Author: M C Mihjazi PM
A Time Travel Fantasy. An impulsive, curious artist travels back in time where she's thrust in the middle of a power struggle between two kings, learns about the meanings of friendship and betrayal, wrestles with the idea of true love, and discovers an awful truth buried under centuries of sand. Adventure, Action, Comedy, Romance. (Worked on this a while, finally decided to upload)Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Adventure - Chapters: 30 - Words: 79,578 - Reviews: 8 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 04-02-13 - Published: 01-05-13 - id: 3089542
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
We were finally on the road! For real this time! There was no turning back now, not for anyone or anything. I never felt so elated. I was doing the victory dance in my head, the dance in Michael Jackson's song "Beat It" which just so happened to be on one of my CD's in the Land Rover.
"…No one wants to be defeated, showing how funky, and strong is your fight, it doesn't matter, who's wrong or right, just beat it, beat it…."
"Remember when he died?" I said. "I was in Syria when it happened you know, there was nothing but Michael Jackson music videos on TV for like a whole month, it was nuts."
"Yeah," Sarah said, "I remember that time."
"Remember the time?" I grinned. "That's another one of his songs." what's the irony? The music video of that song takes place in ancient Egypt. How appropriate. How so very appropriate. It's like Michael wrote that song for me. Well okay, that's going a bit far.
So how did we get the second car that Mo was driving behind me? Funny story.
We were in the parking lot, and Mo and Ray walked off into some ally where sometimes Taxi drivers park waiting for potential customers who might look there. They asked for a ride. The guy asks them,
"Where to?" and Mo tells him,
"To Alexandria." the guy looks at him funny and replies,
"I don't go that far."
"Well, too bad," Mo says and punches the guy, knocking him out with one swing. When they told me this part, I have to admit I felt a little bad for the guy, he was innocent after all, but then again, so was that maid.
They drove the black taxi (in Egypt, yellow taxis are illegal for some reason…) back to the hotel parking lot, and we all stood around scratching our heads wondering what to do with the knocked out guy. Then Adam suggested that we take him up to his room and tie him. Ray pointed out the problem with that, the clerk and the busboy would probably call the police on us. Then Mo said he had it figured out, so we carried the guy into the hotel. When the busboy and clerk stared at us with wide, unbelieving eyes, Mo said,
"Oh, don't worry, my dad, he's had a little too much to eat hahaha…"
"You're dad does everything, huh?" I said as we took the unconscious man up the elevator.
"Yep." he replied.
"What's your dad actually doing right now?"
"Probably sitting at a coffee place with his friends."
"He's not worried about you?" I asked.
"Uh, worried is probably not the right word."
"Angry, then? Frustrated? Does he even care?"
"Just don't think about it," Mo grinned. I nodded.
"We've been doing a lot of bad things lately…" Ray muttered. "Maybe we should forget about this whole taxi thing…"
"Nah man, it's not bad," Adam said. Adam had been looking through the guy's clothes, and found an ID. "He's Jewish, so it's okay." Adam had some kind of extreme racism against Jews that I had never seen in anyone else. He was crazy, and wrong, and I looked at him scoldingly.
"That's… not right," I said, trying to be serious, but suppressing laughter. "Maybe we should leave a note? That we'll return his taxi when we're done with it?"
"Good idea." Mo took the pad of paper and the pen that hotels usually supply and scribbled a quick note.
And so it goes. We were now in the desert. Heading to the land of mystery. The land of uncertainty, the land of, well, you know what I'm getting at. The night was cool and I drove with my window open. I was so tired still, I was going to let Sarah or Elissa drive but I really wanted to. It wasn't fair that last time Jesse got to drive when the whole thing was my idea, so this was kind of like retribution or whatever. I really don't know. But I was feeling good about it. The Rover went over rocky soil, and dunes. I really did feel like I was one of those adventurers in an adventure movie, about to discover something big, but didn't know what. The suspense, the thrill, the danger, it was all so attractive, I could smell it in the night air, as I switched from the song "Beat It" to Um Kulthoum's "Thousand and one nights" as sung by some younger singer named Shaima. It was one of my most favorite songs and I felt like it described the moment in such a magical, mystical way. I wanted to go on forever, just driving off into the night, into the desert, into the moon, into nothingness.
Ray's Point of View
After much bickering about who will drive, it was finally decided that Mo drove because he was the one who knocked out the innocent driver, rest his soul. Taking a hit from Mo is no laughing matter. I cannot say from experience, but Mo and I have always said we should spar, him being a wrestler and me being a 2nd dan black belt in Tae Kwan Do. We just never actually did. Go figure. Anyway, we later found out that letting Mo drive for a long distance is a bad idea. If I could not drive, at least I could have shotgun, so I called it before Adam had a chance.
