Author: Oishii Hanashi PM
Malinda went through the strokes of life as a teenager should. She never shared how the sands of Egypt had been at her door, from parents who adored mythology to the mystery of their passing. Yet again the stories of the past revisit her with a god requesting help to recover what he has lost. As the sands of Egypt sweep her away, she will witness the truth behind Egyptian "myths".Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Drama - Chapters: 18 - Words: 112,416 - Reviews: 102 - Favs: 60 - Follows: 61 - Updated: 01-26-13 - Published: 11-17-10 - id: 6484123
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Chapter 14: Railroad Hijinks
It didn't sink in that she was talking about me. Instead, my mind wandered trying to figure out who the Eye of Anubis could be. I had never heard of it used for Anubis; only Horus and Ra. Then the idea came to me why the cat goddess' eyes seemed to glow.
"Are…" I croaked which brought a fit of ripping coughs. They waited until I was done and could continue. "…are you the Eye of Ra?"
She smirked, the only confirmation she would give me. I turned then to the man, the golden ring appearing above his head before I looked directly to him.
"And you are Ra?"
He nodded, "I am the Sun God Ra, past King of Egypt."
My heart pounded from my nerves making mockery of the terror I experienced in the past hours. I didn't know how I should react. Do I dare bow? Or what was it right for me to do? I thought I should at least lower my head instead of staring mouth agape at him. It was a bad idea. I moved my head too quickly, and it sent the floor rising up to meet me.
"Watch it!" I heard the goddess shout and I felt a sharp grip around my shoulders. The ground fell away, and I saw the high darkness of the duat. The faces of the gods looked down at me, but if they felt any emotion they didn't show it.
"Bastet, I would like you to treat her and return her to Anubis. After that, return to me," Ra commanded. When he said Anubis' name, I heard a low growl coming from her chest. She didn't protest, though. She merely bowed her head in compliance. Ra left my field of vision. Then I was lifted by Bastet.
She didn't say anything while she held me, but I felt terrified. Sometimes I could brush off that Anubis, Horus, or the others were gods. Bastet I couldn't pretend was human, with her cat eyes, clawed hands, and cat ears poking through her calico hair. And I was in her arms, completely at her mercy.
She took me to a canopy in the center of the boat. She laid me down on the colorful pillows that blanketed the entire area. I was becoming more aware of how weak I was. I couldn't lift my head to look around. My whole body, especially the parts of my skin that were exposed, felt like they've been grated with a cheese grater. I didn't feel like I was breathing. It was more of a rhythm of suffocating and swallowing a mouthful of air. I couldn't remember when I had last slept. My eyes felt heavy but I knew I couldn't pass out now. Not with an unfamiliar goddess for my company.
She was kneeled next to me surveying every inch of my body with cruel indifference. She placed her hand firmly over my chest, and I felt that it wouldn't rise again with her pressure. "Don't move," she commanded. Despite my instinct to struggle, I tried to do as she said, shaking with the struggle to keep from coughing. I saw her lips move in silence. They were what I focused on as I felt my body start to change to her command. It was a sensation so strange. Not painful but uncomfortable. I could feel the torn tissues in my lungs weave themselves back together. A feeling of a thousand bugs crawling up my skin replaced the pain. The bones in my fingers I had broken a week before lost their sensitivity. There was even the sensation of someone in the back of my head holding my eyes steadier and clearing my eyesight. All this lapsed together in a span of seconds before it passed.
As soon as Bastet finished, she rose and left me behind with no care. I lifted myself up to my elbows to see her leaning against the boat's edge. We didn't seem to be moving yet from what I could tell. I felt over my arms, my throat… everything was like normal. The past hours were completely erased from my body leaving me healthy and I couldn't understand why it felt so foreign. Perhaps it was the unnatural healing that made me feel like the wrong skin. Or that some things were left broken.
I stood, noting that I was able to keep a steady balance again. I left the canopy and hesitantly stood behind Bastet. I saw her ear twitch when I got closer recognizing my approach. I stared at the lion-like hand adorned with golden bracelets gripping its claws on the boat's edge.
"You were the one that grabbed me…"
"I didn't expect a human to come out of the belly of Apep. You are lucky to be alive." She turned and sat on the ledge, her body facing me bit her head turned to look to the boat's bow. "I wish the sun would rise already. I'm tired of this dark place."
"What did you mean… by the Eye of Anubis?"
