Break time. Grabbing my water jug, I took a large swig, quenching my burning thirst. Why is it so hot here? Yes, Arizona is hot too, but in comparison, home is like a tanning bed and Egypt is an oven. At least we had air conditioning there. Our only portable one broke yesterday.
Sweat was pouring off my face in streams. I mopped my face with am already damp hand towel. I came prepared, but I guess not enough.
"You're going to get heat-stroke, come sit in the shade," said a voice from behind me.
"I would if there was any in this freaking…" I started to say to who ever was idiotic enough to say such a thing about a desert, a treeless, shade deprived desert, but stopped short when I saw Grandma sitting under a giant pink umbrella. Where on earth did she get that from? It looked so ridiculous with her serious face and severe bun that I started to giggle. God, the heat was seriously getting to me.
Setting down my water bag on a nearby rock, I walked over to her.
"Where did you get-"
"Sit. I need to give you something." No room for discussion, I sat. Despite the shade it was still boiling hot out. What was it, like 155 degrees?
"Here." She produced a small, chest-like box from a bag. It looked to be made from granite or a similar kind of stone. When I reached out to take it, she pulled back.
"Do not forget this," she held out the bag. "When you open that box, you must hold this bag too." It was an old, worn-out looking, leather bag/satchel with a leather strap. Covering it were white depictions of Ancient Egyptian writing and symbols, the meanings lost in time. It bulged slightly at the bottom. How did the box fit in there?
"What's in the b-"
"You will see in time. The items in this bag will help you in the future." Seriously, how many times was she going to interrupt me? Can't she at least let me finish a sentence? "You'll see in time." How obscure can she get? What's that supposed to mean?
I simply nod to prevent myself from blurting all of my questions. I took hold of the strap, hanging it on the crook of my elbow.
She held her hands out to me, almost reverently, upon them sat the box. I took it from her grasp and glancing up, undid the clasp, slowly lifting the granite lid. It was surprisingly light for its material. The inside contained a small figurine of a… sphinx.
Tucked into a black velvet cushion, it was exactly like the enormous historical statue situated just north of here, except that this one was made of purple amethyst. Golden plaits are painted on with evident skill and exquisite craftsmanship. Everything from the curve of the mouth, to the perfect paws, to the black irises is precise and accurately proportioned. The entirety of the statuette was probably worth at least a hundred times Dad's annual income. I've seen many beautiful versions and models of the Great Sphinx but this blows them all out of the water and then some.
Just as I was about to reach in and touch the sphinx, a hand gently touches my shoulder. Grandma.
"Good luck. Oh, and Akila? Happy birthday." I don't wait to ponder what she meant.
For a second time, as I am about to touch the sphinx amulet, a hand touches my shoulder and I look up, but don't turn around. The last thing I see as my hand comes into contact with the amethyst, is two piercing blue eyes, framed by a fan of long lashes, lost among a blend of fading colours as the world goes black.
There it is! My first couple of chapters, posted and published! Thank you for reading this far, you probably tired of hearing me say "thank you" all the time, so I'll stop. Bye for now! (;