Shop Forum More Submit  Join Login
About Literature / Hobbyist hello, i am a lie.23/Male/Canada Recent Activity
Deviant for 9 Years
Needs Core Membership
Statistics 278 Deviations 2,288 Comments 9,384 Pageviews
×

Newest Deviations

Mature content
morning sun, part iii. :iconcjoyt:cjoyt 4 2
Literature
morning sun, part ii.
ii.
and then ra named all things and made them gods - shu, tefnut, geb, nut - and thus created the world. he created hapi with gentle care and said go, and hapi ran across the sands and bore the nile from his footprints.
-
when khepri awakes, she is not buried in the sand, or walking in the field of reeds. she is confused, her head spinning around the small room. her vision blurs, and her heart pounds, but when cold water splashes onto her lips she leaps up rather than relish in it, spins on the other body in the room she hadn’t known was there. he sits, recoiled, a bowl balanced in one hand. he has a boyish face and a thin body, and would break under khepri’s strength. the thought alone makes her muscles give, body folding in exhaustion, though she does not let up her stare.
my name is hetepi, the boy says, curling his legs up underneath himself to rise, still wary. he holds the bowl out to khepri and she doesn’t move a muscle to take it. i found you
:iconcjoyt:cjoyt
:iconcjoyt:cjoyt 5 6
Literature
morning sun, part i.
i.
and from the nothing, ra rose, and he said, i am khepera in the morning, ra at noon, and atum in the evening, and thus the sun awakened.
-
when the chains rattle, khepri can feel it all the way to her bones.  long ago she’d lost her sandals, and it’s been more than a hundred steps since the sand stopped burning her feet.  the sun is not her friend today, ra punishes her, beating down, filling her head to the brim with heat.  there’s blood on her wrists from where the metal rubs, and on her hands from the men she’d killed to get tossed into the desert.  she’d made her decision, back in alexandria, with the sword in her hand; she would die before she’d be a slave to any man.
but now, as her knees hit the scorching earth, the fear slips into her like a cat through shadow.  oh, anubis, will anyone find me here?  or will i be forgotten?  khepri sinks into the sand as it slides away from her.  as her
:iconcjoyt:cjoyt
:iconcjoyt:cjoyt 4 4
Literature
05.04.18
i didn't sleep with you
on my bedside table
because i only wanted
to look,
i did it because
i didn't know how else
to love you.
:iconcjoyt:cjoyt
:iconcjoyt:cjoyt 6 0
Literature
(30/30) five tips on surviving the apocalypse.
i.
bare your teeth, don’t
back down, ignore every
instinct to flee.  remember:
you are a monster too.
ii.
there is something angry
inside yourself, you just haven’t
freed it yet.  when the fire
bubbles up,
let it ignite your chest, fight
until you have no skin left
on your knuckles.
iii.
sometimes the quiet is violent.
know this now, because there
will be days when you’re sick
with it.  there will be no howl
inside you or anything else.  be
prepared for it, because this can end
you as much as anything else can.
iv.
when you can’t walk forward,
when you can’t limp or crawl or
drag yourself along the parched
earth, remember
that sometimes it’s okay to lay down
for a little while.
v.
don’t worry about the world ending.
it’s ended for me many times before,
and i’ve always woken up.
:iconcjoyt:cjoyt
:iconcjoyt:cjoyt 11 7
Literature
(29/30)
oh, well i guess i should’ve
named you
before i stuck you out on
the lawn,
but please know that the
‘free’ sign
was written out of some sort
of love,
i think, i don’t know, all i know
is that you
left paper cuts, and i just can’t
have that right now.
:iconcjoyt:cjoyt
:iconcjoyt:cjoyt 5 2
Literature
(28/30) i bet i'll hear you, someday.
darling i
have never needed to fuck
but with you,
lord, my words
have never tasted as sweet
as when they were on
your tongue, or clenched
in your fingers
or pressed between your thighs,
and i've never really
loved spoken word but
i'd listen to you gasp
lines upon lines crafted out of
cello strings
if it meant you'd spare me
another hour of your time.
:iconcjoyt:cjoyt
:iconcjoyt:cjoyt 7 6
Literature
(27/30) green.
so, i heard they made batteries
out of leaves,
and i heard they could glue them
to the trees,
and i heard that could save the earth,
and what a funny saying, because
it’s us that’s killing her,
or ourselves, rather, because
she survived without us,
and she’ll do it again, this is
all just a mad scramble
to undo something
to save our own skins but
isn’t that the nature of mankind,
anyways?
sometimes, when i think of you,
i think of you as the only person
in the world, but me?
i’m the earth.  i lived before you.
i’ll do it when you’re gone.
:iconcjoyt:cjoyt
:iconcjoyt:cjoyt 8 0
Literature
(26/30) the harvest.
i’m sorry, but
i still taste like iron
even though i haven’t bled
in years, don’t
take it so personally.  i’m
sure the next heart
you sink your teeth into
will yield, but i
haven’t bore fruit
since the rain
stopped coming
down.
:iconcjoyt:cjoyt
:iconcjoyt:cjoyt 7 2
Literature
(25/30) night, owl.
all these bones
want to do is
sleep, all i want
is to know how
to lay myself down,
where to put
a break
in a poem, when
all the bees
will come home
and let their
wings down,
how the birds
learn to sing
so early in the morning.
:iconcjoyt:cjoyt
:iconcjoyt:cjoyt 7 4
Literature
(24/30)
and we find ourselves crouched in the forest on the stairs that ascend into nothing.  and i hold
you and hold you but you don’t become any more tangible.  the leaves smell like new rubber.  
the shopping mall smells like pine.  i wish i could show you this but you haven’t had eyes in
years, and i haven’t had arms in years.  vile mind, will you not let me have this?  leave me in my
ashes, collect me to stardust.  maybe there’s a reason i only write about space and bones;
maybe i’m made of something else.  maybe i just want to belong.
:iconcjoyt:cjoyt
:iconcjoyt:cjoyt 4 3
Literature
(23/30) arsonal warfare.
sometimes, when i
look for my mind, i
find him
hiding a lit molotov
behind his back.
he says sorry,
were you looking
for something

