Scene Seventeen:

Will Isis Blow her Cover while she's

Looking for a Lion?

 

The Star Lesson is over, and the SERVANTS have shepherded the GIRLS to bed. ASTARTE and ISIS are alone on the terrace of the palace, still under the dome of the NIGHT SKY.

ASTARTE:

So. You know all these secrets in the sky, yet you're only a serving woman from Egypt, who studied a little in the temple, but had to leave because of some squabble or trouble there. You have no husband, no child, no family. You're only grateful for a chance to live and work here in Byblos. Yet you know all of this. Who are you?
ISIS: I'm Hathor, my lady, as I've told you. The Map of Love is known to all the women of my country. It's a mother's duty to teach it to her daughters so they can remember it and teach it to their daughters. I don't know as much about the other Maps, especially the Map of Light. That's the most difficult one.

ASTARTE: Who are you?
ISIS: Hathor, my lady.
ASTARTE: Which temple did you live in?
ISIS: My lady . . . the temple of Osiris. I had to flee when the troubles came in Egypt, when the violence went running all through the land.
ASTARTE: Yes. Before that happened, my husband did not have to send men dressed in metal to watch the desert and the shore of the sea.
ISIS: I found my Lion, but lost him at the start of the troubles in Egypt.
ASTARTE: I'm sorry. (Pause.)

ISIS: I dream. May I ask a question? To live as the Queen of a King who loves you as lord Melkarth does must make you the most blessed of women. You must be a Goddess.
ASTARTE: Hathor, we have time to reveal our big secrets. I will tell you more in time. And in time you will tell me how you will find your Lion again, and why you are looking for him here.

ISIS:

I don't understand.

ASTARTE:

You will. Add it up. The King of Egypt floats down the river into the sea in a box which has never been found, and a box washes up on our beach, and this tree grows around it. The Queen of Egypt has gone looking for the box, and no one knows where she is. But being Queen Isis, she will certainly find the box. One doesn't have to be Shamash, Lord of the Sun, to put the pieces together. I only wonder when she will appear. Don't you?

ISIS:

Yes, I've wondered about that too.

ASTARTE motions ISIS inside, and they walk from the terrace to the great hall. LIGHTS up on the PILLAR as the they approach it.
ASTARTE: Little Minar sleeps so beautifully in the fragrance of this tree and the dance of your arms. Maybe one day we'll both know the secret of who is in this tree. Who do you think it is?
ISIS: Everyone sees the shape of a man. He is tall and I believe, handsome.
ASTARTE:

It's a he, all right. Definitely masculine. Maybe that's why the men here have all been so aroused ever since this tree arrived. I won't keep you. We are both tired. Have a good rest.

ISIS: And you, my lady.

ANUBIS KHU appears. MUSIC: He is Born theme. ISIS picks up the baby MINAR from his cradle and dances around the Pillar. Soon her dance becomes labored as she begins to heave and sob, so that MINAR cries. ISIS places him back in his cradle. soothes him to sleep. ISIS returns to Pillar.

ISIS: Why? Why couldn't I just tell her who I am, and who you are? Why? (Pause.) You sing to me, yet you are silent now? What kind of man are you? A man of your power could find a way to burst out of there to be with me? (Strikes and kicks the Pillar. Its fragrance suddenly becomes much stronger in the Space.) Does it matter that I am here? Why?

ANUBIS:

Because --

ISIS: Not now!
ANUBIS: I'm sorry, my Lady, but
ISIS: I love you dearly, Anubis, but not now. I will feel this until I dispel it. It is time for you to go remote. Take the story.
ISIS begins to dance about the Space, as though increasingly entranced. KHU "goes remote," to the side of the Space opposite ISIS. MA'AT and NEPHTHYS KHUs appear above the center of the Space.
"Weep No More" MUSIC begins.
ANUBIS:

We can't show you Isis discovering anything as though there's something she doesn't know. She knows everything. But here in third density, as you know, it's not what you know. It's how you use it. The resolution to do it is everything.

Weep No More (Reprise):

MA'AT and NEPHTHYS (Sing:)

Lord Osiris is bursting like a pear.

He craves the incandescence of your touch,

But by his power alone he cannot stir,

Without you he can only do so much

The fire of your love will make him free.

KHUs vanish. MUSIC continues, faster, then changes to crystal bowl in F# with flutes, harp and strings. LIGHTS down on PILLAR and up on the FIRE as ISIS moves to a table near the cradle. HERB KHUs appear as ISIS blends her herbs. She exits and re-enters with a torch.

 

What's Isis about to do with those Herbs and that Fire?

You can find out at In the Fire Now.

 

Or you can Choose from other Scenes

 

Or go to Stories of Thoth and Ma'at or the Playbill 

 

Copyright 2002 Dan Furst

 

 

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