“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.
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?”
“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.
“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.”
“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:
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.
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.”
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. 😉