55 year old anthropology professor, Paul Grant, is jaded with the familiar. He loves the familiarity of England, but also craves the exotic. During a project that involves the excavation and study of Egyptian mummies, he stumbles upon the sarcophagus of the beauteous, exquisite Egyptian Queen Lysandra. After consuming a magic elixir that he stumbles on in a glass urn among the pyramids, Prof. Grant goes back several centuries and finds himself transformed in the 21 year old Queen Lysandra.

Does all that follows actually transpire or is the lonely professor growing senile?


Prof. Grant: is a 55 year old anthropology professor of British origin who has been married and divorced twice. He is lacking in verbal eloquence; a failing that he feels prevents him from maximizing his personal and professional potential. Though fond of England, he is jaded with it and craves an exotic life. He also desires to be reinvented into a new person. While unearthing ancient Egyptian mummies with his team-members, he comes across the mummy of the beautiful, exquisite Queen Lysandra, lying within a coffin and preserved in a sarcophagus. Queen Lysandra captures his imagination to such a great extent that he falls in love with the reconstructed hard model of her.

Queen Lysandra: is the tall (5’7), svelte, unbelievably beautiful (She is the possessor of clear mocha skin, dark hair and eyes, a slightly upturned aquiline nose, full lips and a lovely figure) queen belonging to the first dynasty of Egypt. She is in love with her half-brother, Khyan.

Achillas: is the robust, high-spirited twin-brother of Lysandra. He is the only son of King Addaya and Queen Arisnoe. Achillas has all the physical attributes and capabilities a young king is expected to possess (he’s an ace at archery, wrestling, sailing, hunting and so on), but is grossly lacking in benevolence and humanity.

Khyan: is Lysandra and Achillas’s half-brother; the product of a one-night stand between King Addaya and ‘lowly’ house-slave, Nauny. He is a tall, muscular, multifaceted young man blessed with great intellect. He is better than Achillas in archery, wrestling, sailing, hunting et al and has a profound concern for the welfare of the people of Egypt. In short, Khyan is the perfect pharaoh material.

Goddess Isis: is the Egyptian mythological Goddess of health and fertility. Isis is the daughter of Geb (the monarch of the earth), Nut (the regina of skies) and the sister and wife of Osiris (the lord of the underworld). Isis is, in popular art and literature, depicted as a beautiful woman who wears a crown as a headdress. She is also shown carrying a cobra and a kite (the bird) with her. On Lysandra’s supplication, the Goddess transmutes the entire population of Egypt into female.

King Addaya: is the wise, powerful and just pharaoh of Egypt. He is married to Queen Arisnoe and has two children by her. Even though king Addaya has numerous concubines, he is devoted to Queen Arisnoe. King Addaya has fathered a child with one of his slave-concubines, but doesn’t give the mother-son duo the same status as his legally wedded wife and children (ironical, considering he’s hailed as a ‘just’ king). Addaya slowly comes to realize that his son Khyan would make a more befitting pharaoh than Achillas.

Queen Arisnoe: is the great royal wife of King Addaya and the mother of Lysandra and Achillas. She is the sole splendorous queen of the palace and also reigns supreme over her husband’s heart.

Arisone II: is the daughter of Lysandra and Achillas, christened after her deceased grandmother.

Nauny: is the ‘inferior’ house-slave King Addaya has fathered a son with. Being a war conquest, Nauny is not considered good enough to be allowed to live in the royal harem. Instead, she resides in a tiny, single-layered brick house near the palace with her son, Khyan. Nauny is bereft of all the adornments the queen and concubines have and is attired in just a simple loin-cloth. She is affectionate towards Lysandra and encourages love to blossom between the young princess and her son.

Laret: is the vizier, governor and treasurer under Queen Lysandra’s regime. The sturdy muscular woman also doubles up as the queen’s hand-maiden and lover.

Berenice: is the second favorite hand-maiden and lover of the queen. The sweet, lovely young woman is truly devoted to Her Majesty.

Gillian: She is a young (mid 20s) forensic scientist in Prof. Grant’s team. Gillian is a slender, fun-loving, child-like girl who is a competent worker. Going by the MCDT data collected from the mummy and Professor Grant’s directions, she constructs the perfect virtual model of Queen Lysandra.

Barnabas: is a young (mid 20s) forensic scientist cum sculptor and artist in Prof. Grant’s team. Following Gillian’s virtual model and Prof. Grant’s directions (inspired by his transcendental visions), Barnabas creates a life-like hard model of Queen Lysandra.

Ivan McCartney: is a cheerful, red-headed radiologist in Prof. Grant’s team. Ivan is in his late 30s. He runs an X-ray through Queen Lysandra’s mummy which enables the team to collect MCDT data without unwrapping or damaging the mummy.

Jane: is the first wife of Prof. Grant and the HOD of the anthropology department in Greater Oxford University in the UK. Jane is a smart, practical, go-getting Glaswegian. She receives a lot of money by way of alimony from Grant after their divorce.

Elijah: is the 18 year old son of Jane and Paul Grant. Elijah is a tall, muscular, confident teenager who resents his father’s interference in his life. In order to escape his clingy father, Elijah flies away to Yale University in America to study architecture.