She examined me from the corner of her eye, and I could feel a pulse in the aura that emitted from that stare. "You are his eyes; it's that simple. You see the things he desires to see himself. There's not much more to it." She looked away again, and I followed her gaze to see Ra standing with his back to us from the front of the boat. All I could see of him was his long plait of black hair and the glowing circle above him turning more defined. As I looked at him, Bastet said, "You're stench is making my stomach turn."
"Sorry," I replied crossly. "There aren't many showers in the duat."
"Che," she sneered. She crossed her arms never looking at me.
The boat rocked slightly as it began to move once more. I watched as the boat floated above the enormous staircase I had stood at the base of with the sphinxes. I couldn't remember much of what happened there, or what I saw. There were only two things that stuck in my head. Once again I heard the word "prophecy" and that was when I saw Nephthys. I couldn't say how I knew it was her, but what I did know was that I've already met her.
We approached the top of the staircase and as we did, a red light grew brighter in the distance. I had forgotten how cold I was until the light was shining on me. It was rejuvenating, in a different way than Bastet's spell had been. As I closed my eyes to enjoy the light's rays, an odd feeling started to creep on me. It started from my heart and spread through all my limbs. It was a discomfort that urged me to move. I could see the front of the boat where Ra stood another light shining.
I ran to the boat's bow with no regard for Bastet's shouts behind me. I couldn't restrain myself at all, so I ran until I was beside Ra at the boat's edge. Leaning forward, I saw the faint green glow through closed eyes at the distance ahead. I gasped. I had been so concerned over my own life I had all but forgotten my original quest. I had not expected I would see a jar so soon.
Then a blinding light filled my vision. Even when I covered my eyes, I couldn't block it. It shined for only a moment and it was gone again. I opened my eyes, but I couldn't see anything but an orange spot that covered everything. I waited for it to fade, but then remembered what I had just seen. I took the handkerchief tied around my neck and tied it over my eyes. I could "see" over the boat's edge the dry landscape of Australia I had just left. The shadows stretched with the light of the sunrise that was devoid of any color in my eyes.
"What was that…?" I asked. I turned to Ra and almost fell over in shock. Standing where Ra had been was someone else entirely. He was tall with dark black hair like Ra, but it was messier than his had been. Although he still looked like he was dressed for an Egyptian exhibit, the clothes were a different style that looked more casual. He wore a shining pendant of a beetle around his neck. Most noticeable was the bemused smile on his face that contrasted so much with the severe formality Ra had.
"Oh, hello," the stranger said. "And who are you?"
"Ra has ordered me to bring this human back to the god she belongs to," Bastet said from behind. "We will be leaving now."
"Is that so? It's a shame I won't be spending the morning with you, Bastet," the stranger replied cheerily. Bastet made a grunting sort of sound as a reply. She quickly pulled my hand and dragged me away. Behind us the man waved saying, "Bye now!"
"Who was that? What happened to Ra?" I asked.
"Ra will return at midday. That was Khepri, the god of the dawning sun."
"The dawning sun? Oh…" I said. I remembered vaguely from my father that Ra had three aspects of himself. Three different names for three times of the day. I had thought it was strange to call Ra by different names just because of the time of day. Now I understood why.
Hesitantly, I asked, "Do you… umm, not like Khepri?"
Bastet shrugged, "I don't care for morning people. Here. We're jumping off."
Without pause Bastet swung off the boat's edge pulling me with her. I didn't even have time to panic, but our fall was short and we both landed easily on our feet. Bastet took a moment to examine our surroundings before stopping at the sight of the river.
"He should be on the other side. Come on, human."
"Wait!" I shouted. She didn't turn to look at me but she stopped in her steps. "I can't go yet. I can see a jar over there and I –"
"You think I don't know why you have that blindfold on," Bastet said as she turned to sneer at me. "I don't care. I try not to get involved in other god's family problems. It'll still be there when you are back with the mutt. Just come with me so I can return to Ra."
I wanted to argue, but she was already walking away from me. I swallowed my anger and followed after her. The sun was hot, and I noticed the boat we had only just come off of was nowhere to be seen. If it was the morning sun as the stories said, then I guessed it was the sun shining at our backs as impossible as that may be.
I dragged my feet after Bastet, but noticed my vision fading. I didn't feel like I would pass out, but my heart skipped away in panic. I looked around and noticed the green light was fading as well. With dread, I realized what it meant.
"Bastet! The jar is moving away! Fast!"
