Year 1275 BC, Ancient Egypt
The world around me is spinning endlessly. I am falling, that is all that I am aware of. Voices, sounds and music (?) is all I can hear. Everything around me is a constant blur. I think I’m going to be sick if this doesn’t stop soon!
I land with a thud. A thud so hard it knocks the breath out of me.
Wheezing for air, I desperately try to grasp anything – anything around me. Where did Mari and the stupid alien go?
My eyes are blinded by the light, I have to cover them if I literally didn’t want to go blind. It’s so hot here. Stavanger might be warmer than Trondheim, but this is certainly hot on another level.
My eyes blink slowly, trying to adjust to the bright light. I hear chatters around me. My fingers curl into the sand.
A combination of a cough and a wheeze leaves my mouth in surprise. The surrounding are does definitely not look like the museum in Stavanger. Where the hell am I?
‘’Shit, fuck,’’ I curse underneath my breath as I look around. Green luscious trees surround me, colorful flowers engulf me with their smell. The sounds of birds – birds I have never heard sing before – is yapping above me. The sky is blue, not a trace of a cloud in sight. A white-tiled pool (?) rests in the middle of this green forest. I can see white walls adorned with colorful paintings and hieroglyphics on the left side.
‘’Fuuuuuuuuuuuck,’’ I breathe out. Starting to feel the panic creep up on me.
My clothes remain the same. That might be a problem if someone finds me here. My regular Vans seems so out of place here. Black jeans, black top and a black trucker jacket. Everything about me screams foreign. Not to mention modern.
How did I get into this mess? Why did I touch that stupid plaque? This is so typical of me! I wish Mari at least came with me. She knows much more about this place than I do. Why, oh why did I write my thesis on the Merovingian period?
Wait. That might actually be helpful.
I crack the joints in my fingers nervously as I look around. There is no mistaking it. It cannot be mistaken for anything else than what it is. I have listened to countless discussions with Mari about this place.
I am painfully aware of my situation and where I currently am. It’s no use beating around the bush here. I’m in ancient Egypt and I have no idea of why and how I got here.
It’s so fucking hot.
I try to stand up, to check if my body survived this gigantic leap. In time. I should be surprised, maybe shocked even, but after Mari’s encounter with those damned aliens nothing shocks me anymore. Especially not after she showed me their books where the ancient Egyptians wrote down their heritage.
I’ll admit that the stupid alien came in use for that part. I’ll admit it, barely.
Oh, god. Now that I am here, she is left all alone with that bastard!
My teeth clenches on instinct. Taking a deep breath to gather my strength and focus I stand up and shake my limbs a little. Just to test. Everything seems fine. Just a little dizzy and overheated.
I need to get back to my time as soon as possible. I don’t trust that alien for one single second alone with Mari.
‘’Ah, just in time,’’
I screech loudly and jump away from the voice.
I am met with a little man, rolled into robes like a burrito. He has black, thick markings around his eyes. Balding head. Dark skin and kind eyes. He looks at me with a smile, a mischievous one at that.
‘’How was your trip?’’ he asks.
‘’How do you speak my language?’’ I retort back quickly. I start to frantically look around. Maybe this is a prank?
‘’I can speak many languages,’’ is his only answer. He stands completely still, just gauging my reaction. His eyes roam my appearance. He does not look pleased.
‘’I have summoned you here. Please come with me so that I can cure your language barrier,’’ he says as he turns his back to me and heads in the direction of the white walls with paintings and hieroglyphics.
‘’My language barrier?’’ I breathe as I quicken my pace to reach him. He walks surprisingly fast to be so tiny.
The walls around us are painted in various colors of gold and white, with bright green, red, brown, yellow and blue. The walls are completely covered in history. Their history. I gently brush my fingers across the masterpiece and recognize several symbols that Mari has tattooed on her arms.
‘’You do not speak or understand this language, am I correct?’’ he muses as his tiny feet pads barefoot across the tiled floors.
It was a little cooler inside and I thank the heavens for it. The palace of stone had a cooling sensation and all I wanted to do was lie flat on my stomach on the floor to soak up the cooling sensation.
‘’No, but –‘’
‘’It’s settled then,’’ he interrupts.
We walk in silence, mostly because I’m so caught up in the things around me that I am too awed to speak. These things – these items are of prehistoric origin. They are literally artefacts! My fingers nearly itch to touch all of it. These pieces will someday dissolve, and some will perish from existence. However, the remains will be found by people like me.
