Editor-In-Chief: Charbel Baini

Nightmare In Egypt…Part 30/ Feras Werr

1366 B.C. Amenophis IV (1367 – 1350 B.C.) Reign, Thebes

"And this is what happened till Sekhmet took off with her husband and you were brought back to me."
"I don't remember anything of what you are saying. What I remember is that only seconds ago we were in that huge temple with those ghastly mummies running towards us to kill us."
"This is when you stood in between, commanding them not to hurt us. This is when, I guess, Sekhmet borrowed your body to help through the obstacles and retrieve the Holy Cross; although that disgusting man stole it away from us later on."
Angel asked, shivering from the cool currents that suddenly erupted from their right side, "Who is he?"
Nigel embraced her as they sat calmly in the dark corner of the new premises they were in and answered, "I don't know. He knew us but I just can't remember coming across him in anyway or at any point in my entire life. Oh we almost died there hadn't it been for those ancient soldiers guarding Sekhmet."
"Nigel!" Angel suddenly snapped back, "Do you remember my dream?"
Nigel replied, "Yes, dear God yes…"
"This is the explanation to my dream." She broke loose from his embrace and looked towards him, his face slightly lit by the dominant moonlight coming from the big window a distance across from them, "I believe this means that I'm connected to those people."
"Well as a Christian I don't believe in soul incarnation like the ancient religions do, but your ancestry is obviously deeply rooted in ancient Egypt. I believe you are almost a copy of what Sekhmet looked like because you fitted superbly into their royalty frame. She is surely a great ancestor of yours."
"I don't believe in soul incarnation either and I agree with you concerning my lineage. Once we resolve our issues I feel compelled to do some good investigating of my family tree."
Suddenly door squeaking interrupted their conversation. They both unconsciously grabbed their weapons hard and rested in anticipation of any danger. However contrasting to their fears, a soft lady's weeping and sobs filled the chamber they were in. Echoes of slow footsteps surfaced in the distances as the door slammed back into its place. The weeping and footsteps gradually grew louder implying that the sad person was coming closer to them. After a while a close brief shuffling followed placing a part of the lady's white robe in the path of the soft moonlight, releasing the fact to Angel and Nigel that she was royalty. The woman afterwards lit two torches hung on the wall opposite of them illuminating a portion of the chambers but still leaving them within some darkness to conceal them from her sight. Angel almost gasped as she saw the young boy's body lying on the floor in front of a human size statue of a deity. He was about ten years of age with handsome looks but was still as a log implying to her his sickness.
The figure of royalty knelt in front of the statue and wept deeply. Her bursts of crying echoed through the temple walls they were in and sparked chills across Angel's back from their sincerity. She then raised her eyes and prayed in ancient Egyptian, "Bring him back to me, please, you are a great god…" a series of snuffles followed then she continued, "Please bring him back to me, I will build for you a temple more grand than this one and that Egypt has never seen before if you return my son to me."
Nigel whispered to Angel, "She certainly has my sympathies but I think it's too late for her prayers. He is dead."
"No I think he is ill."
"He isn't moving. I can't even see him breath."
"Rahotep," her breaking voice called but the boy rested still as ever. She picked up his arm and released it. It fell without life to the ground. Frustrated yells filled the atmosphere around them once again as she collided with reality and cried. She beat the grounds with her arms and lamented her calamity. 
Suddenly chariot noise erupted from the outside. Within moments the temple door opened and footsteps' shuffling sounded. Two figures soon came into focus and stood besides the woman. One maintained a lofty disposition and was wearing an Egyptian warrior’s costume. The other was an elderly person in a more moderate appearance wearing a shabby grey tunic. He had a long stick in his hand. The poor lighting kept their facial features from Angel and Nigel as the warrior spoke, "Nefertiti!"
The crying woman answered bitterly, "Rahotep is dead! Our son is dead!" She stood up and embraced him. Amenophis stood paralyzed with shock for a few moments. He then knelt down and picked up his son between his arms hugging him. 
The figure with the shabby tunic said, "Our gods are angry because we released the slaves. That is why they will not return Rahotep to life!"
Nefertiti replied sharply, "Enough! Enough Imhotep! The God of the slaves is much mightier than ours'!"
Imhotep replied warning, "Don't anger them any further!"
Amenophis's crying rose in the backgrounds of Nefertiti and Imhotep arguements, "Anger what! Dead stone!"
Imhotep shook with fear and looked at the statue interceding with prayer, "Oh great god Khnum, owner of this temple, forgive her! She is angered and in pain by your disciplining for releasing our slaves from the cities." He looked back at Nefertiti and said, "Stop your heresy your majesty instantly. I'm not responsible if our cities suffer any further from your words!"
