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Of Going Forth by Day [MultiFormat]
eBook by Anne Wingate

eBook Category: Historical Fiction/Fantasy
eBook Description: A 5000-years-dead pharaoh (descendant of the REAL Scorpion King) and his favorite concubine quarrel bitterly inside an exhibit hall in a museum in Cairo, about love, hate, and murder--especially his murder of his brother and his and the concubine's son. When gods Isis and Anubis step in, a possibility of reconciliation with each other and the dead reveals itself.

eBook Publisher: Live Oak House, Published: 2005
Fictionwise Release Date: February 2005


4 Reader Ratings:
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"This is great; I want to produce it!"--Elizabeth Webb, Stony-award winning actor, playwright, dramaturge, and summa cum laude graduate of the theater school of the University of Texas in Arlington.

"I have never before reviewed my own work. I have published a lot of fiction and a couple of books of nonfiction, but I rarely write real literature. I think in this case I have done it."--Anne Wingate


The speaking Mauwet wears no makeup or jewels. Her long, black hair looks wet. She wears a diaphanous white pleated sheath with plain shoulder straps. If possible, have a partial scrim covering her and the Nile, and front-light it from above when the tourists come by, so that she will seem invisible to them.

* * * *

The speaking Pharaoh's face is painted golden, with typical Egyptian eye makeup. He has elaborate mummy wrappings. His torso is wrapped separately from his arms, so that he can move his arms. He holds the crook and flail of the royal regalia.

* * * *

At his feet on the floor lies a mummy, wrapped but not in a coffin, the size of a four-year-old child.

* * * *

On Mauwet's side of the room, behind her but clearly visible, is a throne. In it sits Anubis, jackal-god of the Underworld. His body is that of a man, garbed royally and holding a crook and flail, but his black jackal-head mask covers his head.

* * * *

On Pharaoh's side of the room, behind him but clearly visible, is another throne. In it sits Isis, clothed in a diaphanous pleated sheath like that worn by Mauwet, but wearing a massive pectoral and holding a sistrum in each hand. On her head is her traditional headdress, a cow's horns pointed straight up and holding a full moon between them.

* * * *

The back wall is painted like the walls of a tomb, interspersed with three niches for life-size statues who are in fact dancers.

* * * *

The first statue is that of Pharaoh, wearing the double crown of upper and lower Egypt, an elaborate pectoral of enameled and jeweled gold, a pleated white kilt, gold armlets, and gold sandals. He wears elaborate eye makeup. He is in the prime of life, maybe forty, and he bristles with authority and gravitas.

* * * *

Near it there is a life-size statue of Mauwet. She is nineteen. She wears a translucent white pleated sheath dress with plain white shoulder straps. Her long black hair is bound by a wreath of lotus flowers. She wears elaborate eye makeup but is barefoot.

* * * *

The statue of a four-year-old boy stands near her. He has the shaven head and scalp-lock of youth, and wears only a white pleated kilt.

* * * *

As the speaking characters speak, the statues step out from the wall and act out, using modern dance techniques, the story that is being told. Meanwhile tourists wander through ad lib.

* * * *

A young man enters. He wears white shorts and leather sandals. He has no shirt on. A leather thong around his neck holds a large lapis lazuli scarab. He walks toward Pharaoh's coffin and sits, cross-legged on the floor, his back to the audience. Clearly he is looking at Pharaoh.

* * * *

Young man:

I dug you up.

I brought you here.

I wish--I wish--I wish I knew your name.

It seems as if I should--

As if it were somehow on the edges of my mind.

But how can I know, when no record of your name is with your bones?

(a beat)

* * * *

Isis:

Dying, you summoned Mauw and found she would not go?

Do you not know

A cat will never come to your command?

My sister Bastet would have told you so,

But you chose not to hear.

* * * *

Pharaoh:

Mauwet, Mauwet, Isis speaks.

She says you will not come,

But you are here,

And Mauw is cat.

I called you Mauwet, kitten.

You know that.

* * * *

Mauwet:

(distantly, looking away from him)

Once you took the throne through a palace coup,

But having done so, then you were afraid

That I, your concubine Mauwet the cat,

Might know too much of how a coup was made.

* * * *

Pharaoh:

Feared? I never feared. I knew.

I knew full well how much too much you knew.

* * * *

Mauwet:

I loved you then. Loved you.

Your power and your pomp did not concern me.

I would dare anything, do anything, for you, and ask for nothing.

I knew that I could never be your queen.

I never asked it, never wanted it.

But you--because you kept no faith with those above you--

Expected none from those who helped you rise.

* * * *

Pharaoh:

You kept your faith with those above no more than I.

* * * *

Mauwet:

Those above you did not exist for me. You were my all.

I always kept my faith with you, until--

* * * *

Pharaoh:

Until?

* * * *

Mauwet:

Until you took my child from me to bloody death.

* * * *

Pharaoh:

Not bloody, no, not bloody.

It was fast and clean.

I swear it.

* * * *

Mauwet:

It? It was fast and clean? It was your son, your little son, you slew!

I did not weep. Sooner ask mercy of the Nile in spate as you,

And unto Anqet, Mother Nile, I ran, and she had pity on me,

For when her waters closed above my head

Deeply I inhaled, once, twice, and then I knew no more

Excepting when I chose to go, by day or night,

To look at how the world had changed since my last visit.

Otherwise I rested in the Nile's soft breast and came not out at all,

Until I heard you call for me just now.

* * * *

Pharaoh:

I called? Not I. I tell you I forgot you long ago.

* * * *

Mauwet:

I came to find out why you called.

* * * *

Pharaoh:

What matter why I called?

I called.

You came.

You need to know no more.


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