and all i can do is
shake my head and
no, only you, only
you
and he’ll smile.
sometimes, when i
look for my mind, i
reach inward
and find nothing, and
somehow, that’s worse.
:iconcjoyt:cjoyt
:iconcjoyt:cjoyt 6 0
Literature
(22/30)
i forgot to miss you today.
:iconcjoyt:cjoyt
:iconcjoyt:cjoyt 5 0
Literature
(21/30) nobody, not even the rain.
and when you meet me on the street corner, i leave you in the doorway on the way there.  i wish
i could tell you that the walk over is nice but it isn’t; the rain’s cold hands don’t hold me like they
used to, she hasn’t told me she loves me in years.  and you twist your tongue around another
cold lie that tastes like someone else’s cigarette smoke and i smile and smile because in a few
years we’ll be dust anyways.  dust is dust; it doesn’t matter what kind of person they were
before they live in another’s lungs.  i hold deceit like an old lover and let him sigh in my ear.  is
this arousal or blood; is this love or is it failure.  you hold your hand out and put it on my leg and
i don’t even acknowledge it.  when did it get like this, do you remember?  dear lord; i hope my
ashes are holy enough you can taste them at the back of your tongue; i hope that this, what i’m
doing now, doesn
:iconcjoyt:cjoyt
:iconcjoyt:cjoyt 5 0
Literature
(20/30) broken, brave.
i wish
i could trade
in my skin
for clouds
of stardust,
lose myself
in the pillars
of creation,
breathe in
the nothing
and pretend
that nothing
ever hurt me.
in five billion
years, the sun
will eat us all,
so what’s
a few moments
early, in the
grade scheme
of everything?
:iconcjoyt:cjoyt
:iconcjoyt:cjoyt 5 3
Literature
(19/30) gargoyle.
i was not born a monster,
that much i know
is true.
but if that’s true, when
did i metamorphosize?
was it when the flames
licked my eyes
and told me to burn?
or was it when you sculpted
my horns from the
ashes and said go.
we don’t want you
here.
:iconcjoyt:cjoyt
:iconcjoyt:cjoyt 5 0