Nefertiti yelled back with her tearful eyes shooting madness, "We don't have any cities left! The God of the Hebrew Slaves burned our cities and killed the first born of every Egyptian family plunging our people into bitter sadness, even my own son was no exception. He had no heart on anyone that obstructed him not on a single commoner or on royalty. Our waters are all poisoned with ailments. Where are your gods whom you compel us to worship? Why didn't they defend us and return what we have lost?"
Imhotep assured, "All the omens were telling me not to let them go and I warned you to keep refusing Moses's requests or else. Had you heeded our gods would have protected us."
Amenophis stood up and looked at both of them with sorrow, "And we lost half of our chariots as well."
Nefertiti asked with a shocked tone of voice, "What happened?" 
Amenophis answered with a saddened voice, "Their God is a very mighty God. He glowed with majesty and stood before us like a huge pillar of fire as we were in the Hebrews' pursuit. He kept our army away from them. He is more glorious than the day time skies. And finally when they reached the bay I watched with glee as I thought they would be unable to cross the seas. But with unseen power the sea was split in two halves and they marched through it." 
Nefertiti gasped with surprise as she heard the words. Amenophis looked back at the statue and continued, "I hesitated to follow them at first and stood watching the great multitude glorify their God and march through the muddy lands of the sea. But gradually my pride as a ruler couldn't take their God's thrashing that I received. Frustrated by their victories over my authority I foolishly sent my chariots afterwards and stood like a coward afraid to approach the mighty open sea. The huge walls of the sea crashed down over my soldiers and engulfed them."
Imhotep fiendishly blurted out, "Do you see our gods' wrath. This is their way in punishing us for releasing the Hebrew slaves. For four hundred years, generation after generation, those slaves toiled Egypt and served us. You release them against our gods' will and you expect to go unpunished?"
Amenophis replied, "It is not your gods I fear all of a sudden." He looked down at Rahotep and replied, "It is the God of the Hebrews that I truly fear. The God that makes the grounds tremble and takes life is truly a God to fear."
Nefertiti walked up towards the statue and knelt down. She took her son in between her arms and stood up. She walked away slowly disappearing from the scene leaving her husband and Imhotep behind. 
"Amenophis I'm warning you. If you don't repent and ask forgiveness from Khnum…"
Amenophis faced Imhotep again and answered, "If our gods let the God of the Hebrews destroy our cities without interfering what do I want with them. They are your gods and not mine."
"HOW DARE YOU REVOLT AGAINST OUR BELIEFS!!!"
"I'M WARNING YOU IMHOTEP. A LOT OF CHANGES ARE GOING TO TAKE PLACE FROM HERE ON! DON'T INTERFERE!"
"Haven't the Hebrew slaves gone off with their God! Let them be and let us return to our worship!"
"You mean the worship of Aton, the glorious sun god. I don't know who the God of the Hebrew Slaves is exactly but I have seen his wrath and glorious power. He shined superbly like the sunlit skies in front of us." Amenophis turned to a small stand that rested besides the statue of Khnum. He took a couple of scrolls that lied on its' flat top and crumbled them in his hands. 
Imhotep dashed towards him and took the crumbled papyrus from his hands. They fell from his hands in small shreds. Imhotep's face swelled with anger as he spoke, "YOU WILL PAY FOR THIS!!!"
"Mark my words. From here on the Scriptures of the Priests of Thebes are banned from our Kingdom. I will issue the decree first thing in the morning." Amenophis dashed out of the temple leaving Imhotep boiling with anger. 
Imhotep hollered back at him as the door opened then slammed shut, "WE SHALL SEE WHO WILL BAN WHAT EXACTLY!!!"
"Stupid man." Imhotep said talking to himself, "I know what to do."
Imhotep disappeared for a few moments then came back with a bunch of scrolls in his hands. He placed them on the ground a distance off of the statue of Khnum. He began to softly murmur what seemed to Angel and Nigel as chants. After a minute the scrolls simply disappeared. The old figure slowly departed towards the door of the temple murmuring to himself, "They will disappear for a while but they will return. You shall see. You will never find them where they are bastard," his heavy footsteps and the tick tocks of his stick began weakening gradually in the distances. The door opened with loud squeaks then closed leaving the atmosphere of the temple very quiet. 
Both waited for a moment's time before they decided to move out of the darkness they were in. Assured by the total silence they cautiously moved from the cold corner and walked towards the statute of Khnum. The statue was up against the wall of a rectangular room about one thousand six hundred square feet in size. The two lit torches revealed its breathtaking rich glyphs glorifying the god of the Nile. Note worthy inscriptions on one of the walls promised him a sacrificial female bride before every rainy season in hopes of convincing him not to flood the Nile on the cities. As they stood near the lit wall reading the glyphs a strong voice suddenly erupted from behind them and said in English, "You are a very curious pair."
