Na'eemah woke slowly. Her almond colored skin always seemed to have a golden hue about it and the glow was even more pronounced against her white bed covers. The sun had yet to rise but she slipped out of her bed and languidly walked to her bathroom. The room was large and was made out of a pretty brown marble. Her bathtub was along the left wall and looked more like a pool considering she had to step down into the tub. The water was already drawn and there were a mixture of flowers that filled the tub. She stripped herself of her nightgown and slipped into the bath. The water was hot but not burning. She smiled softly to herself at the wonderful feeling. No matter what century or what country it was, a floral bath certainly was the best way to start her morning. The Na'eemah of today lived in France. It was was a long way from her motherland of Egypt but she had long since adapted. She had left Egypt only a century ago to come to France and build her life in the mortal realm. She had gone through about two lives as her own predecessor before living her current life. She didn't work, her only job was to serve as the high priestess under the Egyptian Goddess Kebechet* and work on her magic. She had a duty to complete here, were it not for that she would not have ever returned to the damned realm.
Na'eemah was an old priestess though she looked only around 25. She was born before Cleopatra could call herself a queen, she had been at the birth of Hatsheput so she was mildly biased in terms of who was a better queen. She watched as many changed happened in her country and while she had been blessed by the Gods and even was a demi-goddess herself, she couldn't fight against the changes. The Gods allowed the change and the destruction. And those who committed the acts had their own Gods on their side. It wasn't completely that she didn't fight back. She just didn't get the chance to. Although she knew of certain priests going against their calling and running after wealth she didn't things would get to the point where they would sell each other out for political power. To her they were no longer deserving to called themselves Hem-netjer-hepi***. But soon her lands were filled with foreigners and they called her out. Her earth mother lied and claimed to be the first servant of their temple and was killed. The men killed the priests and priestesses of the neighboring temples and even assaulted them. Her temple was no different. She woke up in a brothel. She, a woman that devoted herself to praising the goddess of purity, was now a whore. While sex work wasn't really a big deal, considering where she was taken from, she had taken offense and tried to run away. Her body, soul and powers were weak. The men of the brothel had caught her after three days and she never ran away again after receiving her punishment.
She abandoned thoughts of being pure of body and instead used her body as her biggest weapon. Those men, that slaughtered the priestesses of her temple and assaulted her body, came one by one to the brothel and she never let them return to their camp. She had also gained a friend and confidant in a being named Allocen while she was in the brothel. He was the one that came to her late one night and told her of how she could send them to hell herself. While she certainly had belief in her own afterlife she wasn't sure how much punishment they would receive but Allocen declared that Hell was not a place for living a wonderful afterlife when one was sinister in the mortal realm.
" So then what about you?" She asked looking at the man with sandy skin and haunting blue eyes.
"I am also receiving a punishment. My punishment is to stay in Hell and even hold a position of power there." Allocen his tone rigid
"Being a duke in hell is a punishment for you?" She asked curiously.
"Being a duke in hell is a punishment for anyone who used to serve the Lord and is now considered a fallen angel, little girl." He said seriously.
Na'eemah didn't question him further about his past but accepted his help. The men didn't remember who she was, but she could never forget their faces and when she would see them in the brothel she would lure them away.Her attackers returned, one by one, she accepted them into her bed and let them have a dance with a devil. Allocen would appear behind the men and rip out their hearts so quickly they had no time to register that they had died. The pair worked together for years until Na'eemah and finally lured in the last of them. After that Na'eemah began her new journey.
She escaped with Allocen's help and went back to the temple of Kebechet. It seemed to be empty but her mother was waiting. As soon as she passed the threshold that was so familiar to her she crossed into a new realm. She was with the Gods. She had gotten used to worshipping her mother in secret, she collapsed in front of the Goddess of purity and began praying thanking her for the blessing. Kebechet swooped down and pulled the young woman into her arms. She whispered apologies for not being able to go to her and that leaving her in the womb of the high priestess of her temple was all she could do to protect her at the time. Her mother had never thought her people would forgo faith and run to money. She didn't foresee priests and priestesses using worship as a guise for their greed. She didn't see her daughter being dragged out of the temple and thrown into a brothel until it happened. Still she was imprisoned to her temple and couldn't help her. By the time her pleas for help reached Hathor, the motherly Goddess wasn't sure of where to look first, but used her faeries to look for her best friends child and even had them spread the word that a little demigoddess had been captured by the mortals. Kebechet heard of where her daughter had landed and she heard of Hells' Allocen. While she wasn't one to ever chat up dark forces she didn't care who brought her child back to her as long as she was brought back. Kebechet decided she owed him only one favor as she held her bawling child in her arms.
