Transcript of The Story of Phodopis
There once was a young Menaphite named Phodopis, who worked the docks to try to feed his family. He was a short boy, and not particularly strong, so he often struggled with the demanding work that the other Menaphites used to shift every day. However, he could always return home that night knowing that his family could eat, and he could tell them such stories of the things he had seen; bright treasures from the Arc region, exotic minerals from the west or even priceless jewellery. He'd thought about taking goods in the past, but the other workers always got caught, and he was a good and honourable boy. Life was tough, but his family were very close, and their love meant much more to him.
One night, after his family had gone to sleep, Phodopis found himself unable to sleep. His arms ached from the long day's work, his mind was restless and his feet were sore and blistered. He decided that he needed to bathe his feet, but their house had no water, and he'd already drank his share for the night. His house was almost underneath the balcony of a bright house on the edge of the Merchant district, and he knew that they had water. He was concerned, but he thought using their water was fine - he wasn't taking it, after all. A planter on the wall underneath provided a great footing to climb up, but the rough, dry soil and loose sticks hurt as he pushed against them. He decided to climb up as quietly as he could, so as not to disturb the tenants, but he struggled not to cry or moan as the pain grew. He eventually made it up to the balcony, but he stopped first, curious to see if he'd woken anyone up. Every few seconds he'd grow more paranoid that the tenants could hear him or that a vicious dog would come through the door, but nothing did. Casting his sandals aside he climbed into the pot, and no sooner than that had [sic] a great eagle swept by, stolen one of his sandals and flown past him towards the great pyramid.
This was awful news. Those sandals were the only thing keeping his feet together. He'd never be able to keep moving loads of goods at the docks with the dry stone, the wooden decks, and the hot rocks causing him so much pain. His mind wandered frantically, before he was interrupted by a deafening roar from the pyramid. His heart sank a mile as he realised - he knew what this meant. He hurried back to the edge of the balcony, grabbing his remaining sandal on the way and knocking the pot over in the progress. Phodopis did not sleep that night.
The next day was awful. Phodopis jumped every time someone coughed or sneezed. Every murmur and overhead conversation was clearly about him. All he could do was try to get through the day without causing a fuss. He put on his sandal and headed to the docks early, hoping to move some of the lighter goods before anyone else could. Just as he was passing the Imperial district, though, he was grabbed by the scruff and fell. Before he could catch his breath, he was dragged to the pyramid. He started to tremble and sweat as he was eventually dropped in front of the Pharaoh himself. Slowly looking up, he noticed the Pharaoh had an odd smile, and he thought for a second that he might be alright. It could happen to anyone, and he certainly didn't mean for it to happen. Surely he would...
Phodopis's limp corpse was dragged from the throne room by the heels as his blood still spilled onto the beautiful mosaic floor. The Pharaoh limped back to the throne, wiping a small splatter of blood off his staff, and chuckled.