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The Curse of Amarna
© Copyright 2017 · John F. Rychlicki III · Leilah Publications · All Rights Reserved ·
1319 B.C. Amarna, Egypt
It was all ruins. Tutankhamun was dead, fallen ill from severe injury to his leg caused by a seizure. A black spell had fallen over young Pharaoh Tutankhamun the last days of his life. Seizures and maddened fits grew nightly and commonplace. Pentu the Physician knew the young Pharaoh’s days were numbered by a collusion of the black priests and their sorcery set upon him by the Grand Vizier and the bastard commoner Horemheb. Pentu despised Horemheb, the new Pharaoh and former Hereditary Prince, the Chief Commander of the Army. Old Vizier Ay, the fool that he was in trusting Horemheb, called him the “Attendant of the King in his footsteps.” Pentu the Physician spat on the ground in spite of both their honorifics.
Akhetaten, his beloved home was all in ruins, “The Unique One of Re,” his beloved Akhenaten, murdered. Pentu knew the official pronouncement of death was not murder of course, but severe illness of the brain. Ankhesenamun, beloved Ankhesenamun, warned him not to declare assassination as the cause of death, until the conspiratorial plots in Amarna were uncovered and exposed by the Imperial Family. Akhenaten brought the One Religion to the lands of Re. Pentu walked among the smoldering shattered Great Temple of the Aten. The Great Temple, the House of Aten was damaged beyond repair, the interior all sacked and burned over the past year by legions of the bastard Pharaoh Horemheb.
“Aten will curse this country because of this treachery.” Pentu sighed muttered aloud to himself. Horemheb’s troops finished burning and ransacking the Gem-Aten, which was a very long building preceded by a posterior court called the Per-Hai. The main pavilions were smoldering, burned just the other day. The ashes and smoke filled Pentu’s nostrils. “Barbarians.” Pentu lamented. “No better than Hittite dogs.” Just then, movement caught his attention out of the corner of his eyes. Was someone still lingering inside the Great Temple? Bandits? Priests still loyal to Aten perhaps? “Greetings of Aten.” Pentu said. No response. Scavenging dogs. Pentu thought dismissively. This is what has befallen our great Society of Aten. Scavenging dogs. Pentu continued on, inspecting the Temple.
Pentu passed through the successive courts, finding each of them dismantled and altars destroyed. What could be looted was looted, what could be set afire was burned. He passed by the colonnades with colossal statues of Akhenaten, only to find the statutes damaged and broken. Pentu stepped outside the Great Temple of Aten and continued down the main plaza. Akhenaten in the fifth year of his illustrious reign disbanded the priesthoods of all the other gods…diverting their income from the cults to support the Aten. Pentu knew that was Akhenaten’s undoing. Like his master, the eternal Pharaoh Akhenaten, Pentu believed in the One True God, Aten.
All was ruined. Pentu knew Akhenaten and beloved Ankhesenamun royal line were destined to change Khem, land of eternal Aten forever. In truth, Pentu knew in his heart and soul there was only one God, one All-encompassing Creator. Pentu looked up to Aten, the shining burning disk in the skies, watching over all. Clouds partly obscured the sun, giving a grey pallid overcast to the already dismal day. Pentu circled around back to the columned pavilion stopping before the small chapels on each side. The five pairs of tall masts and crimson imperial pennants flanking the doorway were all burned. The altars ransacked and burned, the interior of the chapels still filled with smoke and ash.
Pentu knelt before the threshold and wept. No sooner than the first tears flowed freely, did he hear the whispering. The whispering could in no way have been produced by a human. Yet Pentu heard the whispering, whispering that no human tongue could have produced. The whispering came from outside the chapel yet he could hear it all around him. “Am I mad?” Pentu stood up and slowly walked outside the chapel. He gazed down the columned pavilion outside the Great Temple. The whispered stopped. A few moments passed, after what seemed an eternity, started again. “This place is accursed now.” Pentu thought. The black priesthoods were having their revenge. No doubt, they were back by the Medsu’Bedshet, the rumored and feared black priesthood that called themselves “Beloved of Set.” Grand Vizier Ay had only lasted four short years as Pharaoh. Ankhesenamun, the widow of Tutankhamun and the Hittite Prince she was about to marry were murdered at his orders. Now Horemheb had usurped Ay and brought ruin to the House of Aten.
The whispering was not in Pentu’s head. He was not mad! “Is this what beloved Akhenaten heard in his seizures and fits?” He wondered if this ghastly fate was happening to him. What was this accursed sickness? The whispering grew louder. It was coming from the chapel now, but how was that possible? Pentu had just left it. The whispering grew to a feverish pitch, all around him now, he could hear it inside his mind, the whispers, hissing and inhuman.
The terrified physician, once close advisor to Akhenaten tried to cover his ears. To no avail, he could hear the hissing whispers inside his mind, and all around him. Suddenly, Pentu froze in fear . A figure emerged at the side of the smoldering chapel. It was a human, but had no distinct human features. Pentu could see the form of a voluptuous female beneath crimson and black shawls, a veil covering her face. Where eyes were supposed to be, Pentu saw ruddy white eyes peering from behind her veil. The whispering became hissing, rising to a sibilant cackle. The inhuman shadow’s cackle rose to a maddening pitch among the smoldering ruins of Amarna. Pentu let out a bloodcurdling scream as the living shadow approached. Not a living soul heard him.