Hello people! I believe this is the last ever UGC 111 blog post for this semester so I hope you'll enjoy this original story that I've created. Please tell me what you think!
In 2300 BCE, unusual creatures started to emerge from the Nile River and were raised in Egypt. No one knows their actual origins. Just like the other Egyptians, they spoke the Egyptian language in the form of Coptic, donned clothes that were made of linen to protect them from the intense heat and wore copious amount of makeup, which they believed gave them protection of the gods Horus and Ra.
They were unusual because even though they looked like humans, they were bestowed with extraordinary abilities unique to the individual but all of them shared the power of immortality.
As they outlived their kings Merenre and Pepy II, the creatures were afraid that the fellow Egyptians would be notice and realize their peculiarity. Not to mention, the Old Kingdom was collapsing and their survival amid the famine and civil disorder would only rouse suspicion.
Another problem was that their numbers had multiplied over the years and as such, there was an urgency to conceal their existence from the public eye.
Fortunately, the creatures were able to seek refuge underground at around 2184 BCE before the Intermediate Period kicked in. The underground was so vast and with teamwork and determination, they were able to clean their new home up and live their lives without fear of being judged. They were able to display their powers from manipulating fire to levitating. In celebration of their newfound freedom, they gathered and decided to call themselves the ‘Nile clan’ after the Nile River where they all believed was their place of origin. By the time the New Kingdom kicked at around 1500 BCE in Egypt, the Nile clan had comprised of 100,000 members and their home had been bustling with so much activity.
However, this is where their story ends as there is no more information recorded after the Nile clan had reached their peak of the population.
This is their untold story.
Even though the Nile clan had never been happier, at around 1200 BCE, they all soon became bored of living forever. Sure, they had all the freedom they could have living underground, remaining as a mystery to the people residing above them. Some of the oldest members in the clan still held Egyptian beliefs like viewing the Afterlife as a continuation of their present lives and thought they would only achieve the greatest happiness when they were dead. They then began to view their immortality as a curse.
Days and nights passed as they fervently searched for a way to break their ‘curse’. Every nook and cranny of their underground was thoroughly investigated. Finally, after six years of persistence, a small group of the clan chanced upon this sacred stone. The sacred stone resembled the Rosetta stone and just like the Rosetta stone, it contained three scripts in which the upper text was filled with Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, the Demotic script written in the centre and the bottom written in Ancient Greek.
Luckily, one of them was able to recognize the three languages and kindly translated for the small group. The Sacred Stone, as the founders proudly called it, decreed that it would grant a shared wish only to a group of people who was in touch with their spiritual selves and that no one shall share the same religion. Thinking that they had finally found their cure, the small group worked hard to fully commit themselves to a religion, using their powers as they did so.
Soon, the word about the Sacred Stone got around to the rest of the Nile clan and more of them attempted to fulfill the decree of the stone in order to cross over to the Afterlife. The 100,000 members grew smaller day by day till only a small group of close-knit friends was left.
The group comprised of four people: Ramesses who was extremely lazy but fiercely protective of his friends since he was the oldest, User who had a huge stature with a menacing expression to match, Nefertiti who was kind, caring and looked after the group like she was their mother, and Kyky who was the most intelligent despite being the youngest. They were all born during the New Kingdom, surfacing in the Nile River and rushed to the underground. Being teenagers, they were not very receptive to the adults’ dreams as the former loved the idea of having an eternal life and using their powers. However, it soon became boring when they were the only ones left underground so at around 1150 BCE, they thought that it was about time they joined their fellow brothers and sisters.
After coming across the Sacred Stone (in which Ramesses translated because of his ability to understand all languages in the world), the four of them decided that each of them would commit to the religions of Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism and Islam and agreed to meet up again after fulfilling their respective objectives.
Kyky, blessed with clairvoyance, foresaw the rise of a religion called Judaism and quickly became one of its first followers whereas Nefertiti time-travelled to the common era to become a devoted Muslimah. With the help of Nefertiti and his own power of flight, User travelled to Rome and became a devout Christian.
However, Ramesses remained lazy and unmotivated, hiding in the confines of their home, deep underground while his other three friends worked hard to fulfil the Sacred Stone’s orders.
Said creature jolted awake and ungracefully fell from his bed. Ramesses tiredly gazed at the female who was frowning at him.
Rubbing his eyes, Ramesses asked, “What is it, Tiy?”
Nefertiti let out a heavy sigh. “Ramesses, you should know what I’m going to talk about.”
“And Ramesses would then assure Tiy that he would practise Buddhism tomorrow and Tiy would let him off and then tomorrow, Ramesses would still be lazing around. Tiy would then scream at him and reprimand him,” Kyky chimed in as he joined the pair in one of the longue rooms available underground. Ever since they were the only four left in the clan, their home had never looked more spacious.
“Shut up, Kyky. How many times have we told you not to verbalize the future you’ve predicted?” Ramesses shot a glare at the youngest who merely pouted.
“I don’t even have to use my powers! Besides, you and Tiy have been having this same argument for weeks now and it’s obvious that nothing is going to change!” Kyky protested, stomping his foot childishly on the ground.
“Adults are talking, Kyky,” Ramesses fixed the youngest with a cold glare.
“Enough, you two. Kyky, why don’t you go read your Torah?” Nefertiti gently told the youngest.
