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

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...

Alkira Joan: I'm worried and scared but absolutely love this book please write the second one please don't leave me hanging.....,.,..,.,.,..,.,.,..,.,.,..,.,.,..,.,.,.,..',', , ,', , ',',..,.,.,.,.,..,.,,bbdbx.,..,.,.,.,..':-)''.'.'.'.'...

bansodeyari: The story is really wonderful. It has details (sometimes which are not needed). The story is plotted well. It's lengthy though, but worth reading. It is based on realty which normal people face. Overall I loved it. Peace✌️.

romboili000: As I read this book it made me realize the importance of trusting big God. And believing that you can love even when it feels impossible. This story definitely has made me what to become a better person in Christ and just life. So thank you that's all I have to say because you wrote this story so...

Demo: Great read, great plot, had me hooked from the start. What a cliff hanger for an ending. Can't wait for the next installment.

Books17: This is my first book review.I found the story to be very intriguing.The beginning of the story starts and you are immediately thrown into wanting to know what will happen next, The action, or intrigue is established early, so there isn't the feeling of the story dragging on, or thinking about wh...

ayesha wali: This is the BEST novel i have read after a long while. Absolutely in love with this novel and seriously why is it not PUBLISHED YET?!?! THIS NOVEL IS AMAZING,BEAUTIFUL,MAGNIFICENT, I have no words to explain how truly precious this novel is im totally in love with the book and its characters! Goo...

brettylee: The narrative is slick yet punchy. Life, Family and Friends I believe is the core message so it’s easy to relate to. It’s surprisingly action packed. The author does a good job at keeping you guessing. Just when you think all is right, whack, the unexpected happens. The dialogue is energetic and ...

ArgyrisMetaxas: Thrilling story which builds layer ontop of layer. A few mis spellings every few chapters. What I found special was that it took a modern day problem and took it to its logical conclusion and plays this realism with gritting precision. I'm always on edge ready to shout from adrenaline. This is gr...

More Recommendations

Alex Rushmer: Chapter One: Not much is happening in this chapter, but I was absolutely fascinated by the depth of your character development. I love how you just sat there with the reader and explored Eddward. Usually, that sort of thing gets boring very fast, but this was actually really cool! He's so unique ...

Bernsigns: This is an age old story, but with excellent plot twists that I didn't see coming. I truly liked how the story slowly, but steadily revealed the secrets. There were secrets I didn't expect, which kept me wanting to read. I always love a happy ending, with a little bit of real life mixed in. Th...

sujitha nair: What's so distinct about this story was that it could easily be real. Praveena can be your classmate, neighbor or that girl you saw at the coffee shop today. The important decisions she makes and the dilemmas she faces, remind us of our own twisted lives.