Author: Oishii PM
Malinda went through the strokes of life as a teenager should. She never shared how the sands of Egypt had been at her door, from parents who adored mythology to the mystery of their passing. Yet again the stories of the past revisit her with a god requesting help to recover what he has lost. As the sands of Egypt sweep her away, she will witness the truth behind Egyptian "myths".Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Drama - Chapters: 18 - Words: 111,870 - Reviews: 27 - Favs: 22 - Follows: 28 - Updated: 01-26-13 - Published: 01-08-11 - id: 2880324
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Chapter 17: My Body Becomes a Decomposing Timelapse
It didn't take long to realize there was something different with me. I had once tried to carry Anubis and I could barely hold his heavy weight. It was hardly surprising looking back on it now. His bones were made of gold. Of course he would be extremely heavy. Yet at this moment, halfway through the underground tunnel that led to the temple, I felt no strain carrying him on my back. In fact, I felt like I was carrying the weight of a small child than an immortal goldmine.
Well, almost immortal. Someone with his injury shouldn't survive. My back was soaked from all the blood that poured from the gaping hole through his stomach. Yet he still breathed, though his breath was becoming more irregular as I walked. A god can survive physical trauma humans could not, but they could still die. So where was the line? I had no idea. I moved as fast as my body would go terrified of finding out the answer.
It was my shoulder that made the journey difficult. The beast of Set had sunk his teeth deeply into it. Anubis' blood was all over me hiding my own bleeding, but there was no doubt my own wound was contributing its own stains. As light as Anubis felt, keeping my arm back to hold his leg sent sharp stabs that intensified each time my foot landed to the ground. I was unable to hold back gasps from the sudden spikes of pain the wound sent through my arm and chest, but I wouldn't allow myself to stop. I couldn't leave Anubis here to die.
A light from an opening in the ceiling was visible. I stumbled toward the exit, but a horrible realization struck me. I had no idea how to get up there. It wasn't particularly high, but there was no ladder up. And even if there were, I couldn't climb up it with Anubis on my back and with an injured shoulder.
"Heeeeey! Someone! Heeeelp!" I shouted as loud as I could, but no one came. There had been no one in the temple when we came, so there was little chance anyone could hear us. We still had an ally on the other side, though.
"Dog whistle… where is it?" I had to lay Anubis gently on the ground. I searched his pockets and found what I was looking for in an inside pocket of his jacket. I filled my lungs and blew hard on the whistle. No sound came from it, but it made Anubis groan. I almost laughed to see some life stirred into him.
The wait in that silent tunnel felt like it dragged on for hours. I felt as though I had a clock ticking in my ear keeping me constantly aware that every moment counted. Then I heard a patter on the floor above me. In the hole, a furry head popped into view and gave a whimper.
"Paws! It's okay! Can you get a rope or something to pull us out with?"
Paws barked and trotted off. I waited with the ticking again until a bright orange rope fell into the hole, its other end somewhere above out of sight. At first I wasn't sure what to do with it, but I decided to tie Anubis first and make sure he was the most secure. Then I tied it around my own waist. I picked Anubis up, him still feeling like the weight of a pillow. "Alright Paws! Pull us up!"
I heard his feet scamper off. I couldn't figure out where he had gone or why it was taking so long. I started to think something happened to him when the rope tightened and started lifting us up. It was extremely uncomfortable. The rope slid up to my bust and put pressure on my injury. There was a slight sway as we ascended. I made sure to take the brunt of the bumps into the wall instead of Anubis. We came out of the opening, the corner scraping into my back as the rope pulled me up. We came to a stop and I began hastily stripping us of our rope.
Paws was nowhere in sight. The rope for some reason continued on outside a window so I picked Anubis up and followed it. At the window I could see the rope was tied onboard the boat. He had used the boat to pull the rope instead of trying to himself. "Smart dog…" I muttered. I wasted no time and jumped out the window into the boat directly below me. I landed and fell to my knees but was otherwise okay. I went straight to the helm where Paws was waiting.
