Jill, Chapter Eleven – “Alive”

“Doctor! She’s coming around.”

“Good. Stay with us, young lady, you still have a lot of life left in you.”

“Jill? Oh God, Jill! I don’t understand, will she be okay?”

“We’ve done all we can for her, Miss Honor. I’m afraid its up to her now. She’s slipped into a coma. Stay by her side and let her know that you are there. It may help.”

“You take all the time you need, baby. I’ll be here when you wake up.”

A soft pressure, a squeeze. Synapses firing, muscle memories engaging…a movement in return. 

“Yes! I’m here, Jill. I know you’re in there somewhere. Please, come to my voice. Find your way home, baby.”

A sudden breeze came rushing through the hospital room where Jill Honor lay. She had been in a comatose state for nearly five weeks. Her mother never left her side. As the breeze came rushing through, Alyssa Honor shivered and stood to pull the covers up on her daughter’s bed. Though her daughter wasn’t really able to feel the changes in temperature, she couldn’t help her maternal instinct.

The breeze danced around Jill Honor’s bed, rustling her hair. What Alyssa did not know, was that the wind had been whispering to her daughter.

…The greatest and most selfless sacrifice…

She simply pulled the covers up higher on her daughter’s prone body and sat back in her hard plastic chair.

* * *

My eyes fluttered open. My eyelids felt heavier than they had felt in a long time. I had been having the strangest dream. I was in a tomb and there was magic, and two French people, a mummy and a Goddess. As I opened my eyes a little wider, I was suddenly struck with how bright the room was. It made my eyeballs ache. I groaned a little.

“Jill! Oh my God,” I heard my mother’s voice.

Why did it feel like it had been so long since I had seen or heard or touched her? Her hand was on my face and I could smell her skin cream. Her touch was soft, gentle. She rose suddenly and I could hear her voice carrying down the hallway.

“Doctor! She’s awake! My daughter is awake!”

I heard some voices shouting, but I couldn’t hear what they were saying. My head was swimming and my muscles felt like jelly. What was going on? Where was I? Footsteps clacking on hard linoleum drew my attention. Suddenly an older man came swimming into my vision. He poked me and prodded me with his cold hands.

“Miss Honor? Miss Honor can you speak?”

“Yes,” I muttered hoarsely.

My throat felt suddenly dry and scratchy, as though I hadn’t had anything to drink in a long time.

“Do you know where you are, Miss Honor?”

“No….”

“You’re in a hospital in Cairo.”

“Cairo?” I asked.

How had I gotten all the way to Cairo?

“Can you follow my finger with your eyes, Miss Honor?”

He held his finger in front of my face. He moved it up and down and side to side, my eyes following every movement he made. He went on to ask me about the year and world leaders and what celebrities were big at the moment. I answered every question to the best of my ability, but he didn’t ever give me any indication if I had answered the questions correctly or not.

“What is your name?”

“Jill Pole Honor, my mother is Alyssa Honor and my Grandfather is Jacob Honor. I’m from Neverglade.”

The Doctor nodded and brought his hand to his mouth. He tapped his index finger against his cheek as though he was in deep thought.

“What is the last thing you remember before now?”

I sighed and tried to reach back into my mind. It was all so fuzzy, like watching a TV channel with nothing but snow on the screen. I had gone to Egypt for a reason, it was my second trip since the one I had taken as a teenager. I just couldn’t remember why. I raised my eyes to his and shook my head.

“…I just can’t remember.”

* * *

Selective retrograde amnesia…that’s what they told my mother I have. I can remember who I am and what my life was like…but I can’t remember hardly a thing after I moved out of my mother’s house. I had to go to Egypt…for something. There was some vital emergency…but what was it?

After the Doctor left my mother sat back down at my bedside. She stared at me for a moment, her face was passive but her eyes were conflicted. They were filled with sadness, anger, worry, confusion…a whole litany of emotions. Finally, she closed her eyes and sighed.

“I know that you don’t remember why you’re in Egypt. I know that you don’t know what happened…but do you realize how long it has been since you’ve told me you were okay?”

“No,” I whispered.

“The last time I saw you was the day you moved out. I went over to your new house after two days…I couldn’t wait any longer for you to call me. You were gone. It was as though you had just vanished. I filed reports with missing persons…I called every single person that you ever met in school. We went on county-wide man hunts and search parties trying to find you. I called every hospital I could find in the phone book…after a while I started to call morgues. The police discovered a paper trail, that you had gone to Egypt and then to China. They were out of their jurisdiction and it took weeks of convincing to get the government involved.”

“Mom…I…” I trailed off.

“Including your time in this hospital…six months, Jill. Six months of my life has been spent worrying and crying and agonizing over what happened to you. God above, Jill…I love you, but I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to forgive you for this.”

I felt tears spring to my eyes. I had always been flighty, always been lost in the clouds but I didn’t think I was capable of disappearing for months at a time. Why would I ever hurt my mother so bad? I had to have had a good reason, but…what? What was it?

“Mom…if I knew why I would tell you in a heart beat. I had to have had a reason…something had to have spurred me to leave like that,” the tears in my eyes spilled over on to my cheeks as I blinked and sniffled, “I wish I knew…I’m so sorry, Mommy. I’m so sorry.”

She reached across and took my hand in hers. She brought it to her mouth and kissed it before holding it against her cheek. I could feel tears falling from her eyes and hit my hand.

“I know, honey…I’m sorry too. I shouldn’t have said that. I’m just scared. You’re so far from home and been gone so long…my mind just fills with all of the worst possibilities. The fact that I found you in a hospital in a coma…and now no memory just adds fuel to the fire.”

“How did you find me?”

She dropped my hand and bent down to pick up her purse. She held it in her lap and rifled through it. A moment later she pulled out a makeshift envelope with her name on it. I unfolded it and saw a note in my writing. It was a letter of apology to her. She motioned for me to flip it over. On the back of it was an advertisement looking for adventures in Al Simhara.

“You sent that to me, I don’t know when. I hopped a plane and was able to find out from the local authorities that you were here. They said they found you in a tomb with another man. He was a Frenchman, deceased when they found him.”

“How did they find the tomb?”

“The Frenchman’s daughter. She ran for help.”

“Why am I in the hospital…why was I in a coma?”

“The doctors said you had some sort of traumatic brain injury. That was the only explanation they could offer. You had no physical signs of any injuries…they said it was like your brain had just shut down.”

“That doesn’t make any sense!”

“I know. I was hoping you would know when you woke up…that you’d be able to explain it to us. Maybe one day it will come back to you. Try to get some sleep now, the Doctor wants you to rest. I’ll be right here when you wake up.”

I nodded and realized how heavy my eyelids felt. I nestled down underneath the covers and fell asleep.

* * *

I am Prince Ramses Amun…

You are bound to me.

I love you, Ramses.

I will carry the burden of my broken heart gladly in exchange for his soul to be at peace. Please, just do it. Take my life, or take my heart. Anything of mine shall be yours in exchange for him.

I woke up gasping for air. I cried out and found myself sitting up halfway in my bed.  The dream…again, I had the strange dream. I wondered what it meant. I’d have to find a book of dream symbols somewhere…would they even have ‘Mummy’ in their index? My mother reached out and stroked my hair and murmured soft words to me.

“Nightmare?”

“No…just strange dream…so realistic…well, except for the part about the mummy.”

“You’ve been spending too much time in Egypt, I think. The Doctor thinks so too, that’s why he’s approved my request to take you home.”

“Home?”

“Yes, sweetie, to Neverglade. You’ll be in the hospital there for a little while before they release you.”

The next day I was put onto a special plane and taken home to Neverglade. I was a bit sad to leave Egypt behind. It seemed as though any and all clues to what I had been doing there would be lost as soon as I left the country. I wanted to know more about the Frenchman and his daughter. I doubted that I had just fainted from the sight of a dead body. If that wasn’t it…then what? What was my connection to this man? What did the mummy in my dreams mean?

* * *

I spent another three weeks in the hospital back home. It wasn’t that I was sick, it was that I needed therapy. After being in a coma for so long and lying still in bed, my muscles had naturally atrophied. I had to work out in the hospital gym every day under careful supervision. I also had to take memory enhancement ‘classes’ as they called them. It was basically memory therapy, exercises that were supposed to help me regain my memories faster. I didn’t believe in them, personally. I felt as though my memories were locked away for a reason, and if I was supposed to learn them, I would.

My mother had first stayed with me every hour of every day until the hospital had forced her to leave. As time went by and my therapy progressed and I got stronger she began to visit me only for a few hours every day. Then, she weaned herself down to every other day and by the time I was released, she promised that she would only call me every few days. In turn, I promised we would visit every week. She seemed more sure that I was going to stick around as time progressed. I felt awful about what I did to her. I can’t imagine why I did it.

As time had gone by in the hospital, I couldn’t fight this overwhelming feeling of depression. Every night I had dreams about the mummy and a beautiful woman inside of a tomb…and yet I could never understand what they were about, truly. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had lost something precious and dear to me. I felt overwhelming sadness…but I couldn’t place what it was that had me upset. The doctors in Neverglade gave me wonderful pills which kept me from dreaming those upsetting dreams. Truth be told, I felt more like a zombie than a person…I felt like my imagination had been taken from me. Still, it was better than being so depressed over nothing.

When I was released, the hospital drove me home. I think it was my final test, to see if I could navigate back to my little house. I hadn’t forgotten it. It was just the same as I remembered, and I wondered if my mother or Grandfather had been taking care of it in my absence.

It was so strange to be back in my little house. I couldn’t help but wonder, ‘what now?’. What was I supposed to do with my life, now? I had had no real plans before, and whatever had driven me to Egypt had been the driving force of my life for so long…with no memories of what it was I was forced to start from scratch. Until I got a job, there was no way I could afford my house and the medication. So, it looked as though I would have to deal with my depression and the weird dreams about the mummy.

I sighed and put my bags down on the table in the entryway before taking a little walk through the house. I started in the bedroom and touched every surface I could find. I ran my fingertips over my dresser, across the headboard and even over the doorknob to the bathroom. I couldn’t explain why, but I thought it could help me remember. Whatever had started me on this journey had begun here in this house. Then, I walked from the bedroom into the living room and kitchen area. I flipped the light switch and something massive and golden caught my eye. I nearly screamed in surprise.

A great booming voice echoed in my head:

“I am Prince Ramses Amun…you are bound to me.”