Favourites

Literature
war
the bizarre flavor of your blood
hit me like the soft feel
of your stomach, and I
hope I strike you as worth the trouble
if I must strike you at all.
:iconhypermagical:hypermagical
:iconhypermagical:hypermagical 6 4
Literature
mother's skinning ginger
and i've become so bitter.
i'm brimming with vengeance and nowhere to stab it,
every slash and broken line just another tilt toward
madness / so look, love (haven't i said that before?)
i don't write about god and the only form of
kisses i give are fearful touches to crystal's forehead
and napkins stained with waxberries and wine.
the concept of spring is just too damn dirty; i miss the
eyes i had in winter. better to shiver and have enough
plans to smile than lie still with the static and music.
between dishes and worry and wind-snapped laundry,
my ideas tangle with hair at the end of the broom,
the men on television and ruin and despair...
i don't think in lyrics anymore.
 /
"It’s not enough to say the heart wants what it
wants. I think of the ravine, the side dark with pines
where we lounged through summer days, waiting for
something to happen; and of the nights,
walking the
:iconPatchworkLynx:PatchworkLynx
:iconpatchworklynx:PatchworkLynx 51 29
Literature
stepping stones
when you wander in the woods, look for the hidden trails.
there is more to life than the path carved out for you:
every single step you take is one that can lead you somewhere you've never been,
if you'll let it.
listen for the running water:
sometimes the earth holds onto her secrets until the right person comes along.
& yeah, maybe you're terrified;
maybe you would rather plant your feet where you are because it feels safer.
but the truth is that the only way you'll ever see the future is if you walk there.
:iconinthespacebetween:inthespacebetween
:iconinthespacebetween:inthespacebetween 51 6
Literature
we make a bruise of everything
baby gave me a paint brush
fuzzed it fresh on the spackle
coated my specks in soft witch hazel
painted worlds from winterbloom
over my rugged summer
so i am in love and i am stupid
wringing the walls out all for the colors
messing with the season just because
you took one look at my sore skin
and wanted something better for it
:iconpeaseblossoms:peaseblossoms
:iconpeaseblossoms:peaseblossoms 18 5
Literature
even if i died for it
when the beast sips
only the best parts out
from ur ribs u've got
quite another thing coming    
cuz the bite's a bitch
if u lionize love
as the light switch
& i felt that pinch
in the sun-punched pitch so
sweet & skin-punctured i
talked myself / to tangles
told them sad & slow & knowing
to the soft meat mouth
& its brand new teeth
(cuz god i want
all the same sharp things
that the first fangs do):
i guess the cuspids took my knots and knew
to chew them hard enough they’d start to fray
(i think that im more of a singer thinker
in the dark — what’s on my mind, i say)
:iconpeaseblossoms:peaseblossoms
:iconpeaseblossoms:peaseblossoms 13 3
Literature
green chalk fingers
moon peeking through the blinds
a glimpse of hidden clavicle
over green felt
with a run stocking
sore feet
mascara heavying my eyes
I blink deep
remember good times (I think)
leave too much tip for a glass bottle
laugh with too warm a face
sway to the pulse too loud
tonight’s quiet
your face lined in concentration
calculating trajectories
I sip vodka cranberry with lipstick stains
you hit the ball in the socket
& we go
:icondialtonepoetry:dialtonepoetry
:icondialtonepoetry:dialtonepoetry 16 8
gender.exe by hopeful-encumbrance gender.exe :iconhopeful-encumbrance:hopeful-encumbrance 1 0
Literature
the fog rolls in
& you wear blue like it's the only colour that exists.
:iconinthespacebetween:inthespacebetween
:iconinthespacebetween:inthespacebetween 15 3
Literature
tryhard
All I want is the aching spit
Of your mouth, a little attention
--you haloed city
What I've come to realise is that nothing
Is ever really empty--
Your wings around my cold little form
Me a dog lying out in the street
don’t be angry at yourself you said
it's been a damn long day
           and you've worked so hard.
sweetheart you are june heat where the sweat
runs down our long beautiful--
           it's not you that brought a knife to a gunfight,
Jesus--touch me tender in reverent morning
Where the birds bite through the umbilical cord
That tethers the earth
       to heaven--
Our celestial night pulses through
Sleep with one hand on my thigh, the
Love bitten column of your neck
     & skinned knees
I push my thumbs against your bruises seeking shelter
Curled up like a baby
       against the architecture
             of your you
:iconscheherazades:scheherazades
:iconscheherazades:scheherazades 10 5
Literature
unsalvation / say youre mine / all ok
So we are standing on the top of a mountain and I am holding a sword in one hand. I am actually holding two swords. One in my hand and one through my stomach. This is a dream but it is also very familiar. There is the sword in my stomach and the mountaintop and the lake. And the other sword, in my hand, which is called Dogstar. Dogstar is very old and is the sword of knowing secrets. She says If you have a question there is an answer. I look at my bleeding stomach, and the mountaintop. I say Okay, well, I mean. If this is a dream, then what’s in the lake?
—(the lake is my father’s open mouth when I birthed myself, still slick with oil and soft around the edges, the lake is where I buried my father when I blew up his house in the autumn,  the lake is the throwing up alone at night in summer, the lake is my old body before I lived in it, the lake is the sword of being sad forever, the lake is the dream)  
Alright, so you looked into the lake. What can that mat
:iconscheherazades:scheherazades
:iconscheherazades:scheherazades 6 3
Literature
boxed in
i was thinking of
being a bad dog
& bending myself in2
bow shocks, Just
2 shoot thru the bone,
just 2 sit next 2 u
On the airplane.
the truth is? i know
What im falling into,  there is nothing
there for me. But i guess it’s better
if you spin a little. it’s better
if you miss on purpose. Good to put
the gut in gutter flutter that way.
like how i just got my hair chopped
above my shoulders / the way
urs was in the winter, when i met u.
I mean i guess it doesn’t really
matter: i was just always thinking
Of biting first, like ur
Pound cake pieces. but
the truth is
I will love u
even if i
see u there.
:iconpeaseblossoms:peaseblossoms
:iconpeaseblossoms:peaseblossoms 18 10
Journal
May 2018 Lit DD Roundup
Congrats to all who got one! Keep reading, suggesting, and supporting each other!
:icondoughboycafe: Features by doughboycafe

:iconbeccajs: Features by BeccaJS
The Courtesy by Rafellindried up by inthespacebetweenWhat That Dork in the Back of the Room is Thinking by WinteroftheSoulHow To Murder Your Muse by C1nderellaManPrayer by CortneyNocturnal
:iconakrasiel: Features by akrasiel
populist bullshit (of bullshit populus) by nawkamanChrysanthemums by saiunPocket Watch by TheLunaLilySydney and the Rainmaker by SakuraForestVelvet Heights by Kiyo-PoetryScience Like Religion by TheOnly-MaKailaThe Town Clock by LipsterLeoThe Benny Hill Method by LancelotPricedrossuary by gliitchlordYou See a Wineglass, I See a Bridge by Zed-of-VeniceEl Pajaro Carpintero by AdeimantusMourning by hypermagical
:iconsquanpie: Features by squanpie
The Seamstress by MaggieLawsonSowing Caskets in Fallow Fields by blinklessINKportrait of an odyssey by sophiemarin
We are alw
:iconakrasiel:akrasiel
:iconakrasiel:akrasiel 17 8
Literature
lemonade lips
i.
i hold blue sky in my hands & blow away the clouds like dandelion seeds,
crossing my fingers & wishing for a summer greener & greater than any before it.
ii.
sweet summer citrus, sing me your song, & spill all your secrets into the soil.
teach me how to turn lemon smiles into lemonade;
feed me sugar from a spoon & drop the sour punchlines.
iii.
i'll sell orange juice on every city corner,
& limeade where the concrete fades away
into dirt roads & rotting buildings.
iv.
speak with a tangerine tongue, & learn to love with a fierceness
only the sun can rival,
soaking up rays on good days & rain on bad ones.
v.
climb trees & scrape your knees & revere the scar on your ankle.
you're a four-season kid in a fair-weather world,
& living is what you're here for.
:iconinthespacebetween:inthespacebetween
:iconinthespacebetween:inthespacebetween 26 14
Journal
i caught a case of DD (may dd feature)

