I, the one true ruler of all sands and pyramids waited patiently in the searing heat, amidst the hexagonal emerald statues of my royal chamber. My company being no one else but Kafir and Aseth, two of my most loyal guards, their solid figure are standing protectively two meters of distance from my sides as ancient yet alive obelisks. Their glance is sharp and bulletproof; their grip on their pikes may be the firmest of the dynasty.
I find myself marveling at them on many occasions and even now before receiving my guest, wondering what they are pondering on all this time. Do they remain exclusively loyal to their duty and the present’s possible challenges, whatever it may bring: danger or pure monotony or…. They do allow themselves the luxury that may very well betray their own anointed ruler and rock themselves to fantasies, desires, floating thoughts of past and future. It would be the most simple, natural reaction of theirs, doing this to seek joy from somewhere else than these halls, from inside…
The light Egyptian wind has suddenly demonstrated its existence for a brief moment, coming from the east and passing through our western windows, probably making all of my court servants as invigorated for a moment as it did me. As of immediately my third most loyal servant’s shape is set into motion and Rhea, my most obsequious, turned her gaze from the painted floor up to me and without asking for a thing and guessing my very thoughts, raised the wooden bowl from the middle of the table and with refined steps glided close to me. As she, together with her bemusing olive oil scent approached me, I could cast a glance at her ankle jewelry of a snake, resonating with each step and emphasizing even more the charming form of her legs. She was the most beautiful maiden I could find in all of Egypt. I meant most beautiful human. There is no comparison in this regard with me, I am a Queen-Goddess. But she deserved to know it and she deserved to be with me. Only time will tell her lasting loyalty which as of now is more than proved in my eyes. Nobody would think it, but her true value lies far above earthly appearances: words are her truest tools and our exchanges of them caress me most comfortably. When she slowly hands a single grape to my mouth, I receive it and I nod in gratitude.
Sounds of steps. With a hush of a finger Rhea is cast away as the long awaited moment has arrived. My foreign diplomat, Emith is coming before us to light up this static scene accompanied by a man, with clean-shaven face, curly dark hair and high-ranking Roman uniform. He even dares to wear one of those silly laurel wreaths which has a completely different significance in this land. A person with such intelligence as he is accredited by his reputation should know: showing respect to the host is of higher importance than showing off your tradition.
Emith kneels before me then proclaims: “Great ruler, pharaoh and Queen-Goddess of Egypt and its noble people, Cleopatra! Hereby I present to you, Marcus Antonius, roman general.”
Marcus comes forward, kneels down and his thigh muscles flex hard, hinting at his participation in actual warfare or battle exercise. His right hand is resting on his sword, an ambivalent sign of pledge and assault.
“I bid you greetings, oh great Cleopatra and I am honored to come before your presence.”
Then he stands erect and blinds me with me an overly bold, proud gaze. His body stance is even bolder and prouder than his eyes. For the fragment of a second my eyes meet with those of Rhea, her smile a hidden message only I can understand. His words might be magnanimous and flattering, yet his eyes and very essence envelops a different story. I can feel it: he wants glory, he means to conquer, he desires untold power. Even this momentary show of subordination makes his blood blaze a bit. He wishes to play and still has not considered that he faces the High Priestess of royal theater. Let us begin then.
I rise. Everybody stiffens for my response. I walk down the stairs keeping unwavering and provoking eye-shot with the famous general of Rome and reach him close enough that he can kiss my hand and see that I grant him this unprecedented exception that no one has ever received from me before. At once he bows again reaching out for my hand and giving it a slight kiss of respects. Then he waits for my word.
“Rise Marcus Antonius! I wish to assure you of my goodwill and welcome you to Egypt. I desire our allegiance to create a prosperous alliance for our great civilizations.”
He appears overjoyed and respectfully like a soldier gets up once again.
“With all my pleasure, Cleopatra. So be it! I can see now personally, that the stories do not lie about your magnificence. Our common deeds will be such, the like of which the world has never seen before.”
There it is in his eyes again, that exposing flicker. Oh dear Marcus, you disclose yourself so easily. And you already feel confident about knowing me. You should have known the most sacred animal of Egypt is the cat. They are guardians of eternal mysteries. And they cannot be tamed.