THE DEATH TRIALS│5

26 5 1




"LET'S GET STARTED, SHALL WE?" Anubis asked, a wicked grin splayed on his lips as mischief danced in his eyes.

Thoth clapped his hands and Zaina felt weightless. Seconds later, she fell to the ground. Her eyes shot wide open and she was met with grains of sand. She quickly got up and dusted her dress, knowing how hard her mother would have scolded her if she had been there.

In front of them, pyramids were lined up side by side. Just like the tents, each pyramid had a flag with a rafiq on it.

"To make this more interesting, you have until the shadow of the sun is ten metres," he said, pointing to the sundial on the ground beside him. "Go!"

Zaina ran into her pyramid, pausing when she had entered. She turned around just as the doorway was closing. Before the gods were out of sight, Anubis smiled. This smile wasn't the one that awakened the butterflies in her stomach, it was one that caused her heart to sink and her gut to clench in fear.

Shaken by what she had just seen, she stumbled back. Zaina took a moment to reassure her that it was a trick of light or it wasn't meant for her. Once she was satisfied and self-assured, she turned around. Ahead of her lay a torch lit hallway. Grabbing one of the torches of the wall, she walked down, admiring the images that littered the walls.

She kicked a pebble, listening as it bounced and came to a stop. She did that for a few more times till she kicked one pebble and didn't hear any bouncing. As her heart skipped a few beats, she searched for a new pebble. She found one but didn't kick it like the times before. Instead, she threw it. Once more, the soothing thuds of the pebble's rebounding did not reach her ears. Tentatively, Zaina leaned forward and extended the torch. She was met with the sight of a multitude of staircases, running in both directions. Her heart almost flew out of her chest when she looked down and saw that she was standing precariously on the edge of a ledge.

Timidly, she stepped off and back into the comfort of the hallway. Then she heard it, the light thuds. At first, she assumed it was her heart, still experiencing the aftermath of her near death experience. Then it grew louder and Zaina frowned. She wasn't doing anything nor was she extremely anxious or afraid, so why should her heart beat louder. Then it clicked, she wasn't the only one in the pyramid. Not wasting anytime, she flew up the stairs, not even bothering to have a direction in mind. But, no matter how far or fast she run, she always heard the gentle, occasionally loud, footfalls of the thieves.

Finding a corner, she slipped into it, hoping they would pass her by. When she began to feel hotter than normal, her clothes warming up and her skin dripping with sweat, she realised how stupid she was. The torch was pressed to her chest. She quickly threw it to the ground, cringing when it bounced on the stone ground and watching as the embers of the flames died out. Zaina peered round the edge of the wall, wanting to see if there was any sign of the thieves.

The sight that met her wide, innocent eyes was one that pushed her heart into her stomach, fastened her to her spot and elicited a scream from her lungs; the thieves had found her. They were three, two large and bulky men with shaved heads and a slender woman who twirled a blade in her hand.

One of the men was tattooed, strange inscriptions and hieroglyphics covering every visible inch of his skin. He tilted his head, his nose ring glinting in the glow of the fire as he smiled. The other one was worse, he had no teeth, just decaying and receding gums; Zaina cringed at the sight. The woman stepped forward, the bangles on her arm clinking as she tossed the blade and looked at her straight in the eye. Her hair was wild and curly, her features were sharp. She wore a dress similar to Zaina's but of a different colour.

The men grabbed her, pushing her to the ground. She tried to move backwards, only to be pulled back by one of the men. The woman straddled her waist and punched her face, causing her head to snap to the side. The men laughed, egging her on. Zaina struggled but it proved futile, the men restrained her, one grabbing her arms and the other grabbing her legs. The woman continued to lay waste to her face, spitting on her once or twice.

The Death TrialsRead this story for FREE!