I looked up from the manuscript I'd been reading, trying to find a way to help Tristan Janick. I had searched the archives and the journals my predecessor handed down to me. So far, I had discovered nothing that would help the boy.
"You have ten minutes before you meet with the elders for the Janick inquisition."
I had always thought that being the guardian of the King's Library would enable me to find the solution to almost anything but for the last two days, all I had found were more questions.
I read the forty-eight hundred year old document again. It was the oldest translation of the diary of Shamhat, the priestess who'd brought our ancestor Enkidu out of the wilderness and civilized him. It recorded the start of our people and culture. Within the pages, she detailed the illness that had befallen our ancestor and the blessings that were handed down to Enkidu's children.
When I took over the guardianship, my predecessor had impressed upon me that this was where the king's trouble began but as many times as I had read it, I couldn't see the correlation, and because of my inability to discern the danger, I was afraid I would fail my Xenres.
I looked at my watch. Five minutes to go. It was enough time to read it once more. I could not fail him.
As recorded by Shamhat, high priestess of Inanna, consort to Enkidu, in the book of The Origins of the Tribe of Enkidu and translated for the book of Remembrance of the Origin of the Twin Flames of Bashert. Circa 2500 B.C.E.
Enkidu had been ill for many days. It was difficult watching him waste away from the vibrant man that he once was. A warrior he may have been in the defense of his consort, King Gilgamesh, but his soul would ever be as gentle as the animals he'd once grazed with. All of their sons, now grown, had gathered at his side, vigilant in their attendance to him. It was heartbreaking to watch Enkidu soothe his beloved children, to wipe away their tears as they gathered in his bed like they once had as children.
Gilgamesh, Enkidu's love, had not given up hope that one of the Gods would intervene and save his beloved. He prayed nonstop. He had gone to the temples and made extravagant offerings to all but hers. Hers, Gilgamesh ordered dismantled and destroyed. King Gilgamesh, once high priest to the Goddess Inanna, had disallowed worship of her and none could speak her name.
As a former priestess of hers, the one who had tamed Enkidu and taught him of bodily pleasure, I should have been able to avoid this disaster. Given her fickle lust and Gilgamesh's pride, all that had happened may have been preordained. Inanna had had other consorts and it never ended well once her attention waned. Gilgamesh denied her. He told her he would not be consort to a Goddess as fickle as she, and then he chose Enkidu as his lover and consort.
I will never forget the day the Goddess found out Gilgamesh took Enkidu as consort. Many priestesses died by her hand that day because of her wrath. I also remembered the day she returned to the temple in triumph.
In her quest to crush Gilgamesh, she had coerced the Gods to allow her to send Gugalanna, the Bull of Heaven, against him. If the bull had been allowed to freely walk the Earth before his time at the solstice, he would have killed thousands of innocent people. How could she be so blind in her obsessive love for Gilgamesh? If he and Enkidu had not been victorious against Gugalanna, seven plagues of disease and pestilence would have been unleashed on the kingdom of Uruk. So many senseless deaths just to assuage her pride over Gilgamesh's refusal.
Maybe the Goddess would have left Gilgamesh alone and found another to adorn her bed if Enkidu had not challenged her in his anger. I know why he threw the haunch of the bull at her and bellowed he would kill her next. Enkidu was furious at the continuous attempts on the king's life. But he forgot Inanna's Godhood and she used his impiety to condemn him. It was because of her that he was on his death bed, surrounded by his children and his beloved Gilgamesh.
I heard the whispers of the court, but I was not jealous. Gilgamesh and Enkidu shared a strong love. I doubted I would see the likes of it again before I died. I know Enkidu was fond of me. To be her priestess was to be a priestess of sexual love but not of commitment. His love gave me the twins. Although my twins are older than Enkidu's children with Gilgamesh, and did not answer the call to be with him at his bedside, I still have them now that Enkidu is gone.
Shamash, the God of Justice, was here to see Enkidu. Gilgamesh was sure Shamash would save his consort but it was not to be. Gilgamesh should have stayed but he stormed out in a temper. He would have learned Shamash had saved him from the same fate. He would have known he was now free of retribution from Inanna. Because Gilgamesh did not remain, he did not hear the blessings Shamash bestowed upon his consort Enkidu.
When Enkidu was near death, he had terrifying visions of an afterlife alone in Irkalla, the Realm of the Dead, without Gilgamesh. He cursed me for the sorrow brought upon him. If I had not gone to the wilderness and tamed Enkidu, if I had not brought him to Uruk and introduced him to King Gilgamesh, he would not be dying, facing eternity in the underworld of Irkalla without his beloved consort. As an immortal demigod, Gilgamesh may go to Anunnaki, the home of the Gods, when he wishes to leave this world. Irkalla was for mortals and barred to him.
The God Shamash scolded Enkidu for cursing me and reminded him I may have introduced him to civilization, but I also brought him to his beloved Gilgamesh and the greatest love and joy of his life. Enkidu looked at me with tear-filled eyes and apologized. I know he did not mean to be angry with me. He was afraid Gilgamesh's divinity would keep them apart in the afterlife and he could not bear the thought of them being parted forever.
Enkidu had stood up to the injustice caused by the Goddess Inanna. He had defied the Gods for the sake of his beloved and he helped save lives from the plagues Inanna would have unleashed. The God Shamash would therefore ensure justice was done and blessed Enkidu and all his progeny.
Enkidu was created as the balance for Gilgamesh. Shamash promised he and his descendants would not go to Irkalla but would be reborn from the Earth as long as their souls had the strength. The children would carry the same blessing as their ancestors and recognize their Twin Flame, the one who would be their Bashert, their destiny. They would be a kingdom unto themselves. Their direct line of firstborn would never be broken and they would be kings over all their joint descendants. They would become a mighty race and answer the call of the God Shamash whenever he needed their service as warriors to dispense his justice.
Shamash brought forth the Goddess Anat, a mighty and bloody Goddess of War from the north. She was the patron Goddess for the warriors of Enkidu. She would teach and guide them in the art of war and it would be through her teachings the descendants of Enkidu would dispense the judgment of Shamash's laws.
Unable to stay away for long, Gilgamesh returned to Enkidu's side before Enkidu breathed his last. And yet, Gilgamesh still believed Enkidu would rise. Gilgamesh refused to let anyone touch him and would not hear of the God Shamash's decree. When he finally realized that Enkidu was truly gone, Gilgamesh keened over the body of his beloved for several long and anguished days. I hope to never hear those aching sounds of desperation ever again. Even now, as I finish writing this, I hear his sobbing wails.