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An Unexpected Afterlife

“I’m finally here in the afterlife!”

Memnathop peered excitedly through the wrappings that covered his entire face. The wrappings around his hand were almost completely undone.

“A little more to go,” he thought to himself and when his fingers were finally free, he hurriedly pulled at the bandage wrappings around his face. When those came off, he looked at his free fingers. Even in the dimly lit chamber, Memnathop could see that they were still intact. His priest had done a good job, he smiled approvingly.

The top of his chambered coffin was heavy but he was strong. He believed that the gods had preserved his strength for the afterlife too. He moved the lid with a big push. He stepped out and looked at his surroundings. The whole room looked weird. Across from him was a strange looking statue of what looked like a temple priest. Was that Turepsis, his loyal temple priest? He couldn’t be sure.

He took a step forward to take a closer look but instead walked straight into an invisible wall. He let out a startled cry and his right hand touched the invisible wall that seemed to be trapping him in!

“Turepsis!” Memnathop called out, hoping his high priest would come to his aid.

Then suddenly, his eyes caught a small figure, coming closer to him. It was not his high priest. It was a young girl, wearing the oddest-looking clothes he had ever seen and in her right hand, she held a big bunch of keys.

The girl took some time to free the pharaoh in the glass case. She fumbled with the keys, pressed the invisible walls a few times, and even walked around it. Finally, the invisible walls were open and the man in his linen garments and shining jewellery stepped out. There was a long pause of silence as the two stared at each other; both mesmerised by the other.

“How long have you lived?” he asked in a quiet but very commanding voice.

The little girl with the keys raised an eyebrow as if he had asked her a silly question before answering with a big grin on her face “Oh, I’m six. My mother is just over there, she…”

“You are six? Is that your name?” Memnathop cut her off.

“No, of course not!” the girl giggled, still perplexed at what was happening “I am Charlotte. Charlotte Beatson. I have lived for five years. It’s so nice to meet you!”

“What does it say?” Memnathop was now inspecting the labels on the invisible walls he had just escaped from.

Charlotte cautiously walked closer to the man who had just stepped out of the exhibition and began reading the label aloud as best as she could. The label said the tomb belonged to a high-ranking priest who lived in Egypt. Charlotte carried on reading the rest of the description but the tall and well-built man was not listening any more.

“A high-ranking priest!” He cried loudly. “I am the great Memnathop, the most divine Pharaoh, high priest of the temples of the gods in the land. The land prospered under my rule. I united all of Egypt! I am not a high priest!” Memnathop sighed loudly in despair, shaking his head.

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fumbled – to do something clumsily, in a hurry
divine – a description of someone who is like a god
prosper – to succeed, to become successful in something, to flourish
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