“I’ve already read it a thousand times! Memorized it even! I can even list out all the 613 commandments without referring to the Torah!” Kyky protested once more, offended that even the person he had looked up to as a mother had turned on against him.
“Lovely. Why don’t you go list them out to the Sacred Stone? I’m sure it would be impressed and who knows? Maybe it would grant your wish alone and not as a group?” An indignant squawk from Kyky amused Ramesses but the latter could only let out a chuckle before having his head smacked.
“Stop it!” Nefertiti hissed before turning to face the youngest with a soft smile. “Kyky, please leave. I can handle this stubborn idiot alone.”
Nodding his assent, Kyky shot Ramesses a scowl before making his exit.
Sighing once more, Nefertiti tried again, “Come on Ramesses. I’ve just prayed Subuh. This is a little too early to argue. Why can’t you just cooperate so that we can all join our family?”
“Subuh? What’s that?” Ramesses asked, cocking his eyebrow.
“Subuh is one of the five daily prayers that Islamic people practise. Subuh is carried out during the dawn and must be done before the sun rises. The prayers are just one of the five pillars of Islam.”
“So what’s the other four pillars of Islam?” Ramesses straightened his posture on the ground, too lazy to get up and sit on the bed ever since he dropped out of it.
“Testimony of faith, giving charity to the needy, fasting during the month of Ramadan and going on a pilgrimage to Mecca– HEY! WHERE ARE YOU GOING?” The unsuspecting female screamed at Ramesses who took the chance to flee when the other was answering his question. With his long legs, the oldest was built for speed and was able to escape from Nefertiti. He adored the other like his own sister but when Nefertiti started lecturing, there was no end to it.
“I’m free!” Ramesses screamed in joy as he glanced over his shoulder and Nefertiti was nowhere to be seen.
But his celebration was cut short when he bumped onto an enormous chest that was as hard as a brick face-first.
“Oof!” The impact was so great that Ramesses stumbled backwards and unceremoniously fell onto the ground.
“Oh hey Ramesses. I didn’t see you there,” User nonchalantly spoke, not fazed that someone had just crashed onto him.
“What are you doing here, User?” Ramesses grumbled as he hauled himself to his feet.
“Well, I was just reading the Old Testament. You know, the part of the Bible that was written before Jesus’ birth. Oh, and thanks for teaching me Hebrew, Ramesses," User replied, offering a small smile to the oldest.
“No problem. You still haven’t answered my question though.”
“Oh! I’m actually searching for Nefertiti. I want to travel to the future to have sacred meals with my fellow Christians. Have you seen her?”
As if on cue, a high-pitched scream echoed in the narrow confines of the underground and both males shifted their attention to the glowering female speeding towards them.
“Ramesses! I’m going to kill you!” Nefertiti yelled.
“Tiy, how could you say that?” User gasped dramatically. “Didn’t you read the Old Testament? In Exodus 20:13, God says ‘You shall not murder’."
“Oh hey User,” Nefertiti’s frown completely disappeared as she beamed at User. “I know that. You told me yesterday, remember? In the Qur’an 17:33, it said ‘And do not take any human being’s life – which God has willed to be, sacred - otherwise than in justice’.”
Thinking that the pair was occupied with each other, Ramesses tried to escape but Nefertiti quickly grabbed him and transported him to 6th century BCE. With the absence of the oldest, the trio led their lives as per usual, carrying out their respective religious beliefs without clashing against one another. It was seven years later when Ramesses was brought back to their present time by Nefertiti. The trio was shocked when they saw Ramesses in nothing but skin and bones, which the oldest claimed that was the state of Siddhartha Gautama too since they both led an ascetic life.
Ramesses then began to tell the story when he was walking aimlessly and came across an old man, a sick man and a corpse in that order before meeting Gautama who asserted that he saw these three too which contributed to his decision to leave his wife and children to pursue enlightenment. With Ramesses’ ability being able to understand multiple languages, he was able to converse with Gautama in the Magahi language. The oldest then admitted that at first, he was unable to adapt to the ascetic life well but he believed in Gautama’s beliefs and stayed with the former prince even when Gautama decided to meditate under a Bo tree.
“The Buddha taught me an important lesson that is ‘suffering can be ended by renouncing desire’ which is one of the ‘Four Noble Truths’. At first, I thought I was suffering when I denied myself food and water but I eventually realized how peaceful my state of mind was when I led an ascetic life. And it felt as if I’ve become one with Gautama when I attained nirvana, which is also known as enlightenment."
“I’m happy that you’ve become in touch with your spiritual self, Ramesses,” Nefertiti patted Ramesses’ shoulder as User and Kyky nodded in agreement.
“Thank you for believing in me, really,” Ramesses smiled at the other three gratefully. “Come on! Let’s go activate the Sacred Stone and join our fellow clan members, shall we? They must’ve been waiting for a long time for us to arrive.”
A few moments later, the quartet found themselves in front of the Sacred Stone and muttered the incantations as carved in the stone while placing their hands on the stone, ignoring the loud grumbling emanating from the stone. As they finished their incantations, the stone began to glow a beautiful golden colour and before they could verbalize their greatest wish, they felt their bodies being transferred into the tablet. The carved script was then replaced by tiny drawings resembling bodies with four bodies being newly added, totalling up to 100,000.
The glow surrounding the stone faded. A hollow, eerie laugh resounded in the underground.