, the basket of figs you ordered has arrived.”
Taken from my thoughts, I looked up from my lap to lay eyes on one of the royal servants. I waved my hand to dismiss him. “Thank you. That is all for now.”
He brought the woven basket up near my feet with a bow, and then proceeded to walk out, closing the door behind him. Once again silence filled the air. Is this really how it has to be? My fists clenched hard until the knuckles turned white.I will not be humiliated in front of those worthless people I used to rule! I am not a prize! A mere trophy. Ha! What a joke. I am Queen Cleopatra, daughter of Isis. Octavian is but a mere pathetic boy. I will live forever. Exhaling, my fists unclenched to hold my head. How had it come to this? Father. I am sorry.
The news of our father’s death came early one morning, shocking both my siblings and me. However, I was more concerned about something else. Who was to rule now? Hopefully he will have mentioned it in his will. After the ceremony, we were led to the throne room in which the high priest would read the will. When he read off that I was to rule I was both shocked and joy filled. That all changed when he mentioned that I would rule alongside my younger brother. My heart sank. He is but a child, only 12 years of age! Furious, I stormed out of the room and to my chamber. Suddenly, I came to halt as an idea struck my head. Pausing in the hallway, I looked back over my shoulder. Maybe I can kick him from the throne and take full rule, yes brilliant! Fury gone, I continued calmly to my chamber, where I would plan the rest of the night.
Taking a fig from the basket, I bit into the soft flesh of the fruit, savoring the sweet juicy taste. How foolish I was back then. To believe I could truly take the throne on my own with no help. Being banished gave me a lot of time to think. Time to run over new plans to get back into the kingdom, time for my rage to boil from beneath my skin, until it became unbearable. Then the news of the great Roman, Julius Caesar, came to my ears. He had come to my great Alexandria demanding an audience with the royal siblings. Only, I knew my brother wouldn’t allow my return. Inspecting the bite in the fig, I recollected the look on Caesar’s face when I made my famous entrance. I had him in the palm of my hand from the start. He couldn’t take his eyes off of me.
With a quick tug, the carpet was unraveled and I fell with a thud onto the hard stone floor. Acting quickly I got to my knees in a polite bow.
“Welcome, General Caesar.”
Looking up, I took in the shock on his face. Certainly he was not prepared for a beautiful, young woman like me to be reveled from a carpet. I couldn’t help but smirk as I saw the 52 year old’s eyes become lost with wonder. From me of course, I had dressed my best after all. He sat forward to get a better look at me. His eyes scanning up and down, taking in every curve and detail. He seemed to like what he saw. His voice was low and gruff as he spoke up. “And who might you be young lady?”
Standing up to my full potential, I showed my pride in myself, showing I wasn’t a frail little girl. Putting on the charm, my eye lids lowered and I pulled a sly grin. My tone lowered, becoming smoother.
“Queen Cleopatra the Seventh. Ruler of Egypt,” I answered.
I watched as his tough composter relaxed, his eyes softening, jaw unhitching. He was trapped in a trance. My trance. My voice soothed him, pulling him into a different dimension all together.
“I see,” he spoke finally.
My head tilted back as I relished the memory of the great Julius Caesar. What a powerful ruler. Such a strong man. I was devastated at his downfall. To hear he had been murdered. It confused me to hear my son had taken it harder than I did. I never understood why, Julius barley acknowledged him as our son. I pity the young soul, for now his mother will soon be gone as well. If only I could see him one last time. To tell him to be strong, as his father once was. My thoughts then drifted from him. Somehow I knew he would be alright. He will be.
After a tiring, fierce war, I found myself on the throne again. This time I was alone. “Dear” brother was gone. Out of the way. With my glorious Caesar at my side and our new son, surely nothing could stop us. I could feel the power rushing through my veins. That is, until my ally was killed. With Julius gone I wasn’t safe, my throne was at stake. Just after I had married him, I had him killed. My other little brother was no longer a threat. To make sure the throne was mine, I had my sister killed as well. Was I power crazy? No, I had to keep what was rightfully mine.
Another fig vanished as the memory passed. Caesar was more of a pawn in the big chess game of life. He helped me get the throne back and gave me a son. He may have shown affection but he wasn’t the one. The love of my life, I was yet to meet.
Egypt was in an economic crisis and everything seemed dim. I had almost lost hope until I received an invitation to Tarsus. Mark Antony was known for his limited strategic and tactical abilities. He was a drinker and definite womanizer. His best feature? His ambition. He didn’t look half bad either, but that’s my own opinion. I was a good girl and did my research of course. He was drawn to beautiful women. I had no doubt that I could catch his eye, but I would have to put on a show. We sailed with silver oars and purple sails that caught the wind. The Erotes were fanning me and the Nereids were steering. I was dressed as the magnificent, the beautiful, Aphrodite, goddess of love. I needed this great entrance to attract his interest in me. The second I laid eyes on him I knew he was within my grasp. Spending the winter with him, I knew I could get just about anything out of him. However, he took control of Cyprus from right under my nose, that sly dog. This is when I found out he needed money, and bad. Little did I know I wouldn’t see him for another four years after our winter together. Also, Rome was slowly, but surely, getting stronger.
I didn’t have much time now. Octavian would be returning soon. Drawing down into the basket, I removed what would determine my fate.
Much had happened in a short period of time. Antony divorced Octavia, Octavian’s sister. He also out did himself by putting my face on Rome’s coins. As time went by he began to spend more time with me, our love and power growing. His alliance with Rome was gone. Octavian, successor of Caesar, declared war on us, bringing Egypt to a world of trouble. In the midst of it all, a rumor had been spread that I had been murdered. Before I could prove this foolish tale wrong, the word had gotten to poor Mark. I cannot imagine the heart break and devastation he felt. It must have driven him insane. He couldn’t bear the thought of having me gone, and took his own life, just to be with me. When the news of his death had got to me I felt myself shatter to pieces. The love of my life was gone and I knew I couldn’t fight back Octavian now. Not like this. I was then captured and then brought to Octavian who in return explained proudly what was to be done with me. Egypt would be ripped from my grasp and become his. I would become his trophy, to be paraded down the streets of Rome. Humiliation for life, I’d rather die.
So, this is where I stand. Alone in my glorious kingdom, in which I had fought so hard to get to its glory today. No matter what happens, Egypt will always remember my name.
The venom of the Asp had made its way into Cleopatra’s blood stream by now. During reliving her past the deadly snake had struck. Leaving its permanent mark upon her body. Soon the pain of both the bite and the past had numbed away, allowing her to fall into a deep sleep, from which she wouldn’t awake. “She had a charismatic personality, was born a leader, and was an ambitious monarch who deserved better than suicide.”
As I fell into darkness, I would drop into a long slumber. When I awake again, I will be reunited with Mark and my family, and we will live together forever in peace.
~Cleopatra the Seventh~