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Couldn’t Beat Howard-Part 2

The Arabians and few English fellows who were brave enough to join my search months ago shouted at my back, curious as to what our team had found. I could not in good conscience turn around and tell these men, my friends, that this search was for naught. But what other choice did I have? I could not deny my failure, for how could I conceal such a lie?

I slowly turned to face their eager faces. Those closest to the entrance scanned the barren room. Their eyes struggled against the weakening flame to see if anything lurked inside. Realization dawned on them once they saw the disappointment in my face. The others still touched by the desert sun had yet to learn the truth.

“There is nothing here,” I shouted.

The pot-bellied Arab, who still stood by the entrance, said in his native language, “Not even another sealed slab? Or a hidden passage?”

I shook my head. One of the Englishman, whom we called Jonathan, asked what the Arab had said. My answer was, “He asked if there were any hidden passages. As I said, there is nothing. Nothing but four gray walls, a gray ceiling, and a sandy floor.”

“We came all this way for nothing!” Jonathan shouted.

“Keep your voice down. This is disappointing enough,” I said.

“I will not. You promised us a tomb. You promised us Akhenaten’s tomb! And all we found was, well, whatever that is!”

“Jonathan, please.”

“No! You shall not silence me. I left my country home in Derbyshire for this? What a waste!”

A few told Jonathan to keep quiet. He shrugged off their insults and demands.

“I am leaving!” Jonathan shouted, slashing the air in front of him with his hand.

“Alone?” I asked.

“How else? I am certain that you and most of these other fools will continue on a wild goose chase for the next quarter of a century. These devoted puppies of yours can follow you to the ends of the earth, but I am going back to mine in England!” Jonathan whirled around and began to march over to a camel, stumbling every now and again.

Knowing the dangers of the desert, we began to shout after him pleading with him to stay. The Englishmen said that he would miss out on the adventure of the lifetime. The Arabs said that he would get lost in a sandstorm. I shouted out apologies. Nothing stalled his progress. At least until the earth swallowed him whole.

By Katherine Givens

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10 thoughts on “Couldn’t Beat Howard-Part 2”

  1. Got an email from WordPress that you had liked my page. I just put it up and I don’t even know what I am doing yet 🙂 So I came to see who you are and found your piece of a story about treasure hunting for Ancient Egyptian relics. So kewl! Reminds me of the 1001 Nights where we can’t wait to hear the rest of the story.

    1. I know that hunting for Ancient Egyptian relics is a bit of a cliche for literature, but I wanted to give it a try. I have loved Ancient Egyptian history since I was eight years old, so it is only natural for me to write about it. I feel honored that you are comparing my short story to such a wonderful piece. I love 1001 Nights! Good luck with your blog. I did like what I saw so far. 🙂

    2. Sorry to take so long to reply. The computer was down for 2 days followed by an electrical fire. So I have a temporary setup in my sleeping quarters … not ideal but it works.
      Your writing sample has inspired me to think about doing a short story to accompany my card deck. I did design it to look like artifacts. Each suit has a different look: potsherd, basalt shard, sandstone fragment, and scrap of cloth. I am hoping those who play with the deck will feel like Indiana Jones. Anyways, if my attempt at fiction is too stilted, I know who to call on for a story. 🙂

    3. That is interesting. I never thought of attaching a story to a card deck. The card deck itself sounds very creative. Next time I play a card game I would love to use your deck so that I feel like Indiana Jones!

  2. Just “deserts” ! lol. The desert will probably spit him back out. Can’t believe you wrote this in 20 minutes. Great job!

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