thanks to the academy and the community for the support
here are the rest of may's literature dds:



Neighbors by Poetrymann Science Like Religion by TheOnly-MaKaila El Roi by originalsophie
Sowing Caskets in Fallow Fields by blinklessINK Sydney and the Rainmaker by SakuraForest Pocket Watch by TheLunaLily
The Storm by phnks The Seamstress by MaggieLawson Chrysanthemums by saiun
Pseudo-FFM 5 - Mushroom Picking by distortified populist bullshit (of bullshit populus) by nawkaman
much love,
-c
:icongliitchlord:gliitchlord
:icongliitchlord:gliitchlord 10 29
Literature
what always happens when Rome falls
collectively, this is the way
that we decline: Rome fell in a day,
but for a thousand years they said
"we're Romans," and we've all become
the heirs to our demise;
it's been a long time since
we've had a dark age,
but even on the brightest days,
there are some very dark corners.
:iconcreativelycliche:creativelycliche
:iconcreativelycliche:creativelycliche 9 2
Literature
trnsnc
To think of you as ornamental,
A flower cut and rinsed in the tub sink
Dressed in ribboned plastic
Sold by eager hands
To present —statue of decay
Frayed firework, muted memory
Of spring— a new and boundless
Afterlife, moonbeam,
Slicing through the wet grass,
Blade spine finding little justice
In those calloused fingers, another
Winered symphony, wince and sing, you
Withered heart, your skin
Still drawing blood.
:iconsuccesswithhonor:successwithhonor
:iconsuccesswithhonor:successwithhonor 35 10

Activity


Mature Content

This content is intended for mature audiences.


or, enter your birth date.*


Month

Day

Year*
Please enter a valid date format (mm-dd-yyyy)
Please confirm you have reviewed DeviantArt's Terms of Service below.
* We do not retain your date-of-birth information.
iii.

and when mankind taunted him for his gaining age, and begun to become unruly, ra turned to the nothing and said you who birthed me, i come to you before i destroy what i have made.

-

when khepri’s opponent falls to his knees, gargling blood, hetepi follows him.  grovelling, his forehead close to the sandy floor, his back bent like nut’s curving over the earth.

she is sekhmet, born again, and his words make her whirl on him, her sword hitting the ground, the sand sticking to the crimson blood.  the sound echoes so loud khepri is sure the heavens heard it.

you know nothing of sekhmet if you think i resemble her, she spits, snake venom, now get up.  do not kneel before a mortal.

as two servants take the opponent away, the roman slinks from where he had tucked himself away during the fight.  hetepi doesn’t pull himself from the floor, just stares, wide eyed, at khepri.  the roman seems unfazed when he speaks;

so, egyptian, what makes you fight like you don’t have another day to live?

i need to find my daughter.


-

why did you save me, hetepi?

you were just laying there, ready to die.  it was so easy to save you.  if i hadn’t, i know the gods would not have let me rest easy.

but you don’t know a thing about me.

if it bothers you so, why don’t you tell me?

we hunted, my daughter and i, up near alexandria, where the sand hit the lush green that springs up along the nile.  we had land, not much, just enough to grow wheat, and have a few cows.  it wasn’t an easy life but it was ours, until the romans came.  the greeks were bad enough, encroaching from the west, colonizing our cities.  no, i don’t think these romans were under any sort of order when they took my daughter and i.  they sold us, hetepi, to a warmonger greek who wanted black skinned gladiators to appease the cyrene crowds.  that’s why i sought out the roman.  i need to fight at cyrene.  i need to find my daughter and then i’ll free both of us instead of fleeing like a cowardly dog.  if i die, anubis will greet me and i will be weighed, but only if my daughter runs free.  the field of reeds cannot hold me if she is not.

you love her very much.

i do.

and what’s her name?

sekhet.


-

hetepi leaves when khepera wakes from his sleep.  he tells khepri that she is welcome every time she needs a place to rest in memphis, or if she ever finds herself wandering the desert in need.  for that, she does offer him a smile.  he takes the bone-backed mare with him, ponied behind his camel.  khepri doesn’t think to linger on the feeling of hurt that leaves.

the roman comes up behind her and says is that your husband? and khepri says i have no husband without turning around.  the roman scoffs, because khepri has a daughter, and she’s past eight and thirty.  romans are strange creatures that think ill of these things, and this is not something khepri wants to speak to him about anyways.

when is my first fight is what she says instead.

tonight, the roman says, disinterested again, like he has better things to do.  you’ll be fighting alongside the egyptian.  against animals, mostly, unless the crowd asks for more.

if the egyptian is the egyptian, what will you call me?

the roman looks up, a spark of interest in his eyes.

we’ve already started calling you the lioness.

