Chris Evans


Anubis copyright c. 2015 T.A. Chase

Part Eight-

As soon as Ahmed rounded the edge of the canyon, he took a deep breath then shifted. His jackal took over, some long remembered memories surfacing to take him across the desert. He didn’t fight the animal part of his soul.

It had hurt so much and been so very hard to walk up those steps, through the entrance. He’d been swamped with memories and emotions that he’d thought he’d gotten rid of.

Then Jamil had taken him back into the anteroom behind the main meeting room. When he saw the writing on the wall, it was like he’d been punched in the gut, though it shouldn’t have shocked him. Ahmed had known their enemies weren’t to be trusted.

Why did you do it, my prince? Why did you trust them to keep their word after they killed me? They killed you, your sister and your son. Is it your organs in that canopic jar? If I were to touch it, would I hear the last screams you made as they killed you?

The jackal shook its head, not liking the foreign thoughts dancing around his head. He only wanted to run and hunt, then sleep under some brush during the hottest part of the day. He inhaled deeply of the arid breeze with sand particles floating in it.

::It is nice to go home once in a while.:: Isis’s voice eased into his head.

::My jackal is happy only because he knows this is where he was born. He doesn’t remember anything that happened to me before our souls merged.::

::Maybe our lives would’ve been easier if the gods had erased our memories when they changed us. That way we wouldn’t judge our new world on what happened to us in the past.::

Anubis gave a mental sigh. ::Yet we probably wouldn’t be as determined to keep the world safe if we didn’t remember the evil done to us. It’s hard to care.::

::That’s true. I’ll talk to you tomorrow about the canopic jars and whatever else this archaeologist has discovered.::

::His name is Jamil Ahlid.::

There was a ripple of surprise through his brain as Isis tried to put the name to the image of the archaeologist he’d seen.

::I know. It’s a little odd, but I’m sure there’s a good story to go along with that name.::

::Maybe you should spend some time learning Jamil’s story.::

::Are you trying to set me up?:: He snorted, then promptly sneezed when dust flew up his nose.

Isis disappeared from his mind and Anubis curled his lip in a jackal grin. The scent of a desert hare filled his nose, signaling that such a creature hid near by. His animal wanted to go for a chase, though he wasn’t hungry. It was just the thrill of the hunt and being able to straight his legs.

Anubis took off, leaping over rocks and dodging around shorts shrubs. He surprised the hare that took off further into the desert. His jackal yipped then dashed off after it.

* * * * *

“Hey Jamil, come here,” Sandy called, excitement tingng her voice.

He shot to his feet, thinking she’d found some new artifact, but when he went to find her, he saw her standing outside. “What are you doing out here? I thought you were digging near the amphitheater.”

“I was, but someone saw something while they were coming in. They videoed it.” She tapped some buttons on a phone then handed it to him. “I think you’ll like this one.”

“I don’t have time to watch a video, Sandy. I have to go into the city to meet Mr. Al Hazzan tomorrow, so I won’t be here to help with the units,” he told her, taking the phone from her anyway.

His eyes were immediately drawn to the life-and-death chase going on in the video. A large jackal hunted a small desert hare. There were spectacular leaps and lunges. The agile hare dodged a last minute attack from the jackal then kicked the animal square in the face before scurrying off.

“Holy shit!” He met Sandy’s gaze with his own awed smile. “I’ve never seen something like before. Hell, I didn’t even know there were jackals in the area.”

“No one else did either.” Sandy took the phone, turning to hand it to some guy standing near her. “Can you send that to me?”

“Sure.” The guy nodded as he took it from her. “I spotted the jackal first and that’s why I stopped. It’s so odd to see them hunting during the day like this, though I got the feeling he wasn’t trying very hard to catch the rabbit. There were plenty of times he could’ve nabbed it.”

Jamil smiled. “Yeah. I got that feeling too. Maybe he just wanted to play with it.”

He encircled Sandy’s shoulders and gave her a quick hug. “Thanks for sharing that with me. Now I’m going to be looking for the jackal every time I’m coming or going from the site.”

“Wasn’t Anubis, one of the Egyptian gods, often portrayed as a jackal-headed human? He was the god of the Underworld or death, right?” Sandy hugged him back.

“Yes.” They wandered back toward the treasury. “Why?”

“Maybe we should take seeing one as a sign,” she said.

“Seeing a jackal as a harbinger of death is a good sign or a bad one?” He asked as they joined the rest of the group gathering around for a lunch break.

She shrugged. “Sure, though maybe he’s a good sign of more discoveries. More canopic jars or maybe even a burial site.”

He motioned toward the back areas of the treasury. “We won’t find them here. We’d need to search the caves for those and I’m pretty sure most of them have been found, or they won’t let us excavate them.”

Sandy shot him a glance and there was something in her eyes he’d never seen before. “You never know what we’ll find the more time we spend here.”

A shiver ran down his spine as though someone had just walked over his grave.

One Response “Anubis”

  1. loved it – can’t wait til Tuesday – thanks, TA.

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