14 Jan 2014

In the shadow of the pyramids, a patriotic romance

The following excerpt is taken from romantic novel inspired by the latest events in Egypt. The author is reported to be an acclaimed international writer but has chosen to keep her identity secret. 

With an impatient gesture Egypt kicked off the bed sheets. She had finally decided that sleep won’t come to her that night. The bed she lay in was comfortable and warm, but it wasn’t the mild winter temperature that made sleep elude her. As she stretched and rose off the bed, her thoughts finally confronted the real source of her anxiety. Him. The man she hadn’t been able to stop thinking about for months. The rugged general that every woman dreams of meeting. He had pursued her with the clear intent of a man accustomed to getting what he wants. She whispered his name to herself, the two identical musical syllables that enchanted so many others beside her. She realised that the cold sweat that covered her body reflected her deep yearning.

Yes or no. Yes or no. The general wanted a definite answer. The ambiguity of their flirtation that she had enjoyed so much would have to come to an end. He needed certainty. He jokingly referred to it as ‘his referendum’. Then he urged her to vote for him. He didn’t deliver it like an ultimatum, but that was certainly the impression that he gave. He didn’t need words to make his intentions clear. That was one of things that she liked about him. He made her weak with desire, even as a little part of her protested. But as she confronted her anxiety about him night after night, she attributed that to her natural reluctance. Would he ever be hers alone? A man like no other that any nation, er woman, would dream of having?

In him was the promise of a better future. Everything would be rosy, her prospects would brighten up, paradise loomed ahead. If only she overcame her inhibitions and said yes. And she had so many reasons to yield to his bold advances. His charm and appeal were overpowering, and she had suffered for too long with mediocre men. Lesser men. She reflected on her noble lineage as she surveyed the room around her. The old mansion looked respectable enough from the outside, but the signs of time were beginning to show. She couldn’t afford to keep the staff anymore, or the constant repairs the house left to her by her father required. She needed a man. A strong man, her friends advised. A man with a sense of purpose. Her general was that and much more.

But why did he have to be so persistent about it? She needed time. She wasn’t given to hasty decisions. When they were alone together his hands were over her in a flash. It had taken all her guile to fend his advances, but who knew when she would surrender in a moment of weakness. His magnetic appeal was supplanted by his sense of purpose. There was an inevitable quality about him, like destiny. She climbed out of her bed and slipped on a large white robe, walking over to the window to look out at the city. In the distance, she could clearly see the silhouette of the pyramids in the dim light of the small hours. And their solemn appearance brought her thoughts racing back to him.

She was lost in these thoughts for what seemed like hours, with Um Kalthoum’s voice gently nudging her into a blissful state. In the end, she began to feel drowsy and walked slowly over to her bed. As she lay down, his face materialised in her mind once again. She saw him in his official uniform, standing like a king radiating authority. His chest was adorned with countless military decorations. Exactly for what she didn’t know, for he had never been in battle. But she brushed the irksome detail away and went back to thinking about his strong hands that afforded her comfort in their strong grip. As she lost herself in the space between sleep and wakefulness, the intensity of the images in her head acquired a new vividness. She allowed herself for the first time to think of their long-awaited moment of passion when she would acquiesce to her body’s desire. And at that moment, it came to her. Yes, yes, YES. Her reply would be a resounding yes. Then she was lost in her dreams.

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  1. With a few slight tweaks, this could be Scotland and Alex Salmond

  2. Paarberatung Career counseling centers geared toward working (or previously working) adults are a different breed of cat from college career centers and


Karl reMarks is a blog about Middle East politics and culture with a healthy dose of satire.

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