I gasped and took a step back. My head began to split and ache and throb in pain. It was as though my head was getting split open. I cried out and clutched my head in my hands as another voice chimed in. This time, it was my Grandmother’s:

“You are such a dreamer…”

Dreamer…that word. That word haunted me…what did it mean? It was so important, but so hazy in my mind. If only I could wade through it all, if only I could just remember. Tears streamed down my face against my own accord. Gooseflesh broke out across my body, shivers traveled down my spine…it was like my body was alive with something. I could hear and feel something humming in my bag. I turned back on the sarcophagus and went back to my things. I dug through my bag, it was all of my personal effects from the hospital, mostly clothes…then down at the bottom I caught a hint of something glinting. It was a necklace. The necklace was…humming. I knew I was holding something extraordinary, I just hadn’t known it. The necklace felt familiar against my skin as I reached up to fasten it around my neck.

My head still throbbed as I walked back to the sarcophagus. I ran my fingers along the golden lid and whispered a word to myself:

“Ramses…”

I gasped. I hadn’t meant to say the word, it just came out. What did Ramses mean? What was happening? I fell to my knees in front of the sarcophagus. It all felt so familiar and yet so strange.

Dreamer!…You there, dreamer. Come forth and tell us what you see!…Dreamer…DreamerDreamer…Dreamerdreamerdreamerdreamer

The words flowed in and out of my head like waves  hitting the beach. With every use of the word ‘dreamer’ I was getting flashes of a picture. Some were me with a mummy, others were me in what looked like Ancient Egypt…a knife wound in my belly…blood everywhere. I cried out and clutched my stomach as I felt the knife penetrate me again. It felt so real, as though it were happening all over again. But it wasn’t it was my mind…my mind was coming back.

I felt nauseous and couldn’t control myself as the bile rose in my throat. I threw up on the floor next to me and passed out. As I blacked out I heard that familiar voice I had heard on the wind twice before:

…An honorable act…happiness is yours…

* * *

I awoke again a little later, my head swam as I opened my eyes. The good news was that my head was no longer pounding. I sat up and fingered the necklace around my neck and I knew immediately without having to think about it that Ramses had stolen this necklace from the neck of Catah before he had killed her. It was the source of the blood magic and it was now mine to protect.

I also knew why my heart had felt so broken for so long…Ramses was gone. Aset must have felt that my carrying the burden of my broken heart was payment enough to put Ramses soul at peace. I was happy for him, which far outweighed the sadness I felt. I rose and walked over to the mirror to smooth down my hair. As I stood in front of and brushed a few unruly strands back behind my ear, I muttered to myself:

“I love you, Ramses…wherever you are. I’d do it all again, if I could.”

As I muttered the last fateful word, the necklace around my neck hummed again. I gasped and glanced down at it, unsure of what was happening. Suddenly the room around filled with bright, white light.

“Jill?”

I whirled around as I the light dissipated and I heard that familiar voice. It couldn’t…it just couldn’t. He was dead, he was dead and at peace. I thought I had redeemed him. I would hate myself if he was still in torment. As I turned I gasped and threw my hands to my face.

“Ramses?” I practically hissed.

He nodded and smiled so brightly at me. I couldn’t hardly believe it. Here I was staring at Ramses, my Ramses in his beautiful amber eyes. This had to have been a dream. Some sort of side effect of coming off of the drugs. I stood in complete shock as he walked towards me. My heart was pounding and I knew that I was shaking. As he finally got close to me I reached out and put my hand against his chest. It was hard, but still strangely soft and warm…and above all…I could feel his heart beating.

We stared at each other for a moment with wide eyes before I finally burst into incoherent babbles.

“What did you…how did you? I don’t…I never thought…”

He smiled and pulled me into his arms and held me tight against his chest. I felt so warm and safe and more importantly…I felt home. This was where I belonged, in his arms.

“It was you, Jill…your sacrifice put me at peace. My soul was free but I refused to move on. Before I knew that you loved me…I thought I was the only one of us whose heart would break from being separated. When I learned that you loved me too…all I wanted was for us to be together. Aset bound your thoughts, to keep the heartbreak from you. She thought your conviction was enough payment for my soul…so she tried to protect you. When your powerful mind broke free of her bonds and even then said that you would do it all again, despite having a taste of the heartache…she granted my wish and allowed me to be reborn. So I am here, with you…and as long as you’ll have me, I’ll never leave your side.”

I sniffled as I felt the emotions overtake me. I threw my arms around his neck and squeezed him tighter. I buried my face in his shoulder and inhaled his scent. I could finally smell him…it was not, as I was pleased to learn an unpleasant scent. Instead he smelled like the sun, spices and myrrh. As he held me tighter h lifted me up into the air a little bit. I lifted my head from his shoulder and laughed. As he put me down I pulled further away and we gazed into each other’s eyes. His lips came crashing down on mine. This kiss, just like our first, was filled not only with passion and lust…but love. I ran my hands through his hair, and down his neck and across his shoulders. I was determined to feel him. In his true form…and it was glorious. It was beyond what I could ever have imagined.

When we finally pulled apart we were both breathing harder than before. I continued to just stare at him, I wanted to memorize his face…just in case this was all just a dream. If it was, I was going to enjoy myself. He brought his hand up to my face and stroked my cheek softly. He looked away from me and flicked his eyes upwards and murmured a thank you to Aset. I repeated the action.

“I love you, Rammer Jammer.”

He laughed heartily and planted a quick kiss on my lips.

“and I love you, Dreamer.”

******************************

Awww ❤

Ramses’ human form is modeled after computer imaging of what Egyptologists believed that King Tut looked like. I think he’s handsome. 🙂

I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter, it came out a lot faster than I thought it would. I’ll be working on the next chapter while I’m out of town…and it will be one or two more at the most. Her main storyline is over, but now we have to get some heirs. 😉

Jill, Chapter Ten – “Egypt Redux”

A/N: I’m attempting to translate French. If it is incorrect in anyway, please correct me!

*************************************
“Des passagers d’attention nous commençons maintenant notre descente en l’Egypte”

I glanced to my left at Anouk who had her face planted against the window of the plane. I had flown in and out of Egypt enough times to not really be concerned with looking out the window, so I happily took the aisle seat. Truth be told I was surprised that she was still traveling with me.

When I came back from…time? My vision? Ancient Egypt? I wasn’t really certain. I felt like Harry Potter. However, when I did come back from…there, I woke up with Anouk kneeling over me. She told me I had passed out as soon as I put the necklace around my neck. She had helped me to my feet and held me about my waist until I was steady on my feet again. I told her that I had to go to Egypt, I had to save Ramses from her father. I also knew I needed to save her father from himself. I had seen first hand the corruption that came with the power of the blood magic. Catah had been pushed into villainy, but the magic she carried accelerated her anger. If the Frenchman received the power, what darkness would he plunge the world into? I didn’t know and I hoped to never find out.

I studied my French companion for a moment before looking down at my appearance. Anouk had known that the only way to get past her father’s goons in Egypt was for her to pass me off as her best friend. This required me to raid her closet to attempt to find some clothes more becoming a girl of Anouk’s fortune and standing. I’d hoped I was successful enough, though I knew I would find out sooner or later.

Anouk finally pulled her face away from the window to look at me. She smiled nervously and began to fiddle with her hair.

“Something on your mind?” I asked, not really in the mood to wait for her to come out and tell me.

“Aren’t you scared?”

“No. Should I be?”

“Yes!” she cried loudly. Her eyes widened at the volume of her voice and she winced as the entire plane turned to look at her. She continued in a softer whisper, “you do not know what ze ancients will ask you to do. What ‘appens eef you are to sacrifice your life for ‘is?”

I looked her straight in the eye, “then that is what I will do.”

* * *


We landed in Egypt and went directly to base camp. It was so weird for me to be back here after all of this time. When I had first come to this magical and ancient land, I had only been a little girl. I had felt so grown up, traveling internationally on my own. I had believed, up until my adventure in the past, that I had made some grave mistake by coming to Egypt to begin with. I knew now that my soul was intertwined with the history and the magic of this place. I had always been the one to come here and find Ramses. I had been born with this destiny. I was a dreamer, like Dalila before me. I didn’t ask for this responsibility, and yet, it had been thrust upon me. I wasn’t bitter, I wasn’t mournful for my life being taken over. I had fallen in love, unrequited love to be sure but, love regardless. It didn’t matter that Ramses did not love me back. I had grown past caring about that sort of thing. We were from such different worlds, that it almost seemed as though a relationship of any sort would be impossible. It was my destiny to redeem him at the cost of a great sacrifice…who was I to argue with fate?

As Anouk and I walked through base camp my mind began to flood with the memories of the past. Of a young girl on her own, trying to have a magical adventure to get past the fact that she would never know her father and that of a young woman, who had just become a slave to destiny.

Anouk decided to stay behind in the base camp and make contact with her father while I went out into the market to see if I could find out anything about where they were. I had my suspicions, sure, no doubt they were in one of the many temples. However, there were just too many and I was too short on time to just rely on the process of elimination. I needed answers, I needed to find Ramses before it was too late.

* * *

As I approached the market, more memories flooded my mind. The last time I had been here, with Ramses. We had gone hunting for his lost artifacts, back when I was naive enough to believe that this would have been an easy quest.

The market looked strangely deserted. I glanced up to check the sun’s position in the sky. It was hardly noon yet, the market should be bustling with morning activity. I walked over to the relic merchant’s shop and found it completely deserted. The paintings on the walls had been ripped up and the window was smashed. The only thing that remained of his merchandise was a small bronze figurine lying next to an overturned chair. I made my way over to the food merchant’s store and found that hers had not been robbed or vandalized, but that she had boarded it up. Feeling dejected and confused, I made my way back to the base camp with even more questions than I had started with.

I took my time walking back to the base camp. I wanted some time alone to reflect for myself on what I would have to do. I reviewed the prophecy in my head again.

He of the blood shall rise from the dead and seek out the one who will be bound.
She shall be the magic-touched dreamer. Of one mind and one heart they will become. The bound one shall cease to be when the bloody one shall take her.

The bloody Prince, cursed for all time to be bound to the mortal coil, even in death. He shall remain alive for the whole of eternity, and be made to suffer his crimes. He of the blood, for having committed the unjust crime shall forever lie in wait and torment for the time when the bound one shall come and he shall be redeemed.

I was still confused as to how I would ‘cease to be’ when the Ramses took me. I knew what ‘took’ usually meant in those days…but I didn’t believe that that is what had really been foretold. I couldn’t help but think that the ancient Gods wouldn’t really be all that interested in my sex life. The one part that still stuck with me with that first prophecy was the ‘cease to be’. If I were to cease to be, did that mean death? Did that mean that I would have never existed after my purpose had been fulfilled. With a thought like that, I did not mourn for my own life. I suddenly felt so sad and remorseful of my mother. It had been so long since I had seen her or heard her voice. My Grandfather too, he was so old now…was he even still alive? Did they miss me? Were they looking for me?

