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.


4. Shade, or darkness?

            As I opened my eyes, the grains of sand that had settled on my eyelids folded into my eye, making me sit up agitated. I blinked repetitively and a few granules fell into the sea of sand beneath my feet. I leant back on my palms and took in a deep breath. My head throbbed from the hard fall I had encountered, which added to the headaches from the ridiculous heat burning down from the sun above me.

            I turned my heavy head in the direction of the solid item that had tripped me off my feet. It was a white rock illuminated by the sun, the corner of which was sticking out the ground. I dragged myself towards it and examined closely, my eyes squinting as I did so. The stone was not an ordinary rock from the desert and most certainly shaped by man. The corner was missing, probably chipped off or eroded by sand, but the lines were perfectly straight and almost sharp to touch as I ran my shaking fingers along them.

            I scraped my hands in the shape of an arch into the surface, digging along the edge of the stone. I could almost feel the sand eroding my hands when I fell forward a little as my arm broke through to open space. I moved my fingers around in the hollow opening I had just discovered, before clearing the rest of the sand so I could see rather than feel what was going on underground. The sunlight poured into the cavern and I could clearly perceive what was in front of me. As I gazed down the hole, I noticed an irregular pattern of steps leading into the structure.

             I stopped for a second and collected my thoughts. My head still hurt from the fall so it was hard to concentrate. The stairs were too tempting for an adventurer like me. As well as that, going down there would provide me with protection from the blisteringly hot sun, just what I needed.

            I rose to my feet and allowed my shadow to cast itself across the entrance. I took one cautious step towards the opening. Stopped. Then took another pace forward, the only sound coming from the grinding sand under my blistered feet. The next few steps were slightly faster than the previous and I proceeded down into the cavern. A faint smell wafted past my nose, the scent of lavender, and such a sweet aroma. How unusual. It reminded me of my mother. Her perfume had been the same pungent odor I was experiencing now. As I moved down further underground the intensity of the bouquet increased.

            Suddenly just as I was nearing the bottom of my descent there was a deep thud and the opening of the staircase was shut off. I had been trapped. I fell to the floor clutching my eyes in pain from the sudden contrast in light. Blackness filled the space around. Light was no more; darkness had taken its place.

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