We started off, Mo driving, again, bad idea because he just floored it. We left the city and listened to the radio for as long as we could. After a while, we lost signal and we decided to see what music the taxi guy had. We luckily found a CD with some good familiar songs. After about a couple hours of listening to the CD repeat itself, I decided to get a conversation going.
"So why ARE you guys tagging along? Surely it is not just to see Thaleia fail, right?" I asked
"Of course it is." Adam replied. "Besides, I got nothing better to do, and this seems entertaining."
"Yea, and I already saved your a**** once, I might have to do it again." Mo put in. "Why are you tagging along?"
"Me? Well, Adam knows, I am doing some government investigation about some smuggling going on. And I just happened to cross paths with Thaleia."
"Okay, but why are you coming along to see this pendant that magically sends you back in time? You said yourself that it is impossible."
"Well, yea, but you know I don't leave my friends when they are in trouble."
"Tell me about it," Adam concurred. "Thaleia can be so annoying sometimes, right?"
"Sometimes, yea, but she is a girl, and they are annoying. So you can't really help that part."
"But there is no one that compares to Elissa, I mean, why does she have to come along? She has nothing to do with us! How did you pick her up anyway? And why!?"
"Remember how Thaleia and I were kidnapped and taken to that place I told you bout and there was the ball? Well, apparently Elissa was there, and while we were making our getaway, she somehow appeared in the car with us."
"How the hell did that happen?" Mo questioned. "How did she just magically manage to get in the car?"
"Beats me, but as I said earlier, girls are weird."
"N****, you're late."
"Ever notice how when you are with Thaleia, bad things happen?" Adam asked.
"No s***, Sherlock. When did you notice this?"
"I don't know, but seriously, just by being her friend, she kidnapped me, pointed a gun at me, and had me fight at the restaurant. Then with Ray, he also had to fight, and he got kidnapped, and got shot at, and that whole Party story. And because you guys got captured, Mo had to save you guys. And now, we are driving through the desert, to God knows where, on some crazy quest to find out if this pendant takes you back in time."
I laughed, "The way you say that makes it sound like being Thaleia's friend is a curse."
We laughed for all but 10 seconds and then the engine started puttering.
"Guys?" Mo said. "We're outta gas."
With a smiling face, I said, "And so, the 'Curse of Thaleia' strikes again." Adam hit me in the back of the head.
As I drove on silently, staring out the windshield at the never ending sea of sand, I thought I heard an ancient voice calling me, a voice in the gentle wind, so soft that only I could hear it, like a beckoning from the past,
"Iwy… Em hotep nefer weret, sedjauty…"
I stared out the side window as I drove on, listening, trying to understand. I might have imagined it; in fact I think I did. But something about that was driving me on, despite my fatigue. Something about it felt so eternal, so unreal. I felt for a moment that it was all so incredible, like I could wake up and I would be in my bed in Houston, or lying in my sleeping bag in the Syrian forest. And like the song was saying, "…oh, darling, come on lets live in the eyes of the night, and we'll tell the sun come, come, come, come… after a year, not before… in a night of beautiful love, in a thousand and one nights… in all the Life, What is life but that one night? Like that night, that night, that night, like that night…"
"What's the matter Thaleia?" Sarah asked, "Thinking about something? Or should I say… someone?"
"If by someone you mean Ray, I'm gonna snap your neck. No. I was having a magical moment and you ruined it."
Sarah laughed. "Sorry!"
"Yeah yeah…" I rolled my eyes and looked back through the windshield. Upon a glance into the rearview mirror, I noticed that the taxi Mo was driving was no longer there. "What the hell?" I turned off the music and drove slower, trying to find him in the distance, in the rearview mirror. "Where'd they go?" I turned the land rover around and slowly drove back in the direction I came. I was hoping they weren't lost. How could they get lost if they were following me? And it was only the first night. Darn them.
"What happened?" Elissa asked as she and Sarah looked around in confusion.
"Lost the kids…" I mumbled. "Gotta go find them…"
"You guys are like twenty and stuff and you call them kids?" Sarah laughed.
"My privilege since I am the oldest." I grumbled as I squinted in the dark, trying to see by the car lights. After ten minutes, I saw the taxi, stopped, with the three boys standing outside of it, holding flashlights, looking under the hood. I stopped the rover and hopped out.
"Dude what happened?" I asked as I snatched my flashlight from my pocket and went to them.
"What happened is…" Ray looked deliberately at Mo. "someone forgot to put more gas in this car, and floored it all the way until it just won't move anymore."
"That's unfortunate." I laughed, "And all that trouble you went through to get the taxi…"
"Shut up." Mo grumbled. "You know you talk too much?"
"I've heard." I said glancing at Ray and smiling. So I talk too much, so what? I used to never talk at all. I'm making up for all those times, only nobody understands. But who cares? "So what are we going to do now?"
