Nightmare In Egypt…Part 26/ Feras Werr

"What happened?"
The general replied, "Perhaps a lady like you won't tolerate this tale Stacy."
The smell of the roasted meat continued invading their atmosphere making David's stomach release noises. "I'm hungry. Aren't you general, Stacy?"
"David please tell me what happened with you in Petra?"
"Well do you think we should give it to her general? She seems old enough to handle the reality of what lies undisclosed in the very old uninhabited areas and ruins of the ancients. 
The General answered, “Perhaps so, but if you wake up at night with nightmares and cases of insomnia impelled by this tale, well it's just a risk you will have to take. You see Stacy Petra is a very old city located in a very hilly area carved from the rocks of the gigantic mountains around it. The most famous of its ruins is a tomb, sometimes referred to as the treasure of Pharaoh. Apparently I was telling David of why the tomb was called so, due to a myth believed to be true by the nomads of the area when all of a sudden David proposed that we hack the upper part of the tomb to retrieve the treasure there. You see when an ancient Pharaoh that lost his Kingdom to the Persian Empire was refused Asylum by the queen of Petra, he begged her to take in his crown and treasures lest they fall into the hands of his enemies. Asking her to keep them till his return she accepted and he was off in no time searching for a place to retire in. Shortly afterwards he was located by the Persian legions and was killed at their swords. However the Nabatean queen knew nothing of his death and kept his treasures attended till shortly before her death. Being a decent lady she asked that the treasures be buried in her tomb in fear that he still might show up and ask for what was his. The Urn was built, which was the upper part of her Tomb, and which meets you after the long narrow one kilometer passage naturally carved in the mountains of the regions. This is where David proposed that we hack the Urn with our advanced capabilities and seize what wasn't ours. Then it appeared…"
Stacy shivered as she asked, "What was it?"
David answered, "We never saw it. I had my back to it and the general said it didn't have any body…"
"But it left gigantic beastly footsteps on the sands of the grounds."
David assured, "We ran as hard as we could, shivering at the metal weapons that it hurled on us, screaming with fear at its' earsplitting thuds."
Stacy's fearful eyes bounced back and forth as David and the general continued, "Suddenly it flew over us then disappeared."
The fire tore out viciously from its boundaries making the ten workers shriek with fear and jump away from it.  Stacy and David yelled with terror as they saw the blaze maximize into a huge bonfire and devour the well cooked lamb meat that they were about to feast on. A powerful wind raged hurling dust around them and making the fabric of their tents shake within its wake. The poles with the projectors wavered in their places making the illumination bounce around the camp area. Stacy hugged David weeping as the blazes danced fiercely at the whistling winds that picked up in speed. The workers took the grounds and worshipped calling on God's name for mercy. For the first time David saw uncertain looks on the general's face. His complete disposition shifted as the strange elements played on for a few more minutes, the peaking winds climaxing quickly in the spacious grounds around them between the mountains to what resembled as spine chilling echoes of sharp shrieks, then ceased to be.  
The workers were kneeling on the grounds petrified with fear and unable to move. The remnants of the huge bon fire crackled lightly in its place. Stacy shivered in David's embrace and asked with a frightened voice, "Is it gone? Please tell me its' gone."
The general answered back with a dazzled disposition, "Yes. But what the hell was that?"
David snapped back nervously, "General I fear something out there doesn't like us."
Stacy confirmed in panic, "I don't like the start of this expedition at all. Tomorrow morning I'm leaving."
"Relax Stacy. It still hasn't hurt us."
"General I'm not going to wait till it does. Look at what the blaze that suddenly erupted from the fire did to the lamb meat." Stacy picked up one of the rotisseries and showed it to the general as the workers gathered around and looked at it in wonder, "They are black like coal."
Zuhair suddenly exclaimed, "It’s a curse!!! What you are after Mrs. Stacy is cursed!!!" loud dialogue and tones of protest erupted in Arabic from the workers as Zuhair looked at the burned meat with fear.
"Don't be all naïve. The blazes occurred at the extra fresh winds. Don't we all know what an extra supply of oxygen does to a fire; and so far it's been windy since this morning. Let's all not jump to conclusion."
"General I don't know. I don't like what just happened. It's only wise we plan for a retreat tomorrow."
The general argued back, "David, you and I didn't travel thousands of miles and spend time preparing for this expedition and not to mention all the money it cost us to cower out by some winds. I believe it has been a long travel day and we all need some rest. Let's all retire to our tents and sleep. We all will be better relaxed tomorrow."
The general looked at Zuhair and ordered, "Calm your men down. Tell them I don't think they have anything to worry about. Please give them orders to retire to their tents."
