An excerpt from Book 3 of The Tirnano “The Purple Queen”
IN THE HOME OF THE GODS
What’s the celebration for? Lord Bes said it was going to be a right ding dong, piss up.”
The fifteen foot tall giant chuckled, “You have an amusing turn of phrase sweet one,” she purred. Her face turned serious for a moment and she looked down at the pretty Scot, “‘Tis not a appealing tale, are you in no doubt you wish to hear it?”
“Bring it on babe, if it gets too much I can always cry off.”
“So be it Jeanne, before I begin; I ask for your forgiveness.” she sat on a low stool beside the standing human, her eyes level with Jeanne’s, a tear rolled down her muzzle.
“Whatever it is you have to tell me, I’m sure you had good reason at the time.” Jeanne threw her arms about the massive head and kissed the tear away. “I love you Sekhi.”
The lioness began to sing, her voice a rich and beautiful contralto;
“Mine is a heart of carnelian, crimson as murder on a holy day.
Mine is a heart of corneal, the gnarled roots of a dogwood and the bursting of flowers.
I am the broken wax seal on my lover’s letters.
I am the phoenix, the fiery sun, consuming and resuming myself.
I will what I will.
Mine is a heart of carnelian, blood red as the crest of a phoenix.”
“There was a time when humans entered into a conspiracy to overthrow the Gods,” she continued. “They blasphemed against Ra, the king of Gods and men, heretical priests and magicians plotted ways to turn against the Gods for their destruction, by using those very powers the Gods had given to men that they might flourish and grow great upon the earth. Ra, hearing of this plan, called to meet with him the most ancient and potent Deities, those who had been with him in the primeval waters before the time when with his eye, the sun, he had made life. The Gods counselled together and it was decided that I, being the force against which no other force can avail, would appear on the earth and quell the insurgence. I would manifest and chastise all those who had held in their minds evil images and imagined wicked plots.
“I walked among men and destroyed them and drank their blood. Night after night I waded in blood, slaughtering humans, tearing and rending their bodies and drinking their blood. The other Gods decided that the slaughter was enough and should stop, but they could find no way to stop me, for I was drunk on human blood. The carnage went on, the Gods recognized that my rage sustained by intoxication, would implacably cause me to continue with the killing until the last human life had been extinguished.
“Then Ra had brought to him from the world known as Elephantine certain plants, which included Solanaceae which is brewed as a powerful mind-altering drug. Those plants, and possibly also opium or hemp, were sent to the God Sekti at Heliopolis. Sekti added these drugs to a mixture of beer and human blood until seven thousand jugs of the substance had been made. The jars were taken to a place where I would pass and were poured out onto the ground, inundating the fields for a great distance. And when I came to these fields I perceived what I thought to be more blood. I rejoiced and drank all of the liquid, at the last drop I collapsed insensible, and slept for a hundred years. When I awoke my heart was filled with joy, my mind was changed and I thought no more of destroying mankind.
“After that, Ra named me as the ‘One Who Comes in Peace,’ praising my beauty and charm. I am depicted on your world as the goddess with the head of a lioness – I wonder why?” she chuckled the growling purr that Jeanne had grown to love so much. She continued in a lighter tone; “Occasionally they adorn me with a sun disk attesting to my father’s greatness. I boast not when I say that there are more large sculptures and paintings of me than of any other deity. I am known as the Great One of Healing. I am a paradox on Earth, for I am seen as the Goddess of War and the Goddess of Love. I am also seen as an underworld deity because of my destructive tendencies. They believe that I have the power to completely destroy not only human bodies, but also their souls – total destruction. Additionally, they call me the protector of the dead in the underworld. I am frequently named the Avenger of Wrongs and the Scarlet Lady, a reference to all that blood, and thus I am also seen as ruling over menstruation.
The Celebration has many times included wild orgies which have earned me the additional titles of Great Harlot and Lady of the Scarlet-Coloured Garments. The celebration also includes drinking of the exact substance given to me to quench my blood thirst – obviously without the blood. Its potency though is not reduced.”
“Now I understand,” Jeanne tears running down her cheeks, gave the lioness a fierce hug, “I also know why that fekin huge sickle of yours scares me shitless.”
They came; journeying across the cosmos from stars near and far, each bearing a gift for the newborn child. Amongst them greater gods and lesser gods, some who had not walked on the Earth for many thousands of years, some who lived close by, within the bounds of Heliopolis.
First came Bast followed by Hathor, they joined their sister, the hostess Sekhemet, beside her the giant Black Panther, her forever companion.
