Farik still stood relaxing with his back against the pillar by the door looking over at Harian who was slowly becoming more relaxed. He knew Harian’s story, but now was not the time to be talking of such things. He also knew that the boy had no idea of what the beauty he helped keep behind these doors was capable of.
Farik knew nearly all of the guards would agree that Nefertiti was probably one of the most beautiful women they had ever laid eyes on, they would also agree that this was one woman you should never cross. Underneath the beautiful exterior dwelled the mind of a tyrant, very much a dictator in her own right whenever and wherever she got the chance. She was very proud of her position and displayed this at every opportunity that arose. Thinking she was better in every way possible and they had witnessed this many times. She treated all of them and the servants with the upmost disrespect and complacency without a single ounce of tolerance, kindness or compassion.
All the guards and servants had realised for some time that Nefertiti had the king wound around her little finger weaving her spell with the beauty she was adorned with – none knew this more than Tiy, Farik’s dear friend. She most certainly used her beauty to her advantage where the king was involved and it was so obvious she did this, many could not understand why the king allowed this to happen and questioned; was he really that shallow to be entranced by this beauty? The answer, again, was quite obvious and could not be denied, but was never spoken about in earshot of any it concerned, for the repercussions for doing so where severe and harsh and had happened many times.
Although the guards and servants knew that Nefertiti could not order anyone to be put to death for their insolence, she could via the king who was the only one who could give such an order. This had occurred many times in the past, but not so much over the last few years and was a completely none existent occurrence for the last two.
It was Nefertiti that had almost certainly tried to persuade the king that Tiy should be put to death, because of what had transpired and what Tiy had done and said. Even though it was the king who, after listening to the queen, had placed the order on her advice. It was realised by many that it was the manipulation upon the king, by the queen, that had caused the problem in the first place. The king just resented being made to face something he was already very aware of. Especially by a servant, even if that servant meant something to him that he could never admit too.
On one particular day the queen was being her normal stuck up self-strutting around the palace as though she owned it. The king was in a board meeting with the masters and the grand master and her boys were being educated. So she had time on her hands and was going to make some one’s life a bit more miserable than normal, just because she could. She was gloating to herself that she had everything under control, with a very malicious intent and to be honest it could have been anyone that day, but it happened to be Tiy.
At that time Nefertiti was the chief wife and ruled the others with an iron fist, to a point, whereas the other wife’s would never set a foot out of place. She did not like the fact that Akhenaten had other wife’s, but this was a fact at the time she had to except, even though that was to change some years later when she would get Akhen all to herself. The other wife’s detested Nefertiti and her very apparent influence over the king because of her beauty. As none of them knew they were in any way a comparison and that Nefertiti knew this fact, something she most differently used to her advantage.
It had now got to the stage that they could have no time with the king alone themselves, as Nefertiti would always find a way to prevent this happening. And the last wife that had squared up to her had met her end by Akhen’s own hands at the wishes of his chief wife. Akhen himself had strangled her as Nefertiti looked on with a malicious satisfaction. Not because Akhen was doing such an act, but because he was doing what she had suggested in the way she had suggested. It was at that point she herself realised the control she now had over the king and the extent that now reached.
Tiy, whether it would serve her well or not, could only tell the truth no matter what was asked of her, by whoever was asking. The trouble was this inevitably was going to get her in serious trouble one day, as many people, if not all, did not like to be told the truth about themselves. But even though she knew this was very apparent and possibly could cause her demise, she could not change and to be honest she would not change to appease the masks worn by those held in delusions of grandeur.
She was at this time one of the king’s personal servants, bathing and dressing him every morning, serving him food during the day and bathing and dressing him for bed at night. She was basically at the king’s beck and call, whenever and however he demanded and he did demand of her.
Tiy herself was very beautiful; in fact in some ways she was as beautiful as Nefertiti and certainly attracted the attentions of all the male members of the palace household including without doubt the king.
Nefertiti had witnessed on many occasions her husband getting rather too friendly with Tiy and this was certainly not approved of because of the position Akhen held and the lowly position Tiy held. And most certainly his wife disapproved of this for obvious reasons.