Angel released a loud gasp as she and Nigel turned around and looked at Imhotep.
"Do you think hiding in the dark will hide you from me?"
Nigel yelled out questioning, "HOW THE HELL DO YOU KNOW HOW TO SPEAK OUR LANGUAGE!!!"
The tall figure with grey hair and an oval face full of wrinkles eyed them sharply. He could barely open his heavy eyelids that hovered over his black eyes. His sagging cheeks unveiled his protruding cheek bones. His senile hands that were piled on top of his waist high walking stick shook as he spoke, "The real question is what do you aspire to accomplish by your weapons and presence here? You are obviously a long way from your hometown voyager."
Angel spoke, "We are seeking the scriptures…" only to find Nigel's hands covering her mouth.
He spoke interrupting with a frown of discomfort drawn on his face, "I don't feel we owe you any explanations. Leave us unharmed and we shall depart your world in peace."
Imhotep replied with a mocking smile on his face, "I have come across treasure hunters before, crossers of time purely seeking fortunes, and I have come across the unfortunate while they pursue solutions to mysterious problems. But your quest is a very unique one. What you seek is no longer at my disposal. When the God of the Hebrews had the skies rain fire on us most of our libraries were burned and most of our written texts are no longer available. I just sent the last copy we hold that was written by our finest scribes moments ago to a maze in the black realms where they came from to guard it from Amenophis's anger; a place where no one has entered and has ever lived to tell of its whereabouts."
Angel asked, "We will find it! You shall see!"
Imhotep turned his back and walked to the temple door leaning on his stick for assistance, saying, "I can assure you with my experience in life that is an age old; you will not live long enough to obtain it."
Imhotep opened the door. As he walked out of the temple he hit the grounds of the temple with his stick then disappeared. Nigel looked at Angel and asked, "What does he mean by that loud bang of his stick."
"How in the world did he know what we are looking for and how does he know how to speak our language."
Suddenly the grounds underneath them shook. They looked at each other with horror. Their legs picked up to run but only to find the rock underneath them breaking. They both screamed with freight as they began to fall with the rocks. Nigel spontaneously looked at the wall they were standing in front of and noticed a long narrow cliff. He extended his hand and grabbed on to it as he was sinking. He simultaneously extended the other and grabbed Angel by her arm. The rocks fell with a thundering rumble into a huge black pit underneath. Angel stood suspended in the air by Nigel's grip hysterically crying and looking at Nigel whom was trying to maintain his grip on the ledge. After a brief ten seconds powerful echoes of crashing erupted from the pit, mesmerizing the couple by the distance the earth had to travel to finally crash at the bottom of the pit. 
Nigel took in a couple of deep breaths and attempted to regain his strength from the shock of the hard moments. He then spoke, "I need you to be a brave girl Angel. I'm going to heave you up and I need you grab on to my body. OK."
Angel remained speechless. She was hysterically shuddering and helplessly swinging in the air like a pendulum. "Nigel announced on the count of three, be ready, one…two…three." He heaved her up with his grip allowing her to wrap her arms around his waist. Another heave upwards made her wrap her arms around his neck, rendering his other arm free. He grabbed the ledge with both his hands and was more stable. To his surprise she broke loose from his grip and grabbed the ledge by her hands, suspending herself like Nigel. 
"What did you do that for?"
She barely made out, gasping and breathing heavily from her panic, "We don't have to both die. If the worst should happen the other must continue the quest."
Nigel managed back a smile and said comforting her, "We made it both that far. I think we will win this brawl together sweetheart."
Angel looked sideways, "And how must we find stepping grounds before we lose our strength and fall."
Hanging from the corner of the room both could only see the limited perimeter lighted by the torches above them. Suddenly Nigel noticed a flickering incandesce inside a hollowness towards the bottom underneath his legs. It was something he didn't notice before from the panic he was in moments ago. Being the size of an entrance it was obviously lit by a torch from the flickering light rays, making his heart glow with some hope.
"Angel I think I've spotted something."
"What is it?"
"It’s a big lit entrance in the rocks just below my legs. I think I'm going to try and descend to it."
"No Nigel, I think we should try to move along the ledge till we get to the temple entrance. We have more hope then,"
"No. Let us check the lit entrance first. It may lead to something."
Angel reluctantly agreed and watched as Nigel explained, "Its only a couple of feet away. I’m going to drop myself downwards and catch on to its threshold as I come near it."