From the darkness arrived Aker in the form of twin Lions, carrying between them a shining copper disk. The lions took up positions either side of the crib, the disk they placed so that it floated over the head of the cot. Of Aker’s intent there could be no doubt.
The three sisters welcomed the throng of revellers who arrived without order of precedence; Meskhent, Mut, Neith, and Renpet, Satet, Seshet, Shu, Tefnet and Tarawet. Aken ferrying the Gods across the cosmos came to give his blessing of Navigation to the child before leaving once more to collect others.
It was not long before the Solar barque piloted by Ma’at arrived at the dock and a throng of greater gods arrived.
The party was preceded by Ra himself, the three sisters each sunk to one knee and gave worship to the Sun god and the high ranking retinue who followed him; Isis, Ma’at, Nepthys, Geb, Nut, Thoth, Osiris with Isis hanging from his arm, their son Horus walking proudly behind his parents. Anubis walked to the rear ever watchful for sign of Apep, Ra’s nocturnal enemy.
Last but not least came Bes, defender God of good and a staunch enemy of all that is evil, guardian against spirits that would attack women and children, sponsor of the young human child asleep in the golden cot.
Ra was first to bring his blessing, he stood towering over the crib… his voice shook the roof as he pronounced; “MAY YOU NEVER BE WITHOUT LIGHT, WARMTH AND THE POWER TO COMBAT THE DENIZENS OF THE DARK.” The child opened his eyes and looked at the giant with an ability that far outweighed his mere two days of life.
Thoth followed his friend. “I give you knowledge and the ability to perceive falsehood.”
He bent and touched the infant’s forehead with the tip of his beak.
Ma’at gave the gift of healing and divination, followed by Isis who leant over the crib and kissed the child on his rosebud lips, she whispered into his ear in a voice so quiet that none could make out her words, the baby boy raised his left arm and touched her face, Isis withdrew with a beaming smile. Her place was taken by Neith who blessed him with a warrior’s heart, a strong sword arm and an archer’s true eye.
The minor gods came and offered their blessings, their diverse gifts they bestowed upon him, with gentle touches or feather light kisses.
Nephthys alone of the greater gods stood back until it was Anubis’ turn, seizing the god of the dead by the hand she joined him on his walk to the child’s cot. Anubis stiffened at her touch but allowed himself to be led. “May you always know and give honour to your mother and your father,” The Lady of the House cried, and releasing the Jackal headed one’s hand, rushed from the banquet hall in tears. Anubis stood silent for a long moment gazing at the babe before he offered; the ability to see in the dark, sensitivity of touch, protection against magic, immunity to drugs and poisons and a sense of smell far and beyond that known by any human.
Horus was next, the warrior god stood at the child’s feet, raised his hands above his head and said in a voice that carried to the far corners of the room “I am the God of light and the keeper of wisdom, these two I give to you, and I add; great strength and victory in battle. Imotep and his aged father Ptah brought knowledge, healing and fertility. The three sisters, The daughters of Ra, stood together and gave him the love of music, dance, merriment and joy. Sekhemet withheld her warrior tendencies feeling that her violent temperament would not benefit the baby.
Last to step forward, his benefactor and sponsor Bes, with him standing shoulder to shoulder came the child’s mother. Jeanne walked proudly to stand at her son’s tiny head. Bes took his place at Euan’s feet. “I bestow upon this child, Euan William, Chosen and blessed of the children of Aten the creator of all, the gift of mind talk, not only amongst his own kind but with all beasts which walk and crawl on the ground, with the creatures that fly through the air, and with those that swim in the depths. All will harken to him and give unto him their obeisance.”
At his words the child raised both arms above his head and towards his mother, in the mind of every god, human and creature present formed the words; “Mama.”
Cheers broke out from all sides, human slaves ran forward with flagons of rich ruby liquor and plates piled high with sweetmeats. The festival of Sekhemet and Hathor had begun.
Jeanne waited whilst slaves bore the crib to her room. As she prepared to feed the boy, Hathor knocked and entered the room. Jeanne bowed to the goddess, “How may I help you Lady?” she asked.
“It is how I may help you, blessed of Bes, I would if I may feed your child that I may bestow upon him the gift of leadership, and beauty of face and form.”
“You want to feed him? ”
“Yes child, as I have fed all Pharaohs, bestowing upon them Divinity.”
“Divinity, like a God?”
“No Jeanne I cannot bestow that, only the children of the stars those of the seed of Atum can attain that level of glory, but, he will attain Divinity amongst his peers as did the Pharaohs.”
