Emaciated, parched, dirty, skin bleeding from thorns, robes in tatters, mind delirious, Moses tottered into the land of Midian after fleeing Egypt. Now safely over the border, he sat down on a rock and looked up at the harsh blue sky, where some large birds – they looked like vultures – circled around.
Moses thoughts turned to what had brought him here. He thought about that day when, as a seven year-old, he was taken by the Pharaoh’s daughter, Hatshepsut, to the Royal palace in Heliopolis where she would raise him as her adopted son. Moses’s childhood, although rigorous , had been happy. His early manhood as Hatshepsut’s lover had been blissful. Then all began going downhill………
When did it begin, this downhill? It was, Moses thought, the night God *had visited him* to warn him how perilous it was to become Hatshepsut’s lover. The affair if unchecked would ruin the plans He (God) had for Moses as future saviour of the Hebrew nation. Nonetheless Moses continued as Hatshepsut’s lover. But doubt now infected his mind.
Moses would never forget those midnights, when all were asleep in the Egyptian royal palace, when he and Hatshepsut crept silently into the muggy night outside, and made their way to their special place on the bank of the Nile where they stripped, then plunged into the water to frolic and hold each other, and whisper in each other’s ears their deepest secrets and desire until, aroused to a frenzy, they climbed back on the riverbank and lay down and made love under the stars until dawn, when they arose and crept back to the palace.
Hatshepsut’s sickly husband, Pharaoh Thutmose ll, soon died. Whereupon Hatshepsut became in all but name, Pharaoh of all Egypt, and therefore the most powerful woman in the world. Being still beautiful – arguably the most beautiful woman in the world as well as the most powerful – Hatshepsut’s hold over men was absolute. She could now summon any man she wanted to the Palace and lure him into her bed. This she did. Often.
The knowledge of all this, instead of dampening Moses desire for Hatshepsut, only inflamed it, especially when in bed at night in his own room next to Hatshepsut’s, and he would hear through the wall Hatshepsut’s giggles and groans as she made love with the latest man she had lured.
But, Hatshepsut on other nights when in the mood, summoned Moses for another midnight swim in the Nile, and they stole away there as if all was unchanged. Hatshepsut always assured Moses that despite the changed circumstances, he would always be the man she loved the most.
There came a time when a man called Senenmut began visiting Hatshepsut more and more……..and……..more. She made him the overseer of her entire household, which included Moses. She also appointed him (Senenmut) chief administrator of the richest lands in Egypt outside those owned by the Royal family.
“What do you see in him, this Senenmut?” said Moses to Hatshepsut one day, “He’s from the lower orders, has no education, and can’t speak with you about the finer things of life like I can. And he’s quite nondescript-looking, unlike me who everyone can’t keep their eyes off of when encountering me at parties and suchlike. What’s got into you, Hatshepsut?”
“Nothing’s got into me” said Hatshepsut, “I should instead ask you what’s got into you, for you’re no longer the Moses you used to be, and were so fun to be around. You appear angry whenever we talk now. I think I know what it is. You’re jealous of Senenmut. You can’t bear it that he has qualities I find attractive, that you don’t have.”
“Jealous? Me? Jealous of Senenmut? That odorous unlettered boor? Well, if you think I’m jealous of him, you don’t know me very well, that’s all I can say.”
“I know you very well, Moses. Better than you know yourself. You can’t resist me, and you hate yourself for this. I need only click my fingers and you come running to me like a jackal pup. I can make you grovel and lick my toes any time I want. There’s nothing I can’t make you do if I so much as hint I’d like you in my bed.”
The years went by. Moses jealousy of Hatshepsut and Senenmut grew……and grew. One day, when Moses anger was more than he could bear, he saw Senenmut inspecting a large barn on land that he (Senenmut) administered.
“Oy you” shouted Moses, “I want a word with you”
“If you want a word with me, you’ll have to address me more civilly than ‘oy you,'” said Senenmut. “I’ll remind you I’m now senior to you in Hatshepsut’s household, and have supplanted you in her affections. You’re going to have to know your place”
“Let’s settle this right now” said Moses, “man to man, no holds barred.”
Senenmut closed in, and they began to wrestle. The fight seemed to Moses to go on for an eternity, for Senenmut was the strongest man he’d ever wrestled. There were moments when Moses had Senenmut in an unbreakable grip, only to have Senenmut break free and put an unbreakable grip on Moses……….
Just when Moses felt he had no more to give, he somehow got his fingers around Senenmut’s throat and squeezed……and squeezed. Senenmut gurgled, became slack, and fell…….dead.
There being no-one else around, Moses, by means of a spade he found in the barn, dug a hole, dumped Senenmut in it undetected, then filled the hole. Realising he now had no choice but to leave Egypt forever, and forthwith, Moses began moving fast towards Egypt’s eastern border…………