I had some tech issues and did not get the story finished that I planned to share today, so sharing an older one you may or may not have seen before. It is my free story when you sign up for my newsletter.
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Death stalked me.
It had been a year since Ava, my twin, had died and I had taken up the quest to find The Boon a fabled artifact that granted a return to life without consequence.
The Boon had been Ava’s passion. She died to recover the ancient scroll that told the story along with a map with the warning that whosoever possessed the artifact drew Death to them.
Eleven months and thousands and thousands of miles had led me to this moment but not without incident.
I had escaped Death three times not because I faced him, but in my grief and anger, I became reckless in relentless pursuit of my mission.
The scroll said the artifact was buried with an Egyptian oracle of Anubis in a place long forgotten.
I slipped out of base camp once all had settled for the night and made the final track by myself. I guarded the scrolls changing my hiding place often never sharing them. Ava’s passion consumed me grief fueling my determination.
The wild trail twisted and turned until I arrived at the mountainside. I spent an hour hacking at overgrowth to uncover the crack, angled in such a way, to make it almost invisible to the naked eye.
Just inside the entrance a few feet, I encountered a sandstone stairway leading almost straight down. I gripped my light tighter.
Down, down and down.
I looked up. I could no longer see any hint of light above me. I kept going. I had to take several breaks, pressing against the wall to fight the feeling that if I leaned forward too far, I would continue to fall forever.
I arrived at the bottom chamber. A sarcophagus sat in its center in a circle of light. Not what I expected. I dropped my backpack.
Two hours later, I had managed to move the lid enough to peer inside. A single object lay within. I stretch, managing to pick it up.
A deep voice spoke behind me, the expanding vibration shaking me to the core. “Do not touch that.”
My breath stuttered as I gripped my chest and vision wavered. A dark silhouette stood just on the edge of the light.
“You scared me to death. I didn’t hear you come down.” He stepped forward. I could see his frown and the concern that laced his face. Eyes so deep and full of emotion for a moment I felt the pain as if my heart had shattered forever.
“It is not your time.”
This he said as we both looked down at my still lifeless body holding a heart-shaped stone box next to the crypt.
According to the scrolls, the gods ripped Death’s heart from his body placing the immortal organ in a special container in compassion for the task they had given him, so he would be better able to bear the sorrow of the world.
I knelt by my body. I still could not reconcile that I lived, and Ava had died. “So, it was Ava’s time?”
“No Jazz, it was your time. Ava made the choice.”
Grief gripped me. I found the artifact. In spirit, I touch the metal heart. “I choose Ava.” Silence.
“Nooooo.” I sat up holding the artifact. “I chose Ava.”
I screamed for death until I was hoarse, but The Boon was already spent. I lived.
Storytime Quarterly Blog Hop: October