When Horus Wept

He gave the collapsed man a sweeping look and a sudden glimmer of light caught his eye.

‘What’s sat you got sere?’

It seemed like the mask of gold was not the only treasure the man carried. Kunai lifted the man’s mantle and retrieved a tiny tear-shaped crystal peeking through the sand. Kunai turned the crystal in his palm a few times.

His surroundings changed.

Kunai was no longer in the middle of the desert, but at the bottom of a crocodile pit, surrounded by scores of elongated shadows. Peeking out of the darkness was the thin outline of his former Master, Serq Neb-er-Tcher. He was presently conversing with someone Kunai couldn’t see.

‘Theoretically, I can still build it,’ the Slave Master told the darkness. ‘The mastaba will be ready. I just require stronger ropes, more conscientious slaves and more ti—

‘Your time is at an end, Neb-er-Tcher,’ said a voice in the darkness. ‘Having failed your sacred task, the great Gates of Duat are ready to receive your soul.’

‘I respectfully and somewhat angrily beg you to reconsider—’

‘I have reconsidered,’ spoke the darkness. ‘By the Pharaoh’s mercy, you shall die at first light.’

Serq Neb-er-Tcher and the crocodile pit melted in a whirlwind of sepia effects only to be replaced by the blinding surroundings of the desert.

Kunai opened his eyes.

His surroundings were floating on a pillow of wind. Everything from rocks and pebbles to cacti and tumbleweeds were hovering above the pressed sand, trapped in a surreal state of suspended animation. The sand beneath his feet had liquefied, transformed by the alien energy leaking out of the crystal in logarithmic spirals of geometric light. Kunai cradled his head and vocalized a few swearwords. He was not intelligent enough to question his sanity, so he decided to embrace it instead. He could feel the crystal burning right through the flesh of his palm.

‘O Horuss, be sis thy tear?’ Kunai asked the emptiness of the desert, lifting the crystal into the wind. ‘O Horuss, why do you weep?’

To be continued...

- Louise Blackwick

Advent 2019