"I still don't care!" she replied with a dismissive wave.
I stood still thinking of what I could do. All the while the jar moved further away and I had to remove my handkerchief to see. I looked ahead at the river I had been on with Anubis the evening before. It looked peaceful. I was sad to turn away from it.
I took a right and started running as fast as I could. The dirt below my feet was bumpy and rough. I bit back the pain of my bare feet hitting the ground's ragged edges as I kept moving forward.
"Hey! Where are you going?" I heard Bastet call behind me. I didn't stop but continued running. I pushed forward through my gasping breath and the stitch in my side. Even as I ran, I could tell the jar was only getting further away. Then a giant animal leaped over me from behind and landed in my path. I skid to a stop at the sight of the enormous lioness that blocked me, cutting my heel doing so. It was much taller than me, and growled with menacing eyes. I knew from the slight glow to the eyes that this was the same goddess I had tried to ditch.
"I will not stop chasing after Anubis' heart!" I cried at the creature. "If you are the Eye of Ra, you should understand this much! Don't stand in my way!"
The lioness didn't move, but she wasn't growling either. I stood panting, hoping that I hadn't just made a horrible mistake. The dirt below her erupted and from the clouds ofdust the goddess walked towards me.
"You won't be able to catch a train on foot, little girl."
"That's the only thing moving that way." She sighed, and I heard her mumble something like, 'I can't believe I'm doing this.'
"I'll get you on the train. The rest you have to figure out yourself. Alright?"
"Good." The goddess turned around and once again I was standing before the giant lioness. She laid down and turned back to look at me.
"…You want me to climb on your back?" I asked. The lioness nodded. "Okay. Just… don't turn into a frisbee or something."
The goddess blinked, but otherwise she didn't react to my comment. I had to use the lioness' leg to climb on her back as I wouldn't be able to reach her back any other way; she was that huge. I tried to be gentle, but I couldn't pull myself up any other way than to dig my fingers in her fur for leverage. I managed to get on her back and pull myself close to her head. Then she took off.
Gods really need to consider things like saddles, or seat belts. Maybe harnesses. The ride on Bastet's back was equally as terrifying as riding on Horus the Elder's sun disk. I constantly felt like I was sliding off or would be thrown off by how much I bounced on her back. All I could do was grasp her short fur and hope that would be enough.
Ahead, train tracks curved into our path. Bastet ran over them and followed the tracks that straightened out to our left. It was a few more minutes of holding on before I saw the sun's light reflect against the train's metal exterior in the distance. We got closer, and as we did I could see the green glow of the canopic jar draw closer. The train had a modern exterior and was only seven cars long with windows along the sides. Well, except for the last two cars, it looked like the train was for passenger. The jar was in the second to last car, but Bastet ran past it.
"How are we going to get on?" I shouted. I could barely hear myself yell over the sound of the train and the wind beating into my ears. Of course, Bastet didn't reply but slowly pulled further away from the train as she ran. We reached the front car when Bastet made her move. She sharply took a left turn and I nearly slid off her back. I didn't have time to scream as she ran straight into the train.
It was an odd sensation, and not the sensation of colliding with a giant object like I was expecting. One moment I was strewn and an animal's back and the next I'm sitting upright in a cushioned chair. The sudden change of scenery made my head spin. I had to adjust to the open sky becoming ceilinged and being enclosed in a narrow space. In front of me I could see the tacky design of the chair covering repeated in rows of seats. Down a middle isle, a woman with short, curly hair approached me smiling while carrying tongs and a tray of rolled up towels.
"Umm, sure…" She handed me a steamy towel with the tongs and continued asking the same question to those sitting behind me. I looked at how dark my filthy hands looked against the white towel, knowing it was only the power of Ma'at that kept her from asking how a filthy girl got into the first class car. I felt something soft tap at my arm and saw a small cat with a spotted bronze coat sitting in the seat next to me. The cat's tail flicked as it watched the stewards walking down the aisles.
I wiped all the grime from my face with the towel. I stared transfixed at the towel that's white surface was ruined. Its surface was now covered with dirt, black specs of sand, and rusted flakes of dried blood. I felt like I was sinking in a horror refreshed. I could still feel the grains of black sand in every crease of my body. It was like I never left, and I wondered if I would ever escape the duat.
"Oi. We're not here to indulge ourselves." I resurfaced to Bastet's golden eyes boring into mine. I had to remind myself why I was on a train in the first place.