"NO!!! What if you fail and kill yourself."
Nigel gave her an assured look and said, "Trust me!!! Here goes."
Nigel lost his grip and slid making angel catch her breath in anticipation. When exactly at the threshold of the door he successfully caught it with his arms. He pulled himself up and looked at Angel who smiled back and said, "I think I will use the stone ladder."
"What?!"
Angel calmly descended the short stone ladder that was carved in the rocks till she was parallel to the door. She gave him a mocking look and giggled as she said, "Patience is a virtue Nigel."
Nigel laughed at his clumsy feat and said, "Next time I will be more carefull sweetheart. I promise."
Angel and Nigel were in a corridor lit by torches. Nigel grabbed a torch from off the wall and walked down the brief brown rock corridor. It led them to a T shape junction with two dark long paths, one to their utmost right and the other to their left. Angle gasped as her foot struck a solid figure that rested on the grounds to her right side. She jumped into Nigel's arms who asked, "What is it dear." 
They both looked downwards as the skeleton of death screamed at them, its whiteness dancing within the wake of the glowing torch. Worms with decaying flesh still covered what was left of its ribs and legs as a portion if its’ body was damaged. Angel moved her eyes away from the sight and buried her face in Nigel's embrace from the macabre sight. Another lightning bolt of terror struck them as the glyphs that were carved into the wall in front of them yelled their threats at the intruders of the premises. Nigel began reading out loud, "As soon as he smells live human flesh he will turn his clock of sand that is one day mature. His victims' pains at getting lost will entertain him, whom this maze was consecrated to his black throne that was built from human bones and ornamented with their human eyes. He sees everything and hears everything. After a day of misery he will appear to his prey in his black glory and prey on their flesh and bones to close his insatiable appetite. He will drink their blood to quench his unending thirst. If you are reading this know the black beast of the lords of evil is watching you." Angel walked up to the wall and stood reasoning, "Where are we Nigel? What has this sick old man done to us?" Her body shuddered with fear as her eyes moved over and over again at what could be waiting for them.    
Suddenly the sound of something dragging surfaced. They looked back to find a slide door closing the path they came from. Nigel ran back and attempted to stop it but was no match for the force that was closing it. Shortly afterwards nothing was heard but the crackling of the tongues of flame on the two torches in the brief corridor. Angel watched Nigel as he slowly slid to the grounds, looking at her with despair.  
He said with a shaky voice, "For the very first time I feel that I'm truly afraid." Tears surfaced in his eyes as he began to cry and collapse into panic. Angel's blue cat eyes sparkled with affection for a moment's time. But to his surprise she marched towards him, knelt down besides him and gave him a sharp smack across his face. In a seconds time another followed on his other cheek with the back of her hand making his head sway sideways. The smacks echoed within the small corridor, the smart stings forcing a loud "AAAAHHH" from him. He stared back at her unbelieving what she just did to him, her image as she stood back up and walked a distance away dancing behind the tears in his eyes. She dryly stated, "If you are the man around here and will allow yourself to collapse and weep like a child, what should a weak woman like me do? Tell me?! Get up and act like the man I know you are and we will face together what we have to face in order to get out of here." 
For a minutes time all was silent. Angel wiped the tears in her eyes sneaking a peek at Nigel from time to time. Her heart ached at the smacking she gave him. Nevertheless she was aware that her actions were spurred by her insecurity. She feared losing his strength and courage to support her in the mission. She knew they had just faced the most sinister beings any human could possibly face in the wildest worlds of fiction and fantasy. He was such a man at what he put up with and for her love and sake. But it was too risky to fall apart now. They could get massacred if this should happen. 
Deep inside Nigel knew that Angel was saying the truth. But the smacking hurt him greatly. It was bitter medicine that had just awakened him back to his senses from a lethal drop. He was the man and he was supposed to be in control. They had just gone through a lot and the pressure was heavy on both of them. He just couldn't find it in his heart not to forgive her for what she did. After all, she was concerned about their safety as much as he was. But the bitterness of the smacks needed some time to go away. It just hurt him. He didn't expect her to be so strict against a moment of feebleness that he was bound to experience sooner or later. He was so lost between his love for her and the pain of her strictness. However deep inside he knew the priority should be given to finding a way out of this terrorizing mess. They were losing time. 
As he stood up Angel ran up to him with eyes sparkling with messages of passion and opened her arms begging, "Nigel please forgive, darling please…you don't know how much I'm shaking inside…I need you by me…I was just so afraid…you are my lover and you are my only family to me…you are the only close person in the world to me…I'm just so afraid and I need you to be so strong…please forgive me."
