The Twins Maharet And Mekare

In ancient Egypt, Maharet and Mekare are twins born of a powerful witch. They are as powerful as their mother and can communicate with the spirits. Using the spirits, they can bring the “little rain”, and every now and then they manage to bring the “big rain”. Little rain refers to a light shower, whereas big rain refers to rain that causes the Nile to flood its banks – very useful given their climate and crop growing endeavours.

The sisters are telepathic and can read each other’s thoughts. They often give spiritual advice to people who need it and are able to read omens and predict the future, to a certain extent. Their powers as witches becomes well known and eventually they receive an invitation to be guests at the court of the king and queen of Kemet (Egypt) – Enkil and Akasha. The king’s messenger brings the invitation on a stone tablet, but on feeling the tablet, Maharet and Mekare feel that something was wrong. Their mother holds the tablet, feels a premonition of doom and advises against them going to meet the king.

The messenger leaves empty handed. This rejection must offend Akasha and Enkil, because shortly the king’s soldiers arrive to burn the village to the ground and massacre the inhabitants. They choose their arrival with superb timing.

Maharet and Mekare are attending the ritual feast at the funeral of their mother when the soldiers arrive. But this is no ordinary feast. Their ancient custom is to eat the flesh of their loved ones who have died. This is a respectful ceremony that is part of sending the dead to the afterlife. The king and queen have outlawed all flesh eating though – even the ceremonial stuff. Catching the twins at the commencement of their ceremonial feast gives the soldiers (i.e. Akasha) just the excuse they need to raise the village to the ground. Akasha maintains that the banning of cannibalism is grounded in her moral beliefs, when in actual fact it is simply that she finds it distasteful.

The soldiers capture Maharet and Mekare and take them to the court of the king and queen. Along the way, the king’s loyal steward, Khayman, shows the twins kindness by giving them food and letting them walk about to stretch their legs. An ironic twist to Khayman’s kindness is to await them in Egypt, though.

On arriving at the king’s court, Akasha wishes to know as much as she can about the twins communication with the spirits. It turns out that the queen is a bit twisted and has evil tendencies. Initially Akasha and Enkil are sceptical of the twins’ claims that they can talk to the spirits, but after a few demonstrations of the spirits power, albeit limited, they become believers. All that the spirits can do is move things around, but the king and queen don’t know that and assume that their powers are greater than they really are.

One of the spirits present is the evil one Amel. He is a nasty bugger, and he has powers of a different nature.

As part of their demonstration, Amel gets a little out of hand and magics up an heirloom that belonged to Akasha’s mother. This presents Akasha with a paradox. She doesn’t believe that spirits exist, yet the only other explanation for the heirloom’s appearance is that someone stole it from her mother’s tomb – and this is too hurtful to contemplate.

Obviously, the only thing the queen can do to save face, demonstrate her power and show how trivial the spirits are is to administer some kind of punishment to the twins while the spirits look on helplessly. She and Enkil decide that Khayman should rape the twins. Khayman is essentially a good man and likes the twins but he is also loyal to his king and so he completes the punishment.

After their violation, Maharet and Mekare are allowed to go home on condition that they do not allow the spirits to do any harm.

Theirs is a long and difficult journey home, alone across the desert. Maharet knows that she is carrying Khayman’s child.

Along the way they meet a Bedouin village, whose inhabitants welcome them in and give them food. They leave, eventually reach the village they call home and Maharet has her child. A few blissful years pass before Khayman returns with bad news.

Amel, the evil spirit, has “possessed” the king and queen and they now need the twins to go to them and restore peace.