Desertion This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

August 12, 2011
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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 now!

dejarenee said...
Aug. 14, 2013 at 7:01 pm
i enjoyed the way portrayed cleopatra. nice job!
CarrieAnn13 replied...
Aug. 19, 2013 at 1:43 am
Thank you! :)
DawnieRae said...
Jul. 19, 2013 at 2:53 pm
I really liked this. I really like how you portrayed Cleopatra. It was very good!!!
CarrieAnn13 replied...
Aug. 19, 2013 at 1:42 am
Thanks!  I always pictured Cleopatra as a very strong woman and three years after writing this I still picture her that way.  She was an incredible, yet flawed person.
LinkinPark12 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 19, 2012 at 1:04 pm
This was really cool :) I loved Cleo's new personality, although I imagined she was like that anyway tbh. :) Very well written!
CarrieAnn13 replied...
Dec. 23, 2012 at 3:11 am
Great minds think alike, don't they? ;)  Thanks for commenting!
SarasotaWonder said...
Jan. 10, 2012 at 4:23 pm
Great work! I've heard this story before....but I really enjoyed your version. You gave Cleopatra a spunky and feminene (sorry about the spelling) voice that really stood out to me. The only thing I would add is more description of the setting. Great work!
CarrieAnn13 replied...
Jan. 10, 2012 at 7:14 pm
Thanks for the thoughtful comment! :)
Ethereal This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm
this is a great story, It could have been a little more detailed though, maybe describe mark anthony more? also the dialogue was a little rigid. but I love the idea, and I don't usually like history stuff.
CarrieAnn13 replied...
Jan. 1, 2012 at 3:07 pm
Thanks for commenting! :)
Malsie8 said...
Dec. 23, 2011 at 7:45 pm
Definitely like this one better than the first one I read! Even though that was was very well written, this one just had something more to it, like you connected with the character better! Not too many slip ups on your 21st century language too! Overall very well written yet again! :D
CarrieAnn13 replied...
Dec. 23, 2011 at 11:04 pm
Thanks very much for your thoughtful comment! :)
Matice said...
Dec. 13, 2011 at 6:13 pm
Excellent! You did an amazing job on this. Left me wanting more. :)
CarrieAnn13 replied...
Dec. 13, 2011 at 6:15 pm
Thanks for commenting! :)
KendisPiper This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 27, 2011 at 3:04 pm
I enjoyed it. Seeing Cleopatra from this point of view, as a cold heartless player bent only by power,  very interesting
CarrieAnn13 replied...
Nov. 27, 2011 at 3:05 pm
Thanks! :)  I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Eastep said...
Nov. 27, 2011 at 12:31 am

Cleopetra is so manipulative from this perspective!

I think I like it even better than the usual Cleopatra.


As always, your writing is amazing, and your spelling is impecable.

Please, write more! I would love to see what Cleopetra does next.

CarrieAnn13 replied...
Nov. 27, 2011 at 12:33 am
Thanks Eastep! :)  I appreciate the comment.
Jappyalldayeveryday said...
Nov. 20, 2011 at 4:43 pm
This was interesting, seeing Cleopatra's point of view, but wouldn't Mark be mad after finding out she was actually still alive? That part confuses me.
CarrieAnn13 replied...
Nov. 20, 2011 at 5:12 pm
What was the point of Mark getting mad?  He was going to die anyway.  Thanks for commenting! :)
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