The tall man with his six foot and a half muscular build turned around to the workers and began talking to them. Stacy and David headed for their tents leaving the general behind negotiating things with the workers. Each entered and closed the leather entrance behind. Convinced with Zuhair's words the workers soon sped off also to their lodgings. Soon nothing was stirring in the camp but the general that stood silently besides the remnants of the camp fire and the hoarse sound of the generator as it fed the projectors with power.
*****
Metal Clanking and banging awoke David. He sat up from his bed to find it nesting on top of his chest. It was huge. Its’ curled up mandibles were waving in front of his face and its’ long pointed tale in a strike like position. He quickly in an involuntary move smacked it aside with his hand. It crashed on to the tent fabric and hit the sands. It turned upright and took a dash towards him again. David grabbed his revolver and gave it a royal strike tearing it apart to shreds. He released a sigh of relief as Tracy and the general dashed into his tent. The general exclaimed, "What is it?"
David calmly stood explaining, "It was only a yellow scorpion on top of me while I was asleep but I got up in the right time."
Stacy's spine shivered, "I never even thought about them here."
"Well it’s a good thing you got it in the nick of time. You're one good man to lose. Make haste, the workers have assembled the shovels and equipment.
The general left leaving Stacy and David in the tent. Stacy gave him a wink and said, "Breakfast is ready. I better leave you to change." She smiled warmly as she departed the tent. David stood staring at the entrance for a while. She was wearing again her red shirt and denims only this time it was button up properly. "Man she looks so sexy in red," But he quickly fought back, "Snap out of it Dave, you are here on duty. She could be even wanted by the police. No fatal beauty stunts."
He regrouped his strength. He wore a blue pair of denims and a green blouse. His boots came last and in no time he was heading towards where the camp fire was. The grayish clouds were still hovering in the skies above. The weather was hot with the irregular presence of humidity in the air. A ground picnic seating was arranged with Stacy and the general seated on the grounds having sandwiches and tea. A kettle was boiling besides a small fire surrounded with some rocks. The workers were busy moving the equipment to a spot nearby the camp. 
"Some tea David," Stacy asked.
"Just a sandwich will be fine. You got any jam?"
She gave him a jam and butter sandwich. Dave quickly took off to catch up with the crew. He quickly gobbled up the sandwich and joined Zuhair. He began helping him unload the jack hammers that were in the vehicles parked at the other side of the camp opposite the two mountains neighboring the camp. A worker stretched out the chords of the jack hammers to the generator and tested them. Their high shrills filled the atmosphere to the satisfaction of David. As David was about to descend from the elevated cargo compartment of the army truck something unusual caught his eye. 
It was huge and circled the entire premises of the camp. "Zuhair!" his voice bellowed releasing echoes within the mountains. "Zuhair quickly give me the big ladder! Quickly!"
The general and Stacy jumped up from their places and ran towards David. The workers caught up with them as well as one of them with Zuhair came close carrying the long wooden ladder. 
"Zuhair put it against the passenger compartment of the truck."
The general and Stacy showered him with questions, "What is wrong? What did you see?"
David replied as he jumped down from the cargo compartment, "There is something big carved into the grounds around the entire camp. I don't know what it is." He hurried towards the ladder and climbed up on it. He stood on top of the passenger compartment. He opened his mouth with awe. Stacy's patience quickly got ravaged by curiosity and was soon climbing after him up the ladder. He helped her firm her steps besides him. Stacy gasped as she recognized the glyphs. 
"What are these, pictures?"
"They are glyphs David, Ancient Egyptian glyphs."
David gave Stacy a look of wonder. She asked as fear shot from her eyes, "Is it possible that whatever was here yesterday wanted to tell us something? 
“The general said you're an archeologist. Can't you read them?"
"David I'm not really an archeologist, although I can read hieroglyphs. The person that taught me my craft was a good scholar as well."
"What is going on up there?!" the general impatiently asked.
David looked down as the assembly was watching them and answered, "In a moment we will know." 
Stacy shivered as she read the contents of the message aloud, "I have been buried underneath the grounds with my agonies between four walls for an eon. Release me."
Suddenly loud bursts filled the atmosphere as their truck sank in its place. David and Tracy jumped up startled in their places as another series of loud bursts made the other vehicles sink down as well. Zuhair rushed around the vehicles examining them. Terrified gasps broke out from the workers as they backed away from the parked vehicles. David and Stacy raced down the ladder breathless as the general looked at them inquisitively. "What did the message say?"
David answered, "I have been buried underneath the grounds with my agonies between four walls for an eon. Release me. It was carved with glyphs all around the circumference of the camp."
