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The desert heat, sand and moaning wind all contrived to make the young man want to turn over and simply go to sleep. He was exhausted, but a grim determination made him move forward, to keep putting that next step down and then move his other leaden leg in front of it. One step at a time.
If that’s’ what it takes, that’s what it takes. One step at a time.
The day had started out as any other, another hot day in Giza, Egypt, on his Uncle’s archaeological dig. Sunny skies and rising temperatures threatened a cauldron of heat inside the chamber. If it hadn’t been for the punka-wallahs his uncle had employed, then the chamber would have been too hot to bear.
As with all these things, the whole business was an unreserved bore. The young man didn’t hate it, but he had friends back in London and it was currently the fab place to be. The Beatles had brought glamour and excitement to London and he was young enough and rich enough to enjoy it.
But no, his father had insisted he go with his Uncle and ‘dig a few fossils up’ in order to ‘get an education’ to ‘see what he wanted to do with his life.’ He already knew what he wanted to do with his life, get drunk, get laid and get high, not necessarily in that order.
But here he was a leading member of the rich set, the high society in England and he was lost in some god forsaken desert.
Not only lost in the literal sense, he had almost lost his life.
Finding a demon in a small casket in the tomb had not been on the agenda that day. They expected the bejeweled casket to have precious artifacts and jewels inside, they had eagerly opened it up and like the fabled Genie in the lamp, a terrible demon had popped out of nowhere and commenced a destructive killing spree, laying to waste all in its path.
If he hadn’t found the blade in the casket and used it to kill the demon, he would lay dead alongside his uncle and all those at the site. Only he survived and of the demon there was no trace.
Alone and with no supplies the young man headed off into the desert to try and find help. There was none to be had and he was soon lost.
But at least he had found his forte in life. He now knew what he wanted to do. Find demons and destroy them as they had destroyed his Uncle and the men at the dig. He would forsake the high life willingly, he wanted revenge.
It was this desire for revenge that drove him forward and it was this desire that led to a fateful meeting.
The young man had suddenly stumbled, staggered and then lost his footing and crashed; face down, to the sandy ground.
When he opened his eyes, he saw a pair of British Army boots. Inside the boots, as he looked up, was the biggest man he had ever seen. Dressed in Arabic gear he would have mistaken the man for a Bedouin, but the boots gave it away.
“Hello mate. You lost?” The big man asked.
The young man nodded.
“Me too, pal,” he said, offering his hand to pull the young man up. The strength in the big man’s arms was impressive as he pulled the young man to his feet.
“Tell you what, how about you and I trying to find our way home from here?”
“Okay,” the young man said, with a smile.
The big man held his hand out and the young man shook on it.
“Cedric, Cedric Abuthnott,” the big man said.
“Peter, Peter Samuels,” the young man answered.
Copyright © Tom Kane 2020