“Do you see the hot sands blow?” Maftet quietly asked. “It was not always so.” She basked in the bright sunlight — strong, radiant beauty, as if Sol himself might belong to her — then she turned to me, and my heart churned under gaze that burned a hole in my soul. “There was lush green here, and myriad flowers, not only near the river, beside the water, but far and wide, much further than long day stride for even the most able horse. Nature flourished freely here, not by force, then came the curse worse than the plagues of Mūsa and Hārūn.”
“No, this was the blight of Isfet in his fight against Dyēus and the bright heavens, as well as Sélená, Ma’at and all bearers of light and goodness, of what is right and true.” The face of Maftet was sadness, with no gladness, so that it tore my heart asunder. “It was during the reign of Meryet-Nit, beloved of Neith, whose pain was overwhelming as she prayed for the rain imprisoned in the sky by Şeytan, whom Milḉah had driven from her realm of the Chaldeans, lest he overwhelm her people … but much to the distress of her sister-queen to the west.”
Maftet let slip her robe to dip in the now clear, cool waters of the Nile, and steered me to do the same in pool of peace and calm, serenely flowing yet queenly, too, as Sol bejeweled her with dancing diamonds across her ambrosial breast. And across the crest, so near, dear Maftet: Gold-tan skin over span of well-toned body; smooth-rippling muscles, sharp-hard nipples, mystic-starred eyes, and silk-raven hair … all laid bare for me to see, but more beautiful yet was her inner-core. Wizened mind and resilient heart so kind, and both that bind truth and justice with love and mercy in soul worthy of such an heavenly god who through this world does trod.
“Milḉah, of course, never meant to send hell-bent dæmon west, lest he should wreak havoc upon this realm of Meryet-Nit and whelm her with grief of no relief,” Maftet continued. “Meryet-Nit knew this, tis true, and never laid blame upon Milḉah, for it was the shame of her father, Djer, whose four-generation rule was wicked and cruel. Djer grieved Dyēus and did, in truth, beckon God to leave… No matter; the pleas of Meryet-Nit were of no necessity to appease Dyēus, who already loved her with an undying love.”
“Ah, then how is it Dyēus did not reply to the cry of Meryet-Nit on behalf of her peaceful and feeble people?”
“You assume, my lovely groom,” Maftet swam the short span to hold her lamb. “Her people were not peaceful nor feeble; spiritually cripple, yes, and deceitful yet lethal in evil and filled with foul fecal. They had, you see, been tutored by Djer and thus neutered of all purity and virtuous maturity. So did Dyēus take great pity and intervened as he could; he saved the holy city. And Gebeb of earth and fields, hearth and homes, aided father Dyēus in saving many crops of grain through strain of Isfet’s reign of terror — much like Jozèf of forthcoming lore — but in no wise could Dyēus even the score… And so now you see so much sands and wandering bands.”
But then did it occur to me, “When are we now? Will you allow me to know, what time is this? Would I be amiss in believing we are here amid such shear desolation just after such adverse curse?”
Maftet did not dismiss my speculation with humiliation. “No, not so terribly amiss; we are here after the fact — the terrible act of the ddiafol — but some time after, in another generation to chime another lesson in your ongoing education.” Maftet supplely coupled me and smiled. “There is always reason for every season in your life; we are not here merely to bathe but to further swathe your intellect and increase your faith.”