William K. Pearson, Ph.D.

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"The deed is done. My Sister and Wife, Queen of the Nile River and its tributaries, Goddess of My Loins and co-Ruler of Heaven, is dead. Her Husband and Brother, Eternal Lord of Upper and Lower Egypt, Living God on Earth, is reborn in mind, spirit, and substance."

"Wulivius my scribe, my servant, my dog, my dung beetle - raises an eyebrow. He is sitting at my feet with his charms and writing instruments and sheets of papyri. He is making a record, an exact record, of all that I say and do. This will be the path by which my words shape history."

"While swimming unchaperoned in the murky Nile, Egypt's Beloved Boy King was set upon by adders. His body could not be recovered immediately, as it was drawn into the serpents' nest and bitten beyond recognition. When the corpse finally washed ashore, it was bloated and gray. Although Ptolemy is much venerated by His subjects - and I weep just thinking of this - His Exalted Person will not be available for pre-entombment viewing. The embalming ceremony and subsequent burial rites will take place on autumnal equinox during the Feast of Horus. This is the official story. This is the truth, the official truth according to The Unquestionable History of Ptolemy XIII.  Members of the Royal Family who doubt this truth will be tortured without mercy."

"Cleopatra's manner of death is unimportant since for all intents and purposes - and this includes my intent to destroy Rome - she is very much alive. Alive, and more beautiful than ever!"

"Four physicians attend to my earthly change. They are with me now, slinking about my bedchamber like hyenas. They assure me that the transformation I seek is fraught with danger. They say the surgery I must endure is both painful and vastly uncertain. I assure them that they may be certain of vast pain if anything goes wrong. I am not concerned, however. We Egyptians are masters of most known surgical techniques, including delicate skull and moist flesh removal, and success is all but assured. Still, my not-so-veiled threat has made the physicans skittish. They dart about the room. They fret and worry over their instruments. It is as I intend. After all, these men are mere mortals, and will be amputating the Living Lord's Penis!"

"I have decided that my manservant Wulivius will undergo a similar if less medically sound procedure. The Royal Gelders are standing by with their short-knives, awaiting my orders  -  Impertinent! I should have you hanged!  -  Wuvelius just fainted. He fell, like some tragic Greek heroine, into a heap on the floor. I will attempt to revive him with hot embers from the braisier. One more outburst like that, you fool, and it will be a dog's death! I must rest for a moment. Such exertion unsettles my spirit. I will continue the discourse when we have both composed ourselves. Araxnis, fan me! Memnet, a dish of yellow grapes!"

"My faithful servant Wulivius, it is now being written, will join me on the journey. Before Atum's current cycle is complete, he will emerge from surgery an altered man, a transcendant being, a shimmering butterfly. My scribbler will no longer be the oafish Wulivius - from this day hence that person ceases to exist. Taking his place, replacing him as it were, will be the new and improved Wulivius! My slave girl. My winsome scribe. My nimble gazelle. My rare confidant and total body attendant... the lovely Woofie!"

"My vision is manifest. My plans are like colored stones in a game of calculi; each falls neatly into place. My dreams become tangible. The moon slows. Destiny, and with it the known world, is suddenly mine for the taking. And take it I shall."

"I am Cleopatra."