by Arjun Kalsi
This is the prologue of an adventure book.
One Month Ago...
"Please don't die!"Â yelled Richard, shaking his friend wildly. "Come on, hold on..."
But it was too late. He could see a thin tear of scarlet blood trickle from his eye, carving a harsh line through the pale skin. His eyes unfocused, filled with death instead of life.
He was happy and alive only an hour ago, Richard thought, falling back. Everything seemed unimportant, inferior to his friend, who's head went limp.
The heat of the temple's corridor was intense, forcing Richard to take off multiple layers of clothing. He was left with his shirt and torn pants, raising his flaming torch and an incomplete map. His flashlight died the moment he entered.
Suddenly, dozens of pebbles embedded in the ceiling glowed with dim light, bathing him in reddish light. He felt goosebumps rise on his skin. This didn't feel right.
Richard ignored the hieroglyphs etched into the walls and continued forward. His friend, Ian, would want him to continue. To never stop until he reached the Eye.
Looking at the dried parchment, he read about the corridor he was about to enter. There was only one word:
This could either end very perfectly, or very horribly, he thought. Unexplored portions could've meant two things. One, no one took time to explore it, because the hieroglyphs on the wall didn't show anything interesting.
Two, which Richard hated the idea of, was that the hieroglyphs meant absolute danger, which was why no one explored.
"Screw it," he said to himself. Walking forward confidently, he gasped when he saw a set of pure, bright golden doors. In the center was a single symbol.
Could it be? All those months of endless excavations and research finally led to something! He found the Eye!
He rushed forward but collapsed in a wave of pure pain. Billions of voices exploded in his mind, showing him images of the sun, sand, smooth blue skies, rivers of fire and gold, and a single eye, generating pure energy.
"AAAAHH!" he yelled, thrashing on the ground. The stone walls seemed to warp and change in front of his very eyes. The voices grew in volume, rising to a shout.
The sand around him shook violently, and thin tendrils snaked around his ankles.Â
"Why are you here?" asked a powerful Voice, shooting into his mind. Where did it come from? Richard tried thinking but the voices continued rising, breaking his focus.
"I asked you a question. Why are you here?" demanded the Voice. Richard shut his eyes, focusing on his answer.
"I'm here for the Eye of Horus!" he yelled. His throat burned from speaking, as if there were a fire in his lungs.
"And why do you want it?" asked the Voice, more calmly. Richard felt a thin line of sand slam his head back forcefully.
"I-I want the Eye, so that I can give it in to my commander," he confessed. He wasn't sure why he said that. He'd been planning on saying something different.
"And that is not a worthy answer," replied the Voice. Richard cried, tears streaming from his eyes like the blood flowed from Ian's.
"And now it is time to leave the world of the living," continued the Voice. In a thunderous boom, Richard watched a hole open in the stone ceiling. In a sharp noise, a thick metal spike fell, crushing through Richard's chest and ending his life. The Voice went silent once again.