"Yeah, just a sec." I pulled my blindfold on again and immersed myself into the black and white world. "The green glow is in the back cars."
"Green?" Bastet barked (or perhaps it should be hissed).
"Yeah. Anubis' heart always glows green."
Her eyes narrowed at me. "You're lying."
I replied, startled, "No I'm not. What does it matter what color it is?"
"It matters greatly. And that evil dog could never have a heart that's power is green in color. It must because you're human. A human shouldn't be the eye of a god."
"Are you always this pleasant to be around?" I asked sarcastically. I quickly regretted it when Bastet whipped around with a growl and destroyed the cushion of my head rest. She glared at me for a few moments while I held my breath. Then she disappeared. A small spotted cat jumped from the seat and ran to the back of the car. I gave myself a chance to pace my breathing again before standing to follow. Although the cut on my foot stung to walk on, I passed it off in my mind. There was worse pain.
I followed Bastet, going down the cars without as much as a glance from the other passengers. It was very ordinary the sound of business men typing on laptops and mothers distracting their children. They didn't feel real, so I ignored them as well. I could tell we were close. I reached for the door to next car, but a man with a buzz cut and beefy blocked me with his arm.
"Sorry, miss, but no passengers are allowed in the –"
He couldn't finish his sentence as Bastet appeared before him. She pushed him against the wall, holding his head back with only her thumb to his forehead. "You will create a distraction for us so we can enter the next car," she purred to him.
The man blinked and all emotion faded from his face. He opened a door to a number key pad I hadn't noticed and started punching some numbers.
I was unnerved by what had just happened and asked, "How did you do that?"
Bastet blinked benignly. "I always get what I want."
The door opened and the man led the way through the small space between the cars. "Why is he coming?"
"I can hear humans talking in the next car. Just keep low and be quiet." At Bastet's words I tensed myself as I followed the two.
The place we entered was not an area for passengers like the ones we had passed before. As soon as we entered we were faced with crates stacked on top of crates. The only light that came in glowed from the cracks between the boxes. The man we followed pointed us to take the path to the right while he turned left. We crept down the path until Bastet stopped at a small space ahead. Through the small crack I could see the source of light; a lamp on a table a group of men sat around.
"Sir," said the man we had followed before, "there is someone in the other car that refuses to leave unless allowed entry. How would you like to deal with this?"
The car was silent until finally one of the men spoke, "Tell them that if they continue to press this issue, they will be escorted off the train at the next stop. Try to imply that the next stop may not be at a station, if you would."
"Yes, sir." The man left the gathering and continued back to the door he had come in. From the sound of the door sliding open and the wind that whistled until it closed, I understood why we couldn't have sneaked in had we been alone.
I tried to peak around the cracks to see what these men looked like. I could see the backs of two who dressed in Arab robes and had curly black hair peaking from their… whatever you call those hats. There were three other men, one standing and the other two sitting. I could not see two of them, but the one that spoke was in my view. I knew he was Australian from his accent. He wore a deep colored button up shirt, and he had his black hair gelled into spikes.
He smiled at the Arab looking men and said, "Now that that is taken care of, how about instead of selling these two items separately, we pair them together and…" After the man started speaking for a while, it became hard to listen. The man standing next him began to speak at the same time, repeating everything he had just said with slight variation. The only reason I could come up with was that he was interpreting, but I could still understand whatever language he spoke.
I heard Bastet growl next to me, her eyes glaring at the men negotiating in the space ahead. "Grave robbers."
"They're grave robbers?" I whispered.
She lightly tapped the crate in front of her and said, "All these are filled with antiques from my home. There are some magic artifacts among them as well."
"You mean they're from Egypt? But I thought there were only grave robbers in the old days?"
Bastet's slitted eyes steadied on me. "Oh, no. They still exist. Much of the old tombs and temples have been buried over the millennia and homes exist on top of them. There is no stopping someone from digging beneath their own house and selling what they find." Bastet growled again and grumbled, "I won't let these thieves pillage my land."
"If these are Egyptian artifacts, then the canopic jar must be mixed with them."
"Can you see it?"
I focused on the green light over Bastet's shoulder and judged how far away it was. I replied, "It's in one of the boxes in the back."
"You get the jar and get off this car. I'll wait until you're done."
"What are you going to do?"
The goddess smirked and purred, "I'm going to take my stuff back." With that, she changed back into a cat and escape between the crates.