Zuhair came rushing back from his tour exclaiming nervously, "All the tires of the vehicles are flat general. We will never move out of here. Are we going to die?"
The general snapped back finally with unprecedented fear, "Zuhair rush quickly to the radio general Riyadh equipped us with in our truck and ask for back up from the armed forces headquarters."
Zuhair rushed into the truck they were standing by and spoke in Arabic into the microphone of the radio. No response followed. 
The General ordered nervously, "Zuhair call again and again till they reply, "
Zuhair repeated the message twice but got no answer. Suddenly David noticed something peculiar concerning his wrist watch. It had stopped. He asked, "Stacy what's the time with you?"
Stacy looked into her wristwatch and replied with wonder, "It has stopped at two."
"Mine stopped at two."
The general inspected his watch as well. "Mine is at two as well." He looked up at Zuhair whom was feverishly still attempting to initiate contact. "Zuhair come back down. Nothing is working here."
"We were gathered around the camp at that time when the storm attacked us general."
Stacy bellowed out madly, "IT STOPPED OUR WATCHES AND RADIOS, THE VEHICLES ARE OUT OF ORDER, WHAT IS NEXT, KILLING US! IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT GENERAL. YOU BROUGHT US HERE!"
"CALM DOWN STACY! I'M JUST IN THE SAME AMOUNT OF TROUBLE AS YOU ARE! IF IT KILLS YOU IT WILL KILL ME!"
The workers seeking the tension their managers were in suddenly panicked and ran to their tents. The general screamed out, "Zuhair where are your men going to?!"
"I no longer have authority over them. They want to leave."
"We are in the middle of nowhere. They will die from the heat and thirst before they reach anywhere."
"General things don't look any better here. This thing is stronger than us. It is holding us prisoners. The curse of the treasure you are after has just struck us."
The general snapped back helplessly, "I know Zuhair! Tell me something I don’t know!" 
One of the workers suddenly marched out of his tent holding a big bundle with him and walked straight towards the path they came from. 
The general screamed frantically, "LET HIM LEAVE! LET THEM ALL LEAVE! WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?!"
Stacy stated firmly, "At least he has a chance of survival. I'm following him!"
Hysterical SOS cries all of a sudden filled the air. All looked towards the worker as he sank in the red sands. The other workers ran out of their tents at the cries. Seeing their friend distressed they hurried towards him wanting to help. Zuhair ran towards them screaming in Arabic warnings succeeding in grabbing their attention. He approached them and ushered them back inside the camp then ran up to the worker that was approximately a hundred feet away from the camp. The worker was sinking in a big whole of quick sand with his upper body still visible. Zuhair attempted to approach him but the sands in front of him moved making him jump back. All watched as the helpless man screamed hysterically for help sinking deeper in the sands, his hands thrashing about uselessly for grappling ground. Soon Zuhair who was standing in his place petrified with panic found David hurrying towards him holding a long rope with a big loop at its end. "Zuhair it's his last hope! Tell him to grab the rope!" 
Zuhair caught the rope and threw it towards the man yelling at him to catch it. The man that was down to his chest with the quick sand grabbed the rope. David and Zuhair pulled the rope hard. Within a couple of seconds the man was moving out of the pit, his bronze complexion screaming and begging for them to pull more. Soon he began to hysterically scream and beg them to stop. His spine chilling screaming filled the air but made the men pull more in full panic and confusion at what was happening. Suddenly the rope lost its heaviness and at a final powerful tug from their hands swung towards them with the bust and settled only a few feet away. Zuhair yelled madly as he saw the portion of the worker's body sit upright with its tormented face looking straight at him. A pool of blood was filling the sands underneath. Stacy and the general walked up slowly to the site with unbelieving faces. Waves of terror shuddered through Stacy's body as she looked at the bust with its face that was still screaming with pain. 
She buried herself in David's embrace and cried like a child. The general panicking at what was going on ordered Zuhair, "We have no other choice. Before we lose some other men let’s start digging. Now!"
Stacy looked towards the general and spat in his face, "You bastard! It's entirely your fault! You are the reason why we are all in this mess!"
The general wiped his face with his hands and stated while trying to retain what was left of his tranquility and strength, "You and I are of the same breed, treasure hunters with an insatiable appetite. That is why you and I are here. Do you understand you worthless thief. Now let us start working before our real ghost gets really angry with us."
David shot a glance at Stacy whom was still in his embrace crying. His mind rushed with "The Ghost;" the infamous thief that had the Interpol and NYSD swirling in circles around themselves unable to do anything, and being a mere woman? David asked, "Are you OK?"
"Yes I'm fine," She replied sobbing and crying. 