Na'eemah slowly dunked her head under water as if it would cleanse her head of thoughts of the past. After a long while she rose back up to the surface and one of her attendants, Maye, strode into the room holding a big folded towel. Her skin was like mahogany and like all of her attendants, she wore a tinted cloth dress that went down to her feet. The attendant greeted her with a tiny smile.
"Hemet-netjer-hepi, the hemet-netjer are ready for first prayer." She said her voice was soft but clear.
Na'eemah nodded, "Did you prepare my robes?"
Maye nodded " Of course." She said as she stretched out her arms to give the towel to the High Priestess. Na'eemah swam to the edge of the tub and walked up the steps. She took the towel from Maye and wrapped it around herself.
" Thank you Maye. Go to your place in the temple I will be there shortly." Na'eemah's voice was very clear and refreshing. Her voice was one that people could listen to for hours on end. Maye disappeared without a sound and Na'eemah went through her daily tasks before getting dressed for morning prayer.
When she did get dressed she had on a aqua blue tinted long cotton dress and she had on a heavy gold belt that was intricately designed around her waist. There were loops on the golden belt where she placed a long piece of an even lighter aqua colored cloth so it connected to the part that was on her waist, the cloth hung low and connected from the front to the back of the belt. Na'eemah had dried her hair and put in her creams so her long kinky curls looked lively even under her headdress. The headdress was a simple design. A large aqua blue gem was placed in the middle of the gold headdress that sat on on her forehead the band looked like two snakes crossing over the other. She applied no makeup other than simple eyeliner and then materialized to the temple.
She opened the doors to the altar and the awaiting priestesses quieted down. They all stood in rows before the statue of Kebechet only Na'eemah was in a row of her own. She led the first prayer and only she noticed a tall woman with skin that looked like honey and glittered as if she had walked through gold mist arrive at the altar room. She appeared walking slowly around the statue her walk was smooth and her hips swayed slowly not only was her walk reminiscent of a snake her eyes were a bright black but pointed as if everything must be looked upon with scrutiny. Her headdress was big but it wasn't bigger than the thick locs of hair upon her head that looked like wild snakes sprouting from her scalp. Na'eemah noticed her presence immediately and snuck a glance. Their eyes met and the woman gave her a toothy grin her fangs glistening even in the dimly lit room. She sat on the foot of the statue of Kebechet and stayed silent until the prayer was over.
When the priestesses and servants noticed her after rising from their positions they immediately bowed again.
"Rise. We have much to discuss today." Kebechet spoke slowly in the old tongue.
The priestesses rose and Kebechet eyed them all before landing on her daughter. She shifted in her seat slightly before continuing to gaze at the women before her.
" You've all heard of the unrest in the human realm. I've left you all duties to fulfill. Do you have anything to report back?"
One priestess raised her hand.
" We've found that some people have been getting possessed a lot more often. The lower level demons that possess the humans are actually quite lustful and very dumb. They are lured by the Hathor Faeries and then they get crushed by them." She ended her report by smacking her fist into her palm.
Kebechet looked uninterested. " I'm sure that Hathor** had her faeries report to her about what they do. I want to know about your actions." She trailed off before calling out, " Na'eemah. What do you have to report?"
Na'eemah straightened her back. "From what I know, the demons are possessing humans so that they can push their souls out of the human body and then take over the mortal body. Once they've done that they could use any demonic ability they have to bring about chaos and destruction. Only thing is that there are demons who have to ability to possess but not the ability to comprehend anything beyond that and so they only follow instinct as we've seen with the Hathors. Another issue is that while our pantheons' underworld Gods are being pretty peaceful, those from the other realms are not. Satan is trying to pursue Olokun, who as you know is not giving him any face. Since she won't acknowledge him he's been crashing planes into the ocean and sinking ships as a way to win her affection. This has, in fact, not been making her happy. Then there is her daughter who has been slipping into Hell to start even more wars amongst them. It's said she began whispering in the ear of Beelzebub and now he wishes to overthrow his father. "
Kebechet raised a slim brow " And how did you get this information?"
