Egypt 5091 BC
“What! I don’t believe this!”
Examining the stone wall, Osiris skimmed the recent embellishments from the ruler of her home land. Fictitious battles offering peace and prosperity with warring tribes were mere wishful thinking. Since the man couldn’t form a single thought in his head. The royal court assisted in more ways than one. She wondered if his children in fact were legitimate heirs to the throne or a byproduct of his ever faithful Council.
Looking down, another section of his recorded deeds displayed a beautiful lifelike image of the Nile in its magnificent splendor. Mighty ships with silk sails laden with imports of exotic wood, spices, oils, and wine were one of many accomplishments from his personal life that filled in the remaining space.
Shifting sideways she tilted forward from the waist. Her jaw tightened with fury. The gory image of pharaoh holding aloft her decapitated head and stomping her lifeless body on the floor made her seethe with anger.
Conceited ass! And upon his death, a golden sarcophagus would rest in the middle of this chamber to remind one and all of how powerful a leader he had become. Godlike in appearance, in fact, he was a weed of a man with ugly, elongated features.
Turning her back in disgust, she covered her mouth with both hands to keep from screaming with resentment. How dare he? Publically naming her a coward, enemy of the state, hiding behind a long dead deity― At least she spoke the truth even after changing sides.
Believing in an afterlife—what fools. She’d died and where had that got her—Trapped and hunted like a filthy slave. As a BloodSeeker, she deserved worshipping and subservience from the pathetic Breeds of her world, including the diseased humans. The notion of imprisonment for a worldwide killing spree was infuriating!
“I’ve got to get out of here before they find me!” Searching for the tiniest shimmer, ripple, or scent of magic, she stood quietly in the middle of the chamber concentrating.
I can’t detect anything.
Lowering her body in a slow spin, arms outstretched, the pulsating runes appeared before her eyes.
There you are! Trust the bastards to cheat and lock me in with magic!
Cursing, she couldn’t believe the outcome of her battle plans. With her legion of guards now dead and magic nearly depleted, she was left with little alternatives. No way of replenishing either she fled the battlefield, hoping to hide and return to fight another day. The only way she could escape now was by blasting a man size hole in a wall.
Not one of her better plans.
Especially since explosives would bring the whole pyramid down on top of her.
Focused, she calculated the distance between the floor and ceiling. Grunting with pain, she defied gravity by launching herself up to the safety of the dark room. Latching hold of the wall with fingers and toes— she scampered up the wall and crawled across the ceiling. There she would wait.
Where one hunter lurked, more would follow.
Siaak left the queen’s chamber and stood inside the doorway of Pharaoh’s final resting place. His eyes fully adjusted allowing him to see within the inky black of the inner catacombs. Taking one step inside, he stopped abruptly―Nose twitching at the foul stench in the air, the smell of decaying blood made his stomach lurch. Don’t be sick now, he kept saying over and over in his mind.
Searching the room he found it empty. The scent told him he was on the right track.
I know you are here.
Keeping his guard up, he immediately looked up. A gotcha-look spread across his face the second their eyes locked.
SHE IS HERE!
“Release my sister! I have bested you, Osiris.” Tossing his full length, sand, scarred cloak over one shoulder, Siaak stepped back in line with the door, barricading it with the bulk of his body, reducing her chances of escape. She would have to go straight through him to break free.
“Brother dear, when will you learn that she is long dead. And my brethren will be free once more. I shall have the satisfaction of hunting you down. But first, I think a refreshing drink is most acceptable–in honor of your death, of course.”
Her sarcasm didn’t faze him in the slightest.
Try to remember who she once was.
He didn’t believe in keeping members of turned families in the pyramids, maybe one day they would find a cure to bring them back.
One day I will find a cure!
Reaching up with both hands, he lowered the white cowl from his head. He wanted her to feel threatened as she gazed into the eyes of the Omari-Gahiji, the Highborn Hunter. His entire life was dedicated to ending her terrible reign and now this fight was their last stand.
Tossing his cloak to the floor he teleported a metal staff to hand. Twirling the weapon around his back, he slammed it against the limestone floor with a loud bang. Dragging it around his body in a wide circle, sparks bounced in every direction. Using the staff as a distraction, Siaak summoned three deadly, barbed lances and ordered them to hover behind his back.
“You know this would be easier if you came down, Osiris.” He was tired of the games she played. Tonight was the end for her.
“You want me, come and get me SandWalker!” She challenged before spitting at him.
Siaak wiped her spittle from his forehead and shoulder.
Make sure she doesn’t piss on your head.
Shut up, Myaten, I am trying to concentrate.
Ignoring Myaten’s deep laugh inside his head, he spoke the trigger word.
With a whoosh, the spears shot straight up, aimed at her heart and throat. “I will kill the evil inside you!” He vowed as she rolled across the stone ceiling barely dodging his attacks.
“You must try harder, dear brother!” She smiled tauntingly.
Watching, tracking her movements, he waited patiently. I’ve got you. Lifting his arm, he blasted her with fire making the air heat up around him.
“Insolent peasant, I will skin you alive!” She screamed, “And then I shall bathe in your blood!”
“Is that supposed to make me sick or run away screaming in terror, Osiris?”
The sound of clapping caused his lips to shift into a coy smile. Taking his eyes off his prey, he cast a quick glance across the room. There, from a hidden doorway directly behind Osiris, emerged Myaten, and Kiros. As usual they were acting like a pair of free-range idiots.
Myaten lightly tapping one hand against the other, while making a pompous face. Much like the one Osiris wore at the display of Kiros dancing backward in circles before rudely grabbing his crotch and singing the words to the song, beat it. Siaak would speak to Myaten again about filling Kiros’s head with nonsense from the future.