"What do you think?" Adam grumbled.
They were mad at me. Ha!
Well, it is obvious what happened after that, we all piled into the Land Rover and hauled as much supplies as we could in with us. Mo insisted on driving. I said that Ray was a crazy driver but this guy is worse. People have had nightmares of riding with him on the highway and crashing through the edge and falling over. That's what I heard anyway, I've never seen him drive crazy myself. But in that desert, I experienced it. It was a good thing there were no other cars around, or else I'm sure we would have all died. He was a speed demon like none I've ever seen before. Even more than my mom.
The boys all crowded themselves in the front so I sat in the back with Elissa and Sarah, at the window, with the wind rushing at my face. Mo was annoyed by my choice of CDs, and my taste in music, so we just kept it quiet. I tried to hear the ancient voice in the wind again, but it was gone, shattered and gone into the wind rushing by.
We rolled on in the darkness for several hours. I don't know when I fell asleep, or how I was able to with the wind in my face and Mo driving like a maniac, but morning was coming on when I began to wake up. I didn't just wake up either, something happened, the car stopped.
"Why did we stop?" I rubbed my eyes harshly.
"I don't know." Mo pushed his door open and hopped out. "We just stopped." Ray followed him, followed by Adam, then the rest of us. It was cold; I don't know how I didn't notice before. I buttoned up my jacket, but it didn't help. I shoved my hands in my pockets. "Where did you get this car from?" Mo asked as he lifted the hood.
"The dump," I rolled my eyes. "Archeologists, why?"
"Because I think something busted…"
"Maybe it is the oil?" I asked.
"It could be anything, distributer cap, plugs, fuel injector relay, fuel filter…" Ray began naming things off.
"Can you fix it?" I asked, a bit anxious.
"I can't fix it if I don't know what it is." Mo muttered.
"Torque converter, faulty coil wire…"
"Okay, you can stop." Adam said. I grabbed my bag from the trunk and went off a little ways and sat on it. I would help them if I knew anything about cars, but like I said before, I know nothing. It was pointless to try and help, I would just get in their way. I just could not help but think I was the cause of all this crazy confusion. The Taxi ran out of gas, and now the rover was stuck. We were caught in the desert. We were caught in desert! I suddenly realized it and stood up in surprise. What were we going to do if we could not figure out what was wrong with the rover? We were going to die… Slowly I sat back down on my pack. This was insane… I must have still been dreaming, this could not be for real. We couldn't get stuck like this, it only happens in movies, or nightmares. I might be living a nightmare then.
We are stuck in the desert. We are going to die.
"Oh my god, we are going to die…" Elissa said.
"Thank you, lady of doom." Adam rolled his eyes.
"We are going to die!" Sarah repeated. "When morning comes, and the temperature starts to rise and we'll slowly run out of water… and food…"
"And we'll start eyeing each other hungrily…" Ray added as he pointed his flashlight into the hood while Mo looked in it. "The first person we'll eat is Adam…"
"Cannibalism is wrong." Adam countered. Ray rolled his eyes as Adam smiled somewhat smugly.
After an hour of standing around, Sarah, Elissa, and Adam figured it was a good idea to sit down like I was. But I was in a daze. The sun was just now coming up, and I was already in a stupor. I could not believe what was happening; it just would not stick in my head. Hours passed, and we just sat there, silent, as Ray and Mo tried to figure out what was wrong so they could fix it, if they could. I was tired, but I couldn't sleep. How could anyone sleep? Well, Adam, Elissa, and Sarah could. I don't know how, but they just did. I got up and began to pace back and forth. Soon, I found myself pacing in circles around the car, not saying anything just pacing. I always tend to pace in circles when I'm nervous, or thinking deeply.
"You're making me dizzy," Ray said.
"Sorry, I can't help it," I said as I passed him. "It happens." I passed another hour pacing.
Hours went by, and the sun was shaking in the zenith, it was coming back down.
"*$ it!" Mo slammed the hood down. Of course, he had checked the entire car for a problem, but I guess he couldn't find anything.
"What are we going to do?" I asked.
"Go back?" Sarah asked.
"Never!" I kicked the rover. "I'm not turning back, not after I have already come this far, after all I went through already, not now, not ever!"
"We got it." Ray grumbled, obviously tired.
"Then we can do nothing but go forward." Mo said as he began to unpack things from the trunk. He tossed his backpack on his back and tossed one to Ray, then one to Adam. They were the same kinds as the one I had. We had strapped our sleeping bags onto them, and distributed tent pieces. But now, we also had to decide who was going to carry the water and food.
We just divided everything up between us. The only thing was Sarah an Elissa refused to carry anything but their own things, in the small school backpacks that they had brought. It was like they had planned it.
And so the enjoyable hike through hell begins.
 Welcome… in very great peace, sealbearer…