On many occasions she had caught Tiy washing areas upon the king’s body that he should really be washing himself and the fact the king seemed very aroused by what was going on upset the queen deeply. The same had happened as well when the king was being dried and dressed and even though the king had four servants to do this for him, it always seemed that Tiy would be the one with hands on. Whilst the others just stood round holding individual items such as towels, clothing and fragrance. The attire the servant girls adorned also upset the queen greatly. But it was worn as the king himself directed and could not be worn any differently. The attire they wore was the same as the servant girls all those years ago when he was a teenage boy on his adventure with the priest named Iktus. When he had become what he was now. These events resulted in the queen having an immense dislike for Tiy and a wishing she could have her removed, but her husband would have none of it.
After walking around the palace looking for a victim that she did not come across – because to be honest if anyone saw the queen coming they would make haste to get out of her sight, even to the point of hiding from her. The queen would never normally pick on a guard, although she would temp them with her beauty, trying to get them to look up and break protocol so she could have them punished. The palace guard were quite aware of her tricks now and knew exactly the game she was playing and no matter what, when they were in her presence, they would not breach protocol.
The queen also had a very childish streak that again was very malicious; repeatedly walking past the guard just to get them to bow, sometimes more than a dozen times, deliberately trying to catch them out so she could again, punish them.
More through boredom than anything else she wandered into the royal bedroom to use the toilet, as even though there were many toilets throughout the palace that the royal family could use, she would only use the one within the royal changing area. As she walked into the changing room she saw Tiy cleaning and tidying up over by the bathing area. After a quick scan of the room, even though it was quite large, she realised Tiy was alone and quickly in her mind she knEw she could not miss this opportunity and started to scheme.
Almost immediately she had devised a plan and began to put into action.
Tiy at that moment was not aware she was not alone in the room and was totally unaware that she had been joined by the queen and just carried on with her duties. At that point cleaning the royal bath humming as she did.
Even though she missed her family immensely and truly detested the way the world was, especially the fact that she knew exactly what human beings were capable of, being, there seemed to be no boundaries to the misery they would cause one another daily. No limits to the depravity, violence and the pleasure gained from such obscene intentions and the actions they lead too. It was hard knowing this and having to be aware of this without action, for she knew everything had to run its course and had to without her intervention whether she liked it or not and if she was needed to intervene, she would know when it was the right time to – a view point, it would seem she held not on her own. Tiy tried to make the most of her life and reflected on her memories, not the bad times because there were many, but the good times, because they were plentiful as well. Tiy felt, even though there was certainly a lot to cry about, there was also so much to smile about and she tried at all times to maintain this, even though sometimes it was quite difficult to do so. But for the most of the time she succeeded and that pleased her.
Tiy turned round after bending over the royal bath and cleaning it, which she had been doing for time, as the bath was quite large and was shocked to see the queen standing directly behind her.
For a split second there eyes met, which was in the eyes of protocol completely unacceptable behavior. Even though on this occasion it was completely unavoidable, as was Tiy dropping the cloth she had been using to clean the bath.
This gave Nefertiti the ammunition she needed to start the process of destroying this annoying inferior nuisance once and for all.
Shouting as she did, Nefertiti started the process.
“HOW DARE YOU LOOK ME IN THE EYES YOU CLUMSY FOOL?” The queen said to the now perfectly still Tiy standing with her head bowed.
“You will suffer for this insolence and I will make sure you suffer the highest penalty possible.” The queen continued.
“Please accept my sincere apologies my queen, it was an unavoidable occurrence as you startled me, as I was not aware you were stood there.” Said Tiy honestly as she truly did not wish to upset the queen, even though the queen had made much trouble for her over the last 10 years.
She did not hold any animosity against her in any way, and actually felt sorry for her. Tiy remembered when the queen first arrived at the palace and remembered how different she was then, in respect of the way she was now.
She knew there was goodness in her, that had been swept aside as the power and position had overcome her, as the lust in her mind had taken hold.
Nefertiti in the beginning was kind and considerate and even though she was going against palace protocol by being this way, she was loVed deeply by the servants and the guards. She was even known to wink when walking with her husband, the king, when she passed them. She had to meet a standard that was expected of her in being the queen and unfortunately that standard had turned this beautiful loving creature into a monster, with very seductive skills.