Archaeologists like me.
He takes a quick turn, and my trance is broken as I basically jog up to him. We walk into another huge – and I mean huge – room. The interior is much like what I’ve already seen, but it’s still so captivating that I can’t take my eyes from it.
Everything I imagined ancient Egypt to be appears to be even grander. Everything is just so magnificent. This period in time will be one of the most influential time periods on this planet. At least the most famous.
‘’What is that?’’ a deep voice utters in distaste.
I focus my eyes on the man that sits lazily in the middle of the room, on top of a throne-like chair. Head resting on his knuckles, loopy green eyes pierce mine. The distinctive red-ish hair. Chest bare, with only a robe covering the lower part of his body. Gold chains that appear unnecessarily thick and heavy are weighing around his neck. Golden armlets and rings adorn his arms. Thick, thick charcoal linings around his piercing emerald eyes. Sharp jawline, firm lips and high cheekbones.
I don’t want to admit it, but it’s crystal clear who this is. No, it can’t be. This is just a dream. I might have fallen and hit my head after I touched the plaque. I just slipped in the museum, yeah that’s probably what I did.
‘’I have summoned Gudrun to this time, Pharaoh. She is from the future. Scandinavian, I believe,’’ the priest announces.
I’m still confused as to why I understand them, and that is what unsettles me the most. Can’t even concentrate on their conversation properly.
The pharaoh doesn’t even look at me. His eyes turn darker as he flashes his teeth to the priest.
Well, some customs have obviously changed over time. Hissing like a cat might be one of them.
‘’Why would you summon someone – again? She’s not even Egyptian! What kind of evil schemes are you up to, old man?’’ he hisses.
The priest only shrugs with a mysterious smile. He looks back at my obviously shocked expression. Winks at me.
’’This is a sign from the gods, my Pharaoh. Do not haste your decisions. I have summoned her here. She will remain here, and you will be kind,’’ the priest says.
The priest waves me closer to him, and I don’t have much other choice than to obey. If this man literally summoned another human through thousands of years in time, I don’t want to know what other things he might be capable of. Not taking that risk, I tell you.
He quickly flicks my forehead and I shocked groan of pain leaves my mouth.
‘’Ouch,’’ I mutter as I rub the painful spot on my forehead.
‘’Now,’’ he says as he clasps his hands together. ‘’I transferred your mother tongue into the Egyptian tongue. It means that you speak and understand the language as if it was your own. It also means that your previous mother tongue is dormant and will remain as a faint memory. You might remember some words, but not the entire language,’’ he explains quickly.
‘’You erased my language?’’ I accuse angrily.
He nods happily. ‘’You need to be able to communicate here, no? It is only temporary,’’ he explains.
I give him a look of distaste.
‘’Now, please let me introduce you to the Pharaoh, Ramses the Second,’’ he says proudly as he steps to the side to give me a clearer view of the man sitting on the throne.
Nope, no chance of confusing that man with another. He looks just like himself.
Before I even manage to answer, Ramses’ eyes glide down to the floor before me. Implying that I kneel in front of him. I don’t move a muscle.
An annoyed look crosses his features quickly. A man used to getting whatever he desires, I see.
‘’Kneel,’’ he states with authority clear in his voice.
‘’I am neither your citizen, nor from this time. You do not command me,’’ I say as I cross my arms over my chest.
Gosh if Mari heard me standing up for myself like this, she would be so proud!
A small twitch above his eyebrows becomes visible. He did not like that.
‘’I will not repeat myself,’’ he states sternly.
The priest stands beside me, grinning from ear to ear. What a wicked priest.
‘’Neither will I,’’ I shoot back.
‘’As much as I enjoy young bickering like this, I must take my leave. The gods don’t tend to their own needs. Farewell children,’’ the priest announces as he, once again, claps his hands together in joy.
‘’Wait!’’ I call after him. He stops momentarily but does not turn to face me. ‘’What year is it?’’ I ask.
‘’The year is 1275 BC according to your modern timeline,’’ the priest says happily as he storms out of the room.
I remember this! I remember Mari telling me about this period of his life. The year is 1275 BC. That makes Ramses approximately thirty years old. He is currently in his fourth year of reign. And a newly widowed man to his one true love in life, Nefertari.
‘’Fuuuuuuuck,’’ I groan loudly as I turn to face the fuming pharaoh in front of me.