The Red Lands

A story set in Egypt about a man, separated from his team, out in search of a long lost fortune. I draw inspiration from all kinds of books, so you may come across themes and ideas from other stories. I like to mix things and turn them into my own. Enjoy.

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6. Immortality

A cold draft swept past my frightened face. The woman stood in front of me, yet my eyes could not see her. I felt a shiver run down my spine, the kind you get when afraid.

“What are you doing down here?” came a soft voice from the darkness.

“I – I was trapped down here. The stone, it closed behind me.” I muttered. I noticed my hands were fidgeting. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. I could never see daylight again. I began to wish I was in the desert again. There was something about my current surroundings that gave me a sense of insecurity.

“You shouldn’t be here,” she said forcefully. “This is the hall of my father. A sacred place, please go.”

Then it hit me. Her beautiful face and the sarcophagus at the end of the room, but how could it be? The tale of Fadil was centuries old there was no way she was who I thought she was. “Sagira?” I asked.

“Look kind sir, please, you have no business here.”

“It is you isn’t it!” I said still trying to believe what I had seen.

Suddenly the fire came alight and I could see her face before me once again. Our eyes met in the light. Her glistening gems, her long brown hair, her rosy cheeks, she was perfection.

“I am Sagira, daughter of The Great Emperor Fadil. I have been trapped here for thousands of years with only the corpse of my father to keep me company.”

I couldn’t believe my eyes. Sagira, Fadil, thousands of years? It almost didn’t make sense, at least not until I asked the question which would change my life forever. “How are you still alive?”

Sagira twitched a little and I saw her hand move down to hold her other. Where a bright gold ring was. She looked blankly at me while she rubbed it with her hand. Then removing the ring she looked at it closely. “This is the seal of my father.”

At that point I almost fell over. The seal had been my team’s goal. It was the whole reason I was out here in this godforsaken desert. I wanted that seal so much, almost as if my life depended on it.

“This seal has a hidden power. One which only my father new of.  Immortality. My father’s goal was a mighty ruler, and he grew to love his position of power. So much so, he didn’t want anything, not even death to distract from his rule.” She looked up and our eyes met for a brief moment, I could see her’s swelling up slightly and reddening. Then she looked down again. “Once my father had heard of this ring of immortality, he had his heart set on retrieving it. His battles raged on, as he hunted near and far to find the jewel. Whence he had almost reached the point of giving up, he happened upon the ring, in the pyramid of Ahmose.”

“The Pyramid of Ahmose,” I whispered to myself. Archaeologists and historians had been working together for years to find an entrance to the pyramid without damaging its walls.

“He brought the ring back to Aswan where he kept it hidden and protected, on his finger. He was immortal.” Sagira said it with such conviction as she neatened out the crease in her garment.

“Then how did he die?” I asked curious as to the power of the seal.

“Fadil was murdered by Asim. At night while washing Fadil always removes his ring. When the ring is not worn, then the immortality isn’t possessed. That is when Asim chose to strike.”

“Immortality,” I said with a slight chill in my voice. “To live forever, an undying body.”

“Yes,” Sagira quickly interrupted. “A curse for any man.” I walked around the room, looking down to my feet, not really believing what I had just been told. I needed time for all this to sink in. I put my hand to my head as another one of my headaches came back to me. I was tempted to sit down as I began to get dizzy, but I couldn’t, for fear of disrespect towards the girl and her father.

“A curse?” I repeated inquisitively.

“Immortality is a burden beyond belief. Your soul you must give up to the Egyptian Gods, only your body is left to walk this shallow earth. I would wish it on no man.”

“Not even Asim?” I said softly.

“Asim deserves worse than the mere curse of immortality. He doesn’t deserve to live.”

I thought about the hatred Sagira must feel towards Asim, not only murdering her father, but locking her down here also. I stepped into the room as Sagira walked towards the fire. The walls were white marble and the floor mosaic of an Egyptian on horseback holding a scimitar blade above his head. Which then reminded me of my peculiar mirage.

“I see, well if immortality is so bad, why don’t you remove the ring?” I asked, slowly walking round the circumference of the room. I made sure to step quietly, so as not to disturb Sagira from talking. I approached the sarcophagus, its golden rim glistening in the light of the fire. I put a hand out towards it as if to touch the shiny box.

“Don’t!” Sagira exclaimed. “It’s poisoned any man who touches it will burn from the outside in.”

I quickly withdrew from touching the sarcophagus. And walked back past the fire towards the door in which I had entered.

“The reason I choose not to remove the ring is for my father. I wish to avenge him.”

“But how would you? Asim is dead!” I said, curious as to her logic behind the whole idea. She may have lived through thousands of years, but there was no way Asim could still be alive. Not now, not after all this time.

“Asim’s body and soul live on.” She explained kneeling back down before the fire and stretching out her hand in front of it.

“What?” I asked.

“There is something else you don’t know about Asim. He wasn’t exactly, human.”

“What do you mean not exactly human?” I asked, slightly worried about the answer.

“Asim is a demi-god…”

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