All of them waited as Zuhair and David headed towards the camp, picked up there shovels, and returned back close to where the remnants of their friend lay. They dug a deep whole then buried his remains. The workers gathered around and recited verses from the holy Koran while David and Stacy drew a cross on themselves. David cited to himself verses from the Psalms of King David while Stacy said a small prayer then recited three verses of the Rosary. The general stood speechless, eyeing the tomb silently, while memories of his comrades that died aboard his aircraft carrier he governed during world war II returned to him ravaging his mind with pain. Suddenly terrorizing winds like the ones that almost devastated their camps yesterday returned while they prayed. It tore through their tents and upturned the earth over their belongings. The vehicles rocked in their places as a big sand tumbler stirred inside the camp. Terrified of what was going on the multitude shivered and prayed as their captor turned his wrath on them. Suddenly the whistles of the winds turned into high pitched screeches that echoed and filled the vast desert around them. A chilling voice erupted saying, "TORAH, BIBLE, KORAN STOP PRAYING!" As the winds quieted down the awe struck gathering nervously stood in their places, waiting for the aggressive elements to settle down completely. Within short moments they headed helplessly towards the camp fear struck and shaken from the incident.
The workers picked up the shovels and headed towards the spot they had prepared to dig since the morning while Stacy stood amongst the rubble of the upturned camp in despair. The sight resembled a hurricane struck zone, the tents with their torn up material that were leveled to the grounds, the projectors that were on the floor with glass around two of them indicating smashed screens. Tears came to her eyes once again as she saw the tip of her suit case show underneath the torn material of her tent. She ran up to it and picked it up. Apparently something had smashed on it as it had a small crack on its top. Suddenly Stacy's mind lighted with knowledge. The extensive damage just jolted her mind with the possibility. She cried out, "David, Zuhair, don't dig there. Dig underneath the camp."
"Why is that?"
"I just feel it tore up the camp to tell us something, and the glyphs, they were dispersed around the circumference of the camp."
Zuhair convinced gave his orders for the men and soon the camp was dismantled. Five Shovels dipped into the sands mercilessly while the other five workers waited with wheeled carriages heaving the sands away from the digging. Sand scoop after sand scoop gradually formed the crater they aspired for. The moments flew away quickly as they worked feverishly sinking more into the earth, the crater deepening quickly, the merciless heat soaking them with sweat and fatigue. Snakes and scorpions dashed out of the sands but were easily dealt with by the workers that were well experiences from similar dangers when they used to plow their own lands in their villages. 
However after several hours of digging nothing seemed to even indicate that they were close to any discovery. David began to lose hope as the crater that maintained a diameter of four meters was already three meters deep. Could it be that they dug in the wrong perimeter. This only meant more work in this dry environment, needless to say as to what would be expected next from the hostile entity that was imprisoning them. Suddenly cries erupted from the crater. David whom was standing at its' edge looked down at Zuhair whom was deep inside with his men. He asked eagerly, "Did you find anything?"
"Yes, we found a layer of small boulders."
The general broke the small distances he kept from the dig and walked up to David asking, "They found it right?"
"Yes general. May God help us because I really don't know what to expect afterwards." 
The general replied with uncertainty, "I never unearthed a cursed treasure, Nor do I know what to expect."
David quickly left towards the parked vehicles and fetched the four wooden flats that were in their truck. He dragged them patiently to the dig then fastened them with the help of the workers dispersing them on different areas of the crater to avoid any sand slides into it. Another worker soon fetched a projector and plugged it into the diesel generator. He worked it with its crank bringing it to life. The projector was lowered into the sight and placed on the ground lighting the crater that was deepening in length and darkness.  
The boulders were soon heaved out with the help of the carriages. Stacy aroused by the new discoveries crossed the few yards that separated her from the work site and watched as the boulders came out periodically. Iron pieces half the size of writing paper with glyphs carved on them were brought out from between the boulders. Some were twisted from the boulders' weights while others were partially damaged with the glyphs still in readable shape. David gave two of them to Stacy and asked, "What is written on them."
"Oh that is not good. It reads may our gods have mercy on us and stop the gate from being opened." She continued reading, "He who opens this tomb will open the gates of pain on the world and Egypt." Stacy paused for a moment's time and commented, "There is no cursed treasure buried here."
David's eyes bounced back and forth between Stacy and the general as he thought out loud, "What are we digging out exactly?"
The general gulped hard as the accusing faces of Stephanie and David stared at him. He finally screamed out, "ITS MY FAULT, THIS IS ENTIRELY MY FAULT, I THOUGHT IT WAS BURIED TREASURE, LIKE YOU ALL."
