Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2282004-A-CITY-OF-GHOSTS
Rated: E · Fiction · Fantasy · #2282004
An archeology team fights thru a city of the dead to find King David's crown. 1,230 words
As we set out on this perhaps poorly-conceived quest, I have to wonder why I ever agreed to join, aside from my feelings for Henry.

To begin at the beginning, as my mom always demanded when I tried to tell her about the events in my life, I first became aware of this expedition a year ago. A group of archaeologists were to go on an expedition across the Sahara desert in search of a fabled ancient lost city.
They were also hoping to recover a golden crown that legend said King David had once used to trap a sorcerer.

The leader of the expedition was to be Dr. Lawrence Bingham, 58, a seasoned archaeologist who had found an artifact containing what he believed to be directions to this fabled lost city. In addition, this artifact referenced the golden crown of King David. Larry knew of a different artifact that hinted of King David’s golden crown having been used to trap a sorcerer,
something most of us in the group doubted.

Dr. Lawrence (Larry) Whidden Bingham, a brilliant archaeologist/professor, had had numerous adventures ala Indiana Jones, and I was to be his second in command. I’m Adele Jenkins, and I’m a seasoned archaeologist/anthropologist myself at, I’m proud to say, the young age of 27.

I was at that time in love with the other scientist in the group, Henry Rasmussen, a 31-year-old researcher. We were acquainted through previous digs, and it turned out he was jealous of Larry, but also very respectful of his qualifications and his six best-selling books. Henry was to write the story of the expedition.

Two others in the group were Larry’s students, Jacques Fournier, age 25, an exchange student from France, whom we called Jack, and Emily Taylor, a 23-year-old African-Americana fourth-year Social Sciences student, aiming for her Ph.D. Larry had also insisted on bringing along his nephew, Albert Bingham, a 21-year-old boy who ended up as Larry’s servant. Abe Mohsen, 36, an experienced guide from Demshir in Egypt, completed our group as we left that city to begin our trek.

By the third night of camping out on the desert sand, Jack and Emily had become good friends. They spoke about Larry’s exploits, as described in several of his books, and I occasionally sat in on their chats. They both admired him, and wished to be just like him.

At some point, Abe had joined them. He didn’t know the stories of Larry’s previous adventures, and the students were happy to tell him all about them. But he told me later that he wasn’t sure he believed them.

Crossing the Sahara desert, we had to deal with the hot sun, treacherous sand dunes and storms, dry heat, and arguments among the group. Henry and Jack argued about language; Emily and Larry argued about a study plan; and Henry and I argued about why Larry was “so great!” as Henry described him. I guess I might have been a bit jealous of him at that point.

More than halfway across the desert, uncovered by a severe sandstorm, we encountered a dead city, though not the one we were seeking. In this place, we found a mummified queen and the petrified inhabitants of the city, as well as life-like humanoid robots and androids.

We found ourselves having to fight our way through the city as these non-living beings seemed to have been enchanted to prevent their queen’s rest from being disturbed.

Most of the group were involved in fights with these creatures. Some were injured, but none mortally, and all of us were able to go on. Once past the dead city, some of the group wanted to turn back, but we all finally agreed to go on. We were by then more than halfway to our destination.

The love story between Henry and I accelerated about now, and Henry’s jealousy of Larry caused me some problems. There was also a sexual encounter between Emily and Abe, which she tried hard to keep secret, but Jack found out and confronted Abe, threatening to go to Larry. He told Abe he must agree to break it off completely with her, to which he agreed; I thought his agreement came a bit too readily.

Soon after that, we met up with a golden horseman just outside the ancient city we sought. This horseman put up a huge battle as he tried in vain to keep us from entering the city. When Larry defeated him with a “sucker punch,” we found the ancient lost city. It had now become a “ghost town,” and it was here where we believed we would locate the crown of King David.

We encountered actual ghosts in this ghost city, and eventually Larry, who let us all battle the ghosts while he snuck through the city, succeeded in locating the golden crown. This led to his encounter with the ghost of King David, who told him all about the legend.

It seems that King David had enjoyed wearing a golden crown during his reign. He visited a city where he stayed for a little while to court a lovely princess, who eventually turned him down, despite the glittery headpiece. But during this visit, he was harassed by a young wizard called Kasiya, who was determined to damage the king’s reputation, as he had been jealous.

This sorcerer caused spiders and snakes to bedevil the king, and refused to stop even when the king offered him gold. When Kasiya created a dog-headed shapely girl-thing to entice him, the king had had enough.

He found another wizard, called Rashidi, who agreed to help rid him of Kasiya. This new sorcerer enchanted the king’s crown. The Golden Crown was used by Rashidi to craft a spell that, when Kasiya tried to create a spell against the king, his feet would light on fire. It was thus the sorcerer was defeated.

Before the king left this city to return to his own kingdom, he had Rashidi create a mist around it so that it seemed to the observer disappear. And over the centuries, it had become the myth of a lost city, where treasure might be found.

Now that Larry had learned the secret of the ancient city, and the myth of King David’s golden crown, we prepared to return home. Unfortunately, it was the time of the desert sandstorms, and we encountered at least three of these. We lost only one of our group, the young Albert, who was swept so quickly into a dune that built up around him that we couldn’t recover him at all.

Emily and Abe had to say goodbye to one another once we left the desert, and Henry would write up all that had occurred. Henry and I were now engaged.

As we traveled across the desert and back to Demshir, we talked about how we should present our findings. But we decided that it would be best not to let others know about the dead city, as the dangers still existed.

We prepared a story about how we’d found the crown, and whatever else we needed, to cover up the part of the story about the dead city. We wanted to tell only of Larry’s encounter with the ghost of King David, and that he’d learned the secret of the ancient lost city.
© Copyright 2022 hdarling (hdarling2000 at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Writing.Com, its affiliates and syndicates have been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work.
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2282004-A-CITY-OF-GHOSTS