I laid Anubis down. Paws was beside himself, giving cries that were half barks and whimpers. Anubis was extremely pale with sweat glistening on his forehead. His breathing was sporadic and effortful. My mind was going blank from panic. My knowledge of first aid was very basic, yet a very experienced doctor probably wouldn't know what to do, not when he had entire organs that were missing.
"I don't know what to do," I whispered, tears falling down my cheeks as I did. I clutched my chest. I began to rock forward as sobs erupted from my chest. "I don't know what to do! Anubis is going to die and I don't know what to do!"
Something grew burning hot on my chest. I yelped in surprise. As I did, a memory came to the surface.
If you ever need me, go to the closest library and ask for Seshat. She can always get in contact with me.
"The notecard…" I ran out the helm and headed straight for my bedroom. I rummaged through my bedside table for the notecard I received eons ago from Thoth the day I began this journey. I also grabbed my tablet and a handful of clothes off the floor.
I ran back to the helm, flipping through my tablet as I did. As soon as I was inside I ordered, "Paws, I need you to head straight to these coordinates." I read off the numbers that had more meaning to him than me. He didn't delay in turning us around. "We need to get there fast!" I began to pull my blood soaked clothes off as we headed for the closest library in Tibet.
To be honest, it looked more like a bookstore than a library. It was small and crammed between two other stores that had much more customers than this place. The outside was beautiful with colored tiles that made a patterned motif around the building, the exposed wood painted in bright primary colors. But I wasn't there to admire the sights. I threw myself at the red door.
The inside was also like a bookstore, and there didn't seem like a lot of selection. I walked past each shelf, half tempted to go crazy and start tearing the place apart. I didn't think Thoth would appreciate me following after Horus' example. But if it would save Anubis…
"Can I help you?" the woman at the counter asked politely, but looking a bit uneasy dealing with a foreigner.
I was uncertain but asked anyway, "I need to speak with Seshat."
The woman was mildly surprised but kindly responded, "Yes, certainly. Her office is the back door here." She walked out behind the counter and led me to an office door with a plague in some other language. I bowed to thank her and she left. I took a breath and opened the door.
It was like being transported back to Thoth's office. The place was a wreck just like his. Books stacked on books stacked on books making it seem like an impossible task to find anything in that clutter. The ceiling rose high above out of sight with continuous bookcases lining every inch of the walls. In the center was a desk perched between two palm trees that wildly contrasted with the rest of the room.
At the desk was a woman that had the librarian look down pat. She had long black hair tied back in a tight bun. She wore rectangular glasses with old fashioned beads that hung from them. Her suit had a cheetah print that fit very snuggly on her. She was writing at an incredible speed and didn't seem to notice my entrance. I swiftly strode up to her desk.
"Excuse me, I need your– "
She interrupted me with a long sigh. Stopping whatever it was she was writing, she dug into a drawer and fetched another roll of paper. She began rapidly writing on that saying, "I'm going to be behind schedule. The chancellor specifically asked for the document at five o'clock this evening. No sooner, no later. If I can increase the writing speed to 143 words a minute then perhaps I can…"
"Excuse me, I'm sorry, but I really need your help."
She didn't respond but continued muttering about word counts and deadlines. I knew I couldn't be here forever so I skipped formalities and moved on. "I need to talk with Thoth right now. He said you could get in contact with him."
"I am always in contact with him," she said without lifting her eyes from her writing. Her pen moved between writing on two documents, never stopping their pace. "Talking with me is as good as talking with him. So tell me what it is you want."
I could hardly understand what she meant, but this wasn't a time to talk about how strange the gods were. That would take weeks. "Anubis is dying and he needs medical attention, or magic or something. Please! I don't know what I can do!"
