Read an Excerpt
Mem was in a bad mood.
This wasn’t unusual as Mem was often in a bad mood which could be brought on from something as obscure as intemperate weather, an argument in the bazaar or – more often than not – his dissatisfaction with sex.
‘You’re being cruel,’ Ati the cook remonstrated as Mem stared down thoughtfully at the new slave. ‘Why do you make Toomela sit on the back step as if you’re punishing her? She’s just a girl.’
‘For some reason ...’ Mem began, shaking his head and stroking his short beard while he glanced at his new slave out of the corner of his eye, ‘there’s something about her which unsettles me. Furthermore, when I talk to her she either says nothing or she gives me that insolent look she has.’
As Toomela glanced up at him with her lustrous black kohl-rimmed eyes, he felt an uncharacteristic flash of lust. Toomela smiled and she tossed one of the figs she was playing with high in the air before biting into it with her strong white teeth.
‘Perhaps that’s because you pulled her back from the bazaar by her long hair and she squealed at you. As I recall, you slapped her,’ Ati reprimanded sourly, shaking her gnarled fist. ‘Now, what kind of behaviour is that? Already everyone says, “Mem, he may have the eye of the great Pharaoh and he may ride beside him on the royal barge, but he’s a cruel and irascible man.”’
Mem shook his head angrily. ‘Confound the bitch. My head was addled when I bought her. I must have been crazy that day.’ He kicked a cloud of dust in Toomela’s direction and she dropped the figs and put up her hands to protect her eyes. ‘She’s a poor excuse for a slave girl and a real enigma with those little boy titties and those little boy hips. She’s hardly pleasing and voluptuous.’
Mem turned on his heel with a muttered expletive and went indoors to sit in the shade and soothe his jangling nerves.
The trouble was he’d done all he could to mitigate his frustration, but Mem was imprisoned by his sexual needs and the fact he couldn’t now derive any satisfaction from the act and this was making him particularly disagreeable. He blamed his current physician and astrologer, the great Oba, for his predicament, not that it was Oba’s fault. Oba was a favourite of the Pharaoh and it was said just by standing out in the desert and reading the positions of the stars, he could predict the outcome of a battle, whether it was going to be an auspicious year for the crops or the outcome of a serious illness. The Pharaoh, who was a young and exceedingly intelligent man, was fond of Mem and when Mem had taken tea with him and described his sexual predicament, he had chuckled and, arranging his clothes, nodded his head sagely.
‘There’s one solution, my dear Mem. You must consult my esteemed personal seer and advisor, the great Oba. Oba can see into a man’s soul and he knows the answer to all of life’s riddles. However, I believe I know the reason why you’re dissatisfied.’ Leaning forward he clasped Mem’s hand and his eyes glittered mischievously as he lowered his voice. ‘Are you sure you don’t desire a boy’s smooth flesh, instead of a woman’s? I wouldn’t be surprised if it was young men with tight butts and even tighter cocks which were the keys to unlock your passion. Of course, you desire a wife, but why deprive yourself of sexual bliss? You wouldn’t be alone, you know, Mem. I’m not adverse to such boyish pleasures myself.’
‘Aha,’ Mem teased. ‘You play with me. The great Pharaoh enjoys men, I think not.’ He sat back on his cushion, peeling a grape and thinking how the feel of the fruit felt so much like the tip of a particularly juicy cock. ‘So, you think I’m that kind of man, do you?’
Of course, Mem was compelled to go to the oracle.
The old man had peered at Mem and, closing his eyes and holding his palm, he’d said diplomatically that Mem’s problems lay with his lack of sexual fulfilment.
‘Well that comes as no surprise to me,’ Mem grumbled. ‘A woman’s cunt and a full pair of breasts never used to arouse me much at all – but lately they fail to even begin to stir the pools of my desire. Now, my dick seems to have gone to sleep and although I feel a raging desire to spurt, nothing happens.’
Oba consulted Mem’s astrological tables. He seemed thoughtful.
‘Is there no simple medicine for my condition?’ Mem persisted, leaning so far across the table he could smell the old man’s breath. ‘What can I do to find the sex and thus smooth some balm onto my sore personality?’
The old man blinked myopically. ‘There is something and here’s what I prescribe. Partake of as diverse a diet of slave as you can. Take variety to your bed. I’m going to give you a special oil, Mem, which has been made strong by the potency of the moon. You’re to indulge in massages and sensuality and, most importantly, massage your penis to increase its vigour. I advise massage by a male slave.’