I had a sudden thought as I reached base camp. I ran past the tent that Anouk had claimed and straight for the adventure’s bulletin board. I ripped one of the pieces of paper off, I didn’t stop to look at which and pulled out a pen from my pocket. I tore off the tap with my teeth and scribbled four little words on to the back.

Mother, I am sorry.

I folded up the paper so there was a blank side on it and wrote down the last known address of my mother and her name. There was a mailbox right next to the bulletin so that travelers could send their letters and postcards home. I looked around for witnesses and then shoved my hand into the slot. The metal scrapped against the top of my hand, but I didn’t care. I needed to do this, pain be damned. I found a letter inside the box and carefully ripped the stamp off of the paper. I stuck my hand back in until I found the real prize – one of those yellow documents envelopes. They all have that little metal thingy to fasten them, but everyone always secures them with tape. Carefully I pried the tape off of the enveloped and used it to seal up my letter and secure my stamp. If the biggest of my sins in this adventure was mail fraud, I figured I was doing all right. I shoved everything back into the mailbox before turning around as if nothing had happened.

I lifted up the flap to the tent that Anouk had claimed and discovered my second surprise of the day: Anouk was gone. I shot out of the tent and stared around me, but I knew that it was to no avail. She wasn’t the sightseeing type, and she wasn’t the type to get dirty. So I knew she had not left on her own accord. Perhaps I’d be lucky, maybe she had been able to leave something behind. A clue, a scrap of paper, a tiny morsel of information…anything to tell me where to find Ramses. I rifled through the tent and finally, as I lifted up a pillow I saw she had stashed her smart phone beneath it. I took it out and counted my blessings that it was not password protected. I opened up her last calls. Nothing, not a single call since before I had even been to France.  I opened up her text messages to see if there was anything of use. I sighed when all I saw were various messages from her girlfriends in French. As I was about to turn off the screen, the phone buzz and the words ‘NEW E-MAIL’ flashed across the screen. I opened it as fast as I could make my fingers slide across the slick surface. It was an e-mail from her father’s secretary with an attachment. I opened it and cheered when I saw it was a copy of his itinerary. He had cleared with the Egyptian government – no doubt his money was lining the pockets of many a government official – to enter….the Sphinx, alone. I turned off the screen of the phone and threw it into my pocket.

“Thank you, Anouk,” I whispered softly before lifting up the flap of the tent and stepping out into the blistering heat.

* * *

Two of Girard’s goons were standing guard outside of the doorway to the Sphinx. I had to get past them, but without Anouk, I had no way of proving my cover story. How did people usually get past guards in movies? I remembered that many a time a woman would come up and seduce the two of them. I was certainly dressed a little tartish, so maybe it would work. I imagine myself walking up to one of them and swooning over him. I would drape my body over his frame, and bat my eyelashes. No doubt he’d drop me or tell me he was gay or something. What if I snuck up behind them and tapped them both on the shoulder and made them look at each other and slowly annoy them to the point where they turn on each other and fight to the death in a bloody battle of epic proportions? They’d be like gladiators fighting in the ring, blood soaking into the sandy ground. Slicing and hacking at each other like mad men! With a single thumbs-up or thumbs-down I could be the Emperor and control their fate. I wonder how I would look in a toga. I think it’d accentuate my arms but it would probably make my butt look big. Did women back in those days ever say, “hey, today feels like a sweat pants day”?

I shook myself again and forced myself to focus. I could never sneak up behind them in these shoes. I couldn’t come at them directly on because they were probably the ‘shoot first ask questions later’ sort of goons. So, my only option was to distract them. I ducked up a side path towards the Sphinx and crouched down low as I approached the two men guarding the door. I took my pen out of my pocket and, saying a little prayer for good aim, chucked it at the guard. It hit him square in the back of his bald head. I grimaced, it was not the desired target. He whirled around just as I curled up into a ball against the back of the Sphinx’s foot. I heard him yelling in French just behind my head. Another voice chimed in, this one sounded exasperated, but at the same time seemed to be trying to soothe the man I had hit in the head. The bald man refused to be calmed. He  instead took off and ran right past me around the back of the Sphinx. He was bound and determined to figure out who had thrown the object at him, and that was fine by me. Once he had gone a respectful distance away without turning around, I stood and peeked around the corner to see the other guard remained. This one, I could deal with up close and personal. I wasn’t going to seduce him, no, I was going to force him to face the one thing that makes most men cringe: a crying woman.

I must have looked like a crazy person to anyone who happened to see me. But, I needed to cry and I needed to cry fast. The fastest way to get your eyes to fill with tears? Pain, pure and simple; so, I lifted my hand and slapped myself as hard as I could across the cheek. As I did so, I tried to remember the pain and the emotion of my vision. I allowed myself to feel the sorrow I had felt as Dalila had died. My eyes stung and the tears began to well up in them. I opened my heart up more, and tried to imagine my poor mother, alone and lost without me. I pictured her crying over me, not knowing what had happened to me. The tears began to spill over on to my cheeks and I  stepped out from behind the foot. The man caught sight of me immediately and began to reach for his weapon as I let out a loud sob. He froze on the spot and studied me as I neared him. As I reached him, I collapsed into him. As I suspected, his large arms cradled me as I fell.

“You have to help me!” I cried, “I’m lost and I’m all alone and I’m scared.”

He continued to hold me, but he gave me a blank look.

“English? Anglais?”

He shook his head and I sighed and nodded. I wrenched myself free from his arms and stood fully on my feet. He was a little shorter than me and much thinner than his partner had been. He wasn’t handsome by any stretch of the imagination, not that he had to be. I brought my hand up to his cheek and stroked it. He looked confused for a moment until his eyes closed. Like all men, he wasn’t about to argue with the touch of a pretty young girl. While his eyes were closed, I made my move.

I had seen it done in movies many times. My spar in China proved that I could at least hold my own in a fight due to some sort of God-given talent for fighting. I shifted my weight back on my left leg and swiftly brought my right leg up and kicked him in the side of the head with my booted foot. I had done the same move previously in China, and thankfully I was able to do it again. The goon’s eyes opened and he looked at me for a moment before collapsing on the ground. I glanced around quickly for witnesses and ran inside the Sphinx.

I made my way through the Sphinx carefully, methodically. With every step I took I could feel my weakened body grow stronger, which could only tell me one thing: every step I took meant another step closer to Ramses. I didn’t stop pick up a single relic, I heard learned my lesson in that regard. As I pushed open the door to yet another secret passageway, I heard the distinct sounds of life in the next room. My heart began to hammer in my throat. Had I finally found him? Was I about to enter the lion’s den? There was only one way to find out.

I couldn’t help but smile as I found Anouk. It meant I was on the right track. She was studying some coins on a pedestal and bent down to pick one up.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you, that’s how I got into this mess.”

She whirled around and grinned as she saw me.

“Jill! I was so  worried! My fazher’s men found me and took me ‘ere. I am so ‘appy you were able to find me!”

I pulled her phone out of my pocket and tossed it to her.

“Is he close?”

She nodded, “‘e ees just in zat ozer room.”

We turned and walked together towards the next chamber. My heart began to hammer more wildly in my chest. We were so close to finding Ramses, to coming face to face with destiny that I would just feel it. Together, we pushed open the door and walked into the final chamber.

As soon as I saw Ramses my heart soared with joy and most of all: relief. The necklace had bought me some time, but it wouldn’t have lasted forever. I still would have eventually succumbed to the effects of our separation. He and I made eye contact as I entered the room. Luckily, Gerard’s face was focused on Ramses and his bandages hid any sort of facial ticks. Still, I could feel relief radiating from him. I knew his eyes were trailing down to the necklace, I brought my finger tips up to it and brushed it. It hummed beneath my fingertips with magic.

“Oh, Fazher?” Anouk called out, playfully.

He whirled around and immediately caught sight of me.

“Ah, Mademoiselle ‘onor! Zis ees such a surprise! I believed you were dead by now. ‘Ow ‘ave you been able to live wizout ze mummy’s presence?”

“Do you really expect me to tell you that, Frenchie? I want you to let Ramses go and leave this place. You will not be getting the magic of the blood, ever.”

He smirked, “zat is where you are wrong, Mademoiselle ‘onor. I will get ze magic if I die in ze process.”

“You will die if you try to take the magic within yourself. You are just a mortal man. You have no special gift to keep it from killing you,” Ramses growled.

“You have no idea what I have seen, where I have been and what I have done. I saw what happened to the person before Ramses who had the magic. It corrupted her, it made her into an unspeakable monster. It will corrupt you two, Gerard.”

“Do you zink zat will deter me from zis quest? I want all of ze power. I want to feel ze blood inside of me boil wiz ze magic.”

Ramses and I looked at each other and we both knew that he was too far gone to be saved. He was mad with the quest, and we both knew that if he were to get his hands on the magic, he would kill himself and everyone around him. I started to stalk towards him, he watched me as I came closer and closer to him. When I was finally close enough to reach out and touch him I leaned in further and whispered.

“Please, I’m imploring you, give up your quest and go home.”

“Never,” he hissed.”

His hands suddenly shot out from in front of him and encircled my throat. I hadn’t seen it coming. I had expected him to make a move, and I felt stupid for having not been ready. I pounded on his arms with my fists as I felt my breath slowly leave me. Ramses and Anouk both cried out and ran towards me. Anouk wrapped her arms around my waist and tried to pull me away from her father, while Ramses tried to remove his hands from around my throat. Hitting him was having no avail so I reached out try and scratch his face, hoping if I clawed him deep enough he’d stop his brutal assault on my fragile throat. As my hand touched his forehead the strangest sensation occurred. I suddenly had two minds inside of my head. Gerard’s hands left my throat and he suddenly went as limp as a dead man. I found that I could walk through Gerard’s thoughts, his memories, his desires were all mine to experience. I could see the corruption and greed as clearly as the nose on his face. As I withdrew my hand my head felt suddenly larger, as though Gerard’s mind had taken up physical space inside.

I could feel Ramses smiling at me and I looked over at him, bewildered. I knew exactly what had just transpired, but I couldn’t explain it. I had used the blood magic on Gerard just as Ramses and Catah had done on me. Ramses lifted his hand to my chest and fingered the necklace. He didn’t say a word to me. He didn’t need to. I knew then that it was the necklace. The necklace was the source of the magic. My throat was burning and I coughed as I struggled to breath normally again. Gerard looked scared and confused.

“What ‘appened? What was zat?”

“That, Gerard, was the magic of the blood.”

He clambered to his feet and looked at me with both disgust and horror. I could tell from the desperate glint in his eye that he’d set his sights on killing me next. I was right. He launched clumsily at me. I dodged him easily. As he passed me, I grabbed his arm and held it back behind his back. He cried out in pain as I pushed his arm higher up his back. A few more inches and the bone would shatter.

