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Interview with Nefertem

[The show opens to the scene of a very beautiful woman, in perfect clothes and makeup, splayed out across a big white couch. A fluffy white poodle is napping near her feet. The studio audience applauds loudly.]

Woman: Welcome to this week's episode of Egyptian Beauty. I'm your host, Seshen. [More applause.] Please keep putting your hands together for this week's guest, the god everyone wants to go to Pharaoh's parties with, the handsome and dashing Nefertem of Memphis!

[The audience gets louder and more excited. Nefertem enters from the right side of the couch, and it's obvious that the cameramen have to adjust to the shiny light of perfection coming off the god in waves. Seshenu sits up, pats the couch next to her, and covers her eyes with a smile.]

Seshen: Ouch. Do you ever turn that off?

Nefertem: [Sinking down on to the couch with a dazzling smile] Turn what off? You're gorgeous today, you know.

Seshen: Thank you, but… you're glowing.

Nefertem: Why, thanks! I was just trying out my new scent today, "Tears of Ra," and—

Seshen: No, really. I mean you're glowing. Like we can't see.

[Nefertem looks down at his hands a moment, then gasps in dismay.]

Nefertem: Oh! You meant literally! Oh. I'm sorry. [He snaps his fingers, and the golden light dims enough for everyone to see again. Seshenu drops her hand, and the camera stops adjusting brightness. Nefertem chuckles nervously.] Sometimes I forget about that.

Seshen: How do you do that?

Nefertem: It's a gift. I help Ra make the sun rise. And sometimes, it sticks to me. I'm so used to it I don't even think about it anymore! Sorry.

Seshen: Next time we'll be sure to bring shades. What else are you up to besides sunrise? What are your projects this week? I'm sure everyone's dying to know.

Nefertem: Well, I'm still working on a perfume to fight cancer. These disease demons get trickier every year! And I've come up with the perfect birthday present for Nefertiti. Hopefully she's not watching today. [Lowers his voice to a stage whisper.] It's a hat.

[Seshen is so engrossed in staring at Nefertem's beautiful hair and face that she almost misses the chance to continue the interview. After an awkward pause, she sits up quickly, kicking the dog in the process. The dog lets out a tiny squeak and jumps into Nefertem's lap.]

Seshen: Whoops! Sorry. I was distracted.

Nefertem: That happens, too. Hello, little girl. Aren't you just the prettiest little muffin? Cute little doggie!

Seshen: A hat for Nefertiti?

Nefertem: Yes. She's such a striking beauty. That long neck and those beautiful eyelashes… the usual queen's hats don't do her any justice at all. So I spent a couple of days thinking about ways to enhance that luminous look she has without even trying! And I came up with a hat. A blue hat, in fact. The color of lapis lazuli, with some jewel tone ribbon accents.

[The screen shows a smaller screen with the drawing of Nefertiti's famous blue crown. The audience gasps then applauds, and Seshenu joins them.]

Seshen: Wow! Wow. Oh, that's stunning! She's going to LOVE it! What a departure from royal headgear. I think you've started a trend!

Nefertem: I hope she likes it. I've given it all of my creative and beauty powers. The way I see it, the world will think of her as the most beautiful woman in Egypt forever! And all because of that hat.

Seshen: Well, it's a beautiful hat for a beautiful lady. I hope she likes it, too. Anybody whose name means "the beautiful one has come" ought to adore a high fashion hat like that! And of course she has the looks to get away with wearing it.

Nefertem: I hope her husband likes it, too.

Seshen: Well, you know Akhenaten. He's hard to please. [Audience laughs, somewhat nervously] But I'm sure that you can charm even him.

Nefertem: [Frowns. and the light in the room dims somewhat] We're not allowed in his city anymore, you know. Only the Aten can visit. The rest of us gods have to stay out.

Seshen: Really? That's terrible.

Nefertem: So I've arranged for the hat to be delivered from one of my servants in secret. It'll be a surprise gift. She won't ever know it came from me.

Seshen: And neither will Akhenaten, so you should get away with it! Very clever.

Nefertem: Mm-hmm. Sometimes I can be. [Looks down at the dog with concern for a moment.] Hey, did you know your dog has fleas?

Seshen: [Leaps off the couch in terror.] Fleas? What? Where? Oh no. No no, no fleas in my studio! In my couch! Aaaah!

Nefertem: I have a spray that works great, and it even smells good. It's made from water lilies and just a hint of thyme. Don't worry. We'll get your little muffin cleaned up right away.

Seshen: Thank you! Thank you so much. Nefertem, I can't thank you enough for being our guest today.

Nefertem: (smiling) It was my pleasure. Now let's see about that flea spray.

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