Chris Evans


Anubis copyright c.2015 T.A. Chase

Part Five-

“Jamil,” Sandy yelled from the base of the stairs. “There’s some guy here to see you.”

Grimacing, Jamil bowed slightly to the young Jordanian woman who’d been helping him. “I’ll be back.”

She smiled. “Of course.”

He stood and took a few steps away before he brushed the dirt off his jeans as best he could. When she laughed at him, he shrugged. “I guess I should know better. Nothing is going to get these clean except for being washed a thousand times.”

“Then you’ll still find sand in them,” she pointed out.


“Jamil, did you hear me?” Sandy shouted again and he winced.

“Yes. I’ll be right there,” he called back.

He wound his way past the open pits where different members of his dig team were occupied, clearing away the dirt from different objects buried beneath a layer of sand.

Jamil had been shocked when they came across the first artifacts. When he’d been given permission to dig in a part of the main building that hadn’t been open to any one outside of Jordanian academia, he hadn’t really expected to find anything. He figured most of the important stuff had already been discovered.

Yet the first test shovel brought up some interesting particles that convinced him there might be more here than he thought. When they discovered the two intact canopic jars, he almost burst out in an undignified Cabbage Patch dance. The Jordanian government was very gracious about allowing Jamil access to them after he informed them about it.

“Who is it,” Jamil asked Sandy as he approached her.

She shrugged then pointed to where a tall man stood at the top of the front steps, staring out at the canyon carved out of the rock. There was something in the set of his shoulders that spoke of loss and a deep-seated pain. He shook his head. Now he was just being foolish. There was no way he could even guess what the stranger was feeling.

“Thanks, Sandy. You can get back to whatever you were doing,” he told his assistant.

He turned his attention back to the stranger who now faced him. Jamil inhaled sharply when his gaze met the man’s dark eyes. There was sadness in them, but as he watched, it disappeared behind a bland expression.

“You’re Jamil Ahlid?” The man’s eyebrows shot up when Jamil nodded.

“Not what you were expecting, huh?” He smiled as the guy shrugged and agreed.

“Not really.” The stranger stepped closer, holding out his hand. “I’m Ahmed Al Hazzan. I’m a consultant with UNESCO, dealing with their World Heritage sites.”

“Nice to meet you, Mr. Al Hazzan. No one informed me you were coming.” Jamil shook Ahmed’s hand, ignoring the jolt of electricity racing through his body.

“It was a spur of the moment kind of thing. I was traveling in Jordan, and when they heard about your discoveries, they asked if I’d come and look them over.”

Jamil wanted to protest, but he knew he couldn’t. The government had approved his papers and dig permit with the caveat that they could send whoever they wanted to inspect the site and anything he found while there. Also UNESCO had even more right to come in and go through anything and everything. He wasn’t about to say no and have his permit pulled.

“They aren’t here,” he informed Ahmed.

Ahmed sighed, rubbing the back of his neck. Jamil tried to ignore how gorgeous Ahmed was. Ahmed wore a pair of jeans and a long sleeved flannel shirt, both of which emphasized the breadth of his shoulders and the narrowness of his waist. At least he showed up dressed for the situation. There had been times at other digs where people had shown up in dress shoes and suits, obviously not thinking about all the dirt and grime that attached itself to clothes and skin.

“I know that, but I was curious about Petra. It’s been a very long time since I last visited. I guess I needed to see how it has changed.” Ahmed glanced around them.

Jamil chuckled. “Petra doesn’t change. It’s been here for centuries and will be for centuries after we’re gone. The only thing left of us in this place will be the memories of our heartache and our joys.”

“All there is in this place is heartache,” Ahmed muttered.

“There is an aura that hangs around here,” Jamil admitted. “Staying here late at night is unnerving to say the least.”

Ahmed nodded. “Yes, it is. It has always been that way.” He shot a look in the direction of the amphitheater. “Will you show me around your site? I don’t want to bother anything you have in progress.”

He gestured for Ahmed to follow him. “Since you’ve been here before, I won’t do the whole tour. We’re digging in an area toward the back of the temple. No one’s been allowed in there to do this extensive a dig. I’m not even sure anyone’s been in there since people left here.”

Silence greeted him and he took a quick look behind him to make sure Ahmed was still there. It was obvious the man wasn’t listening to Jamil, even though his gaze was focused on Jamil’s back as though he didn’t want to see ghosts in the shadows.

“The place isn’t really haunted. No matter what you’ve heard,” he reassured Ahmed.

Snorting, Ahmed gave him a disgusted look. “Of course, it’s haunted. People died in this complex. Hell, they lost their lives in the very room you’re digging in. There are spirits all over and they will make themselves known before you get too much further in your expedition.”

“You don’t strike me as a superstitious man.” Jamil shrugged. “If they’re here, then I welcome the chance to meet them. I’ve always wondered whether there was an afterlife.”

“In Ancient Egypt, they believed in the afterlife. Why do you think they went to the lengths they did when they buried their dead? I wouldn’t doubt there are sites across the Middle East where the dead haunt the living. Across the world in fact.” Ahmed clenched his hands then relaxed them.

2 Responses “Anubis”

  1. Bobbi says:

    I’m loving the story can hardly wait for the next installment

  2. Lisa says:

    I hope your feeling better. Thank you it was interesting as always

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