“Please!” he cried out.

“Will you leave this place, and never return?”

“Yes!” he cried out and sobbed.

I let him go and pushed him in the direction of his daughter. She scoffed at him and started yelling at him in French. I smiled at Ramses and began to think to myself how relatively painless that process had been. I had been worried about the ‘final showdown’ for nothing. As I was about to walk towards Ramses, I felt a sudden outpouring of fear from him.

I knew that Gerard was sneaking up behind me, ready to take me out. But before I could react a sudden bright white light came shooting out of the statue in front of his and hit Gerard square in the chest. He collapsed behind me in a heap.

Anouk screamed. I was in shock. I felt suddenly stupid in thinking that Gerard would have just given up. I had seen the desperation in his mind. I had stared directly into his thoughts and still allowed him to make the choice. He had tried to attack me, and yet…something had saved me. Ramses came to me and I wrapped my arms around his neck. He hugged me tightly and I could hear him whisper:

“I knew you’d come.”

“I had to take a detour first, to Ancient Egypt.”

He pulled back and with a coarse bandaged hand he brushed a strand of hair over my ear.

“Yes, I knew that you would have to see the truth. You are an even greater dreamer than Dalila. She would be proud of you.”

“Ramses, I-”

As I started to speak to tell him that I was going to redeem him, even if that meant killing myself, we were interrupted. A bright white light began to surround the statue. Suddenly in front of our eyes, a woman appeared.

I slipped my hand into Ramses’ and squeezed it tightly. He looked over to me, and I could feel warmth radiating from his soul. In that moment, I couldn’t help but wonder, think to myself…was it possible? Could Ramses love me too?

The light around the strange woman dissipated. She held her arms out to her sides and bowed deeply to us. Ramses bowed to her and gestured for me to follow. I gave a quick little bob, before looking between the two of them with confusion. Did Ramses know who this woman was? Was she the one who had saved me?

“Prince Ramses Amun, you have come…after long last, with the one who will be bound to redeem yourself?”

“Yes.”

“Jill Honor, the one who will be bound, you have come to redeem the bloody one?”

“Y-yes,” I stammered, “who are you?”

The strange woman smiled, “I am Aset.”

She said it as though it would answer all of my questions. As though I should automatically know and revere her. If she had been the one to kill Gerard, then she had already demonstrated enough power to revere her.

Ramses turned to me, “she is the Goddess of magic, Jill. She is the friend to slaves and sinners and she will be the one who will determine if I have been redeemed.”

I gasped and gazed up at her. Now that I knew who she actually was, I was able to take in the tremendous aura around her. She was beautiful, but not in the conventional way. Not how one would typically imagine a supreme being. Come to think of it, was she technically a supreme being? Or was she just ancient? Where did she go when she wasn’t here? Did she live in the statue…was she the statue?

I heard her chuckling and it broke me out of my question frenzy.

“I see that the legends are true. This dreamer is very powerful.”

“Powerful? No, no, I just get lost sometimes.”

“You have more power than you know, Jill Honor.”

“What do I have to do to redeem him? Please, tell me what must be done and I will do it.”

“Why?” she asked.

I stared at her, “why? Why not! Ramses is a good man. I went to the past. I saw what happened and how he became cursed. He didn’t deserve it. He was robbed of his life and if I have to give mine to save his…I would gladly do so.”

“Jill…” Ramses whispered, emotion filling his voice.

“You would do this for the man who enslaved you against your will? A man who has ripped you from your family and endangered your life?”

I felt tears rising – real, this time – in my eyes.

“Yes,” I whispered as the first one spilled down my cheek.

“Why?” Aset asked.

“Because…I love him.”

I heard Ramses gasp. Aset smiled. I turned to him. I wished to God that I could see his face and look into his eyes. I searched my mind, trying to remember his face from Egypt and I could not. It was like a memory from another life, distant and fuzzy. I might as well have been looking through a veil. He took my hands in his and held them. Though I couldn’t see his face, I could feel him. His heart was heavy with a mixture of happiness and sadness. I couldn’t tell which was winning out.

“How long?” he asked.

“Since you were taken from me in France. Going to the past only made my feelings stronger. Please, Ramses…I can’t let you live in torment any longer. I want you to be free, whatever it takes.”

“If you redeem him, his body shall die and you will not be able to be together. He shall be at peace and you, Jill Honor, shall be in the torment of losing your love. If you do not redeem him, you two can be together until your death.”

Tears began to fall more freely down my cheeks.

“No, I cannot allow him to live in suffering even though it means I will be in pain. I will carry the burden of my broken heart gladly in exchange for his soul to be at peace. Please, just do it. Take my life, or take my heart. Anything of mine shall be yours in exchange for him.”

“Jill, no!” Ramses cried. He wrapped his arms around me, “please, I can’t ask you to do this for me. I-I couldn’t….”

He pulled away and held me at arm’s length.

“Jill, I love you too.”

Then, before I realized what was happening, he was leaning forward and I felt myself responding. He wrapped his arms around my waist and I put mine around his neck. We turned our heads and pushed them closer and closer together. Suddenly, my lips touched his bandages. Electric sparks flew between us. The necklace hummed loudly against my throat, and I felt the hairs on my arms stand up.

Kissing Ramses was the same as kissing any other man – not that I’d had much practice – but even though his lips were covered in the coarse and brittle bandages…I could still feel HIM. My heart was hammering in my chest and I felt strangely weak. As we broke away I felt as though I were falling down that rabbit hole again. I kept falling and falling and I discovered I really was falling. Aset had made her choice…was she taking my life to spare Ramses? Was this what dying was like? I suddenly felt so cold and so sleepy. If it was dying…it wasn’t so bad.

As the dim haze enveloped me I felt a breeze brush past my face I opened up my eyes to see my hair dancing on end. Though I was probably hallucinating, I could have sworn I heard a voice whispering in the wind. Blackness engulfed me and everything faded away…nothing.

…The selfless sacrifice…

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I hope the chapter was worth the wait!

So, what happened to Jill? What happened to Ramses! What do you guys think?

I’m going out of town on Friday and I’m coming back on Tuesday and I will not have internet or phone service so there will be another few days gap in between this chapter and the next. BUT! The good news is that I’m ALMOST DONE 😀 Woo! I’m guesstimating 2 more chapters depending on how much I can, er, cram into one.

I really hope you guys enjoyed.

Jill, Chapter Nine – “Death”

Warning: Language and mild violence. Also word heavy, few pictures.

The world around me dissipated as I felt myself being pulled back upwards. I coughed and sputtered as I awoke from my vision. I looked around me, I was still in Egypt and still in Dalila’s life. I couldn’t help but wonder to myself if everything I had just witnessed had also happened to Dalila. Had she been locked in this cell and taken the potion? Did she know the truth?

I looked at the stone slab that served as my cell door. I threw the bottle into the corner, the glass crashed and broke as it hit the hard stone wall. I no longer felt afraid or scared or even confused. The vision had helped me understand. I had been brought here to witness Dalila’s final moments. I had been brought here to see how Ramses had been cursed, to understand his story and how it was intertwined with this ancient dreamer and how in turn, their lives were intertwined with mine. I couldn’t change the past, but I could use what I learned to save the future. I ran to the door and beat my fists against it, though I was very doubtful that any sound could be heard. Still, I screamed at the cracks in the door.

“LET ME OUT OF HERE, CATAH,” I paused and took a breath, “I took the elixir, I saw the truth!”

There was no answer. I stepped away from the slab and sunk down against the wall. I held my head in my hands. I ran my hands over my hair, my fingers getting tangled in the beads. I cried out and ripped my fingers from my hair. I screamed in frustration. I had learned the truth. I knew that Catah and her son had framed Ramses for death of the Pharaoh. Ramses would be sentenced to death and Kafir would rule – as I already knew would happen – however, none of this told me how Ramses became the bloody prince. Killing the Pharaoh was bad…but it wasn’t the sort of thing that landed you as cursed for all time.

And…what of Dalila? Catah had planned her demise…had she succeeded? Sadly, I knew the only way I’d find out was to live it. As I resigned myself to witnessing the slow and agonizing last days of Dalila’s life, the slab began to slide open. I flew to my feet and prepared myself for a fight. Much like before, Catah stood in the way. I glared at her.

“I know the truth, you bitch.”

She smirked. Her smiled only served to enrage me further. I flew at her, my fists raised. She took a step back and her guards grabbed me as I reached her. I wanted to hit her, I wanted to hurt her. I knew in my heart that everything that was going to happen to Ramses was supposed to happen. I hated her though. I hated that she was going to hurt him. I hated that this was all, entirely, one hundred percent her fault. I had never been a violent girl, I was never the sort of girl who wanted to hit and hurt people…but then, in that moment I wanted to – and would have – killed her dead.

Two of her guards held my arms and lifted me in the air so all I could do was flail and kick at her. Five of her guards came in the room and pointed their weapons at my throat. I stopped flailing as their weapons neared my jugular.

“Oh, dear sweet sister.”

I looked up at her suddenly. Sister? Did she mean that in the literal way? Was she and Dalila actually related? Or was she instead referring to the symbolic sisterhood of seers? I wanted to react, wanted to ask her what she meant by ‘sister’, but I couldn’t without giving away my secret. I still couldn’t be sure that my actions weren’t affecting the future somehow. Oh my god, what if I hit her and then when I got back to my real life Poland didn’t exist anymore? What if the results of my actions meant that Hitler won World War Two? Oh god what if I went back and everyone was speaking German? I didn’t know any German…oh god, I hate sauerkraut!

“Dreamer!”

Catah’s cry knocked me back into reality.

“That’s better,” she approached me and took my chin in her hand, she was so close to me I could see the lines of her lips stretch and strain against her lipstick, “I want you in this world for this part Dalila. I need you to be here, I need you to see. You don’t remember me, do you? So quick to forget your own sister. You were seven summers when I was taken. I was only ten when my gift came through. I was taken from our parents and brought here. I was only fifteen when I was given to the Pharaoh and by given, I mean of course…he stole my maidenhood. I gave birth to Kafir when I was only seventeen. When you came…and didn’t even remember me. I hated you for it. I hated that your virginity was spared when mine was not. They kept you pure while I was forced to…” she trailed off.

The fire and hatred in her eyes made me shiver and hurt my stomach. I felt like throwing up. She had been through so much, it wasn’t uncalled for for her to feel bitter – however…she had no right to take out her hatred on Ramses or myself.

“Why, Catah, why hurt Ramses?”

She smiled and stroked my cheek with her long, bony finger. It left a trail of shivers down my skin…even her touch was cold and unfeeling.

“If anyone’s son is going to be Pharaoh of the lands…it will be mine. I will not suffer just so my little bastard can come in second, oh no…I will have the power of the throne.”

