Prologue – The first drips of sand in an hour glass

A small boy hid in his room as he heard the other children running about the place, all lost in their happy little worlds. He clutched his meagre box of possessions left to him by his grandfather.

He placed the box before him, and looked at its contents sifting through what was there.

This was all he owned now.

Until the age of 15 Yugi Mutou had lived with his grandpa, both of his parents had died when he was an infant. Of course he had mourned their loss, but he had lost them when he wasn't even a full year old.

Grandpa was different.

His grandpa had raised him, loved him, and cared for him throughout all of his life. Despite his caring nature, Yugi was an introverted and shy character, devoted to his studies.

His appearance was less than normal. Gravity defying tricoloured hair that formed into five, star-like points, it was mainly a rich ebony colour, with each tip being painted a beautiful amethyst. Wide innocent eyes, the same amethyst colour as his hair, were set in a porcelain face.

He had a small stature, only just reaching 5 feet without counting his hair, which added about three to four inches on its own. Both his physical appearance and personality combined had made him an easy a target for bullies, other kids his own age had avoided him like the plague, hoping not to gain the attention of his tormentors.

As such, his grandfather had not only been his guardian, but his protector and only friend... He hadn't even been cold in the soil by the time the social workers had come and taken Yugi to his "new home."

They weren't cruel, those who ran the orphanage, but they were none to gentle either. They were not compassionate people, and believed in strict rules and even stricter punishments. Yugi had spent many nights trying to ignore the hunger in his stomach from having been sent to bed without food for breaking one of their many rules. After leading a very independent life, helping to run his grandfathers shop and earn their livelihood, this new confinement was suffocating. And Yugi was miserable.

He had been allowed to keep very few of his possessions from his grandfather's shop, most had been repossessed to pay for debts and others had been passed off as per his Grandfathers will. The box contained all that he had salvaged from the beautiful and cosy game shop... all that he had left.

Leaning down, he picked up the small bundle of loose papers and books, some new, and some as old at the pyramids themselves. Through his Grandpa's books and papers, Yugi had devoted himself to extending his already vast knowledge of the ancient land. He escaped within his grandfather's legacy and collected knowledge, trying to starve of the reality of him no longer being there, of poor Yugi being alone.

Placing aside the books and paper he withdrew a sizable pile of newer and neater bound books: textbooks.

When Egypt's ancient past could not hold his attention he turned to his second love, learning distant languages from these books. He was a skilful linguist and already fluently spoke five languages not including his own native tongue of Japanese.

Yugi smiled to himself as he remembered how he had first even begun his unusual hobby, picking up one of the older and more tattered text books and hugging it to his chest. It read in English and Ancient Egyptian "Egyptian Hieroglyphics: learn to read the language of the pyramids."

Yugi, wanting to know more about his grandfathers past as an archaeologist, had developed a taste for Ancient Egypt and his Grandpa had presented this to him on his tenth birthday. The only copy he could find. Knowing Yugi was learning English at school he had thought it would encourage him in not only his passion but also his studies.

Yugi had taken learning the language like a duck to water. And in the short span of a year he could read and write in both English and Ancient Egyptian, this was as well as his own Japanese. Thrilled with his grandson's success he had gone on to teach him the modern language of Egypt (Egyptian Arabic) and naturally the root dialect of Arabic. Finally Yugi had learnt Afrikaans on his own, simply in fascination of the African continent, and also due to his wish to follow in his grandfathers footsteps to become an archaeologist.

Placing aside the books, Yugi looked at the only two personal items he had kept. Leaning down he withdrew one that brought tears to his eyes: his grandfather's, and now his, duel deck.

The owners of a game shop, he and his Grandpa had played for hours with the cards, together they had built this deck, he had never played with anyone else but the two of them had spent hours upon days building the deck, to make it perfect. Within it was his Grandpa's heart and soul. It was the only part that was left of him.

Placing it reverentially in his lap (not quite able to part contact with the deck) Yugi picked up the final object in the box, and the reason for his foray into his meagre possessions in the first place, the nearly completed millennium puzzle.

He had had to finish it in secret, the other kids constantly teased him about the puzzle and the owner of the orphanage had deemed it an "utter waste of time." But he couldn't stop, he had told his Grandpa that he would finish it and, there to see it or not, he would still keep his promise.

And tonight he would fulfil it.

He had been frustrated at dinner, having almost finished it during the day, but it was over now and no-one would be in to check on him for some time. Yugi smiled to himself as he raised a piece, twisting and turning it to see how it might fit. Slowly and carefully he eventually slipped the last piece into place.

He had done it!

Joy bubbled to the surface in his heart, and he wished to himself that his grandfather could see him now, could see that he had completed what no one had managed to do for – as the legend went – thousands of years.

A bright glow began to emit from the puzzle, apprehensively, Yugi began to place his possessions back in his box, starting with his grandfather's papers. Fearing that his foster mother would see the light and come to investigate.

But he never made it to the box as the light enveloped him so bright that he could no longer see the hand in front of his face. When it finally receded he found himself, not in his room within his foster parents house but sitting in the baking sun in the middle of a desert.

A/N: I hope you all enjoyed the first installment of The Sands of Egypt please review and tell me what you think...