-

the egyptian is a man with arms like baobab trees, littered in pale silver scars.  he has a sadness so thick in his eyes that khepri thinks not even the green sea can compare; she knows that if she looks too long she’ll drown.

what did you used to be she asks him, and she thanks the gods he never tries to make eye contact with her.  he shifts his grip on his blade, tightens a strap on his shield.

i was a medjay, he says, and that’s all he needs to say.  khepri knows that there’s nothing left to protect.  to serve ptolemy is no longer an honour.  they strap on their armour in silence after that, and the groomers flutter about them, smudging kholl under their eyes and adorning them with cheap jewels.  they were not well enough known to bear gold and jewels; instead bronze is used in its wake.

when they finally step out into the ring, the coliseum is full of egyptians, and their voices raise to rattle the wood scaffold holding the walls up.  the egyptian pulls on a fake mask of enthusiasm, hollars back, bangs the hilt of his blade on the metal of his shield.  khepri lets him milk the crowd.  she is not here to preform.

when the gates come up, and the lions burst forth from their cages, khepri whispers an apology to sekhmet with every one she slays.  every death sends another wave of cheers

through the crowd.  when they are done, they retreat back behind a lush red curtain before the people-killers go past them; the gladiators that fought each other instead of mere animals.  khepri looks at the egyptian right as the false smile slides off his face.  he drops his weapons, a dull clatter on the thin layer of sand, before he retreats back into the barracks.  khepri goes to the wash basin and scrubs the blood from her trembling arms, the water coming away black and red but it can’t wash away the feeling of khepri’s heart getting heavier and the looming promise of ammit, waiting with his grinning maw open.

-

later that night, in the dark, khepri lays awake with the egyptian across the room in the straw.  his breathing is steady and low, so when he asks if you could go back and change everything, would you? she startles before she says i don’t know, and she thinks he falls asleep before he hears her answer.
 
-

the day the roman lets her use a bow is the day she has to take a human life.

she takes it without permission, and the roman is too preoccupied with preparations to gripe about the bow being a man’s weapon, her arms too weak to draw the string back.  by now, khepri is deaf to the roar of the crowd, the egyptian’s incessant thumping on his shield, and the sounds of starving animals, yearning to get out of their cages.  when she nocks an arrow, she meets the roman’s eyes, his curled scowl, his clenched hands.

when the first hyena shoots out, the egyptian barely has a chance to raise his hand before it lay crumpled against the sand.  the arrow sticks out of its eye socket, blood sluggishly pushing through the sand.  he looks up at khepri, who has already loaded again, four more arrows gripped in her stabilizing hand.  it was easier to kill the animals cleanly this way; no more suffering on the end of a spear or sword.  three more hyenas, three more arrows, three more times the egyptian barely moved in the direction of the threats.  when they all lay dead and bleeding, and the crowd is deathly silent, khepri believes that that is the end.

but another gate starts to open, and the crowd roars, and the egyptian roars with them, head tipped back, his stance wide and powerful.  out tramples two people, their eyes as wild as the animals khepri had slain.  both have bare legs and gaunt faces, and their weapons shake in their grasp.  they’re young, so young, and khepri’s last arrow freezes on its string, her eye line blurred by the wideness of her eyes, her fingers curled like claws around sinew and wood.  but the egyptian rushes forward, bashing a spear out of the way, and slices through the meat of one of their legs.  the young boy’s howl of anguish turns khepri’s blood to ice; the sound of the egyptian’s sword cutting his belly open makes her guts turn to liquid.  the other boy is coming at her now, running as though he didn’t want to, as if he’s knee deep in the nile.  she looses the arrow when she sees the egyptian turn, ready to cut more flesh, break more bone, even if his adversary has only dropped to the floor, not dead.

right through the eye again, as though he’s just an animal to hunt and not a human being with a heart spun by the gods.  he drops dead, and khepri’s only salvation is that he did not suffer.  the egyptian’s victim lays with his guts spilling out onto the sand, his breath rattling in the air, and the egyptian turns on khepri and for a wild moment, she thinks he’s going to attack her too.  his eyes are feral and black as the desert at night, but they are full of a pleading hope, almost a relief.  khepri doesn’t shake when she steps forward and plucks the arrow from one boy’s head and deposits it in another.  for once, the egyptian does not make a grand exit, and once khepri is safely away from the crowds and the roman’s beaming face, she vomits into the wash basin.

-

that night she listens to the egyptian cry in the dark.  there are a hundred questions she wants to ask him, but every one of them die in her throat when one of his sobs knock it back down into her lungs.  instead, she lays on her back and tries to count the pieces of straw that make up the ceiling, and pretends her burning eyes are from the sand.

