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Pyramid of Immortalis

A Never-Ending Journey

By M.R. CameoPublished 2 years ago 8 min read
2

Dust arose as a stately scorpion dropped down onto the decaying floor from a crevice above. Battling fatigue, I struggled to my feet, once again surveying my surroundings. Inspecting for any clues or symbols I may have missed my first hundred times scrutinizing the dimly lit chamber.

It was now day three in the freshly discovered pyramid, which my team and I had uncovered after a decade long search. The Pyramid of Immortalis, long hidden under the ancient sands of Egypt. Years of research and training had proved futile on our first day entering the pyramid. There were horrors, trickeries, and boobytraps of complexity and caliber that one could have never prepared for.

Most of the team was lost within the first few hours, some crushed by massive stones, pierced by poison tipped daggers, impaled on classic spike traps. The others I shudder to even recall, and wonder if others would think me truthful or even sane divulging such tragedies. As of this morning it was myself and Kyle left, a survivalist and renown archeologist, his knowledge indispensable.

I scanned the openings overhead recalling being flung from a passageway above and emitted to a colossal plunge. I had been able to grab onto a granite rung halfway through my fall, and therefore decrease the impact of my consequent drop. Kyle hadn’t been as fortunate, now leaving me the sole survivor.

All I had left was a canteen nearly devoid of water, a steadily dimming flashlight, a survival knife, and a rucksack full of miscellaneous items I couldn’t see helping me out in the current situation. Compasses or communication equipment didn’t work down here, I couldn’t imagine I would run into any water I could sterilize, and there was no way to climb back up, rendering my rope useless.

The air was stifling and stagnant, yet my concerns of hematite powder and toxic molds became miniscule in lieu of my immediate predicament. I swayed momentarily from weakness and gripped onto the damaged sarcophagi. Remaining intact and undisturbed for thousands of years it had so quickly been destroyed when Kyle fell upon it. Strangely, it contained no human corpse, which I was still trying to make sense of. I leaned over the sarcophagi and once again looked at the seven mummified owls within.

I acknowledged that Egyptians had mummified owls, seeing them as a sign of wisdom, and often associated them with death. Yet I had never come across anything in regards to a tomb dedicated to them. I had pieced together part of the fragmented sarcophagi that held the hieroglyphic inscription ‘Keen Sighted Hunters’. There were several hieroglyphs of barn owls on the corresponding wall, along with others regarding immortality and travel, but I couldn’t piece together exactly what it implied.

I began to traverse across the chamber again examining every inch of wall and floor, examining each stone, hoping that I had overlooked something that would provide an exit. It appeared useless, perhaps it was finally the end. Quite ironic considering why I had dedicated my life to finding the Pyramid of Immoratalis. Passion for lost cultures and contributing to the historical world aside, I always held an ulterior motive. The illustrious search for immortality.

The premise of living forever, to continually experience life, and not have to consider the possibility of death, encompassed all the legends and texts of this pyramid. It was told to contain the secret of eternal life, and I had been determined to find it. Thus far, the pyramid only appeared to contain suffering, demise, and now this bizarre owl tomb that I would likely perish in.

My legs collapsed and my vision distorted; between exhaustion, the noxious air, and lack of water, time was running out. A shrieking noise in the distance roused me as it penetrated the perfect stillness. A barn owl flew out from one of the overhead openings, swooping inches above me, before regally landing on a perch near a row of hieroglyphics that bore his resemblance. His stare pierced into mine and I was overcome with a peculiar sensation. He screeched and seemingly scratched at one of the many owl hieroglyphics I had feverishly studied, before vanishing.

An owl could not have survived in this tomb nor found its way in after the original entrance had completely collapsed, among several other barriers furthermore. The owl matched almost exactly to the several that anointed the chamber walls. Clutching my head, I snatched the canteen and swigged the last of the water. Hallucinations had set in; it couldn’t be much longer now.

I desired something to record my findings, even if never to be found, yet the voice recorder had gone astray. I had figured I’d have plenty of time to document the experience once I returned to the surface. Plenty of time, yes, I truly thought I would, that after everything, I was certain to find the key to everlasting life. Now I only wished that…

Regan, come to me…Regan…

My flashlight flickered and the air seemed to drop ten degrees as the strange voice called my name. I closed my eyes, aching to submerge the delirium. The anguish of a horrendous nightmare that one cannot will themselves awake from, to force one’s eyes open, to be back in one’s own room away from the horrors. I was entombed in a lurid reality of which I had no means of escape.

Regan

The voice powerful and captivating, my eyes opened against my altering consciousness. I reconsidered the owl hieroglyphics, and the inscription from the sarcophagi, “Keen Sighted Hunters,” the seven owls in the sarcophagi. It had to be a clue, I shuffled through my arsenal of knowledge.

I stood with considerable effortlessness and trod to the wall, passing my hand over the many symbols, pausing at the one I had visualized the owl marring. I felt for any markings wishing he had somehow been tangible. I paused as I spotted an odd element on the floor, a feather. I questioned my lucidity as I overturned it within my fingers. No longer feeling feeble I reviewed the room with rekindled vigor. One set of hieroglyphics had seven owls with a mouse either in their beak or talon, the second six. Yet the third, I leaned closer to the particular symbol the owl had targeted, while a bit faded, also had a mouse, making for eight in that set. Could it be that simple? How had I not seen it before?