“You’re sick. You need help.”

“Help, sister? Oh no, I need no help. I am the Oracle…my word is the word of the Gods. You see, I already had a vision this morning…a vision in which you and Ramses conspired together to kill the Pharaoh…so that you two could marry. No one questions me. So, dear sister,” she took a few steps away from me and lazily slid her hands down my arms while speaking to me in a singsong-y voice, “the time has come.”

“You bitch.”

Catah reached up and slapped me hard across the face. She slapped me so hard against my right cheek that the guard holding me on the left stumbled to absorb the shock. As she laughed a fancily dressed warrior walked into the ante chamber. He bowed to Catah and turned to face me. I knew immediately that he was the captain of the pharaoh’s guards and that he had come to sentence me to die.

“Dalila, Daughter of Awan you are hereby found guilty of conspiracy and murder of the Pharaoh. Your sentence is death.”

Though it was not me, Jill Honor, who had been sentenced to die…it still resonated within me as though I had been the one to receive such a punishment. My stomach lurched and bile began to rise in my throat. My gag reflex kicked in and I heaved as I emptied the contents of my stomach on the floor next to me. The result of throwing up to begin with triggered another reaction with in me and I vomited again. The acid in my stomach burned my throat and went into my nose. Catah eyed me with a disgusted look at on her face before she waved me away. I was dragged away towards my fate, as I looked behind me all I could see was Catah’s smirking face.

The guards took mercy on me and dropped me in front of a reflecting pond. I immediately cupped my hands into the water and rinsed out my mouth. I wiped off my face, but there was nothing I could do for the stains on the hem of my gown. They let me sit by the water for a moment and without being able to help it, I was suddenly wracked with sobs. My whole body moved as I hiccuped and cried. Tears were streaming down my face and off of my chin. After a little reprieve, the guards hoisted me back up again by upper arms and I went limp. Dead weight was harder to move than someone who was struggling. I wasn’t about to make their jobs easier, though I understood that it wasn’t necessarily these two men who had contributed to Dalila’s demise.

The brought me into a room and threw me down. My cheek scraped against the hard stone floor. I groaned as I sat up and back on to my knees. I looked to the side and saw Ramses for the first time in what felt like years. My heart hammered in my chest to see him, though it was a bittersweet feeling. I saw on his cheek was a fresh bruise. I wondered if he had put up a fight as they had come to take him away. I wanted to kill who ever had hurt him. I wanted to take his face in my hands and kiss him and tell him it would be all right again.

“Ramses….” I said softly.

He turned to me and his face softened from the murderous glare that had shaped his face. His eyes filled with immense sadness, though it was a soft look It was almost like a look of love…or at least compassion and understanding. He closed his eyes for a moment before looking at me intently and mouthing: ‘I am sorry’. It was enough to send me over the edge again. I sobbed again, and closed my eyes against the tears which caused them to fall faster down my cheeks. I opened them and nodded to him. Showing him that it was okay. I crawled closer to him and reached for his hand. He bent down and took my hand in his. As he squeezed my hand Catah walked into the chamber.

“Separate them.”

The guards pulled us apart from each other. My hand felt suddenly cold as it was torn from Ramses. I refused to let Catah see the pain in my face. I kept it passive, though I could not stop the tears from flowing.

As Catah smirked and laughed at our misfortune, the same well dressed warrior came into the chamber. Behind him, Kafir followed. The Captain faced us and with no ounce of remorse in his face, he opened his mouth and spoke our fate.

“Dalila, daughter of Awan, having been found guilty of treason and murder you have been sentenced to death by the sword. What are your final words?”

My shoulders slumped over and for half a second, I was at a loss for words. Then, as though I was not in control of my own body I stood and climbed to my feet. I cleared my throat and spoke in a loud, confident and strong voice:

“Catah, with my final breath…I curse you. Kafir, betrayer of his family, I curse you as well. Though, Catah’s prophecy of the dreamer may not come to fruition, I have a prophecy of my own.”

“Silence!” Catah hissed, she pulled a blade from the sheathe of one of her guards and came towards me.

I saw her coming, yet there was nothing I could do to stop it. She plunged the blade into my belly. Pain shot through my stomach in white hot fingers. I cried out from the sudden pain. I felt my legs go numb and I looked over to Ramses whose face was twisted in agony. Everything was happening in slow motion. Catah pulled away from me, though she kept the blade stuck into my stomach. Ramses came to me and he cradled me in his arms. My hands shook as they came to the blade. They gripped it and I wanted to pull it out, but I knew that as soon as I did I would bleed out a lot faster. I looked to Ramses, who was now covered in my blood. He stroked my cheek softly, and I couldn’t help but smile to myself. For a moment, it was like we were finally together…as I hoped for.

Ramses was pulled away from me and restrained by the guards. I used my last few ounces of strength to speak loudly and proclaim to everyone who would hear me – especially Kafir and Catah – that though this day may mean death for the two of us we would win in the end.

“He of the blood shall rise from the dead and seek out the one who will be bound.
She shall be the magic-touched dreamer. Of one mind and one heart they will become. The bound one shall cease to be when the bloody one shall take her.

The bloody Prince, cursed for all time to be bound to the mortal coil, even in death. He shall remain alive for the whole of eternity, and be made to suffer his crimes. He of the blood, for having committed the unjust crime shall forever lie in wait and torment for the time when the bound one shall come and he shall be redeemed.”

I looked back to Ramses and fought to live. I fought against the blackness that threatened to engulf me. His face looked confused for a moment…then he suddenly seemed to understand. He growled as he seemed to process everything. He fought hard against the men holding them back and he broke free. He ran to me and mercilessly pulled the blade out of my abdomen. It hurt, I won’t lie…but it had to be done. Ramses cried out as he broke through the guards and raised his blade. He raised it up high above his head with his right hand. His victim screamed.

With his left hand he reached out and pulled the pendant from around Catah’s neck. Within an instant, Ramses brought the blade home. He thrust it into her chest. She let out a gurgling cry and went limp. As she did she pointed her finger at Ramses and murmured out a few words I was unable to make out. I didn’t need to, I already knew what was happening. Kafir roared with anger at the death of his mother. I let a smile grace my face as my body began to go numb. Ramses took her necklace and put it around his neck. The guards were all too shocked to do anything right away.

By killing Catah and stealing the necklace, Ramses had cursed himself – yet, he had exacted revenge on the woman responsible for his death, my death and his father’s death. He did it, because he did love Dalila. It wasn’t a romantic love, but a familial one. He did it because he loved his father, and he knew there was no way to save him from the ravages of history, but he could stop the woman who planned it all from benefiting from her actions. Yes, he was cursed…but the curse wouldn’t last forever. Somewhere, years and years and years from now I would be there to save him. Somehow…I would free the man that I loved from his curse. I didn’t know if he would die after he was free…he was after all, over two thousand years old…would he get a chance at a normal life then? I just didn’t know.

As the blood pooled around me and the world began to grow dim, I could see the guards surrounding him. I could see the Captain’s mouth moving though I could not understand the words. I didn’t need to. I knew from this point on what would happen. I coughed and felt my breath leaving my body. My feet, legs and toes felt cold. My heart was slowing and as I saw them dragging Ramses away…I felt myself slip away.

Then…I was gone.

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So now you know how Ramses was cursed. :O

So now, its all up to Jill to save him him..but how will she do it? Only a few more chapters left. 🙂

I hope everyone enjoyed sorry its all words, haha. Hard to depict a lot of what I wanted to happen.

Jill, Chapter Eight – “Vision”

A/N: This chapter switches perspective halfway through.

I was thrown into a small chamber that evidently served as a prison cell. The disgusting brown gunk on the walls and the skeleton in the corner served as proof. I slid down against the side of the wall and held my head in my hands. I had never felt so scared in my life. I could faintly recall saying a similar phrase not too long ago…well forget that, this time was the real thing. I felt tears well up in my eyes. As they threatened to spill I rolled over on to my side and closed my eyes.

Perhaps this was all just a bad dream, a delusion because I was dying in my world. It made strange sense that even in my own delusion I’d be in danger. It was a feeling that I just couldn’t shake. Ever since the Oracle had looked at me that way, so cold and so calculating, I knew that she was out to kill me. She had said I was the dreamer from the prophecy…but then again, I already knew that. I sat up and stared at the wall. I couldn’t get my mind to work. There was no hope. I was either going to die in this filthy chamber, or I was going to die back in my world. What if I didn’t exist in my world anymore? I felt all new tears rise up into my eyes and spill down my cheek.

I sat against the wall and wept until I had no more tears to weep.

There was no way to tell what time of day it was, or how long it had been since I had been thrown into this chamber, but it felt as though hours had passed. I brought my finger tips to my right eye and found that it came away black. I must have been wearing some sort of thick black makeup around my eyes. I looked around the room and saw a little reflecting pool. It was a strange thing to have in a prison cell, but who was I to argue? I crept over the edge of the pool and looked at my reflection in the mirrored water.

I gasped at what I saw.

The girl staring back at me…was not me.

“Hello Dalila,” I whispered.

I sat back on my knees and thought long and hard about everything that was happening. I was the one in control of what was happening…but I wasn’t ME. I wasn’t Jill Honor, I was Dalila…what could it all mean?

I thought back to the Oracle, and the prophecy she had said to me.

“The favorite son shall be pushed aside in favor of the furious one. Death shall come by glinting sun to the one who moves the pieces. The blood will flow in his veins for all time. The Dreamer being the sole savior shall guard the secret. Her gift, cut from her eyes shall be the final undoing.”

The favorite son shall be pushed aside in favor of the furious one. Kafir’s angry face floated into my mind. He had to have been the furious one and Ramses was the son who was supposed to inherit the throne…so he was the favorite…but how? I knew from my time that Ramses had committed an unspeakable act in order to be cursed. What was considered unspeakable in this time? I knew from movies that even something as simple as infidelity was considered truly heinous. Who knew what it was in this time?

Death would come by glinting sun? That part made little sense to me. I figured that the part about blood had to refer to Ramses and his magic. The part about the Dreamer referred to me, or rather to Dalila. I would guard the secret…my gift and the part I really didn’t like…cut from my eyes would be the final undoing. My gift wasn’t associate with my eyes, my eyes were the same as my mother and my grandfather. They weren’t exactly unique…at least to our family.

My thoughts were interrupted by the chamber door sliding open. The sound of stone scraping stone reverberating in my body. In the doorway I saw the Oracle, surrounded by guards. My heart began to hammer in my chest. Was this the end? Had they come to kill me? Was this the end of Dalila? What would happen to me?

She took a few steps forward and threw a bottle at me. I stumbled to catch it, fearing what would happen if it broke.

