The Raven's Right
But if there was ever a king to divide. Such miserable terms it'd be I. And if there was ever a force to break down heaven's doors...it'd mean war...
"Your classes will begin in a month. These are going to be your quarters," he told me and the eight other boys who walked with me down the hallway.
It was long... long ago...
This story takes places years before your time. It takes place years before your parents time or the time before them. This story takes place in a time of Kings. It takes place in a land called Nubia. In that land of Nubia there was a city...a beautiful city. It was called Kerma. The city was strange to me. My mother warned me not to come. My dad only told me to be careful. Nubia was the name of this place. The walls were so tall. Why did the Nubians need walls this tall? Didn't they feel dwarfed behind them? I watched the older scholars walking past me. They didn't even act like they saw us. It seemed like an everyday thing for them to have people moving in like this.
I was scared. My hands began to sweat. Everything felt wrong. Everything felt so scary.
"Keep up," our tour guide stated.
I had already forgotten his name and I knew that would be a problem. He was a very strict man. He was the first person I had met on my arrival. I had joined with the eight other new recruits the same day only several minutes later. I had been the last. The guide took us through the halls relatively quickly. He announced different places without really caring about any of them. I didn't get this man. What was the point of giving a tour if you just didn't GIVE the proper tour.
The other boys really didn't seem that interested in our surroundings either. I saw the spark in all of their eyes. This was the OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME. Wasn't it? They were so ready. My father would be so proud of me. I knew he would. It was a dream for me. Still why couldn't I shake the worried look on my mother's face when I told her I was moving to Kerma? It haunted me.
"ARE YOU LISTENING!"
I snapped back into motion just to see the Nubian tour guide in front of my face. He was as dark as dust and his eyes were as red as fire. He had the sternest look I'd ever seen in my life on his wrinkled old face. He was the definition of a scribe.
"I'm just taking it all in sir," I said smirking.
"Oh...you are the smart aleck I see...let's see how far those good looks will take you in the field of knowledge."
My looks had gotten me a lot of attention. For me however that wasn't always a good thing. I was always taller than most boys my age. My chest was always broader. I always seemed to get most of the attention from the female girls. Of course my father wouldn't have had any of that. We lived in a time a lot different from yours. My world was a lot different from yours. I was the son of a scribe and so I had to be a scribe. What was worse was that I was the son of the best scribe in my village.
"I graduated top at my scribe school," I told him, not backing down from his challenge.
"And where is that school located where you were the top..."
The other boys had all stopped to look at me. He was making a scene because I wasn't keeping up with him like they were. I was embarrassed really. My face had turned red with the embarrassment of having all of them looking at me like I was some sort of annoyance. Why would he call me out like this just for looking around at a place I'd never been.
"I'm from the village of Dahkla Oasis."
I figured a normal man especially in a big city like Kerma wouldn't have even heard of it. Of course to a scholarly man like our tour guide here Dahkla Oasis was a small dot that he read over several times but never made too much of a struggle to remember specific details.
"Well you are in Nubia now...the TOP is much higher than you remember..."
With that he turned around as though he had won a huge battle. He began to talk, continuing his new tour. He pointed the bathing facilities. He pointed where the library was. He pointed out how we should sort texts when we were done reading them. He pointed out again how to file texts after we borrowed them. I guess all these years being used to scribe work you'd think that I'd be used to it. I wasn't used to it though. It bored me. I figured coming here would be so much more exciting but I could just tell that it was the same work in a very...VERY beautiful setting.
And I wanted more of the setting and less of the work...
At the end of the day he showed us our room...the place we would be lodging. They put is in a huge hall with beds lined up. I felt like I was in the military for a moment. The walls were still so high here that I couldn't see the top of them when the lights were dim. The beds were arranged neatly. I watched all the boys struggle to get beds next to the quick friends that they had met already. Luckily I hadn't met a single soul. I grabbed my bag of things from home and took the only bed left available. It was the bed all the way at the end.
"Fukayna doesn't like you much does he?"
I turned to see a boy. He definitely didn't look like a Nubian. He had a smiley face. It was one of those welcoming faces as though he was born smiling or something. I couldn't help but give him a half smile back. He looked around my age but I'd say he was probably a little bit younger. He may have even been under 20. He was just a boy really.
