Amunet – The Harlot of my Dreams – Caricature/Cartoon – A Polymer Clay Sculpture and a Short Story.

Amunet – The Harlot of my Dreams

(A Short Story and a Verbal Caricature – by Shafali The Caricaturist)

The Year: 2020 A. D.

Brice checked the machine once again. Everything appeared to be in order – but Brice wanted to be sure. On his last trip into the past, his time machine had developed some sort of engine trouble, and it had delayed his arrival back. Technically you could never be late in arriving back into your time as you could program the machine to bring you back as soon as you had departed – but when you spend 2 years of your time in the World War II Europe, trying to fix your machine, you age. Those worry-lines on Brice’s forehead weren’t there when he had walked into the time travel machine for that last trip!

So after Brice had ensured that the machine was in good shape, he stepped into it, set the time dial to 5:30 PM, July 1725 BC, and typed in the longitude and latitude of the place of his dreams. It was time of inundation; it was the time when the androgynous goddess of fertility Hapi rode the Nile and made the land fertile; it was also the time that he had been dreaming of, every night of the last three months – it was the time of Amunet!

—ooo—

The door closed behind Brice. It would take the machine about 3 minutes to reach its destination. Brice closed his eyes and memories from his dreams rushed to fill his mind. The beautiful almond eyes outlined with kohl, the full red lips, and the dewy freshness of her skin – the way he had been seeing Amunet all these months. He also saw the banks of the swollen Nile; and he almost felt the happiness that came with the flooding of the Nile. Brice was a time travel scientist, he wasn’t a historian; but that girl in his dreams made him spend hours of his time researching not time-travel, but the history Ancient Egypt. She had become his obsession, and he had to find her – and if he really did, he might even stay back in time…Love makes you do strange things.

A sharp beep told him that the time machine had arrived into the past, at his destination – the City of Thebes on the eastern bank of the river Nile. Everything was as he had visualized…except the landscape. What were they? Broken Chariot wheels?! The Hyksos had brought the chariots to Egypt, and they hadn’t arrived until 1700 BC! Something wasn’t right – but then everything else wasn’t a lot different from what he had seen in his dreams! He hid his time machine, and looked around…if Amunet were there he’d see her because nobody else could be as beautiful!

And then he saw her…on the steps of the ruins. The steps, on which she sat, looked like they belonged to the beautiful fountain that he saw in his dreams. It was the same place – and there she was – the same almond-shaped eyes, the same sideways glance…but she looked different with all that makeup! And her jewelry was mostly blue…Lapis Lazuli. He looked again. She sat there laughing, talking to drunken men, who’d pay her and then stagger over to one of the younger girls and…Brice could watch no more. He turned and ran, trying not to vomit – the girl who he had seen in his dreams was now the much older harlot who sat on those steps – she and all the other girls, wore the blue Lapis Lazuli stone on their foreheads or in their hair – he had read in the history text s that the law in Ancient Egypt required that the harlots announced their calling to everyone by wearing the blue stone on their foreheads.

The caricature, cartoon, sculpture, 3D image of an egyptian harlot.

Amunet, the Egyptian Harlot. A Polymer Clay Model – 3″ tall, 1.75″ wide, 1.5″ deep.

Brice ran across the fields towards his time machine. He couldn’t understand it at all. What went wrong? And then it occurred to him…the history books that he had read during his research and based his calculations on – were wrong! They were at least 25 years off the mark!

The time machine was still there. Brice thanked his stars, climbed into it, and reset the dials! He was going back to his home in the time-space – never to return!

—ooo—

The Year: 2025 A. D.

After his Egyptian fiasco five years ago, Brice decided to junk his job as a time-travel scientist and decided to become a computer programmer instead. Now he programs computer applications that drive people nuts by asking them for updates twice a day!

 

Special Thanks to:

  • Nancy Johanson, Dewey’s Gram who inspired me to dabble with clay.
  • Wilbur Smith my favorite author, who helped me time travel to Ancient Egypt through his Egyptian series.
  • Oorvi’s Cameo who photographed the Harlot 🙂
Advertisements

Breaking News – The Caricaturist Turns a Writer! Read the Story, “An Archaeologist’s Nightmare!”

Breaking News! —  Breaking News! — Breaking News! — Breaking News!

The Caricaturist is now a Writer! You don’t believe it – do you? Well…here’s the proof. I wrote the following story for Vivienne Tuffnell‘s Short Story Contest. Read the story and leave your comments – I am desperately looking for alternatives – so let me know if I could  consider writing as a possible option! (Well…everyone I know is a writer these days, so I might want to be one just to fit in:))

Note: What you see in green (in teal, to be precise) is the stub – using this stub, you need to write a story. Give it a shot – it’s fun:)

Breaking News! —  Breaking News! — Breaking News! — Breaking News!