“Drink it, Dalila. See if your gift can save you after all.”

She laughed cruelly and motioned for the door to be closed again.

“Please! I cried, let me out! Just let me out!”

As the door closed I felt my heart aching again. What had I done to deserve this? What had Dalila done? Finally I uncorked the bottle and brought it to my nose. I inhaled it deeply, it was the same syrupy-sweet liquid I had been forced to drink before. It was supposedly a serum that brought out the gift in me. I looked around the room again, my eyes lingering on the skeleton in the corner. I had been thrown into this place against my will – in more ways than one…but I realized that Ramses had left the necklace behind for me to find…he had meant for me to see this. I was brought here to witness Dalila’s life and her part in Ramses’ demise. I owed it to her and to him to do everything that I could to find out the truth. I threw my head back and downed the entire contents of the bottle. I felt that familiar feeling, like I was being pulled down into the ground. This time I was ready.

* * *

First…there was darkness.

Then, light flooded the room.

Dalila looked around the chamber. Her eyes ached a little as they adjusted to the sudden change in light. As she turned in place to see her surroundings her eyes fell on a sarcophagus.

The gold glinted lightly in the firelight, and she could tell from the state of the tomb that this was a recent death. She walked over to it and ran her fingers over the carvings. She knew the language well, the inscription was that of the pharaoh, Ramses’ father. He had passed and Dalila knew that it wasn’t of natural causes. She had no proof, naturally, but she had the feeling deep in her bones that the Pharaoh’s death had been at the hands of someone who had done him harm. Dalila put her hands on the sarcophagus and pulled it open. Inside the coffin she could see the Pharaoh’s body. In her vision, his body did not have the sacred funeral rites. His corpse was not wrapped. Dalila could see a large, gaping red wound in his abdomen. There was no doubt in her mind that he had been murdered.

She stepped away from the open sarcophagus and looked around the room again. Ahead of her she saw a doorway, though the room that it led into was as dark as a moonless night. She stepped towards it, slowly, cautiously. After what she had already seen there was no doubt in her mind that any known witness would have to be taken care of by the killer. Her heart hammered in her chest. She could feel her palms sweating with anticipation. As she walked into the room, it too flooded with light. Her eyes adjusted quickly to the change this time. As she orientated herself with the new room she noticed one distinct change: she was no longer alone.

Kafir and the Oracle stood together, their arms entwined in a loving embrace. It was not romantic, or sexual in any nature. It was familial, the sort of embrace given to a child. As Dalila gasped, it all suddenly made sense. Catah was older than she appeared…or perhaps had just had an early start…but Kafir was in reality not a full-blooded brother of Ramses. Instead, he had been borne of a union between the Pharaoh and the Oracle. As she gasped, she clapped her hands against her mouth out of fear that she would be seen. Instead, they did not seem to notice her presence.

Tempting fate, Dalila walked closer still, and she found that no matter how close she got to them, they could not see her. She felt strangely safe, it must have been a side effect of her vision. She had never taken so much of the elixir before. Her visions had never before been so vivid. Catah’s voice knocked her out of her reverie.

“Do not fear, my child, you can be sure that Ramses will be taken out.”

“How can you be so sure, mother?”

“I had the Pharaoh killed with Ramses’ blade. The very same one given to him by his father for his fifteenth year. No one else would ever dream of touching it…except for me. As soon as the Pharaoh’s guards find that blade next to his body, Ramses will be the only one who could be blamed for the death.”

Kafir smirked at his mother. She reached up to stroke his cheek before continuing:

“That little dreamer of his though, she will have to be taken care of as well. The prophecy is very specific. If she is allowed to live, she will undo all of our hard work.”

“What do you suggest then, Mother?”

She held out her arms to either side of her. She threw her head back and shouted dramatically: “The dreamer and the fallen son held secrets about the death of the mighty,” she lowed her head and smiled at her son, “my word is the word of the Gods. No one will doubt me.”

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Can we all say….dun dun dun! Ha. This chapter was weirdly hard to write. I hope everyone enjoyed it! I will probably work on another story most likely Sparkles and Rainbows before I update this.

Jill, Chapter Seven – “Oracle”

“You there, dreamer. Come forth and tell us what you see!”

I looked around me. Where was I? I looked down at my clothes and reached up to feel my hair…was it possible…it was strange to think…but, when was I? I rubbed the back of my neck, it felt sore from the force of falling. I couldn’t help but smirk to myself. After a fall like that, tripping down stairs would seem like nothing at all. I finally focused on what was directly in front of me.

I gasped. It was a most curious scene in front of me. A young girl playing a flute, an older woman adjusting her sandal on a stone table, an older man with a beard stared at me – he must have been the one to speak to me – and two younger men staring daggers at each other.

“Dreamer! I said come here now!”

I looked around again and realized that everyone was staring at me. Ramses had called me a dreamer once before…perhaps I was not just a bystander in this…world. I took a tentative step forward.

“The Dreamer never sees anything different, father, Kafir is simply being foolish!”

I gasped. I would know that voice anywhere. It was Ramses…but he wasn’t a mummy. This only confirmed what I had previously thought, I was in the past…long ago when Ramses was still a prince. Before he was bloody, before he committed his atrocious act. He was normal, flesh and blood. My heart ached with longing. I wanted to reach out to him, to take his hand. When he saw me staring he gave me a weird look. I realized…this was not my Ramses. He had no idea who Jill was…he no idea what fate had in store for him.But also…what was in store for me? Was this all some sort of very, very realistic dream? Or, was I apart of the history of this place? Was I simply a witness, made to act out a part for better understanding?

“Dreamer! Come here or you will be flogged, Gods help me!”

I swallowed and came closer to the older man, Ramses’ Father. I wasn’t sure exactly what I should be doing, but as I came close he grabbed my hand and shoved a bottle into my palm. I looked at it and then back to the man.

“Well, drink it you fool! What has come over you?”

I grimaced and lifted the bottle to my lips. I tilted the bottle and my head back and fought the urge to retch as the thick, syrupy sweet liquid poured down my throat. As the potion hid my stomach I began to feel strange. The world around me stretched as it felt as though I was being pulled in the opposite direction. Everything around me grew larger and larger until finally the world disappeared.

I opened my eyes and found myself in another place, miles away. In front of me were hundreds of soldiers. Their blades glinted in the afternoon sun. It was hot, and arid. It was hard to breath from the heat. Headed towards me were two men, one of them was Ramses and the other the younger man known as Kafir. Directly behind them, was a sarcophagus being carried by slaves. A woman walked slowly behind it, her head buried in her hands as though she was weeping. I couldn’t believe that it took me so long to realize what was happening. The man in the sarcophagus, the man who had threatened to flog me, was Ramses’ father. Kafir was Ramses’ younger brother, the one who had actually assumed the throne. Something happened between Ramses’ father dying and Ramses assuming the throne.

I looked down at my feet and saw a small little cake, no bigger than a petit four. I stooped down to pick it up and brought it to my lips to take a small bite. As I did I could feel the world around me shrinking. It was the exact opposite sensation of what I had felt before. I felt strange, like I was being stretched. This world disappeared from my eyes in a bright light. I lifted my arm to shield my face.

“Dreamer, what did you see?”

I opened my eyes and saw the Pharaoh staring pointedly at me. I looked over and saw Kafir glaring at me, even harder than he had been glaring at Ramses.

“I…I…I saw the death of the father. The sons went in progression to the pyramid. The wife wept…I saw nothing more.”

Without warning Kafir crossed the room and slapped me hard across the face. I recoiled from the force and brought my hand up to my cheek. It stung and tears welled up in my eyes. I had been hit before, but I wasn’t sure I had ever been hit that hard before.

“Kafir! Contain yourself!” I heard Ramses growl.

I was suddenly aware of strong arms wrapped around my form. No one else in the room seem fazed from Kafir striking me.

“What?” he asked nonchalantly, “She did not look far enough into the future.”

“She is not an oracle, you have forced her to become one with potions and vapors. She is a dreamer, her gift is special. It’s not to be toyed with.”

He squeezed my shoulders and turned me away from them. He led me away from his family and down a corridor. He turned me into a room and led me to what looked like a bed. He sat me down and suddenly leaned down to capture my lips with his. I was startled and as I jumped away from him I slipped off the bed and landed on my butt on the hard stone floor with a light thud.

“What is wrong? You have never objected to my kiss before.”

I couldn’t bring myself to look him in the eye. My heart was aching. I suppose it had been foolish of me to imagine that he had never had a love before, but since I was in the body of his love…but not myself I had never wanted to experience it. It was not me he was loving.

“You refuse to meet my gaze as well? What is wrong Dalila?”

Dalila…so that was my name in this fantasy. Ramses jumped on to the bed and positioned his head so he was in my eye level. He seemed so much more playful in this world. In mine he was so stiff, perhaps because Dalila was his one true love? He could never feel for me the same way he felt for her. I had been foolish. I had been so naive to imagine that he felt the same way about me. His reached down and took my hand in his. He kissed the back of my hand before staring into my eyes.

“I am sorry for my brother striking you, but you know…you are a slave. You did misbehave an order from the Pharaoh.”

I was taken back. I pried my hand out of his grasp.

“You allow the woman you love to be treated this way?” I asked incredulously.

“Love? Dalila are you feeling all right?”

“We…we aren’t in love?”

“Of course not, you were given to me by my father for amusement. He grew tired of you and passed you down to me as I will most likely pass you to my younger brother.”

I rose sharply from my position on the floor. I fought hard to keep the contents of my stomach down. It was disgusting, it was deplorable…how could Ramses have ever been a part of such an act?

“Dalila, why are you acting this way?”

“You mean…I’m just your…concubine? Your little play toy?”

Confusion crossed his features. He rose and crossed the room and put his hand on my forehead.

“Are you sure you are feeling well? You know perfectly well that you are not a concubine. You are my personal dreamer, a minor oracle. We kiss because it allows you to connect to my spirit. You act as though this is all new to you. Your father surrendered you to us when your gift was recognized, we have grown up together.”

There was a sudden bang against the wall. Ramses and I both turned to see an angry – it seemed as though there were no other kind – Kafir glaring at us.

“Ramses, father has allowed me to take temporary possession of your dreamer.”

“Certainly not,” he snarled, shielding my body with his.

“Yes, father agrees with me that this afternoon’s vision was most lacking. Therefore he has allowed me to use special means to draw it out of her.”

Kafir crossed the room and took me roughly by the arm. I cried out in pain as his hand enclosed on my soft flesh. He wrenched me out of the room as though he was going to tear my arm off. He threw me suddenly away from him, causing me to tumble and fall into his escort. One man reached down and helped me up, before he wrapped an arm around my shoulder. Kafir waved his hand at us and the man gently led me away.

