There are fates worse than death…
Welcome to the serialisation of Accidental Immortal. Chapters will be published four times a week so the serialisation will be completed at (roughly) the same time as on Wattpad, if not a little sooner!
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Chapter 33 – kATHRYN
There were hundreds of them and they all believed she was Sekhmet. She marvelled at them. She looked at her arm but there was no sign of the cut she’d made. She let go of the knife and it dropped to the floor. Lynsey stared at the upturned faces. It wasn’t right. She ran out of the tent. The words kept rolling around in her head. This wasn’t right, this wasn’t natural. What had she gotten herself into? She ran hard and didn’t stop until she reached the city gates. Directly behind her Arkan kept pace but stayed a few feet behind.
As he passed through the gates she looked at the distant hills. The desert ran the other side. She could go and disappear. This was a turning point if she carried on, some of those people would be dead tomorrow. For what? For a traveller like herself trapped by religious nutters. This wasn’t his world or hers but shouldn’t travellers stick together? The nomads didn’t deserve to die though. It shouldn’t be their problem.
Arkan was still there waiting patiently. He was standing against the city walls. His foot was scuffing the earth scattering the sand. That was a man of contradictions. He professed to love her. He’d followed her when he could go and blend in anywhere. He was of this world and would survive whatever he chose to do – unless he joined this escapade and it failed. Did she love him? Every time she looked at him her heart did a little flop, her pulse raced and she dreamed of a life together. This man was an assassin. He might have killed hundreds of people. It was his job. Could she love someone who killed for a living? Was it any different than loving a soldier? Both occupations were dangerous and it was acceptable to marry a soldier so why not a government sanctioned assassin? Surely that was what soldiers were anyway?
She shook her head what was she kidding, she would follow him anywhere. She was trapped by the attraction she felt. She couldn’t imagine being apart from him and didn’t want to.
The plan could work but was just ever so dangerous. If it failed everyone of those nomads would be executed as traitors. If they succeeded the nomads would still be exiles. They would have to depose the king as well or he would use them as a means to grab more power.
Maybe there was a third way? Lynsey thought for a moment maybe the Sekhmet of the temple didn’t want to hurt the dragon. Maybe she didn’t realise it was intelligent and had feelings. If she could just talk to her!
Lynsey turned to Arkan. “I need to talk to the other Sekhmet.”
“I think we should give her a chance to help us. She may not understand what she is doing If I can talk to her, find out if there is a way to free the dragon without bloodshed. Surely that is worth a shot?”
“Lynsey, I am not sure. Sekhmet needs the dragon to stay alive. She has a vested interest in keeping him. If they have promised a prolonged life to the king so does he. I don’t think there is another way.” He moved closer. “You know I care for you and if you feel you need to do this before we commit ourselves to risking the lives of others then I will support you.”
Lynsey felt the heat of his body next to hers. She was grateful for his support. She needed to make sure and this was the only way.
They talked at length for hours about the best way to approach Sekhmet. She never left the temple but did leave the environs of the cavern each night. Sekhmet had a suite of rooms away from the other brethren in the outer regions of the Temple. Arkan had seen them when casing out the temple. They would go there.
It was easy to get into the temple even with the extra guards after the publicity that Sekhmet was alive and well. Arkan led Lynsey to a creeping plant to the north of the building. It was in shade and no one noticed while they crept up to the second story window. The window was in the pantry and rows of pots, urns, bowls and bottles were lined up neatly on each side of them. Arkan led the way and Lynsey followed quietly behind. There were very few guards on this side of the building. They were concentrated on the front door and around the entrances to the Dragon. They were clearly confident that no one would bother Sekhmet.
Sekhmet’s rooms were luxurious. There were silk drapes hanging from the ceilings separating different parts of the room. She had a large bed with more silk drapes hung on a wooden frame with colourful cushions scattered on the bed.
There was a bathroom, visible by an open door to their right and a desk and chair were placed before the window giving a view of the mountains in the distance.
Lynsey and Arkan decided to wait in the bathroom. It wasn’t long before Sekhmet glided in. While she had pleaded fragility outside in front of the populace, here she strode in with the grace and danger of a wild cat. She closed the door and hung her robe on the back. She was wearing a deep red dress that covered her from head to toe.
She sat at her desk and her head went up.
“You wanted to see me?”
Lynsey looked at Arkan. They came out and saw the woman smiling into a mirror they hadn’t noticed.
“Hello. I’m Lynsey.”
“I know. Have you come to kill me?”
“No! I just want to talk to you. Did you know that poor dragon is in pain and understands what you do to him every time you take blood?”
Sekhmet stood up and strode towards them. She stopped at the bed and regarded them. “Did you know that we are very alike Lynsey? Lynsey is not a common name on Duat but then neither is Kathryn. I had to change it to blend in. It is quite strange here. Don’t you think? We spend our lives on Earth just trying to muddle along, meet someone, look after them and die. It’s not a life I ever wanted.” Kathryn’s eyes blazed. Lynsey took a step back.
Here, life is what you make it. I came here in the 1820s. I suppose it is a little different now. “
“You are from Earth?”
“Why yes, obviously from an earlier time. I think we came by very different ways though. How did you arrive?”
“I was struck by lightning and found myself here.”