The general walked back a distance and stood unhappily looking at the workers continue their work. The racketing of the boulders continued as they were dumped by the workers on the carriages. The carriages were pulled up by rope and men to the edge of the crater, emptied at a nearby location then lowered by rope back into the crater. One full hour of excellent work followed before Zuhair announced from inside, we have uncovered an entire flight of steps carved into rock leading to an iron door. 
"David and Stacy exchanged blank looks then asked the men to lower them into the hole." David called out, "General are you coming?"
He slowly approached them. David made a loop at the end of the rope and secured it with a knot. He was lowered by the workers into the hole first, then Stacy and the general followed. Although the crater maintained its spacious four meter diameter the steps that were sloping downwards carved into the earth were only fit for two people at a time. The party of eight descended by two's the rocky flight of steps totally amazed by their experience at hand. They lit their path with flashlights in their hands. The walls to their right and left were filled with glyphs cursing any person whom entered between them and descended the flight of steps. Stacy explained to David, "All that I can read are curses Dave. This place is evil to the point that the Egyptians damned anyone whom would enter here." The flight of forty steps soon ended and the big iron door stood in their wake. Stacy lit its surfaces and explained in awe, "More curses, nothing more nothing less."
Surprised tones of voices in Arabic erupted as the party behind them closed up on the door. David asked, "General I'm going to break it open."
"We don't have a choice David."
Stacy ironically stated, "Since this expedition is all the brilliant work of its founder, General Cannons, I think he should have the honor." She nudged David with her elbow.
"General do you wish to accept the offer." Zuhair asked as he stood with two crowbars in his hand."
"Well alright! Alright! Care to help me Zuhair?"
David and Stacy moved back making way for the men as they fastened the crowbars at the edges of the iron door.
David and Stacy moved all the way till the end of the queue line while the workers gathered around the iron door studying it.
"Why did you nudge me with your elbow?"
"The curses carved on the iron door. If those curses hit the person that opens the door that person and his lineage will see nothing but misery all through his life till several generations onward. I'm not about to hurt myself or…"
David looked silently at her sparkling eyes that were studying him warmly. "Or what Stacy…"
Suddenly the iron door wavered from its place. Two of the workers reached around the general and Zuhair attempting to put more pressure on it. Within seconds it fell to the floor with a big bang. 
Zuhair walked back up the steps and soon brought the strong projector with him. The tomb lit entirely. 
"I don't believe it." Stacy said dazzled. We are just breathing an atmosphere that has been closed for thousands of years untarnished by any other human being. Goose pimples flashed all over her body as she looked at the walls.
"I don't believe what I'm seeing either," Stated David. To their right was a painting of a man seated in front of a big pot with a human sacrifice tied above it. The other wall in front of them had glyphs damning the owner of the tomb. The wall on their right had a big Ankh drawn on it with glyphs underneath it. A big wooden sarcophagus in very bad condition with a big iron pot lied in the center. 
All stood studying the room with its few contents and wall paintings in total silence. The general feeling totally depressed finally broke the silence and commented, "I’m leaving."
"But what does all this mean?" Asked Stacy.
Zuhair commented, "I believe this is the tomb of a very common man. I don't think it is at all anything significant."
David having a certain hunch at what the paintings meant said while in deep thought, "I think this man was a very fiendish fellow. You see the human sacrifice there?" 
The party looked at the wall as he explained, "This is pure black magic and I'm not comfortable with what the guy lying in that sarcophagus was up to when he was alive. Stacy, can you read what the inscriptions on the walls say?"
"When this tomb opens it will be the beginning only. The death here will come to life. The son of evil will reunite with his ancestor, that our brave Pharaoh killed with the Holy Ankh. Evil will resurrect itself and curse the world again. He will assemble his army that will count as much as there is sand in the deserts and will avenge his killing. He will march onto Egypt once again and attack the throne of Pharaoh, the throne that he longed to annex with his evil; but not before he kills the army of one hundred thousand that our brave Pharaoh will prepare for him. Approach son of the evil realm, you have killed, stolen what is not rightfully yours, and butchered in his name, take your rightful place in your black realm for you are of the same breed or you wouldn't be here."
David and Zuhair were stunned at the words as Stacy continued, "Even if you hang a thousand sacrifices and drink all their blood you will perish and dissolve into the earth that has begotten you and burn by your enemies at the evil of your doings. If you rise you will meet your death again."
A deafening thunderclap sounded in the distances. A powerful wind blew in the tomb. The workers with Zuhair yelled with fear and ran out of the tomb. The general slowly approached the sarcophagus while Stacy screamed, "Don't general! Let's leave. We did what it wanted from us!"

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