“I’m taking you to see the Oracle.”

I was lead to a strange chamber with a small platform. The man pushed me inside and the stone door slid shut behind me. I took a few steps forward and studied the room. In the center of the room was a reflecting pool. I walked closer and tried to look at my reflection, but I was stopped by a loud booming voice.

“Kneel before the Oracle!”

I didn’t kneel, but I glanced hurriedly around the room, trying to determine where the voice was coming from. A moment later, a cloud of smoke burst forth from the ground on the platform in front of me. As the smoke dissipated I was able to make out the form of a woman.

“Kneel before the Oracle, Dreamer.”

I fell to my knees out of shock. How had this woman appeared out of thin air? Was this part of the blood magic Ramses had once spoken of?


“I am Catah, the Oracle to the Pharaoh. Dreamer, you have been brought before me because your visions have been lacking as of late. Do you deny it?”

“I-I…I don’t know.”

“You do not know if your vision has vanished? How can you not know, stupid girl?”

“I am not an oracle, I am a dreamer. My gift is different from yours.”

“Yes, I am aware. Do you know who you are?”

I looked at the stones beneath my feet, “I thought I knew, but it seems that I’ve changed.”

The Oracle sighed, but did not respond to my babble, “Are you aware of the prophecy of the Dreamer?”

I wanted to groan, another prophecy, another stupid prophecy! I had had my fill of prophecies for the whole of my life. Everything I did was subject of a prophecy it seemed. If I heard that word again, it would be too soon. I looked back to the Oracle who was staring at me expectantly.

“I am not aware of this prophecy.”

The Oracle clapped her hands once, and from the shadows a slave man came with a pipe on a tray. The Oracle picked up the pipe and inhaled deeply from it. As she placed the pipe back on the tray she seemed to sway on her feet. Evidently the pipe was meant for the same purpose as that vile potion I had been forced to drink: it brought about visions. As the Oracle swayed more and more she suddenly threw her arms out to the side as if overcome by something great.

She suddenly spoke in a strange, distant voice:

“The favorite son shall be pushed aside in favor of the furious one. Death shall come by glinting sun to the one who moves the pieces. The blood will flow in his veins for all time. The Dreamer being the sole savior shall guard the secret. Her gift, cut from her eyes shall be the final undoing.”

She relaxed as she put her arms down. She seemed weak, as though her vision took a lot out of her. She eyed me warily. I tried to make sense of the gibberish she had just spewed at me. None of it made sense to me, I understood the part about the Dreamer guarding the secret. I seemed to be the only one who fit that bill, but what secret I was guarding I did not know. The only thing I knew was that this little adventure was not fun. It was scary. I didn’t understand what I was doing here or what was going on. I wanted to go home. I’d even go back to Gerard’s house if that meant I’d be out of this strange time. I looked up to see the Oracle standing above me. She put her hand on my forehead and I felt my thoughts go suddenly blank. I felt warm and fuzzy, like I was wrapped in a thousand white furs. Everything was blissful and warm and safe.

Then, she withdrew her hand and everything came flooding back. She had read my thoughts just as Ramses had done back in Egypt. She was the one with the blood magic. Had she been the one to teach Ramses? I looked more closely at her for the first time.

She was wearing the necklace I had found in the cellar in France. That was the necklace that started me on this whole little adventure in time. What did it mean? She eyed me warily before kneeling down my level. She got close to my face and spoke:

“So, it is you. You are the Dreamer in the prophecy, just as I imagined. You are the one who is going to free the Prince? We can’t have that, can we?”

I gasped. She clapped her hands again and men came out of the shadows and grabbed my arms. They dragged me from the room. I tried to open my mouth to scream, but I found no noise would come out. As I looked back at the Oracle she was smirking with her fist clenched next to her face. She had stolen my voice. I was too scared to fight, too fearful of what was happening. I was a bystander in a war that had been waging for years…and I had just been drafted.

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I’m on a roll. Mwaha. So, I realize that maybe this chapter doesn’t make sense, but I promise it will, probably in the next chapter. Anyway, I hope everyone enjoyed! The names are made up, though Dalila is a real Egyptian name. Obviously I’m not being historically accurate or depicting real people. >.>

Also! If you have signed up to take part of this collab, please visit the official thread to check in to make sure you still want your spot! Ty!

http://forum.thesims3.com/jforum/posts/list/240/268271.page

Jill, Chapter Six – “Falling”

“Wake up! Wake up, you idijit!

I groaned and opened my eyes.

“What…what’s going on?”

“Wake up! Wake up right now!”

“How-How long have I been out?”

“Too long! Geet up!”

I moaned and stretched, trying to get rid of the horrible crick in my back. I felt like I’d been asleep for seven months. It was night time, and I felt like I had been hit by a truck. As I tried to sit up, my head swam and my vision blurred. I had the sudden urge to throw up and my head felt as hot as an oven. How long had I been parted from Ramses? Where was he? I couldn’t feel the slightest trace of his presence.

“You ‘ave been drugged. My fazer wanted your death to be less messy. Now, geet up!”

“Please,” I groaned, “you have to help me find Rams…”

I trailed off, too weak to finish the sentence. It was then I opened my eyes and realized it was Anouk standing in front of me. Her face was twisted up into a scowl. She grabbed a hold of my wrist roughly and pulled me to my feet. Her words finally reached my brain. I had been drugged. Evidently I’d be easier to handle if I died in my sleep. Was it a method of kindness or was he just tired of listening to me cry out? Either way I still wanted to punch his big, dumb nose in. My limbs were shaky and it took me a minute to right myself. Before I was steady  Anouk stuck a finger in my chest.

“I refuse to be zat zat ting’s little toy. You, go, leave zis place and find your disgusting mummy. You may be stupid and disgusting enough to ‘ave an affair with a corpse, but I’m not! My fazer ees stupid if he tinks I will do zat! ‘ow can you even ignore zat dreadful smell? Disgusting and stupid murderer.”

“He’s…not…disgusting.”

“Pardon?”

“I said…he’s not disgusting, you pompous powder puff. I love him, and no one asked for your opinion on the matter,” I paused and felt myself wobble a little bit, “now, unless you want to become the bound one…help me find Ramses!”

She looked so taken back for a moment that her face went entirely neutral. When she regained her composure, her sneer remained but she gave me a curt nod. I grabbed her arm. Together, we made out way out of the house and down towards the cellar. I started to feel warmer, better as we reached the cellar. Could it be? Was Ramses still inside? I broke away from Anouk and flung open the cellar door and found….

Nothing. My crate was gone, there was nothing but empty wine racks and boxes down here. I looked at Anouk. Her eyes were wide and bright as she frantically searched around the room.

“I don’t understand. ‘e was ‘ere before!”

I fell to my knees and wept. Was it all over? Was I doomed to die? I couldn’t make heads or tails of it. I could feel something here, some little piece of Ramses. Yet, I could not see him. It was then that my eyes caught sight of something shining on one of the wine racks. I approached it and saw that it was a necklace. As my fingertips neared it, I felt that delicious tingle of ancient magic. It was something that had Ramses’ essence. It was a small trace of his presence, but it was what I had been feeling. I took it and put it around my neck. As I closed the clasp, I felt as though I was falling. I watched as the cellar in France disappeared from around me. My head was swimming as shapes and colors and sounds and sensations whipped past me. Where was I going? What was happening? Nothing made sense as  I fell down, down, down into the darkness.

“You there, dreamer. Come forth and tell us what you see!”

****************

Yes! Hello again. I’m sorry that I’m a total ass hat and I’ve not updated this for seven months. When I looked back to when I last updated, it honestly has felt likes YEARS. I was able to look and see what was going on in my life then and it made sense to me. >.>

*cough* Anyway, this is a little chapter written to tease you and spark your appetite for the story again. So, go back and reread the story to make sure you remember what’s going on. 😉 Again, I’m sorry and I am determined to finish this story!

Toast

Jill, Chapter Five – “France”

Traveling with Ramses was like old hat now. As usual, he spent the plane ride to France in the belly of the plane. Before it was time for him to get into his crate, he took my hand and pressed a flat metal disk into the palm of my hand. I looked down to see a sparkling golden coin. He called it his contribution to the trip. I was touched. I used my continuing depleting credit line to fund the trip and decided to use the coin when I got back home…if I ever did.

I felt as though I had lived my entire adult life in an airport, on a plane or in a foreign country. I couldn’t even remember the last time I saw or heard from my family. They had to have been worried sick about me. While waiting for the plane to board, I eyed a row of payphones, contemplating giving them a call. I sighed and decided not to. What was there to explain? How could I possibly tell them that I had left home so abruptly because an ancient mummified Prince had used his blood magic to invade my mind and steal my dreams and that I was now bound to him because I took precious objects from his tomb? Oh yeah, and that I am an integral part of an ancient Egyptian prophecy and that even though I hated Ramses in the beginning, my feelings for him were slowly beginning to turn and now I’m not even sure I want to be unbound.

Oh God, I can’t believe I just thought that! No, no…no…no! I want to be unbound, I want to be unbound! I want my life back. I want…I don’t know what I want. I realize I haven’t really been around anyone other than Ramses in a very long time, so perhaps my attachment to him is simply because of that? I wasn’t sure, but I knew one thing for certain: I didn’t want to lose him. Were those my true feelings, or just a side effect of the bind? The boarding call silenced my thoughts. I needed to rest. I was starting to get hysterical.

I boarded the plane and sat in my seat. Within minutes of getting my seat belt fastened, I fell asleep. Sleep, however, was not rewarded to me. I was woken up by the person sitting next to me smacking me in the face with their bag. I cried out and looked up to see a handsome man staring apologetically down at me.

“Oi, sorry. I forget how big and heavy this bag is sometimes.”

I shook my head and mumbled something about it being all right. He spoke with an Australian accent and he was handsome, but I was too tired and confused to really take interest. I rubbed my forehead from where he hit it. I’d have a lump for sure. He shoved his bag into the overhead compartment and plopped down next to me. He grinned at me, I gave him a halfhearted smile. I wanted to go back to sleep, but my throbbing forehead had practically assured that I wouldn’t be.

“Let me take a look at that,” he said, reaching across the armrest and taking my head in his hands.

“Uh…sure,” I said, even though it was too late to consent.

He rubbed the spot lightly, sending little fingers of pain across my body.

“Ow!”

“Sorry, yeah, looks like I banged you good. I’m Charlie, by the way.”

“Alice,” I said softly. I didn’t want to give him my real name. I couldn’t explain why, but it was just a little whisper of a feeling I had in the pit of my stomach.

