“Beneath the Sands”

Success Found the tomb Cant believe our eyes Come quickly STOP

I nearly drop the telegram when I read the words, not that I should be surprised. My directions, though I’d left out key details, were bound to lead them to that glittering palace under the sands of Egypt just as I’d wanted. 

Why I’d finally shared my ancient papyrus with my team, I cannot say. Maybe the sudden surge of Egypt Mania that swept the nation after the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb swayed me. I could return to my homeland as an archeologist and discover anew the places that brought me joy as a human. And no one would be the wiser about my nature.

More likely, a morbid urge to confront the beast that gave me this infernal curse of immortality is responsible. How I managed to trick Ahmose into the tomb, I’ll never know. I thanked the gods when I believed in such nonsense. I was unable to kill him, when I was but a fledgling. But…now, he has lain inside a silver sarcophagus, starved of blood, for millennia. The upper hand is mine!

“Basil, dear,” I call to my familiar. He slides into the room silently. “Prepare my trunk and purchase tickets to Cairo. Telegragh Wills: Coming. Take inventory. Do not open sarcophagus under any circumstances.”

Basil bows and leaves to do my bidding as I prepare for the journey.

Many would consider this an adventure: a jaunt from London to Dover by carriage; off to Calais via ferry; then a seven day ride aboard the famed Orient Express, viewing the world in the lap of luxury.

It’s hardly pleasant when you’re contorted inside a trunk during the daylight. A coffin would be more comfortable, but it raises too many questions, which Basil would have to field. So a steamer trunk it is! 

Rest is nearly impossible despite the inevitable vampiric stupor which takes me. My body has been battered for hours when Basil lets me out to feed every evening. I stretch my limbs and practice the art of the quick sip on numerous passengers. I mustn’t raise suspicion among these superstitious creatures we call humans, but I must keep my strength up.

What an adventure indeed! The thought makes me laugh wryly as I fold myself into the trunk each morning. I cannot wait for this trip—and my need to destroy my sire—to end.

Basil taps on the carriage window as he pulls the reigns on the horses, but I’ve already sensed something amiss. The torches burn brightly around the entrance, but my team is absent. I motion for my familiar to stay as I hop out, approaching the tomb carefully. Am I prepared?

No.

What fool did this?

The lid is off the now empty sarcophagus. My fellows lay strewn about, their terrified eyes blindly staring skyward.

Then I feel the fingers dig into my shoulders. My blood freezes.

“I always knew you would return to me, child.”

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