Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
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 ©

Other / Drama

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

: This is a very interesting book - mostly because the heroine is quite charming and well rounded, and has very real issues to manage in her life. Most of all,. I loved the view inside of the life of a South Asian girl/woman, the emotional self-talk, the customs and preferences, the expectations a...

Jessie: I wrote a review on fanfiction but I thought it would be fitting to write on on here too :) This story was honestly stunning. I am a budding writer myself and to read this- to FEEL this- reminded me of why I am honoured to have this passion and drive for a craft that is just so raw and beautiful.

Animeviewer: It is one of the best stories I've ever read. This story will have you riding a roller coaster of emotions and nearly dying to know what happens next.You will get very attached to the characters and in my case I relate well with some of their very traumatic or emotional experiences, Just Juliet f...

Noelle Anselmo: Jesus H Christ! When I saw this was a genderbent I though it was just gonna be the two main characters, but I was so wrong and I LOVED IT! I had no clue where you were going with it, and I was waiting for the make up, was dreading the possibility of not making up, and just how you had the story u...

ernbelle: When I first started this story I was a little unsettled by all of the information that appears in the prologue, and wasn't sure if I would continue. However, I am very glad I did. The plot was very well thought out and really interesting. There were not any page breaks or markers to acknowledge ...

Ben Gauger: Kudos go to Liz Aguilar, author of To Have And to Hold a fast-paced, gripping, adrenaline rush from start to finish, one of perhaps the finest pieces of writing I've ever read, in particular because of its' telenovela-like feel, May she continually find success as an author. Bravo my dear, bravo!

mrh: This interesting take on the Harry Potter series fascinated me from line one on. I am in love with this tale and its characters and cannot wait to read the next chapter. I look forward to more soon.When can I expect the next chapter? I am so excited to read it!

Lea Sutherland-Doane: I love this story and it hurts me that it is on a cliff hanger. Please write the next story fast so I can enjoy more of your wonderful writing skills. Your writing skills are amazing and I cannot wait to read the sequel, I promise that this is the best book I have ever read and I love it will al...

rajastreet: I enjoyed this piece! I loved the treatment of time and the premise! Some of the wording seemed a little out of place, but easily overlooked for a good a plot.

More Recommendations

dd1226: I love reading about other countries and I think this story about Cambodia after Polpot creates awareness of the tragedy that happened there and the actions of the U.N. to hold elections. The heroine of the story is easy to relate to, a modern, middleaged woman looking for an adventure, wanting t...

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral stories!
Iosaghar

FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"

The Cyneweard

Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral story!
Spectra

Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."