-

within the next three times khonsu faced and abandoned egypt, khepri became the gem of the krokodilopolis coliseum.  she was the lioness, she who could fire three arrows in the blink of an eye, the stone-faced hunter from lower egypt.  she and the egyptian could kill ten men, one after the other, feed iron to lions and hyenas.  once, they flooded the arena with water, and they fought against six crocodiles, pulled fresh from the nile.  neither of them had it in them to tell the roman how much sacrilege killing sobek’s idol in his city was.  they were both too run down.  the egyptian cries after every fight, and khepri just keeps getting angrier, but the rage is watered down by grief.  she’s killed so much.  what if she never makes it to cyrene?  what if all the lives she took will weigh her down for nothing, and she will never see her daughter again?

as the groomers dress her (an iron breastplate, now, and gold and lapis.  the former looks too roman, and the latter khepri had insisted on herself), the roman comes to her.

an audience has been requested of you, he says, studying a grain of sand under a chipped fingernail.  khepri yanks her bracers on, waving off the groomers so they scuttle away like beetles to tend to the egyptian.  she can feel her brow creasing in that grief-anger again, before she’s even stepped into the ring.

tell them i consort no one.  it wouldn’t be the first time someone has requested her intimate companionship, and she can’t see it being the last.  usually a roman of high rank, unused to being told no.  it makes for an interesting next match, to see if she can hear him jeering obscenities at her while she fires arrows.  the roman raises his shoulders.

i’ll send a message to cyrene, then, he says, before he begins to walk away.  khepri blunders over her sandals chasing after him, digs her fingers into the thick linen of his tunic.  the wait that drops from her lips is more an exhale than a word at all, said with the weight of a dying man.  the roman’s smirk is infuriating, enough to remind khepri of how heavily armed she is, but she releases him and steps away and hopes the yearning on her face isn’t so bright.

cleopatra has heard of you, lioness.  she wishes to watch you fight in cyrene.  does this please you?

yes.

then go out there and please me, and i will take you cyrene myself.


khepri turns on her heel, marches out into the dull arena sand, and kills enough for ten.

-

the travel to cyrene from krokodilopolis is long, and hot.  the gods are angry with khepri, this is something she knows, for on the way up they run out of water three times, and lose two horses to the heat.  khepri had refused to travel in the cart with the egyptian; it looked much like a cage, and when she called it so the roman didn’t correct her.  instead, she takes up the rear on a horse with a much more forgiving back than the one hetepi had loaned her.  they let her have a bow, for protection, and she did have to use it on some bandits as they passed through the valley nome.  they left their bodies to rot in the sun, and be picked clean by birds, and to be forgotten so that their souls will know nothing of the long rest in the field of reeds.  khepri is surprised that the roman trusts her enough to stare at his back with a weapon in hand, but though he is infuriating, she knows he is smart. she knows that he knows that she will not sabotage what is in front of her.

when the sand finally breaks, cyrene is a white smear across the ashy land.  when the horses clatter into the streets, it's like khepri is transported to a far away place.  cyrene doesn’t feel like egypt.  the buildings glimmer in limestone, carved pillars tickle the sky’s belly.  marble reflects the sun so readily that it’s hard to look at the delicately carved statues that dance in plazas and in front of temples for gods khepri’s never heard of.  the native trees have been cleared, and khepri tries not to stare at the ruins of old that used to be there, now piled with greek buildings.  she tries not to stare, but the people stare at her.  their skin is as white as the limestone, red and mottled by the sun, and here, khepri and the egyptian stand out, even if they are still in their own home.

the arena in cyrene is not like the one in krokodilopolis.  there is no scaffolding holding up unfinished walls.  the outside is beautifully polished limestone, and it is draped with folds upon folds of rich red cloth that flaps in in the gentle winds.  it is bustling with people, laughing, talking with one another, impervious to the bloodshed that happens a mere few steps away.  in his cage, khepri never sees the egyptian look up.  his elbows against his bend knees, he leaves his eyes to the rocky ground, and the back of his shaven head for ra to judge.  they pass a temple on the way up that used to be for tawaret, but her face had been replaced with another khepri had never seen before.  the anger flares from where it had been mostly dormant, laying in sorrow since her first kill.  she wonders if their gods know about this desecration, if they condemn it, or if they praise the ruination of another people.  her horse clatters on, herdbound, after the caravan, and the temple disappears behind a rocky craig, and khepri dwells on it no longer.

the inside of the cyrene arena glows in torchlight, the curved white walls making the limestone glitter like a precious gem.  when the cages open, the hinges don’t creak.  the floor has been swept of sand.  the weapons in their racks have been cleaned, sharpened and polished, their metal clean of red stains.  banners of crimson and gold hang from the stands, emblazoned with symbols that mean nothing to khepri.  it was a marvel of greek architecture, and nothing more.  the beds for the gladiators are risen up off the ground, with pillows stuffed with goose feathers.  she makes it to the dorms first, followed by the egyptian, who places a hand on his pillow with a face full of wonder, but says nothing about it.

get some rest! the roman’s voice grates from outside.  you will be fighting for your princess tonight!  and i’ve heard your competitor is quite something!

pharaoh, khepri thinks, right before she lays her head down.  she doesn’t sleep, because her bed is too soft.

