[A/N: Please read, review, and enjoy!]
Spirit picked up the amulet. She stared into the depths of its blood red ruby, then studied its golden chain. A triangular golden frame edged around the jewel, with three ancient symbols engraved in the corners. Her icy blue eyes widened in awe as she gently brushed off the dust from it. Spirit tucked a strand of her pale blonde hair, that had come loose from her ponytail, behind her ear while still gazing at the amulet. She had found it at last!
Spirit Melrose had been on this architectural site for three years searching for the amulet that had belonged to the Queen of the Mayans. It was believed that the queen had the amulet made for her sixteenth birthday, but was killed in a sandstorm just two days before she got to wear it. It was supposed to be the moment she would be able to take full rule of her kingdom, but as it sadly turned out, she never got to wear it. The queen's subjects say her soul has been trapped in the amulet ever since her death, unable to escape, until she wore her precious amulet at last. And whosoever shall free her will be rewarded with all her treasures, for the amulet was the key to her treasure chamber.
Now Spirit held the oh-so-valuable amulet in her cupped hands. It was just a matter of time before that treasure was hers...
Spirit quickly slipped the precious amulet into her light brown trousers pocket. Mr. White, the founder of the architectural site, would often check up on her. Not only was she the best and most experienced archaeologist on the site, but she also happened to be Mr. White's favourite. He passed by just seconds after Spirit had begun digging again.
"Found anything?" he asked.
"Nope," Spirit lied. "Just dirt and sand."
"Don't worry; we'll find it soon enough,"
Sooner than you think, Spirit thought to herself. But she only replied, "I know," and have him her best weary smile.
Mr. White nodded, then walked off to check up on the other workers.
Spirit brushed the desert dust from her archaeologist uniform. Finally, the day was over. She could return to her comfy tent filled with soft, velvet cushions and do a further examination of the amulet. Spirit bid her assistant, Heather Millstone, good-bye and dismissed her for the night. Then Spirit retired to her own home.
In her tent, Spirit took out the amulet and clasped it around her neck. She knew she had to act fast if she was to get the treasure before anyone else found out. But how? Her studies every night hadn't been as worthless as she'd thought. Spirit now knew every trap and room in the pyramid of treasures by heart. The treasure chamber was at the very center of the pyramid, and in order to get in, she had to go through several traps, mazes, and even a riddle on the wall. Of course, Spirit didn't know the riddle yet, but she had an idea where she would have to solve it.
Tonight, she promised herself. I will go tonight at four. Spirit set her watch alarm to exactly that, and fell to sleep...without realizing that the amulet was glowing around her neck.
Spirit awoke in the middle of the night to her watch gently buzzing. She felt...odd, groggy even, like she'd taken a sleeping pill. It's just the lack of sleep, she told herself and brushed it off. Nothing was going to stop her from getting that treasure.
Spirit got up, still in her trousers and T-shirt, and pulled on her boots. She grabbed her flashlight and made sure no one else was awake before leaving the campsite.
Heather awoke in the dark and empty night to a quiet rustling outside her tent. It's just a tumbleweed, she assured herself. There were lots of those in the desert. But it didn't sound like tumbling...it sounded like footsteps. Thieves? Wild animals? No, it couldn't be- the footsteps were leading away from the campsite.
Now unable to hold back and fall asleep, Heather quickly got dressed. She pulled her straight red hair into a bun, then took her flashlight out to investigate.
The cold, silent night wrapped around Heather like a thick blanket of fog as her green eyes searched for the source of that noise. Her flashlight moved over the dusty ground. The gnarled and dried-up trees cast shadows over the ground, making it look cracked. The scurrying of a few nocturnal animals was the only noise that met Heather's ears. The half moon shone over her, it's bright looming light outlining its smile-like shape.
Heather grasped her flashlight, her only guide, like a lifeline. It slashed through the night, piercing the darkness. Nothing unusual met its beam. Just as Heather was about to go back to bed, convince herself it was all just her imagination, she saw a shadow out of the corner of her eye...the shadow of a person.
Spirit crept through the desert darkness, slowly approaching the pyramid. She still couldn't rid herself of that strange feeling. That feeling that she wasn't quite herself... Spirit began to feel dizzy, and realized that her surroundings were spinning. Then she felt numb and sort of tingly even. And the next thing she knew, everything went black.
My amulet...finally! My beloved, precious amulet! Am I dreaming? Is this merely just a dream? Am I alive again? I touched my arm, then my leg. It was true! I am here in flesh! And my sweet amulet...mine at last. My people! What of my people? What have they come to without me? And my body...I have a body again! Will my dear subjects recognize me in this body?
I felt my face. Pale hair...strange, a foreigner. And I was not as young as before...twenty, perhaps. But I was back in flesh and blood with my amulet around my neck after so long. I glanced down at my body. What was I wearing? I twist my face in disgust. Pants and a simple shirt? I am the queen, not a peasant! I shall search for my pyramid. I need my jewels! I, Queen Maya, will not stand for such disgusting attire! Boots? Pants? No crown!?
I swear the second I get back to my palace I will rid myself of this horrible outfit! But for now, which way is my pyramid?
Heather blinked her eyes in complete disbelief. What was her boss doing out in the desert at this time of night? "Miss Spirit! Miss Spirit, what are you doing?" she quietly called. She did not hear an answer. Was she mistaken? Impossible...she had just checked her boss' tent and it was empty. It had to be her. There was no mistaking the pale blonde ponytail and thin figure of her boss. Heather ran to the campsite to wake up Mr. White and his other workers.