She didn't bat an eye. I was becoming more disturbed by how emotionless she seemed. Even her "panic" over missing her deadline was muttered in a detached way like she was only saying it out of formality. She continued to ceaselessly write while pulling out yet another slip of paper with her other hand. She quickly wrote on that and in seconds was thrusting it at me.
"Go to 'Shanghai United Family Hospital'. You can find Imhotep there. Be sure to ask for Dr. Ankh."
"But Shanghai is directly east of here. We can't travel in that direction. Is there someone else we can go to? Why can't I talk to Thoth?"
She abruptly stopped her pen. A cold sweat ran down my back as she locked eyes with me. Her expression was empty. For some reason as I looked at her I wondered if she was really there or not. "I am Thoth's other and I am telling you everything he wants you to know. Gods are always making enemies of each other and we can't always find ways to avoid one another. You will travel east and confront the wrath Anubis has invoked or he will die."
She looked down at her papers and quickly started writing once more. "Now it will have to be 151 words a minute. That will give me 508…" She continued her personal rant, but I didn't stick around. I was so shaken that I left the room immediately putting as much distance from her as I could.
Anubis was worse. His body was twitching. Every muscle in his body looked to be having small spasms from his face to his feet. His breathing had grown softer but it continued to come at random bursts. Paws was already turning us east to the hospital, though he seemed really reluctant to go this way. I stared at the gaping hole in Anubis' abdomen as I thought of the stinger that had pierced him.
"Poison…" The ticking grew louder as our time seemed to be running out. I called to Paws, "You have to get this thing going as fast as it can go!"
I let Paws do his thing. I sat next to Anubis and held his hand, his fingers dancing wildly in my grasp. I squeezed my eyes shut as I worried over what sort of trial we were facing.
Normally I could never feel the boat moving. However, this time it felt like we were on a rollercoaster. The pressure of the speed could be felt even in the helm. I held myself steady having a bad case of vertigo.
Then the feeling hit me right in the gut. My stomach felt like it had been rung dry. I dropped Anubis' hand and clutched at my stomach. I felt like I hadn't eaten in weeks. The pain was not only an intense hunger, but my muscles ached and shook like their energy had been completely depleted. My mouth was dry. I wanted nothing but to eat anything I could find.
Somehow I knew eating wouldn't do any good. It was the wrath Seshat mentioned, from that god Do-A-Motif or whatever his name was. He was attacking our stomachs, punishing us for traveling in his direction. Paws whimpered as he gnawed at the steering wheel. Anubis didn't show any reaction at all, completely oblivious to the world around him.
The trip to Shanghai was short, but felt grueling long. I laid on the ground, curled into myself with my only thoughts on my aching stomach and Anubis. I was beginning to believe we weren't going to get there in time when I felt the pressure of our speed lift. The feeling of emptiness disappeared as well, and I felt fuller than I ever had. Still shaking, I tried to pick Anubis up. It was difficult. His whole body was constantly moving and I never felt I had a firm grasp of him. I threw his arm around my shoulder and had to drag him with me, knowing this was the only way I could move him without dropping him.
Paws stayed behind watching with wide eyes as I jumped out of the boat with Anubis. The hospital wasn't magnificent at all. It looked to be two, maybe three stories. The exterior was white with blue trimming around it. I walked with Anubis through the parking lot to the entrance doors.
It was obvious the sight of us was the last thing the nurses there were expecting to see. They wasted no time in acting. Before I knew it, one nurse was putting him in a stretcher and hooking him up to IVs and other machines, while others were taking pulses and shouting numbers that meant nothing to me. All through it I was trying to get them to listen to me. "He needs Dr. Ankh!" I repeated. "Is Dr. Ankh here? Please!"
They took Anubis away. I tried to follow them but a nurse stopped me. "It is okay, ma'am. We will take care of him."
"No! He needs Dr. Ankh! Where is he?"
"I'm sorry, but Dr. Ankh is in surgery. There's nothing to worry about. Another doctor will be there to take care of him. Come in here. It will be alright."