-

the crowd is louder in krokodilopolis.  maybe the greeks and romans don’t cheer for egyptians, or maybe less came because of them.  either way, khepri is not used to being able to hear herself breathe when she enters the arena, and it makes her blood pump faster and her hands jitter with nerves.  even the egyptian’s antics are sluggish, less gaudy.  he still yells back at the crowd but there’s less to it, like he can only throw back what’s given to him.  khepri looks for cleopatra, and though she can see many of ptolemy's guards, there is too much cloth covering doorways for her to see much of anyone.  some of the spectators gesture as if drawing a bow in an effeminate manner.  khepri glowers, before nocking an arrow and pointing it at them with fire in her eyes.  when they scramble back, eyes wide, the grin that splits her face feels like a hyena’s.  when her arms drop, they laugh and laugh like it’s part of the spectacle and not like they were staring anubis in the eye.

it was just starting to feel like normal.  the egyptian was strutting around, showing off for the crowd, getting them riled up, their volume getting louder.  they hooted and hollered and screamed for the lioness, the lioness!  while khepri played disinterested, testing the tension of her bow’s string.

and then, the gate opens, and khepri’s heart leaps into her throat and falls out of her stomach at the same time.  she slaps a hand on the egyptian’s chest to stop him from lunging forward, and his black eyes turn to her in confusion.  the crowd peters into silence, nothing but murmurs.

sekhet?

mama?
morning sun, part iii.
this is where i stopped writing but??  i think i'll finish it eventually.  cheers!!
Loading...
ii.

and then ra named all things and made them gods - shu, tefnut, geb, nut - and thus created the world. he created hapi with gentle care and said go, and hapi ran across the sands and bore the nile from his footprints.

-

when khepri awakes, she is not buried in the sand, or walking in the field of reeds. she is confused, her head spinning around the small room. her vision blurs, and her heart pounds, but when cold water splashes onto her lips she leaps up rather than relish in it, spins on the other body in the room she hadn’t known was there. he sits, recoiled, a bowl balanced in one hand. he has a boyish face and a thin body, and would break under khepri’s strength. the thought alone makes her muscles give, body folding in exhaustion, though she does not let up her stare.

my name is hetepi, the boy says, curling his legs up underneath himself to rise, still wary. he holds the bowl out to khepri and she doesn’t move a muscle to take it. i found you in the sand of saqarra nome. you looked about ready to die.

were you looking for me. khepri’s voice holds no tone, flat as the siwan badlands. did those bastards send you after me.

i am a merchant. i was just passing through.

khepri regards him much like a buzzard watches a dying goat. but she reaches out, takes the bowl and feels its soft clay against the scars of her hands. the shackles are gone, the blood too, and her skin feels as though it has been wiped clean of the grit. khepri only means to take a sip of the water, but once it passes her throat it’s like the flood season has opened up the dry desert of her mouth and the drinks until all the water is gone.

khepri puts her back to hetepi - she is not worried about him - turns and pulls the linen away from the doorway. across an expanse of rock, across short, shrubby green, the nile rushes clean, cold, blue. something old pulls on the center of her chest, like something is trying to tear her ka out with its teeth.

where have you travelled to, hetepi? she doesn’t turn around, but she does hear him shift, the sound of sand against sandstone rough on her ears.

all around egypt, he replies. khepri can still feel the heat in her blood; her skin is still hot. but there is something else that drives her, even if her muscles still ache with the sun, and her tongue still sticks to the roof of her mouth. she has another thing that drives her that not even looming anubis can steal from her grasp.

i need you to take me somewhere. i need your help, she says. she turns back to hetepi now, and just stepping hurts her feet. his face is pinched, and now she can see the few wrinkles his face possesses.

where are you going? he says, after a few moments. khepri clenches her jaw, and stares out again at the rushing water.

i need you to take me to krokodilopolis.

-

the horse hetepi loans khepri is small and high withered, and khepri’s body is sore all over from riding her for so long. the blanket across the horse’s sallow back is her only saving grace, thick wool traded to the romans some time ago, if the smell could be trusted. hetepi rides in front of her, and for the past few hundred steps his shoulders have been bunched, his hands tight on the reins of his camel.

do you loathe this place? she asks, before she’s really pulled the horse up beside him. hetepi’s eyes are narrow and far away, as though still back on the sand and not the lushness of the faiyum oasis.

i loathe the romans, he says quietly, like it’s a secret, like it’s not the same thing in the hearts of every egyptian who lives. between the romans stealing their homeland and ptolemy wringing them of their wealth until they are dry, it’s no wonder war has been brewing for as long as it has. khepri feels that thought join the growing sun in the center of her chest to simmer.

krokodilopolis doesn’t sprawl, it’s too upright for that. it looms, grows taller every time khepri’s horse sinks into the wet earth. it makes khepri feel small, and that fans the fire higher. sobek’s glaring face stares down at her from the massive temples, his long face full of teeth, and something knots tight in khepri’s chest. fear for what she is about to do, resentment towards the people she’s about it do it for. krokodilopolis is one of the less scathed parts of egypt, far enough away from the green sea that most romans would not dare travel there. but some did. and they do not allow their presence to be unknown.

when the arena rises up over the horizon like a scorned god, hetepi pulls his camel to a halt. he turns, wild eyed, but khepri digs her heels into her horse’s sides and trots past, eyes focused, her eyes steelie and ahead.

what are we doing here, hetepi says, this is no place for us.

