WRITING PROMPT NO. 183
They placed the embalmed body of the king on the polished stone table.
The queen scattered hand-tied bundles of herbs over his body while singing to the dead. She looked up into the night sky and closed her eyes, her body small and still. The soul of the king would take its place amongst the stars. She gathered up her long skirt and stepped down away from the body of her husband. The crowd of people parted to let her through.
Builders set to work lifting enormous stones up onto the base of the tomb. It would take all night to build the tomb around their king. Sweat glistened on their bare torsos as they heaved and manoeuvred the large boulders into place. The crowd had paid their respects and left. There were just a few people left who knelt in the dust and prayed for their king.
The queen sat in a makeshift tent muttering words under her breath while her feet were washed and massaged with oil. She would rule alone now.
By dawn, the last of the stones had been hauled into place at the top of the tomb. The builders stepped back and knelt in rows as the sun lifted up into the sky behind them. A hum of voices echoed through the valley as they sang.
A noise deep within the tomb stopped the singing. A scream penetrated through the tiny crevices between the joints of the stones. The king’s soul had woken. Away and alone in her kingdom, the queen began to cry.
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