There are fates worse than death…
Hello, I have decided to serialise my latest novel, Accidental Immortal, on my blog. While for the first week it will be published every day, after the first seven posts they will be published four times a week so that the serialisation will be completed at the same time as on Wattpad, if not a little sooner! I have gone with British spelling on this one…
The Pharaoh was coming. Hesire pulled the first Osiris band from the deep pocket of his green neophyte robe and the rest clinked together as they jostled back into place in the confined space. He held the bracelet in his palm reverently for a second before putting it in its place on the alcove. He repeated the action one by one until all the holes were filled. The gold on each gleamed dully in the subdued light from the lamps high on the walls. When the last bracelet was placed in its allotted slot, he stood back to regard the rest of the hall with a critical eye.
Apart from new entrants to this world, only those that served Osiris could enter here. Travellers were hastily pushed through as soon as they arrived and they were never allowed to look around or touch anything. Hesire had been told that if any of the delicate equipment surrounding the centre of the room was damaged then they could receive no new supplies. No one knew how to repair them anymore. The designers were long dead in the other world. Egypt was changing on the other side as well, who knew how long they could rely on getting seeds and animals to remake the new one.
Raised above the floor by a couple of inches was a great circle of bronze, as wide as a workman’s hut, standing proudly in the enormous space. It was directly situated equidistant to the outer walls and the twin emblems of Osiris were etched in the centre. The priests wanted to leave no misapprehension of who was in charge. Large bronze boxes, the size of horses, inlaid with gold and jade surrounded the bronze circle forming a triangle. He looked up as he had done a dozen times before in awe at the scale of the building to see the great walls rise above him towering into an apex. The walls were made of brick rather than stone, the only concession to new world materials, He knew the engineers would rather have made the pyramids a better replica of the originals but this pyramid was built to receive rather than send so the measurements and materials did not need to be so exacting. Only the basic design of the inner pyramid as laid down by the mathematicians, astronomers and engineers had to be followed. There was no need to stroke the Pharaoh’s ego on this world.
Hesire stifled a yawn. He had been up since before sunrise but the intake was due to arrive in a few days and everything had to be perfect for the glory of Osiris. He couldn’t help but think it was ironic. The wealth of the Pharaohs created the pyramids, this place, so that Egyptians could travel to Duat but no Pharaoh had ever made it through. In the past they believed that you had to die inside the pyramid to be transported and no priest had ever been brave enough to suggest a Pharaoh should kill himself to get here. In fact, Hesire’s smile grew wider, as soon as the priests realised you had to be alive in the pyramids before transmission they introduced the mummification process just to make sure that the Pharaohs would be completely dead before it happened.
A low hum began to invade Hesire’s senses. It built slowly. His bones tingled first, then his whole body began to hum and then he heard it clearly. He whirled around to stare at the jewels lighting up by the battery he knew was in an ancillary room.
Someone was coming! His heart lurched, the Pharaoh’s retinue shouldn’t be arriving for another couple of days. The papyrus was very clear on the matter, Ahmose I had already died but all the preparations would not be ready for days. He hadn’t seen it but the brotherhood was abuzz with what food or tools would be sent with this one. There were rumours circulating in the order that there might not be another pyramid built and he had heard that the small pyramid replica in the High Priest’s office had been sending regular scrolls back and forth negotiating what would be included. He hoped that they would have the foresight to send seeds rather than yet more jewels but of course the High Priest would have all this in hand. A blight had killed a lot of the crops off in the spring and they needed to start again. He rubbed his hands from his temple to his chin, an affectation that had led to far too many nights alone in the Temple contemplating his shortcomings.
The room grew dark and cold as all energy was drained from the air. Hesire’s bones vibrated with the forces that surrounded him and the electric lights that had been installed two years ago by brother Akhten burst into glass shards in the corners. Sparks began to fly in the outer ring lighting up the room briefly with another taking its place in increasing frequency. Hesire dove for the bronze circle on the floor, for the protection of Osiris but more importantly away from the tremendous forces about to flood the chamber. He flung his hood over his head and cowered at the edge of the circle. His back was to the boxes and he watched the centre. He composed himself with effort. This was the first time he had greeted anyone from Earth and disrespect would not be tolerated. He hadn’t expected to be given the privilege for years. This was an opportunity to stand out, maybe rise in the ranks if he played this correctly. He placed his arms forward in the bow expected of his order. A stray bolt whizzed past his ear to hit the sleeve of his arm, the material smouldered and a flame ate eagerly at the linen. Holding back an oath he smothered the flame quickly with his other sleeve and sat back breathing deeply to calm himself.
Black smoke pervaded the air, radiating from the centre. This was different. He coughed repeatedly as his lungs stung. It was difficult to breath. The acrid smell of burning flesh assaulted his nose making him grimace and brush his nose before resuming the posture. His eyes streamed but he stayed in position. A form began to coalesce in front of him, Hesire gasped, that was no funeral procession! It began to take shape. He sat up to get a better look, forgetting propriety in his confusion. The space in the middle of the room filled with a monstrous form, so large it filled the space. There was no time to run. He had an impression of incredible speed, claws, fangs and a terrible growl that instilled a fear like nothing he’d felt before, then all thoughts ceased as terror gripped his mind.
-End of Part one