Well…

The Story begins…

An Archaeologist’s Nightmare!

Many years ago while Alex was a student, he spent some weeks one summer helping on an archaeological dig. The weather was fine and while the work was quite boring, the other people were pleasant and he found he was making friends.

One afternoon, he was kneeling in a ditch with the sun beating down on his back. He was slowly uncovering something buried in the earth but when the piece of pottery came free, so did something else. Looking down with utter horror, Alex saw poking out of the mud a piece of bone. He wasn’t expecting to unearth bones around here – especially in this part of the dig. But then, nothing was impossible.

Finding a bone was as irregular as it could get at the dig, and all the junior archaeologists, even the summer interns knew that if any irregularity popped up, they were supposed to call others. At the dig, every new day was exactly like the previous one – and so an irregularity was a break in the monotony – everyone wanted to be a part of the excitement.

Alex’s call brought everyone at the excavation site including Laura, his supervisor to his corner of the ditch. When Alex had started his summer training with them, little had he realized that he’d have to use all his ingenuity to ward off her advances! Unfortunately the task of avoiding her wasn’t easy as Laura was very attractive, and also very persistent. Alex’s billionaire father had warned his only son again and again, about just this kind of women!

Within a few minutes a new hierarchy was established for excavating Alex’s find. The task was quickly taken over by his more experienced colleagues but as the finder, he was given the opportunity to help. Randal, a Junior Archaeologist took over the task of brushing the dirt from the bone, and carving it out without causing any damage to it. It clearly was a piece of a human clavicle – but there was something other than the centuries old dirt that was pulling it back…something that looked like a chain.

After a lot of coordinated effort, the clavicle, the neck sans the head, and the chain, all came free. At the other end of the chain was a pendant, which looked like it was made of gold and which had an inscription on it. Randall carefully separated it from the bone to let the pendant fall into Alex’s outstretched palm…and it was then that it all began…

The moment that pendant touched Alex’s palm he felt that he was pinned down to his place and couldn’t move. The people who either sat or stood around him began to turn hazy and then disappeared completely, while the hot afternoon transformed into a cool night. The dig around him disappeared and Alex found himself standing in a lovely, well-kept garden. He looked around. In the north, where they hadn’t begun to dig yet, stood a magnificent palace. The broken walls of the fort seemed have mended themselves and they stood erect and proud, with sentries at the posts.

“Isn’t the night beautiful?” he heard a woman’s voice. He didn’t like the voice. It reminded him of something, or someone…but he couldn’t recall what or whom.

Ah well…whatever it is – I have to play the game, he thought.

“Yes, it is,” Alex said and turned to face the owner of the voice. The woman’s face was beautiful but cold – a little like her voice. She was slim, and she wore a gown that went out of fashion about 500 years ago. Suddenly Alex had the urge to look at himself; he looked down at his hands – what the heck? He was wearing rings. Alex hated rings! On his chest, over the brocaded tabard lay a gold pendant with an inscription, which read “Sera and Zareb”! He could read the inscription and understand it! This was a different world.

“I am glad that you are safe. I was worried. Your brother came back three days ago, and he thought that you might not come back at all, until he received that message from you.”

For some reason, Alex felt a stab of pain in his heart. He couldn’t place the reason – but he had enough sense to know that it was a dream – and he knew that all he could do was play the part. As he didn’t know what he was doing there or who he was, it was best that he kept quiet. So he smiled.

“I can see that you are happy to be back, and so am I, but nobody knows that you arrived tonight – isn’t it?”

“Zareb knows, just him – nobody else.” Alex said and shocked himself. How the hell did he know that his brother was called Zareb? He felt drawn towards this cold but beautiful woman, and he didn’t know why. He knew some answers but he didn’t know how he knew them!

“My dear husband, give me a hug. I’ve been alone for so many months… and I’ve missed you so much!” she said with her arms outstretched.

Alex felt a warm rush of affection towards the woman – he loved her! He stepped forward and took her into his arms. It was nice to be home.

Before he could kiss her, he felt something odd – his head snapped back…away from her face! Before he could understand it, he felt a red-hot pain at the base of his neck…and before he closed his eyes, he saw his own body fall sideways with blood spurting out of his neck, and then as he sank gratefully into the painless unconsciousness, he heard the cold cruel laughter of the two people who mattered the most to him!

Alex regained consciousness in his tent. He looked around. There was nobody there, except Laura who was sitting on a stool at his bedside – not a hair out of place, not a crease on her blouse – it was a wonder how she looked so beautiful and so…

“I am glad that you are safe. I was worried,” she said, in a voice that Alex had just heard, in another world, in another time… and her face was so beautiful and yet so cold!