Nigel's defenses collapsed as he felt her body between his arms. He hugged her warmly and answered, "Calm down sweet baby. I will never forsake you. We have been through a lot and the pressure of the moments is not easy on us. It's alright sweetheart. I love you and will never ever leave you alone." She leaned back a bit and rubbed the finger marks she left on his cheeks. He gave her a light kiss on her lips and said, "It takes more than this to tear us away from each other." Their lips met again passionately, warmly, his hands searched her back fervently as he caressed her lips with his. 
A powerful quaking began making gravel and rocky chips fall from the ceiling around them. They hugged each other closely as a spine-chilling mad beastly voice howled in Egyptian, "PATHETIC BEINGS. I WILL MASH YOU AND YOUR LOVE TOGETHER. STRUGGLE IN MY MAZE OF TORMENT AND SOON YOUR BONES WILL CRUSH BETWEEN MY TEETH!!!" 
Both walked back to the T junction trying to maintain as much calmness as possible. As they stood thinking as to which way to go, Nigel caught a glimpse of a knife lying besides the decaying body. He picked it up as an idea came to his mind. 
"What is it Nigel?"
He replied as he wiped it from the dust, "It must have belonged to the poor unlucky fellow. I have no intention of losing my path here. I want to be able to avoid repeating paths. He picked the torch up from the ground, took Angel by her hand and headed for the left path. 
The corridor that was approximately one hundred and seventy feet by sixteen feet resembled a horrific lengthy lion's den. The light of the torch lit the grounds that had different boney remains scattered all over them. Several rib cages with shreds of worn out human clothes still hanging from them, were still intact on their left side, but smashed on their right. They cautiously walked down the hallway, appalled by the ghoulish leftovers, their blood curdling from the thought that this may be their ending if they didn't do the maze properly. They stopped halfway across a pile of cracked human skulls. Two huge black scorpions suddenly climbed out from the top skull and began descending the pole of bones. Angel shivered and jumped back as she saw their size. Nigel removed his revolver and shot them, destroying the pile of skulls in his wake. 
Suddenly an audible thud was heard in the nearby distances. It resembled a pile of bones smashing on the floor. They both ran down the hallway and reached a right corner turn. They took it not daring to look back; the heaviness leaving loud thuds as its feet worked the rocky grounds underneath and ran after them. Another long corridor was ahead of them clothed with dense darkness. Angel stopped and screamed out loud, "But what if there was something hiding down the darkness!"
Nigel replied, "No time for buts Angel, come one!" He grabbed her and ran down the dark corridor. The loud thuds continued and grew louder by the second, giving them the impression that it was catching up with them. The corridor thundered with the footsteps of the chase. Finally an entrance in the right wall met them. They took it and went into another corridor. Suddenly they stopped, lying against the wall to their right. A dazzling total silence engulfed the entire fiendish premises. Nothing was heard but their heavy breathing and pounding hearts. "Where is it? And what was it?" Angel whispered softly, her eyes screaming with fear as she looked at Nigel for an answer. 
"I don't know." Nigel softly answered. "This goes for both of your questions."
Suddenly Nigel remembered that he forgot to carve his marks on the walls that they just left behind. "I’m going to go back and if the coast is clear I will carve a small mark on the other side of the entrance."
"Nigel please," Angel gasped and pleaded. "Let's leave it behind."
"It's probably gone off somewhere else. I can't hear anything on the other side."
Angel grabbed his hand as he slowly turned around to the other side of the entrance. He whispered back, "The coast is clear."
A rough squeaking sounded as Nigel moved his knife against the rocky surface of the entrance. As he finished his X he suddenly stopped. His spine chilled instantly. He felt as if something was standing right besides him in the close darkness. He looked around but was unable to make out anything at first, not even nearby shuffling. All of a sudden two loud thuds sounded making his heart skip a beat. The grounds shook underneath as it came into the torch's light span; the most gruesome creature he'd ever seen so far in his adventure. It was a complete skeletal, it’s upper body was the upper half of a human skeleton while the lower half was that of a bull. Its figure was massive measuring in height eight feet. Its human skull that was screaming with death looked straight at him as it raised a lengthy sword in its hands and hurled it towards him. Nigel jumped back away from the entrance and took frightened Angel by her hand and screamed "RUN!!!" However they were at an intersection again. They both stood perplexed for a second’s time, their minds racing to make a decision between going right through the new corridor or taking another entrance straight ahead of them. They hastily chose to go straight towards the entrance. 
"WHAT IS IT?!" Angel screamed as they took a left turn and ran down a new lengthy corridor, the deadly mass of bones thudding violently after them. 

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