Ch. XXVI The Pharaoh's Soul
I took a deep breath to steady myself and organize my thoughts.
“Abasi,” I said softly, “almost every time I go to sleep, I travel between my time and this one. Sometimes I can bring items back, forth. This necklace around my neck,” I pinched I between my fingers bringing it higher for him to see the Ankh carved into it.
“Is one of those items, I’m not entirely sure how it works.
But yesterday, I got attacked in my time, by the same creature, a man named Aaron saved me, he was holding an Ankh cross and was chanting and then the creature turned to ash.
Abasi, what is it?”
I was hesitant in my question, did I actually want to know? Yes.
I waited in silence, the suspense from the hanging question, building up the longer Abasi took to answer me.
Nervously, I scratched the back of my neck. Then he broke the uneasy silence.
“The creatures, as you call them, are souls of those so damned, Anubis himself; rejected them. They are those who allied themselves with the darkness during life and after death, they are more commonly known as Shadow Reapers.”
I blinked, this ominous answer, wasn’t what I’d been expecting at all.
I cleared my throat, “So, I had a dream, and I think, I know the name of the witch who cast the curse.”
Abasi's eyes fluttered to mine and once concerned almond brown eyes, met my own, I noted for the first time, that he actually looked nothing like Aaron.
“What kind of dream?” Abasi inquired.
“The bad kind.” I quipped, “but that doesn’t matter, her name is Chione.” I said a grin spreading across my face. If only it stayed, as the name fell off my lips, I flinched, I sounded so much like my doppelgänger.
Images of what I went through flashed by one, after another, and I felt my body start to shake. I guess a few hours of pep talking, don’t get rid of seconds of trauma.
I couldn’t see anything, everything was pitch black. I could feel my air way close, as my heart hammered away in my chest. Panic seized my person, and a hand landed on shoulder, a yelp of sheer terror tumbled from my lips, before turning into a whimper.
Tears welled up in my eyes and I furiously rubbed them away, another whimper fell from my lips, accompanying the slight scream that seared my throat on the way out, as I recognized the scarlet blood on my hand. I crumpled to the floor, covering myself; hiding away from the horrors of my mind, and the world.
“-bel!” I lifted my head in confusion, there was a voice calling out? To me? No!
That was impossible, no one was coming to save me, no one.
I gasped as hands grabbed my wrists, I tried to wrestle free; I swear I did, but I just couldn’t get away. I babbled incoherent pleas, for the pain to stop, for the sorrow and terror to leave me, but nothing worked.
And then, like magic my fear, turned to hot fiery rage. Hadn’t she hurt me enough! I unfurled my hands, I felt something in my lower stomach release and then, I was free.
I woke up disoriented, I tried to sit up, only to feel how heavy my body was.
I sluggishly looked around I was confused, what happened? How had I gotten here? Where was here?
Gritting my teeth, I powered through the fatigue that plagued my bones, and sat up completely.
Breathing heavily, I blinked, this place, it looked like; an infirmary.
What had I done?
“Asha,” I looked up, the name seemed so far way, just a day earlier -night really- the pharaoh, had called me this and yet it felt like forever ago.
“Y-yes?” I managed to croak out.”
I winced at the gravelly tone my voice took on.
“Do you remember, what happened, for you to end up in the infirmary?”
Infirmary? So I was right.
Remembering the question I’d been asked, I shook my head wordlessly.
“The Shaman, found you laying on the ground unconscious. Do you remember this?”
I narrowed my eyes, didn’t remember that at all, Abasi must’ve lied for me. Once again, I wordlessly shook my head.
The pharaoh studied my for a moment, before nodding at me. His eyes were dark and serious.
I gulped, before chewing on my upper lip, I was nervous, why was he staring at me like that?
“Pharaoh,” I said hesitantly, testing the waters, “if I may be so bold, what’s happened? I remember polishing the floors as instructed, but anything beyond that is, blank at best.”
Lies, that was all a lie, I remember Abasi helping me carry the water, I remember telling him all the information I had even telling him about… I didn’t remember what else I told him. But I did remember my panic attack, but I had no idea what caused it.
I looked at Ambrose, with innocent eyes befitting that of a child, and not the seventeen year girl I was.
Seeing this, Ambrose looked away, clearing his throat.
“Nothing you need worry about, Asha.” The tone, in which Ambrose spoke, was almost as if he were trying to convince himself, rather than command me.
Understanding his uncertainty, I bowed my head and ushered out a quiet.
“Yes, my pharaoh.”
Ambrose had left after the healer had said, I required rest. If only it were that easy.
I stayed awake, too afraid to sleep, lest I wake up in my own body. I kept my eyes closed and slowed my breathing, all to give the appearance that I was following the doctors orders.
I was genuinely confused, did servants get sent to the infirmary? I couldn’t recall.
I listened to my surroundings, fighting the now overwhelming urge, to sleep.
I needed to ask Abasi, what happened.
It wasn’t for another few hours, that Abasi appeared.
“Abasi!” I called, I sat up immediately. “What happened to me?”
Abasi glanced over me as if checking for something.
“Are you… alright now?” He asked tentatively. I furrowed my brows, but gave a graceful dip of my head in agreement.
He took slow measured steps towards me. It occurred to me that, Abasi may have never seen a panic attack before.
I placed my hand over his, comforting him, as a strong of apprehension and concern flashed across his face and settled deep in his brown eyes.
“In my time, that’s called a panic attack. It can happen due to anxiety, stress, or exposure to intense trauma.”
I was calm as I explained. I looked down. “I may have underestimated, whatever it was that caused the panic attack.”
Biting my lips out of nervous habit, I kept my head down.
“Rebel. Do you honestly not remember what happened after you told me the name, of the witch?”
I nibbled on my bottom lip, my eyes flicking every which way, not giving a definite answer.
“You told me that the witch’s name was,” Abasi paused, “ Chione.”
Abasi kept talking, but I couldn’t hear a word, my mind reeled as the witch’s name seemed to unlock the fogged memories from a few hours ago.
I gasped softly, chest constricted in agony, my hand searching of its own accord for an anchor, when my hand found its way onto Abasi's chest, right over his heart beat.
I vaguely felt Abasi tense under my hand before, his hand slowly covered my hand holding it tight against his chest. I, focused on nothing but his steady beating heart.
The steady beating of his heart, lulled me to sleep and despite my fears, I didn’t fight against the call of sleep and drifted off.