Mina: is the second wife of Prof. Grant. She is a woman of Indian origin. Following her divorce with Grant, Mina too extorts a lot of money from Grant by way of alimony.

[Acknowledgement on Front Cover Design]
The front cover image was released on Flickr under a Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0 –
Title: cleo_tanna (19)
Photographer: Lina Jang
Dancer: Tanna Valentine
Makeup Artist: Jade Elhaddad
License: Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0 – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode
[Sample text – less than 10% of the story is shown due to restrictions of KDP]

Chapter One


Summer had reached its peak.  Temperatures were soaring; and even the air that he was ripping through was getting heated. There was a veritable sand storm, as the sand dunes swirled their particles in the air and sent them flying hither-thither. The golden eagle was suspended in the air. He wasn’t in the best of shape, but flew majestically over arroyos, blowouts and cacti of the deserts. Age had caught up with him; he was nolonger in the spring of his life. His plumages had gone a drab grey; and feathers and down were falling off in the wintery shedding of age. The talons, which were now brittle and blunt, left him unable to attack for food. He felt he couldn’t go on much longer; but there wasn’t a spring; no not, even a drop of water in the hot desert sands to quench his thirst. Once, only once, had he come across a geyser, but even that seem to evanesce once he swooped close. It had been a mirage. Oh! The tricks the eyes could play on one when one is old and frail!

The tired, weak and emaciated soul came flying westward along the Nile. Night had now fallen.  The air was wan, arid and lifeless because of lesser humidity on this side of the bank. The Nile itself was drier than his chapped tongue. ‘Oh holiest of rivers, but how could you let me down?!’ he exclaimed and flew east-wards towards the pyramids. A great bird like that gets a panoramic view of landscapes; the eagle could appraise the entire stretch of pyramids while suspended in the air. He swooped down low, hoping to die in the shade of one of the architectural marvels. As he flew lower, something refulgent caught his eye. He came closer to find that at the entrance to one of the pyramids stood a shapely urn. It was molded out of glass and had little figurines of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses etched on it. Inside it, was a pinkish fluid—bubbly, effervescent, inviting. The ancient eagle knew it wasn’t water; yet he dipped his beak in it. ‘If it be poison, let sweet death consume me sooner than later!’ he proclaimed. He gulped the strange fluid down thirstily. It was sweet, soothing ambrosia. The indisputable nectar of the Gods. The old eagle lay in a languid, intoxicated stupor. Soon, sleep spread its tentacles and carried him away.

He woke up a few hours later and looked around him. He wasn’t in the arid desert anymore but in the plush rain forests of what seemed like the Amazon basins in South America. The verdant green of the trees and the evident lack of deforestation gave the impression that he had gone back about 4000 years in time, perhaps to the beginning of evolution. He looked down at himself and let out a little gasp. He was no longer a drab wash-out grey. Instead, his body was resplendent in the red, blue and yellow colors of the rainbow. It seemed like he had metamorphosed from an old eagle counting his last breath to a blithe, sunny, sprightly scarlet macaw, as effervescent as the ambrosia he had consumed. This was the season of mating. The scarlet macaw coupled with another of its own species. After the passage of a certain period of time, he or rather ‘she’, laid an egg. Not only had the eagle transmogrified into a young avian of another species, living in another era; but had, by the trick of the pale pink scintillating desert fluid, turned female as well!


Chapter 2

The Jaded Professor

Hello. Let me introduce myself to you. I am Paul Grant, Professor Paul Grant to be specific–I research and teach anthropology at the University of Greater Oxford. I am a typical British gentleman; I enjoy the weather mercurial as it might be, sport the acclaimed stiff-upper lip, enjoy my afternoon tea, especially the scones with whipped cream and jam and of course, Shakespeare. Once every week, I go to the West End of London to watch ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ or ‘Phantom of the Opera’ and listen regularly to classical music at the Royal Albert Hall. At first, I enjoyed the prospect of solitude: going around all by myself, enjoying the light drizzle, the torrential down-pour, the clouds, the greenery, the majestic ding dongs of the Big Ben and the sights and sounds of London. However, with passing time, the familiarity of surroundings became stifling instead of soothing.

At 55, I am still virile and rather energetic for my age, but I can no longer claim to be I am in the spring of my life. I remember the times when life used to be fresh like the green pastures in the English country, with its milk-white skin fresh apple-cheeked girls growing on milk and honey. Their every detail is still etched in my memory: the mellifluous rustic burr with rising and falling and singularly tantalizing undulation and the obsequiousness with which they said ‘Yes, Sir’ and agreed to do my every bidding. Incidentally, I had had the chance to deflower many of these maidens. It is with great joy that I reminiscence their rounded fecund breasts and ample thighs; the quivering of their soft young flesh when they made contact with my own hard muscular one. Yes, the English country belles had their charm, but with age, my tastes have changed, I admit.  I crave something exotic, surreal, dating back to many an century; a diametrically different civilization, the ways, customs and rules of which I had seldom even researched, leave alone dreamt of. Yes, change is what I crave–to be someone different other than the predictable boring old Paul Grant. Really, stuck with a name like that, I have to keep myself from yawning! I often fantasize about a moniker that would sound rare, exotic and sensual to the receptive ear; and usually the fair speaker of…

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