"No…" She started guiding me to another room, but I swatted her hand away. "You're not listening to me! It has to be Dr. Ankh! If he doesn't help him, he'll die!"
"Ma'am…" I ignored her and pushed around her to where they had taken Anubis, desperate to find someone who would listen to me. I didn't make it far when two men grabbed me from behind. They started to move me away, and I fought with all the strength my body had left in it, not caring about what it did to my injuries. "No! You can't do this! He's going to die! Please!"
"What is going on?" a male voice came from the hall.
"Oh, Dr. Ankh," a nurse replied.
I craned my neck to see him. My first thought was that he wasn't a god. He looked ordinary, like any other doctor I may have had. His skin was a deep color and he looked almost like he was from India. But he didn't have indescribable look the other gods had that set them apart from others.
"Please!" I shouted. "Anubis is dying! Please save him!"
The man looked startled for a second, but quickly spun around and ran down the hall. I stopped resisting as the security guards dragged me across the lobby. I started to feel hot. Even the trail of blood running down my arm felt cold to my skin.
A nurse shouted, "Wait! That woman is injured!" Her voiced started to sound far away. I had a feeling like I had stood up too fast, but the fuzziness of the sensation intensified. I couldn't feel my legs under me anymore, and I let the heat burn me away.
I woke in a flower field. Endlessly in whatever direction I looked were white flowers peeping out of the lush grass. The air was aromatic. There was a taste in the wind like the coming of rain, but the sky was a perfect blue with speckles of white clouds here and there.
A breeze swept across the field making the tall grass dance. The petals escaped their stems and began to spin in a cloud. Together they formed the figure of a person, much like the feathers of Ma'at had. I stood and faced the new figure before me. She lifted an arm. A finger pointed to a point in the distance behind my back.
I turned to see something odd. The flowers in the far distance were changing. They looked to be rotting on the spot. The circle of dying flowers was growing like a puddle under a dripping faucet. I walked toward the imperfection in my field. As I came closer, the field started dying around me. It crunched under my bare feet as I came to the destruction's center.
At its center was a corpse. By its leathery and coal black skin I could tell it must have been rotting for a long time. Its nose had long ago decomposed. Its eyes were closed and mouth was slightly open. The skin pulled tightly on its skeleton revealing every tendon and bone underneath. Holes in the skin were made by the bugs that crawled over its body. The exposed bone glistened a bright gold under the sunshine. The sweet aroma was gone. My nose was filled with the pungent smell of spoiling meat.
But the corpse didn't repulse me. Instead, I was drawn to it. In the remnants of small strands of hair that still clung to the scalp and the shape of the skin that stretched over the skull, I could recognize the soul that had belonged to the body. I was fearful for him. I crouched beside him and shook his shoulders. The corpse creaked in odd ways as bones rubbed against bones.
"Anubis?!" I said in a whisper, tears just forming in my eyes. He did nothing, said nothing, for all he was was a corpse. No amount of shaking or crying out to him would bring him back to life.
And then the sun sank so quickly that in less than a minute day had become night. Clouds filled the sky that hid the stars and moon. The only light came from the flowers that began to glow in the night. The lights distracted me. I hadn't noticed that I couldn't remove my grip from Anubis' shoulders or that my flesh was beginning to rot. When I did notice, my skin had already deteriorated up to my elbows and was spreading up my arms. I struggled to let go, the muscles that had once been in my hands brittle and unresponsive. I tried to pull away, but I was quickly losing strength.
"Anubis, help!..." I cried helplessly to a corpse. It was to my chest now, and I could feel my lungs turning to rigged paper bags. My heart began slowing, the muscle becoming too weak to deal with the strain of keeping me alive. I could no longer feel my legs beneath me. They were only twigs attached to the rest of my rotting corpse. The skin at my neck began to ripple away as my face was the last to decay. I looked at the corpse lying below me one last time sure that I had failed us both.
