Deborah Cater would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

At the Funeral

By Deborah Cater All Rights Reserved ©

Drama / Other

Abi-simti

Slowly, and with painstaking care, Evangeline brushed the loose earth away. The sweat prickled at the nape of her neck and ran in rivulets down the back of her legs. Pulling her hat down lower to block out the glare of the desert sun, she concentrated on the vessel manifesting itself in front of her eyes. She could see it was broken in at least one place. With any luck she would be able to excavate it in no more than two pieces. The Arab helpers moved about some fifteen feet above her. She had been so excited to join Leonard Woolley on this incredible archaeological dig – unearthing the Royal Cemetery of Ur. But she had not banked on this heat. She drained the last of the water from her canteen.

“Evangeline! How’s it progressing down there?”

“Very well Max. Would you like to see the funerary vessel I’m uncovering? It is beautiful. I would say it is a very thin piece of gold. There are mosaics at the top and bottom, possibly lapis and some red stone.”

Max climbed down the rickety ladder into the pit beside Evangeline.

“Absolutely stunning Evie. And look at the position of the hands, they must have been holding it when buried. How complete do you think it will be?”

“Hopefully no more than two, maybe three pieces.”

“Well done Evie.” Max patted her shoulder as he rose to his feet. “This is a significant find.”

Evangeline smiled up at Max as he clambered out of the pit.

“Don’t forget, lunch in an hour.”

Evangeline nodded and looked down at the vessel. She should have it freed by then.

Holding the two pieces of fragile gold pot in her hands Evangeline felt a surge of euphoria. This was indeed a find of some magnitude. She put the pieces together so they formed a whole – such finery, such beauty and yet in such a sombre setting. The whitened bones of the hands that had held it for three and a half thousand years now lay empty. The burning sun would whiten them more. There was not a corner of the pit that offered respite or shade. She sat back against the pit wall and closed her eyes, feeling the warmth of the gold in her hands.

“I don’t want to. Please, please don’t make me, please!”

“You have no choice. Drink.”

“No!”

“Drink! You must honour your queen.”

“No.”

“You are nothing, a chattel, you will drink. You are the last, you will have the cup for all eternity; you should be honoured. Drink!”

As the tears drew tracks through the desert dust ingrained on her skin, Abi-simti lifted the cup to her lips, closed her eyes and drank. The poison trickled down her throat. Opening her eyes she watched as the priest shimmered and wavered before her just like the mirages in the heat of the day. The mirages she had watched with her brothers and sisters – the camel train, the palace, the oasis. “Please,” she whispered, “please, please…”

“Please Evie, please. Please, drink up.” She could feel the cool metal pressed to her lips.

The voices became stronger and clearer. “Evangeline, please drink the water.”

“Max, shouldn’t you make sure that everyone works in pairs in the future? And some shade, they need shade from the sun.”

“Yes Agatha, but for now… Evie, oh thank goodness. Drink. Drink some water, there’s a good girl.”

Evangeline looked at their faces as they slowly came back into focus. She gulped the proffered water. Her hands still clasped the two pieces of the funerary cup. Cracked lips slightly moistened she moved towards the collection of whitened bones. “Abi-simti,” she whispered, “poor Abi-simti.”

Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Deborah Cater
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

May May: Honestly, this is a very interesting story.I enjoyed every chapter, hats off to the writer!

William Elliott Kern: Whew. one telling his story, in the Bar, to his friend, who questions some circumstances that need clarity, The Confusion comes from a man, carrying his dead friend Chappies, while conversing with himself, and Chappies, and his alter ego......a broken mind, not yet forgotten..........The Author ...

vane 3071: This book taught me so much and I even began to think, no wait know, it's important that people of all ages learn more about it. I may only be 14 but all we've always been told is that there the "special kids" that they have "issues", basically that they weren't normal. If we were to associate wi...

heavyonbooks: I admire your creativity. You have written a great piece. I want to promote your Inkitt book for free to my list of newsletter subscribers. If that is alright by you then please email me at exzordersplrwso AT gmail.com to book your spot, thanks.

andreaeslinda014: I really liked this story, it has the right amount of excitement and romancee❤️ I just which it had bonus chapters to see the characters in the future ☹️ but overall I really love this story, one of my faves definitely.

Erineda: This book is amazing !!!I just have one question,Are Nicki and Brady together now ( chapter 28-29 ) ???

Deleted User: I can easily identify with the characters as having gone through those terrible times myself. The writer has skillfully brought yet another side of those days to life. A good read which I recommend to everyone.

N_F_G: This story was fantastic! It was really enjoyable, and the characters and locations felt real to me as I read the story! Celeste was an amazing character, who survived all her struggles, and I felt the author did an excellent job writing about suicide and self harm- in a sensitive, authentic mann...

More Recommendations

Ariel: First book from the Author I've read, and am extremely impressed and very much satisfied that this story was a short-story, yet, filled with great writing, fantastic characters, and all I'd like is more, please. Malice, she is my favorite!!

Mary Abigail: I have always been a serious reader but reading romance has always been an outlet for me to be happy and this, makes me happy. It's entertaining with just enough drama and maybe a bit more - I do need more.

PersephanieBoyce: I was intrigued with the subject of this book from the snip it I read, and as I continued to read I felt like I was inside the characters brain. His thought processes, his memories, everything was so beautifully and forcefully made aware.The descriptions were vivid and detailed. At times, I did t...

ElusiveBadwolf: This book was so beautiful to read. I loved how Lizzy was finishing Hayden's list off for he self couldn't complete it and now she is learning to move on. In the end i cried, because i couldn't think about moving on if i was in her position. And how she had forgiven him by not being there with he...

Isha Chaudhari: Amazing book ...the most beautiful part is the kind of relationship Carla has with Peter. However, the epilogue was the one that surprised me the Most....Carla getting married to Peter....when in the book her relationship is mostly discussed with Ridian.Was a bit confusing thus.Lovable book that ...

Alkira Joan: Great story, I found it hard to read especially the dialogue. You just need to fix up some spelling errors and the gramma .I enjoyed this book. was a little hard to get though.,.,..,.,.,,..,.,.,, , , , ,.,, , , , , , , ,., ,,.,,,,,

{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.