Though I wanted to sleep, Charlie insisted on having a conversation all the way to France. He kept asking me what I was doing in China and what I was doing heading to France. It was nice that someone wanted to take an interest in me, but I couldn’t really answer any of his questions. He spent ten hours keeping me awake, and probing me with all kinds of questions. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he kept buying me cocktails from the flight attendant. He’d serve me a cocktail then ask me a question. I wanted to say no, but I was overcome with the feeling that I didn’t want to be rude and refuse his hospitality. I was starting to feel lightheaded and dizzy. The buzz and tipsy feeling had worn off and I was worried I was well on my way to being drunk.

I was so relieved when we began our descent into China. As our wheels touched the ground, Charlie’s hand suddenly shot across the armrest. He gripped my arm so tightly I felt tears come to my eyes. I noticed my limbs felt like they were covered in cement and underneath the cement felt like thousands of tiny bugs crawling all over my bare skin. My head felt cloudy and hazy. I opened my mouth to protest, but found I was unable to speak.

“You’re going to stay seated until everyone else is off the plane. Then you and I will depart together, got it?”

His voice came out clear and unaccented.

“Whadiyoo…” I mumbled, my lips not working properly.

“Should really be more careful of strangers, Jill Honor. Yes, I know your real name, stupid girl. It was almost too easy.”

I was led off of the plane, through the airport and into an awaiting van. As I was pushed inside I saw them loading Ramses’ crate into the back. My mind was slowly starting to clear and I felt the first real strings of panic flood through my body. I broke free of Charlie’s grip and hurtled myself towards Ramses’ crate. I threw myself upon the rough wood and pressed my cheek and hands tightly against the crate. I needed to know that he was okay. Charlie was scrambling behind me, trying to grab a hold of me. I tried pulling the top of the crate off with my bare fingers. Deep down, I knew it was useless. I had hammered the nails in myself. I broke two nails off and had countless splinters in my fingers. Charlie tried to grab my shoulder but I elbowed him in the gut.

“Ramses!” I cried.

Charlie grabbed me around the waist and lifted me off the crate. I could see my bloody hand prints all over the light wood. Charlie threw me on the floor of the van and slapped me, hard. My head turned sharply to the right, and I bit my lip trying not to cry out. I felt a sudden sharp prick in my neck and the world around me fell away as blackness swallowed me.

* * *

The next thing I knew, I was in the van, tied up. My whole body felt impossibly sore. My cheek was stinging from where Charlie struck me and they had gagged my mouth with some kind of foul smelling and tasting cloth. Whatever he had put into my cocktails on the plane, and whatever had been injected into my neck before I blacked out must have worn off because I felt bright and alert. I made no noise as I looked around the van, attempting to survey my surroundings. I could tell from the shaking van that we were traveling very fast, but I hadn’t the faintest idea where we were going. The van suddenly stopped, causing me to slide across the floor. My shoulder struck something hard and metallic. Pain shot through my body and I whimpered against the gag in my mouth. The van door slid open and I was lifted from the floor. My binds were cut, and the gag was removed from my mouth. I was pushed out of the van and collapsed in a heap in the dirt.

“Ah! Mademoiselle ‘onor! Eet eez such a pleasure to meet you at last!”

I looked up to see that I was standing in front of a large mansion.The creepy factor was sky high. The house itself looked like an aged, uncared for French chateau. It was high on a rocky slope, and standing in front of the door was a Frenchman beaming down at me.

“Come, come you silly girl!”

This was strange. I looked around me, there was no one in sight. Over my shoulder I saw Charlie and another man struggling to move Ramses’ crate. I looked at it longingly before turning back up to the strange, beaming Frenchman. He was gesturing wildly for me to go up the stairs towards him. I saw no other option. Even if I ran, I’d have to leave Ramses behind. I wasn’t even sure if I could get very far anyway. My body was aching, my shoulder throbbing, my hands stinging and I was absolutely exhausted from not being allowed to sleep. I sighed and trudged up the stairs towards him.

As I reached the top the Frenchman took me by the shoulders and kissed the air next to my cheeks. He chuckled and led me inside. As we went inside I took a quick look around his house. It certainly did not look like a French chateau on the inside. Standing in the doorway towards what looked to be the dining room, I saw a woman around my age. She had one eyebrow raised and was eying me with pity. Directly in front of me, perched on his couch was another woman, who looked to be only a few years older than me and the woman in the doorway. Her lips were painted a dashing scarlet, and she looked like the stereotypical beautiful French woman.

“Bonjour,” she whispered huskily to the man and me.

She rose and stood in front of the man with a seductive smile. He walked over to her and snaked an arm around her waist before pulling him to her in a sloppy kiss. Ugh, gross. From the way that she looked and the way that he was kissing her I knew, she was a trophy wife. The girl in the doorway was his daughter, and not by her.

“Mademoiselle ‘onor, zis ees my wife, Brigitte. Behind you ees my daughter Anouk. I am Bernard Girard.”

I made no move to greet any one of them. This was not the time nor the place for hospitalities.

“Who are you? What do you want with me?”

He held up his hands, “all in good time.”

He gestured for me to sit on the couch. I refused. Before I knew it I felt someone come up behind me and push me down. I collapsed roughly into the couch.

“First, let us have a glass of wine. After, we can discuss our business n’est ce pais?”

“No, I do not want a glass of wine. I want to know who the HELL you people are. I want to take my crate and leave. I do not want one of your stupid glasses of wine!”

His eyes darkened, “Mademoiselle, do not confuse my hospitality for being nice. We have customs een zis country we choose to uphold. You are my prisoner, not my guest.”

I crossed my arms across my chest and looked away. Yes, I was pouting like a child…but I think given this situation it was warranted, right? I needed a way to escape. I looked to the door. What if Indiana Jones suddenly burst into the room? He could whip that dumb wine glass out of the Bernard’s hand. Then, he could sweep me up off my feet and I could say ‘oh Indy’ like those women in his move. Of course, I would be Marion. No way was I going to be that shrill, useless Willie or the backstabber Elsa. No, Marion, his true love. I sighed. That was all fine and dandy…but what about Ramses? I couldn’t leave without him and I’m not sure how well Indiana Jones could handle a mummy. No, it was up to me.

“Ah, Mademoiselle ‘onor, you stare at za door az though someone ees coming for you. You must not ‘ave false ‘ope! Anouk, take Mademoiselle ‘onor to ‘er room s’il te plait.”

The girl huffed and stepped forward from the doorway. She walked over to me and gestured for me to rise. I’m not sure why, perhaps it was the pitying look she gave me before, but I did so without hesitation. I followed her up to the third floor. She unlocked a door and gestured for me to go inside before closing it. I heard the door lock again. I tried the knob, but it wouldn’t budge.

“Put on ze clothes een in the armoire. They are clean and fresh.”

I banged on the door, “please. Please, you have to help me. I need to get my crate and leave. Please, help me. Please.”

There was silence on the other side of the door, then, retreating footsteps. I sighed and walked to the armoire. New clothes did sound awfully nice. I peeled off the dirty, wrinkled remnants of my once pretty blue dress with a sigh. There wasn’t a bathroom in sight, so a shower was not an option. Still, I took my hair out of the clip and tossed it on the bed. I peeled off my magenta tights and shivered as the cold chateau air hit my bare skin. I opened the armoire to find only one dress. I hoped it fit.

I pulled the dress on. It was unusual, but faintly familiar. It was light blue, which seemed to be slowly becoming my signature color. It had a white vest to go with it. I sighed and slipped it on as well. There were even shoes for me to wear. This guy was weird. Oh God! What if I had wound up in some sort of sick, perverted creepy…House of a Thousand Corpses kind of deal? I couldn’t take anymore. I sat on the edge of the bed and cried until I found myself lying down and drifting off to sleep.

The worst part about the entire thing was that I couldn’t feel Ramses anymore.

* * *

I awoke when someone banged on my door. I heard the lock jiggle and the door opened. I rolled over and opened my eyes to see Bernard walking through the door.

“Now! Mademoiselle ‘onor, you will tell me about za crate!”

I crossed my arms over my chest and glared at him. He pulled me from the bed and pushed me against the wall. I stared defiantly back at home, my eyes blazing, daring him to do his worst.

“You think you are brave, don’t you? I ‘ave ways of making you talk. ”

“What’s the point? There isn’t a single thing in the world that you can do about me and my crate.”

“We know zat you are ze bound one and zat ‘e ees the Bloody Prince of Sands,” my expression faltered slightly, “Aa! So  zat ees correct. Ze prophecies say zat you are lovers,” I felt his hand on my waist suddenly, this thumb stroking circles around my hip. I wanted to vomit.

I didn’t answer, just continued to stare at him.

“I am most curious…after all, ‘e ees dead. Did it feel nice, Jill ‘onor, to have a dead man’s ‘ands sliding all over your body?”

It was more than I could take, “Stop it!”

He laughed cruelly and took a step back from me, “according to ze prophecy, ze bound one shall own ze ‘eart of the Prince and control ‘im. I want zat power, Jill ‘onor.”

“What are you talking about? I read that prophecy and it said nothing of the sort! I am the one to redeem him for his crimes. Not own him and control him!”

“To be redeemed by a woman, Mademoiselle ‘onor is to be owned by a woman. A woman would not redeem a man she did not have control over.”

Ugh, jerk. I really wanted to punch his big, dumb nose in. More importantly, I wanted to find Ramses. My head was beginning to ache, and my hands were shaking. Soon the sweats would start, then the stomach pains …and I wasn’t sure what would happen after.

“Please, Mr. Girard. If I don’t see him sometime soon, I’m going to die.”

“Yes, zat is ze plan. If you were to expire Mademoiselle ‘onor, the occupation for ‘bound one’ will open up and my daughter Anouk ees just the right one to fit ze bill. ‘ave a pleasant night, Mademoiselle ‘onor.”

He walked out of the room and slammed the door shut behind him. I ran to the door and threw myself against it. I beat against it, but the wood was too strong. There was no hope. My head was beginning to pound, and my sides felt as though someone was sticking knives into them. I could feel myself shaking hard, and cold sweat was starting to drip from my forehead. At the rate I was progressing, I wasn’t sure I could make it until morning. Where was Ramses? Why couldn’t I feel him anymore? It surprised me that I was less concerned with myself and more concerned with Ramses’ safety. I knew then in my heart of hearts, beyond a shadow of a doubt that I, Jill Honor, was completely and totally in love with him.

******************

Because I wanted the chapter out faster, I cut it in half. I’ll get to work on the next part after the next chapter of Let it Be (which after I hit the publish button I’m going to go work on. 😀 )

I’m terrible at accents, so let me know if I butchered it. 🙂

I also don’t speak French fluently. I learned French in a kitchen, so  the bits of French that are in the chapter are probably wrong tense or its formal when it should be informal, or whatever. Sorry 🙂