“Interesting, I came here by the way most people did. My father was an Egyptologist. He was fascinated with the pyramids. I wasn’t that struck but it meant delaying the whole getting married and having children noose. We were promised that we would be shown a pyramid never before seen. Virgin territory as it were. My father couldn’t resist and of course I joined him for company and to be his unpaid assistant. Look this is going to take some time. Why don’t I show you?” Kathryn darted forward and grabbed Lynsey’s arm. She felt the bracelet hit something metal. Lynsey’s eyes widened as she realized that Kathryn had a bracelet too. She felt herself toppling over into darkness.
“Father, can you trust the man?” Lynsey heard a voice say.
“You cannot be certain but he has never let me down before. We need the money, that damned bank will take the house if we cannot pay the death duties. Your debutante ball was a washout and we have received no offers for your hand. We need to take risks.”
Lynsey/Kathryn turned and caught her reflection on a window hanging on the bathroom wall. Her chestnut brown hair was tied up in a knot. Her blue eyes looked through a pair of spectacles and her dress would have been old fashioned even for then.
Lynsey tried to make Kathryn move but found she was a passenger and all she could was watch.
“Pico,” she called, but there was no response.
“I’m not sure about this father.”
“We have no choice.” Was his curt reply.
There was a knock at the door and Kathryn skirts swished as she went to open it. It was the short stout man that they were expecting. He led them out of the room down to some horses waiting outside. There were even more mosquitos out here than in the room. How she detested this place.
“What, no camels?”
Her father gave her a quelling look and Kathryn subsided. She was used to riding so she hooked her parasol on to the saddle and hitched up her skirts to get on the horse. They were already moving off by the time she was comfortable. She trotted to catch up to them.
They rode in silence for an hour over cold empty desert. Her reservations were taking on an even darker form while she imagined them to be murdered where no one could hear their screams and their possessions taken from the hotel room. The last laugh would be on them though as they had nothing of value to steal but they did not know that.
After a while she saw some men working in the distance. They were soon close and she could see an opening had been cleared in the sand. Underneath a cream awning, stone steps led to a corridor that went underground. She looked at her father whose excitement was barely contained.
Their companions motioned them to go down the steps.
“Father, where is Felippe?”
“He must have been delayed.”
“We can’t talk to them without him.” She said.
“It will be okay.” She followed him down the steps and discovered a long low corridor. They stooped and moved in deeper. Rooms covered in treasure like she’d never seen dazzled them as they descended. At a fork in the tunnel, her father pointed for her to go one way and he went another. She was reluctant but she walked down the incline until she came to a bare room. She pulled up her candle and noticed through the disturbed dust sparkling in the candlelight that there were pictures on the wall. She drew nearer to recognize Osiris. Her fingers began to trace the outline. The colours were amazing. She touched the green of his skin and some paint crumbled against her fingers. She drew back horrified at what she’d done.
Suddenly she felt dizzy. She covered her eyes to blink and she found herself in another room. She cried out for her father but he didn’t answer. She twisted but it all looked unfamiliar. The room was bigger with only three walls. She felt frightened, all the more scary for being an unfamiliar emotion.
Lynsey felt herself topple again and found herself back home. Daytime television was on and she was wrapped up in her blanket with a bowl of cornflakes uneaten on the table. God she felt ill. Her very bones ached but she knew she was getting better so was happy. She had an extension on her dissertation and she would be able to finish her degree next year. Things were looking up.
Lynsey next found herself a few months later waiting at the bus stop.
Kathryn was discovering how she had got here she realized. She saw herself head for the trees and then the lightning strike coming down…
Back in the room, Lynsey looked at Kathryn who had stepped away to stand before the bed again.
“So you are from a long time ago. You can still stop hurting the dragon. His name is Grolmak.”
Lynsey looked confused. “Oh you know because you got it out of my memories.”
“No, I know because he told me.” Kathryn pulled her sleeve up her arm and the Osiris band became visible. “You are not the only one who can talk to dragons.”
“You know he is an intelligent thinking being yet you treat him like you do?” Lynsey’s voice was rising in incredulity.
“Why should that be any different from keeping slaves?”
“You can’t do that!”
“I think you’ll find I have been doing that for over two hundred years.”
Chapter 1 - Duat Chapter 2 - London - Present Day Chapter 3 – Lynsey on Duat Chapter 4 - Nomads Chapter 5 - Scorpion Chapter 6 - The Dragon Temple Chapter 7 - Assassin Chapter 8 - The Luscious Luna Chapter 9 - Arkan Blade Chapter 10 - Kidnapped Chapter 11 - Rescue Chapter 12 - Modesty Chapter 13 - Banquet Chapter 14 - Arkan Chapter 15 - Dancing with the King Chapter 16 - Dragon Brotherhood Chapter 17 - Pico Chapter 18 – The Dragon Chapter 19 – Settling Down Chapter 20 – Danger Revealed Chapter 21 – Betrayal Chapter 22 - A Meeting of Minds Chapter 23 = Invisibility Chapter 24 - Desert Chapter 25 - Escape Chapter 26 - Gathering Chapter 27 - Search Chapter 28 - Temple Camp Chapter 29 - Decision Chapter 30 - Baserius Chapter 31 - Sekhment Chapter 32 - Miracle