The Pharaoh's New Linen
Meg, Age 15, Vernon, BC

Pharaoh Seti placed the last semiprecious stone on his finger along with the assortment of other costly gems with egotistical pride. For the first time in his reign as a Pharaoh he had had the honour of depriving two worthless traders of their true profit. They had been selling the rarest linen available and he had seized it before any lower individual who was most certainly not deserving of it could. The linen was so remarkable that Seti had to admit he had not been able to speculate where the linen had come from.

He lifted the upper and lower crown from its rest on the stand and placed it on his head, feeling the familiar touch of the cold metal digging into his forehead. His eyes were painted by the hands of Egypt’s best cosmetician and had dried to leave his skin rather tight under it. The kohl and eye shadow brought out his stunning features, which was only natural for a Pharaoh to possess. His hands and feet were covered with orange henna and his lips were also done. He was ready to make the grand entrance into the Great Hall where filthy foreigners waited to present him with gifts that he especially deserved for even having to endure one of them setting foot in his land and not having his hands bond as a slave. Just appalling!

The ceremonial beard was fitted closely to his chin, the straps going about his cheeks to disappear beneath the double crown. He had everything he needed. His trinkets, his double crown along with his adorned face and body, his gold leafed sandals and…oh yes. He chuckled to himself. He could never forget the objects of his office, the representing crook and flail. He picked them up and brought them to his breast with grandeur and smiled haughtily at himself.

The knock sounded lightly on the door and Seti called crossly to the person to enter. The door opened and Teti stepped inside. As Seti lay down his crook and flail, Teti held his arms out and they embraced loosely as Teti kissed him on either side of his cheek.

“ Ah Seti!”

“ Welcome Teti!” Seti replied as they drew apart.“ How have you been holding out? Have you managed to get your boys straight yet?”

“ No, I am still working on it.”

“ Even after seventeen years, you have not got them straight? Good grief man!”

“ It is not my problem!” Seti snarled already losing his temper and taking hold of crook and hail to storm past his governor of the Second Nome and friend. Teti turned around as he stocked past him and cleared his throat.

“ Alright Seti, I understand. I was out of line. You can pull back on this practical joke,” he said solemnly as Seti opened the door and stepped out. “ Seti, by the love of Isis, you have not yet dressed in your…” But the rest of his words were lost as the door slammed behind him. Seti stocked through the corridor, his mind racing with rage. That insolent fool. He would have to be punished. He turned the corner and walked past a guard standing there. The man’s eyes widened and he hastily rushed in front of his Pharaoh.

“ Get out of my way!” Seti snarled viciously and the agitated man swallowed as he gestured at Seti with a look of desperation. “ If you say that you do not like my splendid kilt I will have you butchered!”

“ Never Majesty, but you are not wearing…”

“ Be gone this instant or I will kill you now!”

The guard scurried away, terrified for his life and Seti continued down the lavish corridors to the Great Hall. One of his sons hurried past him out to the marshes to spear fish and skidded to a halt.

“ Majesty, I did not ever think that you would believe the traders little scheme. Father you are…”

“ Be quiet Kamose and go play your little games.”

“ I am Ramose, Father.”

“ Whatever! Get your sorry face out of this palace immediately!”

Ramose gave a grumble and trudged down the corridor towards the direction of the marshes. Seti resumed his walk and soon was approaching the Great Hall. The adviser in front of the huge double doors that would open to reveal the Pharaoh of Egypt gave a horrified cry and rushed up to him.

“ Sire, you must not go out there. The kingdom will be mortified. Please sire, you must not go down this way if that is what you wish! Please place a…”

“ Silence! I will not tolerate your insolence!” Seti roared and the babbling man stopped in mid-sentence. Seti motioned for the guard to swing open the wooden doors so that he may expose himself to the crowd gathered in the hall, so that they may gaze upon his glory and magnificence. The stunned guard only obeyed and the doors swung open allowing Seti to make his way to the throne where it sat upon the dais. He mounted the platform and stood there letting people see him in his brilliance before taking his seat on the throne. No sound came from the crowd as they gaped at Pharaoh as he surveyed them all, each wondering what he was trying to confirm. Heads began to turn to the person beside him and whisper in frantic words.

Seti watched and frowned. They were talking and muttering in his presence. How dare they do such a thing! He narrowed his eyes as if to silence them all as his eldest son stepped forward and came up on his right arm.

“ Father, what do you wish to verify by displaying yourself to them. They are unable to think what to make of it.”

“ I am doing what I always do! I come up here to watch as foreigner after foreigner brings gifts to me as payment for being allowed to set foot in this country!” 

His son hesitated before replying as if to think of the way best to break what the crowd was offended about, “ Yes, Father. But... unlike before you came in dressed. Now you are not...”

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