I moved to look for the jar but I was stopped by a hand on my shoulder. I jumped and turned to see a black, transparent figure crouched beside me. I could only see its silhouette and it was hard to judge if it was on the wall or close to me. 'Sheut' Thoth had called it; my shadow. Its presence surprised me. The shadow lifted its hand and in it was a crowbar. I couldn't fathom how a shadow could touch me or hand me objects, but I didn't think asking this would achieve much. I took the crowbar and gazed into the shadow trying to find any sort of face in the black figure.
"Anubis?" I whispered.
The shadow flickered, and again it was stretched on the wall as it should be. I watched to see if it would move without me, but it stayed steady with my own movements. I couldn't wait around, so I pushed the mystery to the back of my mind and made my way to the back of the car.
It wasn't so easy to move silently. The train was still moving full speed making it harder to keep balance. I did the best I could to slip silently through the crates without attracting the attention of the grave robbers. I edged along the wall until the crate I needed was in front of me.
The crate was one that wasn't completely boarded up but had cracks so you could easily peer inside. The whole crate was filled with an assortment of canopic jars. They had various heads of not just jackals, but also a man, monkey, and bird with pharaoh headdresses. Some were more weathered than others. There were some that were cracked in half or had a missing ear or nose. I could barely make out the position of the one I needed. I squeezed my hand in through the crack, but my hand wouldn't fit through enough to reach it.
I lifted the crowbar my own shadow had just given me. Had it known? It must have, but I couldn't see how it could. If the sheut serve Anubis, then I could guess it's because of him that my shadow would help me. For some reason, I couldn't decide if I was comforted by this or not.
I wedged the crowbar where the nails held the board together. I did this slowly, wiggling it so I could get it apart without making sound that would alert the other men. I got it looser, but then it got stuck. I tried to pull it out, applying more and more pressure. I ended up putting too much force into it. The crowbar twisted the board and ripped the nails out with a loud crack.
"Hey! Who's there?" came the shouts and the scuffle of feet. I panicked and threw my hand into the crate to only knock down half the jars, including the one I needed. They smashed loudly onto the floor. I quickly grabbed a jar that hadn't broken and shuffled through the mess I had made. I was softly whimpering as I heard the footsteps running towards me. I found amongst the broken jars a glowing piece of dark flesh. I quickly snatched the still beating heart piece and started running the opposite direction of the footsteps. As I turned a corner, I met eye to eye with the Australian in the dark shirt.
"Stop right there!"
"Don't let her get away!"
I rounded the rows of crates and turned the corner to the door. There was no one there and I didn't stop. As I got closer to the way out, the whole car rocked, nearly throwing me to the floor. My back slammed against some boxes and I steadied myself. I threw myself at the door, and was able to get into the next car as the one I just left started to shake violently.
"Hey! Where did you come from?" said the man that had led us in before. Obviously he was out of his trance, but I wasn't going to stop for him. I saw his hand go to his waist band, but he noticed the turmoil in the next car and turned his attention from me.
Car to car, I ran clutching the heart and jar to my chest getting away from the end of the train. I didn't rest until I was in the first class car I had come in. I sank into an empty seat and panted for air.
"Are you done with your towel?" The woman from before asked pleasantly. I was so bewildered I stared at her until she pointed to the seat next to me and repeated, "Your towel?" I lethargically noticed the towel I had wiped myself off with before. I picked it up, my hand now completely black from the heart's blood, and silently handed it back to her. "Thank you," she chimed sweetly and walked away without any sign of alarm.
I watched her back retreat until she was out of sight. I stared blankly until I was pulled from my lethargy by a soft pounding in my clutched hand. I opened it and stared at the pulsing organ in my hand. I was odd. Normally I am normally so squeamish I can't sit through a simple zombie movie without getting sick. Yet I was so fascinated by the heart's beating that I felt no nausea. It had no blood chambers or veins to bump blood with, yet it continued its quick pace without a care. It made me wonder what it was that kept a god alive that even their heart wouldn't notice the absence of their body.
I couldn't keep it out, though. I could only imagine what sort of contamination it already has from falling on the floor and me holding it. I took the new jar in my lap and was about to twist the head off but was caught off guard by and object thrust to me in the corner of my eye. I quickly twisted myself away to realize my sheut had returned.
And this time it was handing me a gun.
I stared at the shiny medal of the weapon and at the transparent, black figure. I didn't want to take it. I didn't like what it meant when the crowbar had been given to me when I would need it. I narrowed my eyes at the unmoving figure.