Then the darkness dissipated, like someone had turned on a switch in the sky. The moon sprung up from behind a cloud. It shined brightly with a radiant ring of light encasing it in the sky. The flowers glowed with the brilliance of the moon. The stain of death that had spilled on my flower field began to shrink. The flowers regained their color and blossomed with the same light as their neighbors. Soon there was not a single imperfection within the field. Like the flowers, I too regained my colors. My skin regained its softness and my heart and lungs fought with renewed strength. Everything came back to life but the corpse below me.
Yet even though his skin was still dry and discolored, the chest was rising and falling. You could hear the air moving in his windpipe like it had holes where the air was escaping. My hands still on his shoulders, I lifted him up and rested his head in my arm. His eyelids fluttered. The whites of his eyes were yellow and brown, but the color of his iris was still the copper brown I remembered it to be. He focused his gaze on me, then his eyes widened.
"I can't stay here," he said in a hushed voice.
His body crumbled into black sand and he was gone.
This time I woke in a bed with the smell of sterilization in my nose. The ceiling was white. The sheets were white. The curtain drawn around my bed was white. The room was semi-dark, as though even with the lights off the whiteness of the room wouldn't allow the room to be doused in darkness.
There was an IV by me dripping clear liquids into my arm. I sat up and gently removed the needle from me. I was in a hospital gown, but I could see my shirt folded and cleaned sitting on a counter by me. No one was around, and I didn't care much if they were. I didn't belong in this room and no one was going to keep me here.
After ridding myself of the hospital clothes, I stepped out of my room. The lights were dimmed, but I could hear nurses moving about in the distance. I didn't need the nurses. I knew where I was going.
Somehow I hadn't noticed Anubis had been with me still until he was gone. There was no other way I could have carried him here. Not a weak human like me. I woke up feeling like a half of myself was gone. I felt lonely being myself. But I could feel my other half was still here. He was in a room on the other side of the hospital, but it wasn't that far.
My heart gave a jolt when I reached the room and saw on the sign next to the door the name 'Andrew Darnell'. He just kept creeping up on me when I least expected it. I took a breath and opened the door.
The room was much larger than the one I had woken up in. There were some chairs and a sofa like a family could get together here. There was a curtain pulled around the bed but I could still see his head resting on a pillow. Anubis wasn't a corpse; in fact he looked rather healthy. He was in a deep sleep breathing in slow intervals.
A man came out from the curtain and looked at me in surprise. It was Dr. Ankh, or Imhotep I guess was his real name. Once again I was struck with how ordinary he looked, and it was even more apparent with Anubis in the same room. His eyes widened in recognition.
"You shouldn't have left your room," he reprimanded but, counteracting his statement, he pulled a cushioned chair over and signaled for me to sit. I almost sat down but a familiar scent reached my nose. I ignored his offer and made my way to pull the curtain. The doctor called out, "Young lady, you shouldn't look. I was changing his dressings before you came in and – "
The rings screeched across the metal bar as I pulled open the curtain. The sheets had been pulled down to his hips keeping his chest completely exposed. His abdomen didn't have a penetrating hole anymore from the scorpion Uhat. Instead, the hole had been filled with rotting skin. The stench of it had hit me like a wave when I pulled the curtain back. The leathery flesh melded into the surrounding healthy skin as though he were rotting from the inside out.
"He almost died," I stated numbly.
"He nearly did, yes, but the decayed flesh is a sign that his body is healing. It is how Anpu is." Imhotep put an arm around my shoulders and steered me into the seat he had pulled out. Imhotep inspected my injured shoulder. I felt emotionally detached from everything. He asked me to take off my shirt and I didn't feel the slightest bit embarrassed like I may have a lifetime ago. He took off the bandages covering my wound. The tears in my skin had been cleaned and stitched up like a rip in a rag doll.