I swiftly flipped open my knife and attempted to pry the symbol of the extra mouse from the wall. With little effort it popped out into my hand. I grasped the silver pendant eagerly and went to the set of owls where only six clutched a meal. After attempting several of the pictographs there was finally a give, and the mouse inserted deeply into the wall as if a perfectly fitted key. Rumbling ensued as rocks shifted and an opening emerged revealing another chamber.

Visons of fire danced on the walls as a row of lit torches lined the newfound room. Gold and silver encased the walls, water streamed from owl sculptures mouths into a luxuriant pool. I momentarily questioned if I had fallen asleep but quickly discarded the thought, feeling more awake and energetic than ever. This pyramid was full of wonders, and perhaps the mythos of immortality would also soon be proven factual. I no longer cast doubt on reality and eagerly advanced further into the shadowy tomb.

Regan

The voice echoed, reverberating throughout my body, calling me closer. I advanced to a far corridor and progressed down a hazy disintegrating staircase, where an enchanting figure appeared. He bared the head of a jackal, and was equipped with a sector anointed in gold, matching his pristine body armor. A smirk came upon his face and his eyes glimmered.

“Anubis?” I staggered.

“It is I,” he decreed.

“I…” I froze at a complete loss for words.

“You were wise to follow your guide,” declared Anubis. The owl from earlier screeched as it materialized and landed on a nearby stair, titling his head inquisitively as he peered upon us. “Thank you keen one,” he placed a hand on the owl’s head, immediately causing its disappearance.

“My guide?”

“Yes,” Anubis gazed at me placidly. “Walk with me,” his motioned upward onto an alternate spiraling staircase as he followed in pace at my side. “Owls are wise creatures, their senses keen. They are incredible hunters, who can seek out precisely what they are searching for. This includes souls that are filled with fortitude, desire for knowledge, and relentless.” We neared the topmost of the twisting stairs where an opening approached. “Owls have the ability to guide and protect spirits as they pass from one world to another.” He strode toward the ledge and motioned downward indifferently, whereas a luminous golden glow emanated from his hand.

I approached the ledge and peered in the direction that his light illuminated. Kyle’s body was slouched lifeless near the sarcophagi and just feet away, I saw my body motionless on the chamber floor.

“I don’t…” I started. “I…am dead?” I half questioned although the certainty fell upon me as I continued to stare down at my corpse.

“Why did you come here?” Anubis firmly grasped my arm and turned me towards him, compelling my eyes to meet his golden piercing ones. “What were you searching for?” I shook my head disconcerted and unable to give explanation. “Answer me!” he commanded.

“I have devoted my entire life to finding this pyramid, all of my research has led me here. What I was searching for, an amulet, or a stone, I am unaware exactly. Yet I was in search of the key to immortality.

“Mwah ha ha,” his laughter echoed throughout the forsaken tombs.

“Well, yes I suppose none of that matters now,” I said as I glanced towards my vacant body.

“You have searched for something you already possessed,” Anubis decreed.

“I don’t understand. I’m sorry.”

“Do not apologize.” He raised an armored hand and mumbled a long-forgotten dialogue as he closed his eyes. A glowing orb transfused of red and gold appeared before us. “After you,” he beckoned.

I stepped through the magnificent orb and found myself in a never-ending hall, immaculately kept and adorned with the finest Egyptian sculptures, paintings, and scrolls. Anubis appeared behind me and once again raised his hand, producing millions of mirrors to appear, ensconcing themselves on both sides of the hall as far as the eye could see.

“Welcome to the Hall Truth,” Anubis smiled bewitchingly.

I stared fixatedly into a near mirror where I observed an individual riding an amethyst dragon ornamented in medieval attire. It was so familiar, I had contemplated this image before, I had dreamt about this precise scenario. Could it be possible? The rider exhibited diminutive resemblance to me physically, but it was me. My soul, a life I had lived.

I staggered to another mirror, where I again saw a familiar life lived, this time on an unknown planet. The next mirror I was in Victorian France, the following Atlantis, another universe, and so on and so forth, mirror after mirror. I keeled over in front of antiquarian styled mirror where scenes played of a ghastly war and a family consumed by fire. It had been my family, my soul recognized intuitively, and anguish befell me.

“Do you understand?” Anubis stood over me placing a hand upon my shoulder.

“I have lived all of these lives? How can that be?”

“Yes,” he said assisting me up. “You are a being of energy, that lifeforce cannot be destroyed nor extinguished. You have lived all these lives before and will live endless more, in boundless variabilities and transformations.” He raised his sector and a lustrous cyan portal developed. “Your next life,” he established.

“The secret to being immortal isn’t a key, talisman, or potion,’ Anubis twinkled. “The secret is that you already are.”

fiction
2

About the Creator

M.R. Cameo

M.R. Cameo generally writes horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and nonfiction, yet enjoys dabbling in different genres. She is currently doing freelance work for various publications.

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  • JD Bickle2 years ago

    I had fun following your take on the end of a "dungeon crawl." Actually, you had me with "stately scorpion." And I love the twist at the end! Not sure why Anubis is just hanging out, waiting for someone to come by for a major eye-opening experience, however.

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