"Why should I trust you?"
The sheut lifted its hand and from it a wisp of shadow floated from it. It turned into a shadow against the seat in front of me and twisted until it spelled a message.
Because I am you.
I looked at the message, and then back at its speaker. My sheut held out the handgun inviting me to take it. Reluctantly, I took hold of the handle. As soon as I did, the sheut retreated back below me. I couldn't help but look behind me to make sure the bad feeling I had meant nothing. Be it fate, I could see the man guarding the door before stomping to my car.
In a flutter of panic, I replaced the heart piece in the canopic jar. Having nothing to conceal it in, I placed it behind me in the seat using my body to hide it. My blindfold I stuffed into my pocket. I took a magazine from the seat in front of me and draped it over my legs. I kept my hands under it, holding the hand gun as I kept it between my knees.
I flinched when I heard the whistle of the wind as the door was pulled open, but I kept my head bent over the magazine. The man's heavy footsteps went down the lane slowly until he was right next to me. I couldn't breathe and I felt the corners of my eyes burning. He took another step and continued down the lane. Then the steward who had served me the towel came into car looking very flustered.
"Sir, this area is only for first-class passengers. Could you show me your ticket?"
The man showed her something from his pocket and said, "I'm looking for a stowaway. Seen anyone come in here?"
"Not at all. If I see anything, I'll be sure to let you know."
"Much obliged," he responded curtly. He turned to leave and his eyes rested on me. In a split second he backed away and reached to his waist to his gun holster only to find it empty. At the same moment I stood from my seat letting the magazine fall. I pointed his gun at him.
The whole train car reacted. People screamed and scrambled on the floor hiding from me. A girl behind the man I pointed the gun at was curled up balling at being in the line of fire without any way to hide. The man froze, but his eyes darted around his surroundings trying to find some way out. Some way to stop him.
I was shaking horribly. I had my thumb resting on the safety yet I couldn't make myself pull it back. This man may be prepared to injure or even kill me. I had to protect myself. Yet in my mind's eye I saw thousands of feeble souls flooding over endless landscape of black sand for a meager meal of bread and water. I saw Andy smiling at me, and them lifeless as Ammit viciously closed in on him. I could feel currents of a sea of sand beating against me and the jaws of an awaiting serpent to swallow me.
I wouldn't be able to do it. Even if this man tried to kill me, I wouldn't be able to defend myself against him. At this realization, I abandoned my stance and ran away. I heard him take pursuit after me. I ran to the front of the car where I saw the steward disappear to earlier. There was a concession area to one side and a bathroom to the other. I pulled open the bathroom's door and swung it closed behind me. I clicked the lock a split second before I heard the man's body slam against the door. I yelled a stream of curses and threats while he pounded against the door.
The first thing I did was throw the gun to the ground. I hated that my sheut had given it to me. It only showed how much more powerless I really am. I hugged the canopic jar to my chest, having picked it up before running away. The space was small with only a toilet and sink. I quickly realized that I was trapped. It would only be a matter of time before the guard wrestled the door free and had me.
"Someone help me…" I mumbled through streaks of tears. "Anubis, Bastet… someone…" I backed into the corner furthest from the door. I clutched at the jar and myself as I saw from the window the landscape slowly passing by. Then I really looked at the window. It was small, but I guess I was small enough to slide through. The train looked to be steadily slowing down as well.
I clambered to the floor to find the gun I had discarded. By my head the door's wood made a cracking sound at one of the guard's slams. I shrieked, but otherwise kept away from the door. I placed the jar on the floor and held the gun by the XXXX with both hands. With all my strength I swung the gun at the window, but it bounced back. I didn't try again. It was obvious it was a synthetic glass and wouldn't be broken so easily.
I climbed onto the sink. I pulled the safety of the gun back and pointed it at the ground outside, not wanting to hit anything from shooting recklessly. "Please work," I whispered and pulled the trigger. With a loud bang, the gun fired. I wasn't ready for the recoil, my gun slamming into my shoulder. The window now had a circular hole in it. This time when I hit the gun at the window it broke. I ran the gun along the edges to get rid of any remaining edges and unceremoniously threw the gun out the window.
I grabbed the jar and took a deep breath. I went head first out and sat on the ledge with my body outside the train. I was near the end of the car with a metal bar near me. I pulled myself out more, getting to my feet as best I could. With only one hand, I didn't have many options for getting over. I gripped a beveled ledge above me to steady myself, and then threw myself at the handlebar.