She crossed her arms elegantly " Do you think Olokun a goddess of her stature and who went through so much trouble to have an affair with a God outside of her own Pantheon would cuddle beside Satan? Do you think your cousin would butter up Satans' spawn? Was it through your demon lover?"
Na'eemah swallowed " Parts of it." She admitted.
Kebechet sighed "Ah. So you think that because you do it, it's plausible that others would also fall for the castaways of a Creator God?"
Na'eemah flinched at her mothers words. "Ok, so yes Allocen is from Hell but Olokun is ruler of the underworld and darkness in her pantheon. She and Satan could be a great pair but after her tryst with the humans, I wouldn't be surprised if Ameerah went after Satan herself and is helping him wreak havoc. I'm telling you she only acts like she is sane. But you always have to point out Allocen like I'm the first one to go outside of the Pantheon. Maybe I wouldn't have gone through what I did if you hadn't decided to fuck your first servant and get pregnant. Would it be fine if my lover was human like- " She said disdainfully.
Kebechet pointed a finger and Na'eemahs mouth was suddenly wrapped in mummification wraps.
"We do not talk about that in this temple."
Na'eemah glared at her mother silently since she couldn't remove the wraps from her mouth. Allocen was her sore spot. He was the only one that she could count on for a long time. She really hated that her mother didn't like their companionship and looked down on him from being cast out of Heaven. While Allocen didn't say anything about Ameerah and she herself had only met the Goddess a few times she heard rumors and didn't doubt them. Was it rude to assume that she'd go after the evil being that was pursuing her own mother? Yes, but Na'eemah wasn't known for being nice and caring for others. That was her mothers reputation.
"I sent you to the mortal world so that you would gain an understanding of the current mortals and see how the underworld was affecting them and in turn, how it was now affecting us and how we could help. What I did not do, is send you to France so you can freely fool around. Have you spoken to any other Gods or Mystics?"
Na'eemah shook her head. She had gained all of her information by speaking with Allocen. Kebechet sucked her teeth and shook her head in dissapointment.
"Walk around Na'eemah. " She said exasperated. "There are plenty of Gods and Mystics lounging around there, you can feel them and they can feel you. They probably already have scoped out where you live. Take action for yourself."
Kebechet sighed and looked at the women before her. "So basically what you've all told me is what others are doing. Go out and gather your own information. Give me anything by tomorrow."
With that she stood let the wrappings loosen from around Na'eemah's mouth, and tsk'ed softly before vanishing before their eyes.
Na'eemah let out a deep breath and placed a hand on her chest. She said nothing as the priestesses around her murmured and chatted amongst themselves. She turned and mid spin she landed back in her bedroom. She changed into a simple maxi dress that was olive in color and slipped on a pair of brown sandals. She'd go on a walk and let her body guide her, hopefully it would give her something. Her mother was right, she shouldn't just rely on Allocen and should be active on her own. Still she just found it easier for him to do things for her especially things that involved any kind of extreme violence. Still she had a guilty daughters heart, her mother took a gamble to fall in love and when she learned of her conception, she chose hide her initially, by placing her in the womb of a mortal. Na'eemahs' grandmother told her that her mothers tears could have caused the Nile to overflow. Her grandfather did not support the coupling of her parents. When her father died by hand of the pharaoh, and reached the afterlife, his mating with her mother was cast as his great sin. His soul suffered a second death and was gone forever because he loved her mother. Yet here she was sleeping with a duke from Hell and sending him off to gather information that her mother asked of her. She continued to think and wallow in her guilt as she walked. She wasn't tired and wasn't sure how far she had walked but she knew quite some time had passed. Finally her walk led her to a park and she walked past children playing and young people riding their bikes. Couples laid on the grass having picnics, some people had music playing loudly. The sun was hot as it should be in the summer but the breeze felt nice against her skin. All in all everything seemed refreshing.
* Goddess of Purification and embalming liquid, also has snake like qualities
* *Goddess of motherhood,love,joy and beauty
***the first servants of God
****Yoruba Goddess of Darkness, the unknown and the realm of dreams and the unconscious.
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