Using the thumbs up signal Myaten taught him, the men got into position. The sound of metal striking stone reverberated through the room, their secret code to each other.
A blinding light scorched the walls and a robed figure in black appeared in the chamber with them. Sehkem, the tall, dark, skinned SandWeaver stood silently, head bowed. Moving his hands with graceful waves, Sehkem flipped his palms out and up above his head. A loud rushing sound filled the room. All the exits were now blocked in with black, magic sand. Moving in a small circle, he bowed gracefully to each SandWalker before glancing up at the ceiling.
“The walls of my creation will stand as a testament to the end of your vile rule, BloodSeeker.” His deep somber voice echoed around the room.
Siaak wondered what Sehkem was doing when the man ran his fingertips in a caress around the magical links of his necklace, his shashaiti. Carefully removing the silver chain, his dark, almond eyes roamed around the tomb.
“My journey is almost complete.” He thrust his arms out to Siaak. “I name you Omari, to reign as master of my pyramid. Let your heart and soul guide you in this life and the next.”
Fascinated, Siaak watched as the metal links of the shashaiti collapsed into tiny piles of sparkling dust on the old SandWeaver’s leathery palm.
Sehkem lowered his face to his outstretched hand. Placing thin, dry lips near the silver dust, he took in a lungful of air and blew. The tiny grains like strands of silver lace, glided across the room.
“Don’t fight it, Siaak.” Sehkem warned, “Let my power merge with yours, you will need it.”
Relaxing his body, Siaak allowed the soft particles to gather against his skin before merging into the familiar, thick, metal chain and Sehkem’s silver obelisk. Not sure how he should feel now, Siaak bowed low and stared in dismay as the ancient SandWeaver faded out of their view.
Myaten and Kiros looked at him, disbelief written on their faces. For a SandWeaver to part with a shashaiti was unprecedented.
“Let me live, SandWalkers! You could be king among kings, with women to satisfy your manly appetites.” Her voice floated down to them, a siren song filling the room, to tease and tantalize them with dreams of treasure and power.
“Oh, no, you don’t!” Myaten aimed his phone at her. Loud music blocked the magical lyrics she used to force their compliance.
She shrieked as if in pain.
“Nightwish works a charm, shit signal though.” Myaten chuckled and put his phone back in his back pocket before high fiving Kiros.
“Hey, can we get back to work?” Siaak watched the men bow their heads while concentrating on controlling, weaving, and maintaining the spell that would transcend time.
Each man summoned a staff to hand. Slamming them into the ground, the staves glowed softly as the spell merged with the metal, giving the magic structure in order to contain it within the room.
Siaak held his palm out, fingers spread wide. White-hot light erupted from the tips of his fingers. “Make peace with your maker, Osiris!”
“Cowards, you dare attack a goddess with magic,” she screeched at them. “I curse you with my last breath.”
“Since you brought it up, Osiris,” Myaten shook his orange tic tacs at her, “Here, have the whole box. With breath like that, you need them more than I do.” He tossed the box up at her and blew a kiss.
Osiris caught the small plastic box and crushed it with one hand, ignoring Myaten’s sarcastic comment about wasting good candy as she advanced. With an ear-piercing scream, she levitated above them. Arms out, claws extended, she went for Siaak. “I will kill you all for this!”
Their spell plucked her from the air with a loud screech of denial. “NO!”
Hitting the floor face first, she screamed at them. “I can’t be killed!” Her palms slapping the floor in her struggles to escape capture. “I will return to reclaim what is rightfully mine. I have seen the future—” The venom in her vow to seek vengeance upon Siaak ended abruptly as the spell suspended her in time.
What had she seen?
He knew everything about Osiris, especially, her power of sight. If she envisioned the release of her kind, the SandWalkers were in for one hell of a battle!
“Well, as they say in the future, ‘that’s all she wrote’.” Myaten wiped his hands together, walked over to the goddess lying on the stone floor, and crouched next to her. The others joined him to view her pupils, fully dilated with fear.
Myaten shook his head in mock pity before skimming his fingertips over her left arm. “She’s already going cold.”
“Did she mean what I think she meant?” Kiros asked as he adjusted the blood-spattered, white schenti around his waist.
“I have to believe there is a possibility that she is lying, but I cannot take that chance. We have to take precautions. Two of us will guard her tomb while the other watches and waits through the upcoming years.” Siaak turned his stare on each of his companions. Which one would he chose? Myaten understood more about the future, he made the perfect candidate. Kiros would be better suited as a guard. He could defend the pyramid against looters and tomb robbers. Trained as a royal guard, Kiros had the size and skill to take down the enemy with one blow. His sorcerer’s magic would aid him.
At the sound of someone clearing their throat, Siaak looked up. “What?”
“We think you’re the right man, um, SandWalker for the job,” Myaten said as Kiros nodded in agreement.
Kiros clapped Siaak on the shoulder. “When it’s time to wake me, I want coffee and three dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts, assorted of course.”
Siaak’s confused expression fell on Myaten as Kiros made “yummy” circle motions on his flat stomach.
“It’s a long story.” Myaten flashed a cheesy smile while wiggling his dark eyebrows up and down.
“With you, Myaten, it is always a long story.” Siaak gave a long heartfelt sigh.
How will I manage without them? They are all I have left in this world.
Pushing that thought aside, he steadied himself as Myaten and Kiros handed over their clothes and weapons. Siaak helped wrap their bodies in thin strips of linen woven by the SandWeavers. The fabric, designed to keep them safe from the ravages of time, by sending them into a hibernation that would last for thousands of years, if necessary.
Finished with his tasks, Siaak sealed the tomb with magic, hoping that when he returned, it would be to awaken his brothers to celebrate victory—and find the antidote to cure his sister.