Anubis copyright c. 2015 T.A. Chase

Part Twenty-Five-

“How do we go about getting the officers back here?” Thoth tapped his hand against the stone. “It’s not like we can say we knew about this and just happened not to mention it to them.”

Anubis sat on his haunches as he studied the gruesome remains of what would probably turn out to be the two missing guards. ::This is more than worshippers wanting the ruins left alone. There’s something else going on, Thoth. I’m afraid that all of the archaeology group are in danger.::

“You mean Jamil is in danger and that’s what we’re here for.” Thoth paused then said, “Well, mostly we’re here to find whatever is hidden in Petra, but we can do our best to keep Jamil and the others safe as well.”

::The best way to do that would be to shut the dig down until we can figure out exactly what artifact is here.::

Thoth snorted then coughed as the hideous scent filled his nose. “Yeah. Good luck with that. I’m pretty sure none of them will think your idea is the best one.”

He shot his brother an annoyed look—or as annoyed as he could get while as a jackal. ::I realize that, idiot. I simply said it was the best way, not that it would happen. I’ll stay here to make sure no one comes to shut the tunnel. You go out and get the police. They shouldn’t have left yet. Let me know when you’re close and I’ll head off down one of the corridors so they don’t see me.::

“It’s the best option. I’ll tell them that it was open like this when I walked through here. I can implant the memory of one of the guards letting me in.” Thoth sighed. “I fucking hate when there’s death involved.”

::Of course you do. There are times when I wish my patron wasn’t the god of the dead. Maybe then a sight like this could bother me.::

Thoth touched Anubis’s head lightly in sympathy before he headed toward the entrance of the cave. Anubis sat there, staring not at the bodies before him, but at the bones of the dead who’d been buried in the caves millennium ago. Was Okilma’s skeleton somewhere in the catacombs riddling the canyon side? Or had their enemies simply tossed his body out for scavengers to feed off of?

Where did you end up, Okilma? What secret does Petra hide that someone will kill for it? Is it why you and your family were killed?

There was only silence to his questions, but Anubis hadn’t expected to hear anything. While spirits filled the tombs, they weren’t inclined to talk to him. At least not yet. Maybe if he had more time wandering, he would find some that wished to tell their stories. Yet there was no guarantee what they had to say would help him in his search.

A small gentle breeze brushed his fur and instead of death, his lungs filled with the fresh scent of jasmine. It was the scent he’d always associated with Okilma’s wife, Princess Eesha. He sniffed then shifted, trying to figure out where the breeze came from. It drifted from beyond the bodies, farther down the hidden tunnel. Anubis whined, wanting to follow the enticing fragrance, but his human side overruled the jackal in him and he stayed where he was.

Please wait, my lady, he pleaded silently. I’ll come see what you have to show me in a minute. I must wait for my friend to return.

There was a soft caress to one of his ears as though it really was the princess’s spirit and she understood what he’d said. For one of the few times since Anubis woke up as an Earth Warrior, he sent a prayer to his god that Anubis would grant Princess Eesha’s spirit the strength to remain on the earthly plane until she could tell him what she knew.

He shuddered when a fierce flood of heat swamped his chest. Was it a sign of the god’s approval? He could only hope so.

While he waited, he nosed around, searching for any clues. There were very few, but Anubis knew what he found wouldn’t make sense to the police, yet Thoth would collect them so they could look at them later. He sent a mental image of each piece of evidence to his brother. Thoth acknowledged him then warned they were almost to the gate.

Relief flowed through him. Now he was released to go where the princess wanted—or needed—him. It was possible her soul hadn’t been able to leave because of unfinished business on earth. Anubis had run across spirits like that before.

After leaping the crime scene, he landed on the other side and paused, thinking about his paw prints. Someone with a keen eye would spot them. He growled low in frustration.

::Here is how to fix that problem.::

He didn’t have time to startle at Sekhmet’s voice before his brother took over his mid to show him how to turn into mist. It was deceptively simple, yet he knew it was going to take a lot of energy.

::You won’t be able to sustain the form for long, but it will get you far enough way from the dead that no one will remark on your prints. Thoth will get rid of the ones around the bodies. Now go.::

Sekhmet’s order got him moving. He shifted from solid into mist then floated down the tunnel without hesitation as though Princess Eesha walked in front of him in her human form.

He didn’t know how far he’d gone before he lost hold of the mist and returned to his jackal form. Shaking his body from head to toe, Anubis continued to trot through the pitch black caves. Whenever he came to a fork in the path, the jasmine would be stronger in one direction and he’d go that way.

Finally the path dead ended in a large cavern and Anubis did his best to search every inch of it with his eyes before he took one step in. There was nothing there except the heavy presence of the princess.

He shifted and edged forward. “Are you in here, my lady? Is there where your body is? Do you want me to have them unearth you and move you to a more respectable tomb?”

A harsh wind blew by his ear, telling Anubis he’d angered her.

2 Responses “Anubis”

  1. Margaret S says:

    Loving this story.
    Note -Chapter number jumps from 24 to 26

  2. josexpressions says:

    and you leave us hanging…why??? 🙂 great excerpt – thanks! Have a nice weekend.

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