"The work of Set I presume," Imhotep remarked. I nodded, glancing at Anubis as I did. He continued to rest soundly.
Imhotep began fiddling around with his equipment saying as he did, "I can have those wounds healed for you in a moment. Let me finish dressing up Anubis' injuries and I'll put a spell on that."
I looked at my shoulder. It was swollen, the skin peppered with many colors; imperfect and grotesque. "That's alright. I would rather if you didn't heal it with magic."
He paused at was he was doing and asserted, "It will leave scars."
I smiled. "Yeah, it will."
Imhotep nodded and said, "I'll bandage you first so you won't get an infection. "
"But Anubis – "
"He's more resilient than you, don't you worry." He pulled over a chair next to me and began wrapping up my shoulder. It reminded me of Anubis doing the same for my foot not so long ago. Imhotep didn't have the sort of perfection in movements as Anubis had, but he still did his job well. I looked into his face as he stared in concentration as he worked.
"Are you really a god?" I asked.
A smile tugged at his cheek. "I don't have the family resemblance, do I?" He glanced up at me for a second before continuing. "I was once human, too. And like you, I had chanced to know Anpu in my mortal life."
He snipped the bandage and stood up. I pulled my shirt back on, but otherwise looked at Imhotep with fascination. I suppose I hadn't thought of it, there being humans who later became gods. Like he had said, I was used to the gods being somehow related to each other like one family. He began to work on wrapping Anubis' wound but he continued to speak during his work.
"It was one of my youngest sisters. She had always been fragile and I was the only one that knew how to care for her. But it was not to be. I didn't want to believe she was dead. My magic was unique. It was rooted in science, before people understood what science was. I believed I could bring her back, just as Is– "
He abruptly stopped in his story, and then covered his mistake with a smile. "Well, I was quite surprised when a god came into my home. When I saw the god of death, I knew he marked my failure. But Anpu was livid with me. I hadn't given her a proper burial. He accused me of suffocating my sister's soul in a rotting shell."
He looked at me a moment and sheepishly said, "Sorry, I guess I got carried away from old memories. It's not the most uplifting of stories."
"I don't mind. I haven't heard many stories about Anubis' past. So, is that why you became a god? For your sister?"
The doctor chuckled, "Not quite for that reason. I did come to realize the dead should have their second life in the duat." I furrowed my brow. That wasn't what I had meant by my question. I was thinking along the lines that he would have become a god to continue to see his sister in the duat. But he continued to explain, "I had many reasons. I had served under the pharaoh and wished to continue to serve him. I wished to develop medicine further so less lives would be lost from disease. I wanted to be an idol so that others would follow the same path I had in my life."
He pulled Anubis' covers over his now bandaged chest. He pulled off his gloves saying, "Would you like anything to eat or drink, Nakia?"
"How do you know my name?" My groggy mind thought, 'Seriously, how is it every time a meet a god they already know my name? It's getting irritating.'
"Anpu was conscious for a moment before," he responded. "He asked for you first." I didn't know what to say to that, so I stared at the ground without a response.
"My question still stands?"
"No, I'm not very hun–"
Outside the room a thunderous bang cracked through the air and stopped me in mid-sentence. We both rounded at the sudden commotion that sounded from the hall. I heard Imhotep mutter, "Pharoah," under his breath before leaving the room. I heard some nurses scolding, "Sir, you can only visit during visiting hours!" I became curious and, seeing as Anubis would be fine for the time being, a poked my head out to see what was going on.
The nurses were surrounding a frantic looking Horus the Child trying to coerce him to leave. Instead he was forcing his way through despite them. Imhotep approached him saying, "Pharoah, you shouldn't act so rashly. I would come to get you if you–"
"Where is he?! Where's my brother?"