She had been manipulated and that was obvious, as it was known she had spent many hours with the priests learning the protocols she must adhere to, coerced to a point where the real her didn’t exist anymore.
Tiy could not see what expression was on the queen’s face, but she could feel that this was not going to end without recourse and realised there would be nothing she could say that would appease her or change this fact. The queen stared at the Tiy with a wicked expression upon her face and an evil glint in her eye. She wanted to frighten this serf and she wanted to relish in doing so and she wanted to see the fear in her eyes as she did so.
“Lift your head.” The queen demanded. “I wish to look in your eyes.”
“But my queen, I am not allowed to do such a thing, so why do you ask this of me?”
“Do as you are told slave.” The queen said, leaning forward so she was speaking directly into Tiy’s ear with a hateful tone in her voice.
“I cannot my queen and you know this, I know it seems I am disobeying you, but you are asking me to do something that is against what we are supposed to maintain at all times.”
“If you do not do as I command of you, I will call a palace guard and have you executed where you stand and nothing can prevent this, so do as I have commanded of you, NOW!” The queen shouted and as she did Tiy had no choice but to comply and lifted her head and looked upon the queen’s eyes and as she did she said….
“Why do you do this to me my queen – what do you hold against me? I am nothing more than a slave and I know my place and have tried to maintain as such. You know as I do, you could not give such an order, but to prevent you getting any angrier I have done as you commanded. Even though I lose whatever I do, for this is a no win situation for me as you are fully aware of.”
Even though Tiy felt this was going to end badly for her, she had resided herself to this fact and decided it was about time the queen heard a few home truths.
Amazingly the queen just stood and listened and let Tiy speak. It was though the queen herself was allowing the servant to incriminate herself. She was aware from the palace spies that Tiy had entered a period in her life where she had found honesty the last piece of her humanity she could cling on to. And in a way, for some strange reason, there was an element of intrigue on the queens behalf as to how a servant could be this way, to a point this honesty could cost her, her own life.
“So what do you ask of me my queen, what do you ask, to have me do as you have demanded?”
The queen stood there for a moment staring silently at Tiy trying to work out where she got her strength from, because it was very obvious that she had strength. Was it from within? Was it in a way something that she felt safe in and did it guide her? Was this what the honesty she had found resulted in and still did, even though she faced what she did now?
Then she asked the first of many questions.
“You have known my husband for a long time have you not, in fact for many years, from when his was a teenage boy and were you not one of the servant girls who was there when my husband first experienced sex?”
“Yes I was my queen, in fact, I was his first.” Tiy answered looking directly into Nefertiti’s eyes, who to be honest, did not expect the answer she received, which led to the next question she would ask.
“Have you had sex with my husband since that time, all those years ago?” The queen inquired.
“Yes my queen I have.” Tiy answered completely honestly.
“On how many occasions has this happened?”
“Too many to say my queen, as to be perfectly honest I never kept count.” Again Tiy answered completely honestly and was quite shocked at the queen’s reaction to her honesty. But could see in her eyes she was boiling and this was certainly going to lead up to a verbal, if not, violent outburst.
“Has this happened recently?” The queen inquired with more anger in her voice than before, slowly, gradually increasing in volume.
“Yes, my queen very recently.” Tiy explained, but then asked a question of her own.
“My queen, have you not done the same?” Tiy inquired, which to be honest was a step too far, but if the queen wanted Tiy to break protocol, then at least she may as well make it worthwhile and get a few things off her chest.
To her surprise the queen stayed remarkably calm, but was this, the calm before the storm.
Nefertiti asked another question, but this time she looked away
from Tiy as she asked it.
“Were you forced to do this against your will?”
“No my queen I wasn’t and again to be perfectly honest I enjoyed making love to the king and would again as I care for him very deeply.”
But this was certainly a step too far in Nefertiti’s opinion, as the queen was prepared for most answers, but this one shocked her more than any other. How dare this pitiful servant say such a thing to me she thought to herself, struggling to keep her anger at bay.
“So my husband didn’t force himself upon you then?” The queen turned and faced Tiy when she said this and Tiy could hear the anger mounting in the queen’s voice as she spoke and could tell by her body language that the queen wanted to strike her.
“No my queen he did not, he was kind and soft and gentle, in a loving way. I have seen a side to our king that many would not have seen and I know, no matter what he has done, he is a good and true man and that will shine through in the end.”
As Tiy finished what she was saying the queen turned and looked away again, but Tiy knew what was coming and she knew the queen was going to turn and strike like a cornered rat, lashing out at her uncontrolled and violently.
Just as Tiy expected the queen did exactly that and turned quickly to try and take the servant off guard. The queen did not know that Tiy had been trained, in the dead of night, by a host of the palace guard. They had taught her how to defend herself and as much as she did not want to hurt anyone physically, she would defend herself.
As the queen struck out wildly, it was totally uncontrolled and Tiy could almost see what was coming in slow motion before it came and countered the blow, deflecting it, which sent the queen off balance. Tiy realised at this point she had completely over stepped the mark and would have to make use of this chance as she would never get another. Using the queen’s own weight against her and the fact she was off balance Tiy quickly, but gently, placed her on the floor. Putting one knee upon her chest, whilst her left hand gripped her shoulder pushing down and with her right hand she placed it securely across the queens mouth.
Tiy held the queen in this position for a moment and then calmly spoke.
“I need you to listen to me now.” And whilst saying this she gave the queen a gentle but quite firm shake and said. “Are you going to listen, my queen?”
The queen was stunned to say the least and gave a slight nod of her head in agreement. To be honest she had never been physically man handled and this was a complete shock to her system, so out of fear she complied.
“I am going to remove my hand from your mouth now, but I warn you do not scream for the guards as you really need to listen to what I have to say and when you have, you can do with me as you will. Do you agree to this?”
Again the queen nodded in agreement and did not put up any fight, which Tiy could feel; there was no resistance from the queen, just compliance.
Tiy slowly removed her right hand and started to speak.
“I know many things about you my queen, many things indeed. Some I know will shock you, especially when you try to fathom how I could know such things. How I know is not important, all that is important, is that I do. When you were first chosen for this role, because you were chosen, it was because you had pretended to be something you are not, exactly as you are doing now. You allowed your parents to control you and make you into something for their needs and not yours, for their selfish desires. Of course you impressed the priest’s but was this not the only way that you could have ever stood a chance of gaining this position? Because to be honest, well, if you would be that is, you would agree that’s all it is to you and all it’s ever been is a position.”
The queen at this point just nodded silently in agreement, as Tiy paused for an answer before carrying on.
“I know my queen, you are not the monster you make out you are and pretend at being, which I know brings you much pain that you suffer alone and nor is your husband our dear king. You both may act this way, but that is all it is, an act, played out by a persona, this is not the real you, as it is not the king. It is something your minds have created for you to live out not bound by any moral boundaries whatsoever.
When you first came here, even though it was arranged, you were humbled by the fact you had been chosen and you treated all of the servants and the guards with a secret respect and I would like to let you know that we all adored you because of this. To be perfectly honest it lit up our lives to see you each day because of the cheeky girl who bent the rules, even when walking with her husband. We miss her, my queen, we miss you deeply and all of us long for her to return. But we know that that will never happen, for you have been brought for a price by the families, like so many others and your job is to simply control our king. To keep him the monster he pretends to be and to keep him doing the things a monster does. To try and prevent him being what he truly is, which again saddens us all deeply. But unlike you my queen, he will change and he will reflect and in that reflection he will truly seE and realise what he has become and he will suffer because of this and he will voice this suffering, not caring who can hear. You believe you are privileged and you are, you, have just missed the true meaning of what it means to be so. You could change so much if you so desired. But unfortunately, like many others, your desires are not selfless they are selfish, simply because in reality, as things stand as they do, desire can only be selfish.
Your desire was and still is position, which you received, now your sole desire is to maintain this at any cost, even if it means the demise of your own husband.
Does this not sadden you my queen; does not all that I have spoken of sadden you?”
As Tiy finished speaking she released her grip from upon the queen and sat down beside her.
The queen herself was just laying there stunned by all that had been said and all that had happened, too stunned in fact, too move. As she laid there the full realisation of what Tiy had said struck her and the tears started to flow. As hard as she tried to prevent them she could not and she started to sob laying there starring at the ceiling.
Never had such a sadness come over her, never had such a sadness brought the pain inside she was now feeling and never had she sobbed so uncontrollably.
Tiy realising this moved slowly towards the heart broken queen with her arms open as a gesture of comfort and in full amnesty and the queen responded by moving and placing her head in Tiy’s lap. Nefertiti was still sobbing uncontrollably as Tiy softly placed one hand upon the queen’s brow and started to stroke her hair very gently. The queen nestled into Tiy for the comfort she so needed. She needed to try and ease the ever-increasing pain she felt inside as the full realisation of what she had become struck her. The queen was realising she truly was a monster and it physically hurt, in fact, the pain she felt was indescribable and unbearable, to a point she felt she would never escape the despair it brought. She nestled for a while in the lap of the servant sobbing uncontrollably, until the tears started to subside.
She then lifted herself away from Tiy and sat alone, now starring at the floor collecting her thoughts, with the last remaining sobs subsiding.
Tiy stood up and walked over to the side of the bathing area and decided to perch on the side of the royal bath, her hands resting in her lap and her head down, as though she was waiting for the inevitable. She had said what she needed to say and knew for well that this would have consequences, most probably severe ones, but what was done was done and what had been said had been said and nothing could change this fact.
The queen was now on her feet as well, but stood with her head low, as though she was ashamed of herself, as though, in all honesty, she could not deny what had been said to her, because she knew it was the truth.
Tiy decided to break the awkward silence that loomed in the air by asking the queen….
“What would you have me do now my queen – do you wish me to call the palace guard, so you can have me dealt with?”
The queen stayed silent for a while before answering.
“No, just go.” The queen said in a very quiet, but disturbed voice. “Just go.”
Tiy didn’t need telling twice, even though she would have preferred to get what was going to happen over and done with, instead of having the palace guard come for her in the dead of night, which they most certainly would do. Tiy also disliked the fact that she had now placed her friends, the palace guard, in such a position, but again this was how it was meant to be. It was not for her to decide this and she just needed to do what she was being commanded to do and so she did.
Without another word Tiy stood up and left the royal bathroom leaving the queen still standing where she was, head down, starring at the floor definitely shaken from the experience and all that had been said.
Farik could recall all this as he remembered Tiy telling him all about the day she came to blows with the woman Harian and he still kept incarcerated behind these doors. He remembered what an awful time it had been for all concerned, not just for Tiy, but also her friends in the guards who were faced with a moral dilemma over what Nefertiti demanded the king should do to her.
Although ultimately they would do what the king commanded of them, they had never been in the position that this would happen to one of their dear friends. Someone they all loved and cared for very deeply.
Tiy wasn’t just a friend, she was like a mum to them all and just as loving and caring. It had to be said that sometimes her honesty was brutal, but it was always said in the nicest way, but that didn’t always make it easier to know. Tiy made you look at yourself in a way you never would and many knew that this woman could cut anyone down to size with mere words alone, no matter how big they were, although that was mostly in her younger years. She was the check and balance amidst the guards, something they could reflect upon. In some ways she was seen as their un-official leader, although she wouldn’t even dream of such a thing and spoke many times of how damaging leadership had been and how damaging it still was.
Tiy had talked about the need to be equals and even though there were official ranks in the palace guard, they all knew this was only for protocol sake. In their true way they all worked as a one and always listened to the oldest and the wisest who always asked them for their opinion, because they were always asked for one. Everyone had an expertise and would be called upon if a situation arose that required their specific talent. In truth they were a group of brothers in the right sense, they were a family and this is what Tiy allowed them to remember.
As Farik recalled, in essence Tiy would never have come to any mortal harm – even though she did suffer injuries – as the king cares for her too much. Even though at one point he did forget himself at the height of Nefertiti casting her spell of damning words upon him. But Tiy still doesn’t hold it against him, she said the king was special and just wasn’t himself – but one day he would be. ‘It’s funny he thought to himself chuckling, I wonder how she knew?
Continue reading Chapter Twenty One