I grasped it for a moment but I couldn't hold onto it with my momentum. I fell and only had time to twist myself around to protect the jar. My back slammed into the ground knocking the air out of me. I kept tumbling over hitting every bump and thorn branch on the way. I finally came to a stop on my back. I stared up at the blue sky while my body screamed in pain.
I rolled my head to stare at the retreating train. I noticed the last two cars were missing, yet when I looked in the other direction, I couldn't see where it had been left behind at. They had simply disappeared. I couldn't bring myself to care about the train or where I was. I closed my eyes and silently looked at the gray and white sky.
Something hit against my head. I turned around to see it was a foot, its owner standing over me. Her gold cat eyes watched me like I was a mouse she couldn't muster the appetite to kill.
"Get what you need?"
I lifted one of my arms to reveal the canopic jar as a reply.
"Alright. Get up. We're done here."
I obliged, albeit without some difficulty. My back and shoulders were screaming at me, and the weight of standing made it feel worse. I hobbled over to Bastet, happy to have her call the shots.
Her lipped curled and she turned away from me. It took her a moment to come up with a new course of action. "Dammit, I guess there's no other way. Come here. I know an easier way to travel." She stood directly in front of me and, like the mad guarding the door on the train, she rested a thumb over my forehead and her other hand on my shoulder. "This will feel strange, but stay still."
The moment she finished saying this, my entire vision filled with a blinding light. I felt pressure that pressed at me from all sides. I endured this for a moment and then the light faded away. I looked around at what had been a barren landscape. I was now standing in the middle of a town bustling with life. Cars drove by and people walked the streets past us. The sky was no longer blue but the bright colors of pinks and purples. The street lights above shined onto us.
"Is it… evening?" I asked.
Bastet replied, "I said it would be easier, not faster."
She walked down the street and I followed. She guided us to a hotel not far from where we… teleported or whatever just happened. The place was a decent size. Inside was a large lobby area and a long service desk made of a fine polished wood. Bastet talked with them to get us a room, but I hung back to wait. My mind was sluggish. I couldn't decide if it was because of all that happened or because I hadn't slept since gods know when. I didn't really care which it was. I just wanted the day to end.
Bastet came back with a card in hand and we went to the elevator. She pressed for the top floor and the doors slowly slid shut. After everything that had happened I would think I could easily get through an elevator ride. But my luck didn't work like that. My body turned a hundred degrees hotter. My vision tunneled out until I couldn't see anymore. I couldn't feel where I was anymore. All I was aware of was the voice the vibrated through my entire conscious.
I will be Tomorrow and – will be – called Dua
The Wind's lyric – free – the petals
The Petals will survive the Drought, the Seed to join – deceived
So that the Jackel will no longer be deaf to the Wind's words
In the end, neither Seed nor Drought will plague the Jackal
will whither –
"Hey! Don't give out on me now!" came a sharp voice, different from the one I just heard. My vision started to come back to me. I was surprised to be on the floor of the elevator. The door was open waiting for us to depart. Bastet was crouched next to me, grasping at my shoulders. She didn't have an expression with any sort of concern, but at least she didn't look annoyed at me either.
"Can you stand?"
"Yeah… I'm fine." I got pack on my feet and followed her out. Our room wasn't far. She swiped her card and opened the door to a large space. Of course it was a suite. The room we entered was a living area with sofas and a large TV, a bedroom connected around the corner. Bastet was already inspecting the place, but I didn't bother to look around and crashed on the sofa.
"This place will work, I suppose. You should take a bath. You reek worse than you did in the duat."
I ignored Bastet. All I wanted her to do was shut up and leave me alone. I curled on the sofa with the canopic jar cradled to my chest. Although I couldn't close my eyes without seeing it glowing, the anxiety I normally felt was gone with my prize at hand. I relaxed my soar body and quickly drifted to sleep.
Author's Notes: At the end of this chapter you finally get the second part of Sef and Dua's prophecy. In chapter 11 (12 according to FF), we heard Sef's words the day before Nakia met Sef and Dua. Now that it's the next day, we hear Dua's words. Yesterday and Tomorrow. Fun isn't it? So this is how you put them together. Each line will alternate between them, so the order will be Sef, Dua, Sef, Dua, ect. Put them together this way and you will have the original words as they were spoken. Hooray for audience participation! And yes, I suck at writing poems...