Probably you are wondering why I am not talking about the beauty of the city, about the
monuments which no modern human has ever seen in their full splendour. It’s a curious feeling, but while I was very impressed by the ruins of old civilizations, Egypt included, even overwhelmed in some cases, I never had a similar sensation whilst walking in this new-old city. It’s simply human nature; it appears so actual, so fresh, that I cannot give it the same respect I gave to the ruins of the same city. You cannot feel respect for a young child even when it looks so beautiful. In the end the difference was made by the awesome experience of the city’s own life. A day of Amarna’s life.
I was wandering, without direction, in the Central City, picking at my fish from time to time, soaking up that magical atmosphere. A furious whip sound broke the murmur of the city followed by a sudden burn on my right shoulder. I realized that all the people were bowing deeply and after a short hesitation I did the same. Too late. I felt a sharp pain again on both my shoulders this time, while the whip cracked the silent tension in the crowd.
Two large soldiers grabbed my elbows, pushed me in front of the sedan, and knelt me down in front of the imposing personage they were carrying. As the man was actually short, thin and bald, maybe the proper word would be important. The only imposing part of him were his eyes, deep blue within blue within blue, a strange colour for Egypt, but more than the colour it was the vibrant light and vivacity coming from them. I had had a short flashback with a scribe statue, it was not the same man but it was the same allure. My wandering thoughts were stopped by a new hit in the back, my position was not humble enough, and this time I learnt my lesson, I made myself a small mound on the road. In that short second while lowering my head I caught a glimpse of a young girl looking curiously at the ingrate daring to broke the Egyptian rules. The man made a small sign with his hand and I was up again forced by the strong soldiers’ push. I really did not know what to do next; I decided not to have any new initiative, waiting for them to put me in the proper place. And then I was pushed again, closer to him, feeling almost x-rayed by those incredible eyes. He stopped on my belt. “Is that yours?”
“For sure it is as it is at my waist”, and again I remembered too late that I needed to speak in a different tone with him. The hit in my ribs reminded me to know my place here. You idiot, I whispered to myself, you will kill yourself with this improper behaviour.
“I beg excuse of my lack of politesse but I am a stranger not fully knowing the rules of the mighty Egypt. I wanted in no way to offend your person by my behaviour neither when you entered this place nor now.”
A thin smile appeared on his lips, “it is obvious that you are a stranger, but the interesting part will be to know what kind of stranger. So, you claim that this is your belt. Where are you from?”
“A far place from here, a small one comparing with Egypt.”
“Let the compliments aside, where is that place?”
“In the far north, my land name is Thrace and it is in Europe. I am from the higher part of it, Dacia, the place over the Donaris.”
There was a short moment of silence and I was already waiting for my new punishment.
“Never heard of it.”
“It’s a small yet savage place.”
“Come here.” I made a step forward and he had a closer look at the belt. “Just as I imagined” he whisper softly. “I hope that you are what you claim to be and that the belt is yours.”
With a sudden flash of inspiration, I continued: “the belt will always work only for the person it was designed for” and I looked straight in his eyes while saying this. He was still silent so I forced my luck: “I think that you know what the belt is.” He still kept the silence and his gaze straight on me, like measuring me and fear started again to flow in my veins.
Finally he opened his mouth: “Come inside” and speaking to the girl: “Meritaten we have a guest”. For a moment I was not sure what to do, so brusque was the change from punishment to invitation, then I encouraged myself and stepped inside only to have a new shock. The cute girl I had a fugitive view before was now fully exposed to my eyes and she looked frightening despite her beautiful face. Her skull was huge, almost twice as the normal human size.
Io Deceneus Journal of a time traveler Time travel to Egypt end of part 2