"Oh was that his name?" I asked.
I wasn't too interested in talking about the tour guide. I unpacked all my sheets of papyrus and put them on the bed. I was an idiot. I was in Kerma...why would I bring my own papyrus. This place was the home of the king. This was probably where papyrus was made before it was sent off to Dahkla Oasis.
"Yeah, it means intelligent," he stated, "They say he's the great inventor of the Nubians. That's what they say at least."
"That probably doesn't mean much. What have the Nubians invented?"
The other boy that walked over was definitely not Nubian. His skin was a pale. He had to be from somewhere way north. It had to be somewhere that I had never heard of. I could tell by the look on his face that he didn't seem to pleased to be here though.
The pale boy took the bed opposite of mine.
"Do I sense a little tension?" I asked a little confused.
The pale boy shook his head and turned to the smiley boy, "I don't know why you all look so excited to be here. Serving...him of all people. Don't you know what he's done? Get out of my way."
The smiley boy gladly moved.
The two of us watched the pale boy clear out of the room. The look on his face said it all. I could tell he wasn't happy to be here. Had he been forced against his will? In my village we had a huge competition for this opportunity. I wondered how his people had chosen him.
I looked over at the smiley boy and extended my hand out, "Well I'd never hate that someone is happy. What is your name happy?"
His smile got even wider and I didn't know it was possible.
"I'm Husain," he introduced himself, "And you?"
I tried to match my smile to his.
"My name is Jabari."
They had put us right to work in the library after we settled down. We had to learn new things. We had to change things and complete things. They didn't say we couldn't converse but it seemed everyone too shy or nervous to begin a conversation with another person. We spent the entire day memorizing new hieroglyphs specific to the Nubians that we may not have been familiar with. By the end of the day there was a great feast where all the other scribes gathered to welcome us. It was supposed to be some sort of tradition.
"So when did the Pharaoh take over YOUR village?" Husain asked me.
It was a strange conversation starter. Even at the dinner people didn't really talk. The other boys had even brought pieces of papyrus to the dinner to study what they had written down. Everyone was taking their new appointed positions so seriously. It was as though they couldn't enjoy the food right before them. They were intense. All they cared about was the work left in front of them. They didn't even have a time to appreciate the beautiful décor of the Nubian halls. They didn't have time to appreciate the delicious and yet strange meal that was in front of our faces.
"We were never conquered," I stated shaking my head, "I guess it wasn't a real takeover. His messengers came asking us to submit to the Pharaoh. They said soon Menice would rule the whole empire. All he asked was for taxes to be sent to him as well as our best scribe under the age of 25 for his library here in Kerma."
"You shouldn't say his name like that," Husain started.
"The king. You should refer to him as King Menice or simply Pharaoh. That is his rightful title. It may be taken as an insult."
I thought he was joking but by the look on his face I could tell he was completely serious. We weren't allowed to say the King's name? I didn't argue the fact though. I wasn't from here. I didn't know anything about these people or where they come from.
"So your people went out without a fight?" I heard a voice come in again.
It was the pale boy. He had butt into our conversation yet again. He was kind of sitting a few seats down too. I could see how he spit the words across the table towards me as though he didn't want the veteran scribes to hear what we were talking about.
"I suppose we didn't. Didn't think that was necessary," I replied.
Husain nodded his head in agreement, "It would have also been wreck less for a village to stand up against an empire. How can a chief stand up against a pharaoh."
I could see the pale boy getting more and more uneasy. Husain wasn't letting up on his boasting of the Nubian esteem though. It was almost as though he had fit right into the mold of it all. I could look into his face and tell Husain was happy to be here. It was almost as though these two were complete opposites.
"Let me guess...your people resisted?" I asked the pale boy.
"To the death."
Husain shook his head, "And you are still paying your taxes and by the looks of it your city still sent out it's donation of a scribe. "
The pale boy slammed hard on the desk. He slammed so hard that the desk shook and rattled underneath him. He had an angry look in his eye and it was pointed directly at Husain. I watched as Husain looked down at the table. Husain had definitely pressed a nerve in the pale boy's skin and I didn't know exactly how he did it but the pale boy was pissed.