I gaze up at my once-beautiful pyramid. What has happened? The bricks were crumbling, the steps worn out and some missing, the magnificent guardian statue that had stood atop it gone ... I held back tears. My pyramid was in ruins! Whoever did this would pay dearly! No one upsets Queen Maya without regretting it. I vowed that even if I had to fight alone, I would do it to protect my dear pyramid.
"Heather, are you sure it was Spirit?"Mr. White asked.
"Yes!" Heather repeated for the tenth time. "And something was wrong with the way she moved...not her usual walking, but a proud stride."
"Alright, which way did she go?"
Heather pointed northwest.
"Thank you. I will send a search group immediately."
"I would like to go, too, Mr. White. If that's okay. I could be a help since I saw her. "
"Hmmm..." he seemed to consider it. "Fine, go."
"Thank you, sir."
And with that, Heather set off into the night.
Heather trudged further into the night. Where could her boss have gone? "There!" John McClain, one of the scientists studying the artifacts found at the site, shouted. Heather turned. There was Miss Spirit, standing in front of a pyramid, both hands on her hips and staring up at a large pyramid.
She quickly ran over to her. "Miss Spirit! Are you alright?" Heather said, grabbing her arm.
"Spirit" turned and there was a mad glint in her eyes as she yelled, "How dare you touch your queen without permission!" She was wearing a white cloth dress lined with golden edging, matching golden scandals, and a thin gold circlet on her head. Her hair was in some sort of fancy bun held together with a clip studded with jewels. Around her neck the sacred amulet glowed an intense red.
Heather stepped back, gasping at the sight. "M-miss Spirit?" she stuttered.
"You fool! I am Queen Maya of the Mayans! And you are all under arrest of trespassing on my land!" Then she started shouting something in a foreign language nobody understood. Heather motioned for the workers to grab her boss. "I command you to let me go or you'll pay!" the queen- in-Spirit's-body screamed. But no one listened, just hauled her back to the campsite, where she would be tested for a cure.
How dare these foreigners tie up a queen? I will make sure all of them are beheaded when I escape! They will not get away with this-this treachery! I will make them regret even stepping onto my land! Tie me up and gag me, will you? Well, let's see who's laughing when you criminals are all begging for mercy!
"Will Miss Spirit be alright?" Heather nervously asked.
"She's been possessed. I don't know if we can free her from the queen's spirit." the witch doctor, Elliott Cross, replied.
"How was she possessed? Maybe we can undo it like that." Heather suggested.
"My theory is that Spirit put on the amulet and freed the queen's soul trapped inside. This lead the bodyless soul to find a new body, since it's original one has already wasted away and Miss Melrose's was the closest one it could find. Thus, leading to possession."
"What about the cure?"
"We must remove the amulet from Miss Melrose's body and destroy it."
"That sounds easy enough."
"But in order to fully destroy a possessive amulet, it must be brewed with snake's venom, three grains of sand, and one wish bone then crushed."
"I will gather these ingredients. Your job is to get the amulet off Miss Melrose."
Heather nodded and left the tent.
I heard one of my captors coming. I hide my free hand, which I had finally wiggled out from its bond and scowl at the shadow approaching me. "What do you want from me?" I snapped.
The foreigner doesn't reply and reaches for me. Even sitting, I shift away. "I asked you a question. Answer me." I demanded.
Again, she reaches for my neck. I wrench out of her reach. "I'm waiting," I said. Finally, the uncooperative peasant answers, "I want your necklace."
"It's for your own good, Miss Spirit."
"Shut up, you kidnapper."
"Just hold still. Please."
I struggled as she came nearer. "I command you to let me go!"
I stopped, sort of surprised. That's more like it. Finally someone who obeys royalty. I let her come closer this time. She reaches for me and- "Hey!" The traitor grabs my amulet, my precious amulet, and snaps it off its chain. Suddenly, I feel ...whoozy. The world is spinning and I'm fading fast. The last thing I see was my captor, staring down at me.
Heather held the amulet tight in her hand as she ran to Dr. Cross. She couldn't help but worry about Miss Spirit. Was she going to be okay? What if it didn't work? It has to, she thought. It was has to work.
"Ah, you're here. The brew is ready." Dr. Cross said. He was standing next to a bubbling cauldron like those used by witches in movies. Heather unfolded her fingers to reveal the amulet.
"What's happened to Miss Spirit?" she asked before the witch doctor could take it.
"She is simply in a coma. The cure is half done. When the amulet is destroyed, she will be herself again."
Heather nodded and handed him the amulet. The witch doctor took it and threw it in the brew. He stirred it then began to add in the other ingredients while chanting,
"Grains of sand,
Fall from my hand.
Venom of snake,
Quiver and quake.
Bone to wish,
Grant me this-
Bubble and brew
This amulet I give to you."
A moment later, the amulet floated up to the surface of the brew, dull and cracked. Dr. Cross scooped it up and placed it on a large rock used for a makeshift table, then used another smaller rock to smash it. When he lifted it up, the amulet was in many broken pieces. Heather thanked the witch doctor and ran off to check on her boss.
Spirit awoke to her assistant peering down at her in concern. "Where am I? What happened?" Spirit mumbled. Then looking at herself, she added, "What am I wearing?"
Heather smiled. "It's a long story,"
"I...I need to know, Heather."
"May I ask what you were doing out in the desert last night?"
"Also a long story."
They began explaining to each other. Spirit was punished for her selfishness and demoted, while Heather was rewarded with a higher position. And both women learned an important lesson-when out in the desert, anything can happen.