Story Go Round 01/19/2002, round 1, #1


As she applied the slave lotion to his legs, Bethany reflected on the number of times she had performed the ceremony. She wasn't totally certain that she wanted to remember them all, but the tolling bells always brought on the anchored memories. As a half-citizen, she had her freedoms in the summer, work in the planting season, etc. But in the winter she served up three meals a day to the growing number of laborers who worked to build the foundation of Khufu's tomb. On holidays (yes, this was after holidays, or 'holy days', but before weekends were invented) she was one of the few selected for lotion duty. The smell of it had been haunting her sleep. She lifted a ladle of murky water to the slave's lips, looked into the pale eyes blinded by desert sun. The shiver in her belly warned her she knew this one would not last long at his task, hauling rocks the size of elephants up the construction ramp. Since she'd likely never see him after today, she paused for a moment to mourn his future death. And then the next one stepped forward. They shivered involuntarily under the application of cool ointment, their burned skin extra sensitive. Papyrus leaves were stuck on last where they would dry long enough for the slave to make it through the next shift. The God of her people, the Greatest Pharoah to walk under the light of Ra's Shining Barque, was erecting a monument ot his glory that should be known throughout the 7 lands for 7 generations of 7 generations. Her 7 bangled braids tinkled as she moved lithely to straighten the 7 columns of slaves. She collided unexpectedly with the protuberant belly of Shipshape, who worked the kettle drums. He was grinning through his 3 teeth, but she barely noticed, for she had just noticed a pair of dry dusty legs. Panicking, she hunted around for the nearest water. If even one of the slaves were not properly anointed, Ra would be displeased, and her life would be forfeit.

Amber is purple; John is pink; Alan is blue; Terry is orange