Fukayna, our guide stood up with equal emphasis, "Kakra...sit down. You will not disturb our meal!"
Kakra...that was the pale boy's name.
I watched as Kakra sat back down reluctantly. I could almost feel the pride that was swollen up in him almost busting through every exit possible.
At the end of the meeting I watched Kakra, this strange boy walk away from the table with his entire face grimacing in the worst of ways. It made me wonder who this boy was. Why was he so upset? Why was he so angry at the Nubians.
We lived in a world where power was everything. Luckily my village stayed clear of the politics and the backlash that went on around us. That was until the Pharaoh came and he conquered. Now our money was being used to help benefit him. They were used alongside the taxes of countless other cities to help build these tall domed walls in Kerma. We funded the beautiful crafted chairs and the halls that seemed to go on forever. I couldn't imagine this palace that we resided was just one of many palaces that the King owned.
The first days in my new home helped provide a small taste of how different life would be like. I had never been surrounded by so many boys my age. I found these boys to relatively from all different backgrounds. The only thing we had in common was we had knowledge of the written word. Fukayna was relatively strict and I found it best to just avoid being placed on the spotlight with him again. Still he always seemed to shoot me hard looks or give me the strangest tasks to do.
There were 9 boys in total. We were all brought from different villages to the city of Kerma...capital of the Nubian empire. Here we were supposed to be guarding the ideals of knowledge and teaching it to the nobles when requested. It was an important task especially because the king himself was the patron of this library. He requested knowledge of us many times.
We rarely left the library. We grew close to each other of course, getting lost in stories of the past and histories of the world.
there were the poems...yes...those were my favorite.
The day had ended on this day like any other. It was the day that I realized just how curious of a place Kerma really was.
"Jabari aren't you listening?"
We had all gathered in our sleeping places. The voice had come from Husain and a few other boys that were with him. They were Ti, Knox and Umari. They were all from very different places with all very different slangs yet for some reason we had all managed to get along. All the boys seemed to get along. All of course but Kakra. It was hard to ignore the pale skinned boy as he made his way through us. He wasn't a bad looking guy. He was kind of handsome in his own way. He had a lost look on his face often though like he wasn't completely with us. He barely spoke to the other boys. I had noticed however how skilled he was with his knowledge. He knew things that the rest of us didn't. Of course the only time he showed how much he knew was when Fukayna addressed him directly. Otherwise Kakra would come into the room unnoticed and just sit on his bed reading scrolls of papyrus trying to gain some knowledge that he rest of us couldn't get.
Husain grabbed onto my shoulder, "He's strange isn't he? I wouldn't worry too much about it. He's just upset."
I wondered if Kakra could hear us even a little bit from where he was sitting. If he did, he didn't act like it. He didn't waver even a little bit from reading his papyrus. He just continued reading and didn't say a word.
he see where we are," Umari, one of the other boys
who was recruited stated, "This place is a
palace. How many people are lucky to
live on one of these?"
I quickly adjusted his excitement, "Don't get too excited man. It's not like we are guests here. We're more like the staff. The royals need someone to read to sleep."
They laughed but in all honesty there was truth in what I was saying. I had heard many of the nobles weren't skilled in reading and writing. Due to how the Pharaoh came to power, he wasn't even skilled in reading or writing. There was a strong dependence on the scribes in Nubia. However even as important as our jobs were, we were still nothing more than servants to the King.
"Rather be a servant in a palace than a servant in a shit pile," one of the boys stated.
I turned back over to see Kakra who was alone all the way on the other side of the room. He was so angry to be here. It was strange. If there was a place more beautiful and grand than Kerma I had not seen it. What was he missing out on that made him so unhappy?
"I think we just play our parts and one day the Pharaoh will recognize us for our skill in part. I heard sometimes he chooses different scribes to help TEACH him!"
I turned to see where the last remark came from. It was from Husain. It was amusing how completely different everyone's outlooks were on being in this strange land. There was Kakra who was lamenting and then there Hussain who felt like there was nothing better than being here in this place.
"Aren't you a little...I don't know...scared?" I asked.
Hussain was really confused by it. His wide smile was replaced by an awkward glare which stated he had no idea what I meant.
I the only one who heard the stories?" I asked, "I kind of understand how Kakra feels sometimes you know?
I'm excited to be here but at the same time
there are some horror stories about Kerma. There are
some horror stories about the King.
What do we believe and what don't be believe."
"I heard this city is cursed," Ti stated.
Knox joined up right behind him, "I heard the same thing. Something about a witch that was murdered in the King's Principal palace."
The principal palace was a beautiful palace that the king lived in. I had never even seen it in person but outside of the window there was a beautiful silhouette of it. The palace looked like the place where dreams went to be made. I wondered how the halls looked like. I felt the library was so beautiful and majestic, so I could only imagine what the home of the king was like.
"I heard the king wasn't human," Umani stated.
"Of course he isn't human," Hussain stated shaking his head, "He is the reincarnation of the Sun god. His spirit only inherits that boy..."
Hussain was a very religious person. I could tell that he believed the myth of who the king really was. He was a "True" believer. I could tell he was getting offended by us talking like this. I could see his face even turning a little bit red from frustration that we were discussing this so openly.
"Hussain," I struggled, "We all heard the stories. I'm not saying I believe them. I'm just saying saying that I'm a little nervous about being here."
"That's ridiculous," he brushed me off, "Look around you. Look at all the beautiful things here. People tend to bring the negative no matter where they go. We have been giving the GIFT of living here by the powerful King and all we can give in return is skepticism?"
I could see that I offended him especially when he ended the conversation abruptly and went to lay down. I hadn't meant to offend him but I guess it was kind of difficult.
It was then that I noticed how serious political views were in Nubia. People were either with the King or against him. I didn't know too much about the notions behind it. I planned on finding out though. I planned on finding out why everything was so extreme here. I looked back over at Kakra one last time. Why was he so uncomfortable? Then again why was Husain so happy to be in Kerma. I was in a place where I wasn't quite sure what was going on.
"Wisdom is the route of all foolishness. Men ascribe themselves to it and challenge one another all assuming they know more. However the wise know that all men are nothing but fools. What we know is limited. We don't even use our entire brains. Wise men won't waste time bragging about how smart they are. They strive not to outsmart another fool but merely to learn more and strive to get as far away from it as possible."
Fukayna's lecture today was boring me. It was the next day and Husain had naturally gotten over his sensitivity from the night before. He had even chosen to sit next to me and sharing books. That was the type of person that Husain was. He didn't hold grudges. On the other hand Kakra still sat along in the very back away from everyone else. We were looking at the history of the Greeks. We were studying how they learned. Their philosophers were perhaps the best in our time and it was probably because they were the loudest. They portrayed what they knew to the world while the Nubians kept what they knew silent.
I stared out the window. There was so much to the city that I hadn't seen yet. There was so much out there in that mystery of a city. Yet we were stuck in our libraries stranded to these books. We had become lost in our wisdom. I couldn't help but feel the walls sinking in.
"Kakra...who is the god of wisdom?"
Kakra answered relatively quickly, "Thoth."
He was a show off. It was an obvious answer though. We all knew who the god of wisdom was. It would be equivalent to asking your modern day Christians who Moses was.
Fukayna circled around the class, "Ibi...what is the chief temple located?"
"In ...um ...Khmun..."
Ibi was relatively smart as well. He was a heavy set boy whose city was further south in the bowels of Africa. He was quiet as well but not anywhere near antisocial like Kakra or anything. I figured he would know that answer.
I wasn't surprised to see Kakra stand up and announce to everyone, "However the god of wisdom has many shrines in the cities which include Abydos, Hesert, Urit, Ta-ur, Bah and countless other cities both in the Nubian and Egyptian regions."
Ibi nodded with embarrassment, "Yeah those as well..."
Fukayna eyes turned to me next, "Jabari...name the wife of Thoth...and who her role is as a goddess."
"Sa...Sa..." my mind went blank. Damn it.
My head went blank. I honestly was far away. My mind was wandering somewhere else again. If I had come across the question in another time perhaps I would have gotten it.
"Sa..." I stumbled.
I felt like my tongue had become too heavy for my mouth. I was struggling to get it out but nothing was coming out. I could see everyone's eyes looking at me. I wondered if they thought I was stupid. I was never answering questions in class. I never seemed really interested like the other boys. I was always gone. It wasn't that I didn't have a passion for general knowledge and history, but it was just that I had a passion for other things as well. The window...the air...the wonder and danger and politics. I wanted to know all of it. Kerma had so much to answer and I hadn't gotten to see any of it yet behind these books.
It wasn't until several boys started laughing that I started to feel the embarrassment and my face turn red. This was WHY I was chosen out of almost four hundred boys in my village. I was chosen because I was supposed to be smart. I was supposed to know things.
What if my father saw me now?
"Seshat," Kakra quickly stated, embarrassing me even further, "She is the goddess of astrology and astronomy. She is the goddess of calculations. She is the goddess of time..."
"You should spend less time in front of the mirror and more time in front of your books."
"ENOUGH!" he said pushing his hand hard on the desk, "Even common folk knew that answer. If you don't start focusing in class...we will have to get another representive from your city. What was it again? Dahkla Oasis..."
I put my head down on my desk.
God...I could feel the heat rising all in my pores. I couldn't be sent back home. I was the big talk in my village. The story of a small town boy chosen to go to the Capital city of Kerma and being a scribe of the King in one of his palaces had brought my father local fame. But now I would be nothing more than an ordinary idiot who shamed his father.
Husain reached over and put his hand on my back.
Fukayna nodded, "Good job Kakra...is
there someone there at the door. Husain go let the person in."
I was dismissed just like that. I looked back at Kakra. He seemed to almost be boasting. I felt a small rift of anger towards him. Why did he have to make me look stupid? Fukayna hadn't asked him any questions. If he was so unhappy to be here why was he going out of his way to show how smart he was or how much knowledge he knew.
At that moment another scribe came in.
"Classes have been postponed. According to the Vizier...no work is to be done for two days," the scribe stated, "Kerma is in a time of...celebration."
"What's happened?" Fukayna asked him.
"Our king has conquered Egypt. He has routed the armies of the Chenen...King of Egypt. Chenen the past king is now a prisoner of war and tonight he will be marched through the streets of Kerma by Nubian General Si Ren and presented to the King...as a trophy of war..."
Fukayna got up off his feet immediately and I could see him heading to follow the other man out of the door but then stopping to turn to us, "All of you will go back to your rooms. You will not go to the celebration tonight. You haven't yet earned that right..."
Fukayna himself figured he earned the right because he was in such a rush. I could see the excitement all over his face. I had never seen him so excited. I saw him and the other scribe run out the door and from that open door I could see a group of the older scribes gathering with quick excited gestures and debates.
"The postponed work..."
"I don't know," Husain stated, "I'd never seen a look like that on Fukayna's face since we got here."
"You guys really do need to start paying more attention," Kakra stated pushing his way through us in a rude sense, "Don't you understand what this means? Menice has conquered Egypt. The Egyptians bow down to him. What can stop him now...what..."
Why would someone want to stop him?
I watched as Kakra left the room leaving me and Husain looking at one another with confused looks. Our king had just spread the empire once again. His general had returned to the city in victory. I guess it was a time for celebrating however everyone seemed excited but not all in the happy way. Everyone just seemed to be on edge as though they were all wondering the very same question...
I dreamed in words often. Just voices sinking into me.
Why fear another when all the fear is in my brother?
"Wake up...wake up!"
I felt the nudge on my side as I turned in my sleep to see Husain there. He had his wide smile on his face and a interested look on his face.
"What's wrong with you? I was sleeping."
"The celebration is now...we have to go," Husain stated, "We might get a view of the General of the King's armies. We might even get a look at the King himself. Don't you want to see what he looks like? Aren't you curious?'
He had that good excitement. It was like a kid who was just offered all the best sweets in the world. I couldn't wipe the smile off of Husain's face if I wanted to. He was such a strange person. I was interested to say the least however. I was amused by him.
"Are you kidding me...Fukayna would kill us...no...he'd kill me. You're doing well in your studies. I'm half-way out the door. Besides with the crowds we probably won't even get to see anything."
"Exactly with the crowds Fukayna won't be able to tell we are there..."
"Husain I don't know."
I looked at all the other boys sleeping. Husain was wide awake though. I could see the alert in his eyes. If the celebration was for Nubia, Husain would be all about it. I had never seen a man so committed to a land he wasn't' even originally from.
"You are always talking about wanting to see more. You are always gazing out the windows. Now I'm giving you a chance to leave, get out there and you're hesitating."
I turned back at the boys sleeping. They were so satisfied. They were so satisfied in just knowing history and living in the past and living in words. They didn't care about seeing things in the flesh. They didn't care about seeing things happen NOW. I wanted to see that however. That meant something to me.
"Not without me you're not."
The voice came from behind us. I could see the figure step out of the darkness. It was Kakra. He was standing there looking down at us and I knew from that point he had heard everything we were talking about.
"I didn't think you'd want to go," Husain told him.
"Of course. Besides, I unlike the rest of you have been outside the library. I know where I'm going."
I looked at Husain who seemed reluctant to agree to it but I nodded trying to urge it on, "He has a point."
Husain never truly verbally agreed but we ended up following behind Kakra. Surprisingly he definitely did know his way around. We went through different parts of the library that I never knew existed and outside into a terrace. The terrace was wide and open and lead to winding path away from the Great library. It felt nice to be outside for once without gates locking you in.
We walked for a while towards a place where loud drums and screams were coming from. However Kakra was taking us over a hill and when we got to the top of the hill there was a rooftop below us.
"How do you know about these places?"
"Believe it or not...I'm very curious," Kakra stated, "I have a way of getting to know things. It comes in handy you know. Especially with times like this..."
"So you snuck out before..." Husain stated.
"You aren't the only one who wants to see things happen."
Kakra didn't look back as he said it. I wondered what else he saw though as we jumped onto the roof from the hilltop. The roof was connected to another roof and then from that roof there was another roof. Soon we were in the mid of Kerma and the crowd below us was as thick as a hive of bees. They scurried around us all struggling to see the same thing. The people were cheering though. I had never seen so many people in my life. It was such a crowd.
"God it's huge."
"Everything the Nubians do are huge," Husain stated.
I saw Kakra shoot him a look. I felt like he knew something that he wasn't telling us. I was kind of sure now that he did. I could tell that he had this hidden motivation of some sort. I wondered what it was each time but I could never get a hold of it.
"I feel so small."
"You are probably used to being the most good looking guy huh?" Husain stated, "The guy who all the girls fall for. Here we are just ants...there...look there...that is the giant. We are ants next to him."
"You mean the King? A giant...no...more like a raven..." Kakra argued.
I didn't know what he meant by it. Honestly I didn't care at that moment. It seemed as though time itself had slowed down. On side there was a huge parade. It was a dramatic spectacle like I'd never seen before. The streets were parted and dancers lined came down first. They were tossing torches in high into the air and catching them back. Women ran through the streets flipping and twirling. They screamed like wild women but they were some of the most beautiful women I had ever seen. I watched Husain pointed at these creatures. There were white elephants that seemed like they came from far away and they were all covered in gold. All together I counted 10 of them and they all pulled with them chests of gold and loot that seemed to amass unprecedented wealth. I wondered how the people could not go crazy and rush the elephants pulling all that gold. Of course it wouldn't make sense. There were guards sprinkled through the crowd. They seemed to be heavily armed and looking very dangerous. No one would go out of order.
"Oh, look at the doves they are beautiful!"
There were huge birds that were sent out. They were all white pure looking birds that had huge banners attached to their ankles. I watched in amazement as they flew out over the leagues of soldiers that they marched with. The drummers and musicians came next. They filled the air with the loudest sounds ever. It seemed like this was the moment of a lifetime.
To my right I could see Husain in tears. I patted his back. He wasn't as masculine and manly as me but at this point I understood his emotion. I had never saw anything like this before.
The lights...the happiness and the music were more than I had ever seen before.
Even Kakra didn't have anything negative to say and was staring in amazement at the level of order that had gone out for this.
Then on a horse drawn stage came a man. He was very muscular. He was very muscular and royal looking. At his feet was another man in chains...naked. The man was completely naked. I couldn't imagine the shame and discomfort the naked man felt in front of all these people completely nude.
"Is that the king?" I asked.
isn't King Menice.
That is his highest General Si Ren Boos.
At his feet is his defeated opponent King
Chenen. Look who they are marching
too. You see on the pedestal in the
middle in front of the huge obelisk."
I looked over at the obelisk. I hadn't noticed the huge presence before Husain pointed to it. There was a huge presence there. Maybe I hadn't seen it before because they were completely still in the midst of all the movement. I saw nowwhat was going on. The entire parade stopped and halted right before the obelisk. This was where everything was presented. This was where all the beauty and festivity revealed itself and came to a climax.
At the obelisk were guards. They were heavy and formed a circular motion. Then there was something like a tier system on a huge pedestal.
On the lowest tier were more guards. These guards were meaner looking and more muscular than the others. The weapons they carried were completely made of gold. Some carried arrows even and seemed ready to attack at any moment. They were very intimdating.
On the tier above that one there were two women.
One woman had red hair.
The other woman was a hooded figure.
Then on the top tier there was him...and I knew at that very moment I had fallen in love because the poetry came to me. Poetry that I had never heard but had rehearsed a thousand times.
Menice. He was among all of you the most beautiful. Menice is a raven. No longer the dove the most beautiful bird. Menice is a raven. He was an ebony prince. He was a black diamond with sparkling sides. Sides that sparkled but were sharp enough to cut. He was sharp enough to cut the hate from evil itself. He was black diamond that pledged me into a endless love and an unbearable pain. He was night, as dark as the night now but he sparkled like the cursed stars that were damned to take away the true beauty of the night. His eyes were, no...no, they are are like glass smoth dancers dancing on floors whose bodies resembled that idealism. He was idealism. His nose was perfected to smell the scent of his own perfumed aroma and his ears designed only to hear his voice. He could argue with himself and always be right.
And I knew him all my life, even before I met him.
How beautiful could hate be? And what elegance could I see in my only enemy. But as I saw his lips as thick as molasses rolling down his sable cheek. A sooty color that was compared to only the most elegant of caramel candy and long naps of hair that caressed the tips of his shoulders. Power. Pride. He was Anubis, Isis, Osiris and Ra. He was Thoth and his wife Seshat. Most of all he was Ma'at, order. He was the order of the gods, but was not of their kin. He was from a kin too far south of their kin that they once called him their Nubian servant, or slave. But now he had surpassed them all. The night seemed too much for me to bare and overcome such dear misery. When I was with him it was always night because only at night can you see a shooting star. Only a shooting star can bring you hope. He was the only hope. He was the only hope for a nation, but stood before me as not older than a young man. His broad chest held the faith that only priests could hold for their gods. And I could see in him, his cries and could feel his pain. I could see his elegance and I could see his power. Power.
He carried his pain and elegance as if it was the most natural thing in the world.
They said it couldn't be done but everyone was wrong...only the raven was right.
And he was a raven among doves, changing the laws. He was a black diamond in the ear of a European. And no longer was white the only thing beautiful for we were wrong. Now we gazed not upon the doves as beautiful as they may be. Now we saw the raven with all it's black feathers, carrying power, weakness, day and night as if it was the most natural thing in the world. It wasn't right to carry so much charity with malice. Everyone knew that yet they all bowed before him. Do they all bow to him...do they all bow to the dark raven even though he wasn't right. Who was going to say he was wrong? Who was going to say he shouldn't be good and evil or that a boy like him shouldn't govern an entire empire? We all thought it...but we were all wrong. Only the raven was right. Only the raven hld power. And I knew it all my life.
How thin was a line that separated love and hate? How thin was a line that separated good and bad? To this raven there was no line. And who could tell him that he was wrong? Who was to tell him that there was a line? If we did, we would be wrong because only the raven was right.
Power. And now I didn't want to share him with anyone!
He would be my raven, even if we never met. He would be mine, even if he didn't know it. I'd hold him without ever touching him. I'd let him fill me up with all his ideas. I'd let him tell me what color the sky was. I'd let him tell me the taste of water. I'd let him redefine my world.
He is a raven...he is the greatest power of them all...
He is the darkest prince of them all..."
"Are you ok?" Husain asked me, "You looked like you were about to faint."
I nodded. I was more than ok. I was sweating. My broad chest was soaking with sweat. My heart was beating so fast that I thought I was about to die. My eyes were in pain. I couldn't catch my breath.
I had just fallen in love at first sight.
And there was no way it was over...