"He's in there," said a small voice. I hadn't noticed the short woman trailing beside Horus, but once I did it was hard for me to take my eyes off her. She had a dark complexion with short but very thick, black hair that's waves framed her small head. She was wearing tightfitting black pants with white roses painted on them. Her shirt was a loose fitting tank made of a shiny gold material that matched her large hoop earrings. Despite how flashy her cloths were, the most startling feature of hers was her eyes. They were the same color as both of the Horus's I've met; her left eye was silver while her right was golden yellow. Our gazes locked together and I knew she was the eye of a god. Considering her eye colors, I could give a good guess whose eye she was.
Without a moment's hesitation, Horus went right past me to Anubis without even acknowledging me. He sat next to Anubis' bed. Horus took his hand into his own and pressed his lips to Anubis' palm with his eyes squeezed shut. He stayed like that for a long time while Imhotep cleared the confusion in the hall. I stepped out of the room to let the brothers have their privacy. The sight of me caused the nurses to startle. They wanted to take me back to my room, but Imhotep convinced them to leave me be. Things finally settled down and the staff went back to their other duties.
"You have a lot of influence." I stated plainly.
"Humans are easy to placate. It's when gods get involved that this place gets hectic."
At my soft apology, Imhotep grabbed my shoulder with a stern face. With a sharp voice he said, "Don't say what you don't mean. Are you sorry you saved Anpu's life by bringing him here?"
"N-no…" I looked away from him feeling ashamed.
"Then don't ever say that again. You haven't burdened any of us. You have helped us more than you know."
I nodded, but I still held some doubt I didn't voice. Maybe it looked to them like I brought Anubis here, but I knew that Anubis had used me to save himself. I didn't deserve to hear his words when I let Anubis get hurt in the first place.
Just then Horus came sauntering out leaning on the doorframe as he left Anubis' room. His expression was so downcast and helpless that it was heartbreaking. He looked at us all gathered in the hall. He opened his mouth to say something, but choked up unable to say what he wanted to. Instead, he locked me in his sights and approached me.
In an unexpected move, he put his arms around me and held me in a tight hug. I jerked from his action, not from my wound being squeezed but from the shock. I didn't know what to do with my hands; if I should comfort him or keep them at my side. They stayed up in the air around him while my mind panicked at what to do.
"Thank you…" Horus whispered in a croaky voice. I nodded in his shoulder through the conflicting emotions. He finally released me, his face whipped completely clean of the torment it held before. He addressed Imhotep asking, "Do you have a room for her?"
"I had the nurses change her to an out-patient. She is free to leave for the night."
"I want to stay here!" I protested.
Imhotep replied, "Nakia, it is late and you could use more rest to heal. It would be better to get a room somewhere else for the night. You can return in the morning."
Horus shakily nodded and went to the young woman who had been leaning against the wall and watching us through the whole conversation. "Take care of her for me, will you?"
"Of course," she responded.
Her heels clicked on the floor as she came over. Without a moments delay she had her hand to my back directing me away. I turned my head to see Horus talking with Imhotep before we turned a corner cutting them out of sight.
"Wadjet," the goddess beside me said. Despite her being a couple inches shorter than me, she held a grandeur that made me feel much smaller than her.
After a moment to grasp her introduction, I also shortly replied, "Nakia."
A smile tugged at the corner of her lips. "Nakia… you have, pretty eyes." When we stood waiting for an elevator, she took a lock of my hair and inspected it before frowning. "So many split ends. When have you last cut your hair?"
"Um…" I mumbled not recalling when I had last gone to a salon. I could only guess it was sometime when I was still a high school student.
She shook her head in disapproval. "I'll have to fix that. Your wardrobe could use an update. A young girl shouldn't wear cargo pants like some sort of soldier. Your complexion is a bit too pale, as well." An elevator door opened, and she strode in before giving a wide smile, the brightness of her teeth shining almost as brightly as her contrasting colored eyes. "Don't worry. By tomorrow you'll be like a completely new person."
I gulped, and wondered if it was too late to run away.
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