“If it is your wish Lady Hathor, he’s had so many gifts this evening my head is spinning… hey, go ahead what’s one more,” she passed the child to the goddess.
The door flew open as the child began to feed from Hathor. The God of Chaos stood there, filling the doorway with his massive bulk. “Cease that Now!” He roared.
Hathor ignored him and continued providing the babe with her blessing.
Seth was unable to enter the room as Sekhemet had appeared before him with her sickle exposed. He swore, his hissing voice creating a screaming pain which rang in Jeanne’s ‘inner ears’. She spun and collapsed on a nearby couch, her hands involuntarily clasping her outer ears. ”
“Get out of my way you filthy cat, I have the right to bestow my blessings on that brat, as much as anyone here.”
Sekhemet stood firm, her ears flat against her head, her lips pulled back in a snarl which exposed her fearsome canines. She raised her sickle towards his face.
From the corner of his eye, Seth noticed Ra and Horus approaching, and rather than chance an attack from the Falcon headed pair, or face Ra’s ferocious champion he stepped back. “Human slave child, I give you anarchy, mobocracy for you and your entire kind if they have survived the little piece of dirt I threw at them, they will from now on forever suffer disasters and wars. Your ships will never float on smooth waters, take heed child of man, for I command Apep to hunt you for all your days.”
At his words the child began to cry, an emphatic wail which carried through the open door and into the festival hall bringing the celebrations to an unexpected halt.
Seth stamped past his fuming nephew and great-great-great uncle a sneer engraved on his outlandish face. “Fix that!” He spat the words, his voice dripping with venom and hate and strode from the building, disappearing into the dark night.
Jeanne lay still, paralysed on the couch, her eyes slatted as she listened, she watched the God of Chaos as he pronounced his hate filled curse over her son.
Isis ran into the room and fell on her knees beside the cot, she placed two fingers on the wailing child’s forehead. He quietened his wailing almost immediately, ending with one massive sob. He lay still, gazing deep into the eyes of the beautiful goddess. Jeanne finally able to move, rushed to her boy with panic written over her face, “Is he alright?” She asked. The child’s eyes turned towards her voice and once more she heard his miraculous voice in her thoughts, ‘Mama,’ came his beautiful clear words.
“Oh my darling boy, I love you so much,” she replied, taking him into her arms.
Jeanne gave thanks in the only way she could, she sank to her knees and prayed aloud, the Gods who stood about her, raised their hands in silent worship;
“My heart, my child; O my heart, my child! You are of your father’s KA which dwelt and grew in my body. My child who has come into wondrous being, I give thanks for you. I pray nothing shall stand and oppose you through times of judgment and let not that which is false be uttered against you before god or man.
Let my blessings and thanks be to the gods who hath knitteth together and strengthened thy limbs and poured upon you gifts unsurpassed in the knowledge of man.
“May you grow strong and come forth into a place of happiness wherever you or I may travel. May the gods who decide the conditions of the lives of men not cause your name to become foul in the mouths of any, and may lies not be spoken against you in the presence of both man and god.
“May there be no opposition to you in the presence of the Tchatchau; may there be no parting of you from me in the presence of Osiris, who keepeth the Balance. Let my prayer be satisfactory to Atum, the Father god, may you Lord Creator, be favourable to my petitions.”
“So shall it be little mother!” Came Ra’s great rumble of a voice. “My Father Atum, who from the depths of the void, created of all that creepeth, crawleth, flyeth, walketh and swimmeth on this, and on all other worlds throughout the cosmos has heard your plea. He answers you thus: ‘The power and strength of the curse laid by my son Chaos, is not one that can be lightly turned aside, but this shall be my blessing to you Chosen One; You will forever be in favour amongst the Children of the Stars, and to you my grand-daughter Sekhemet, I command you to adjoin with him and with his mother for all time, protect them well.'”
The Lioness vaulted the crib and joined mother and son on the marble floor, she put her huge arm around Jeanne bringing her head close to the child. She extended her long, rough tongue and gently licked the baby’s cheek. He turned his tiny head to her, “As long as we three shall live,” she rumbled.
Euan spoke into their minds, his mind-speech, so pure and simple: “I love you,” he sent. The assembled gods and goddesses both in the room, and in the banqueting hall cheered and hollered, and a great deal of tears were shed.
“I guess the party’s back on then,” said Jeanne with a coy smile.
Continued in Book 3 of The Tirnano “The Purple Queen”