maybe it’s not place for you. i am where i need to be. khepri dismounts, bites her lip at the feeling of the numbness of her legs. she barely sees hetepi make the decision to return to the ground as well, his chest swelling with breath, his feet uneasy on the ground as though he’d been born by sea. khepri can smell the sweat and blood, hear the clang of metal against metal, against wood, against flesh. there is a man standing outside staring in, the scaffolding of the lilting behemoth of a building throwing stripes of shadows over his reddened skin. he turns, as if he can feel the sun against his back when the only thing there is khepri.  he looks down his nose (small, upturned) at khepri, and all she can feel is hot hatred under her skin.

yes? he says, without a drop of interest.

i have come to fight for you. khepri can hear hetepi protesting, and ignores him to silence. the roman raises an eyebrow into sand brown curls and wipes a bead of sweat from his temple.

i have an egyptian champion already. why should i take you, too?

i am a hunter, from sapi-res nome. i have the skills. let me show you.

the inside of the coliseum is as impressive as the outside; high walls that scrape the sky’s belly, no ceiling to hide the fighters from the gods. the roman doesn’t comment when hetepi scurries in after them. khepri spies the weapon’s rack, longs to take the bow from its place on the top, wants to feel the smooth wood and sinew in her imperfect hands. but she knows she will not be given a sophisticated weapon. she knows she will be handed a sword and shield and told to destroy.  such was this time, now. egypt is a place of war. of take or be taken. khepri told herself that she would never give into this hateful world.  but things have changed.

the roman puts the sword in her hands, and straps the shield to her arm. he calls over another roman who was training against an opponent made of straw and wood.

beat him, and i will hire you, the roman says. khepri’s opponent is twice her width at the shoulders, his face all mouth and teeth, and he looks down at her like she’s a snake in his garden. he opposes her, gladius weighted perfectly in his hand. khepri feels clumsy with the sword and the rawhide of her shield rubs her arms wrong. she hasn’t fought in a long, long time.
morning sun, part ii.
this one is longer!!  y'all the dialogue is in italics in the original format but deviantart is exausting but if it's too confusing i am more than willing to put them in!!  ta
Loading...
i.

and from the nothing, ra rose, and he said, i am khepera in the morning, ra at noon, and atum in the evening, and thus the sun awakened.

-

when the chains rattle, khepri can feel it all the way to her bones.  long ago she’d lost her sandals, and it’s been more than a hundred steps since the sand stopped burning her feet.  the sun is not her friend today, ra punishes her, beating down, filling her head to the brim with heat.  there’s blood on her wrists from where the metal rubs, and on her hands from the men she’d killed to get tossed into the desert.  she’d made her decision, back in alexandria, with the sword in her hand; she would die before she’d be a slave to any man.

but now, as her knees hit the scorching earth, the fear slips into her like a cat through shadow.  oh, anubis, will anyone find me here?  or will i be forgotten?  khepri sinks into the sand as it slides away from her.  as her eyes close, the sweat stinging her eyes, she smells the heady scent of fertile earth, hears the crash of water, and tastes the dirt cleansed from her mouth.
morning sun, part i.
this is the begging of the longer piece!  i hope y'all like it
Loading...
hey y'all, it's been a while

firstly, how're you?  secondly, it was my birthday yesterday, yay!!

i haven't been posting anything because??  i've been working on a longer piece (wild i know).  it's maybe halfway done?  it's about 4600 words but y'all.  would you be interested in reading something longer?  i'd probably post it in smaller chunks, and i have no idea when it'd be finished but i love you guys and like sharing things with you

you're amazing,

caly.
  • Listening to: girls like you - maroon 5
11 deviations

deviantID

cjoyt
hello, i am a lie.
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
Canada
for everything you have missed,
you have gained something else;
and for everything you gain,
you lose something else.

it is about your outlook on life.
you can either regret or rejoice.

Current Residence: canada
deviantWEAR sizing preference: something that fits...
Print preference: free...oh wait...
Favourite genre of music: anything
Favourite photographer: robin duncin
Interests
hey y'all, it's been a while

firstly, how're you?  secondly, it was my birthday yesterday, yay!!

i haven't been posting anything because??  i've been working on a longer piece (wild i know).  it's maybe halfway done?  it's about 4600 words but y'all.  would you be interested in reading something longer?  i'd probably post it in smaller chunks, and i have no idea when it'd be finished but i love you guys and like sharing things with you

you're amazing,

caly.
  • Listening to: girls like you - maroon 5

Groups

Comments


Add a Comment:
 
:iconsummer-peaches:
Summer-Peaches Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Happy birthday, dude!! :D hope it's a great one!
Reply
:iconcjoyt:
cjoyt Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
thank you my dude!!
Reply
:iconhypermagical:
hypermagical Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2018
Thank you for the watch! :ahoy: I appreciate it. 
Reply
:iconcjoyt:
cjoyt Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
same to you!!
Reply
:iconhypermagical:
hypermagical Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2018
(:
Reply
:icondialtonepoetry:
dialtonepoetry Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2018   Writer
Thank you for the watch! :heart: I always love seeing your poetry! 
Reply
:iconcjoyt:
cjoyt Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
thank you so much, you rock c:
Reply
:iconpatchworklynx:
PatchworkLynx Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2018   Writer
thank you so much for the watch! your poetry is wonderful! <3
Reply
:iconcjoyt:
cjoyt Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
:heart:
Reply
:iconpolaranemone:
PolarAnemone Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
I'm so glad I came across your poetry. You have a real talent, please never stop writing.
Reply
Add a Comment: