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Sunday, October 17, 2010

First 250 Blogfest- Finally!

This weekend was Elle Strauss' First 250 Words Blogfest. I had every intention of posting the first page of Hatshepsut on Saturday and then was waylaid by a migraine that mucked up my entire weekend.

If I could have gauged my eyes out or trephinated my own skull on Saturday I would have. Unfortunately, both those tasks are difficult to accomplish when you can't get out of bed.

So now, without further ago, here are my 250! (Better late than never, right?)

---

Her sister was dead.

Hatshepsut reached out to touch a clump of papyrus reeds as the skiff bobbed its way across the Nile. Soon she would become the next Great Royal Wife. The title should have gone to Neferubity; would have, had her sister not passed to the Field of Reeds. Now Hatshepsut's greatest responsibility in this life was to marry her brother and bear Egypt's future heir. The thought made her wish she could trade places with her sister.

The morning was still cool enough; Re's scorching heat had not yet wrung the sweat from her pores. The rowers gave a hippo wide berth, but the lazy river cow only yawned before submerging itself below the silty waters. Hatshepsut's eyes burned with the tears she had shed at Neferubity's tomb, but donkeys brayed and children laughed as the boat neared the East Bank. Life continued here in Egypt's capitol, despite Neferubity's absence from this world. The rowers--young men scarcely clad in loincloths--grunted as they tied up the royal barque. One almost tripped in his haste to help her onto the dock.

"Hatshepsut!"

Even though she hadn't heard it in almost two years, she knew that voice.

Her brother. And future husband.

Thutmosis had been in Canaan on a military campaign with their father for the past two years and wasn't expected back for several months. Hatshepsut was shocked as her brother hobbled toward her, leaning on an ivory walking cane. His lips pursed every time he put weight on his right foot.

14 comments:

Rachael Harrie said...

Ewwww!!! Hi Stephanie, I wondered where your post was, hope your migraine is better now. I enjoyed reading this, even with the squicky betrothed to her brother bit, LOL. I know, they did that back then :)

A suggestion, think about a scene break before the last para - I think the revelation he's her brother is the strongest place to end the first page.

Thanks heaps for sharing.

Rach

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Very intriguing opening, Stephanie. Can't wait to read this book someday.

I'm so sorry about your nasty headache and lost weekend. :(

Amanda Sablan said...

Ick, I can imagine only few fates as bad as marrying a brother... As always, this is one of the more unique entries. :)

Carolyn Abiad said...

Glad you feel better.

Love any stories about Egypt and Hatshepsut is such a great subject!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Well, I think you KNOW how I feel about this!! He he he. :-)

Laurel said...

Lots going on here--intriguing dilemma and such vibrant descriptions. I'd read more.

L.T. Elliot said...

You've done a great job of creating this "old" world and adapting it in an easily understandable way. Very awesome!

Just Another Sarah said...

Aw! Another blogfest I missed! But you did a great job--I enjoyed your 250 words. :)

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

I'm late getting to comments, so I guess it evened out. I hope you're feeling better.

I think I've read this before; was it in a Secret Agent contest? I feel sympathetic toward Hatshepsut, and the scene is nicely evoked. I wasn't sure at the end if she was more shocked by seeing her brother or seeing him injured.

Good luck with your work!

Melissa said...

These is an EXCELLENT beginning. I really enjoyed reading and hope you get it published so I can see how this all plays out.

Michelle said...

You paint such a vivid picture and leave burning questions in my mind. I'm wondering why H. wishes her dead sister would've been the one to marry the brother? And, why did her sister die?

I love a good mystery!

Renee Yancy said...

Stephanie: Trephining your skull might have helped your migraine but then we would never get to read the rest of your story. Hey, did you know that Botox is being used to help migraines? True story.

Marieke said...

Ridiculously late reply, but loved this! And love Ancient Egypt!! :D


*follows*

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