A young bowman is given the most dangerous task in creation to hunt down the rampaging lioness-goddess Hathor-Sekhmet, the Destroyer of Humankind sent by an angry Ra. Then he meets a mysterious young woman, a crawler in the reeds.
What had he heard? Something was dragging itself
through the reeds. Crocodile? Or that other force of elemental chaos, a
In a smooth, protective action, he drew an arrow from
a quiver, attached to a belt around his kilt, and nocked it to the string of
his bow. He searched the base of the thicket, looking for the scale-net pattern
of a crocodile’s flank. He drew the bow to be ready, edging nearer, using the
tip of the arrow to move aside a tall papyrus stem, its umbel a feathery
triangle like the delta of a woman.
The bowman’s eye, narrowing to focus beyond the
bronze arrow tip, widened in surprise. Instead of an animal, he found himself
regarding the slithering form of a young woman on her belly. She was moving
down the bank to the water. He went still closer, parting the reeds with an
elbow. She was splattered with blood.
Someone - still alive.
A fish jumped. A dragonfly darted away. He saw her
stretch her neck. Long hair swung down in lappets to trail in the water, hiding
her face. He heard lapping and sucking. Was she a chance survivor or another
dying victim of the pestilence? A dying one, he guessed. She must be injured
for she was splattered with blood. The soles of her feet were crimson as if
stained with henna, but it was blood. There had been no other survivors in the
trail of destruction he had been following for days.
Maybe he should end her suffering quickly with an
arrow. All it would take would be a slackening of his fingers. Oblivion would
slide into her body with little more shock than the cold ache of water going
into her stomach.
But his spirit had become stretched taut as his
bowstring against death. No more killing. It was as if he had been walking
through the scene of a battlefield for weeks. Bodies of the dead choked
villages and towns and fields like rising mud-waters of the inundation.
He could taste death along with dust in his throat.
The desert that on two sides hemmed in a land that was green and sweetly
verdant - the oasis civilization of Egypt - was now like the sides of a coffin
entombing a dying people. Too late, inhabitants had fled to the hills to hide,
but the scorching eye of destruction had followed them there too, striking with
claw and with fever, leaving some to die in their own blood, others in the
rictus of plague. The path of destruction was moving upstream, the hunter
He watched the survivor. A young woman, probably a
noblewoman or a temple priestess, judging by the remnants of a sheer linen dress,
now blood-splattered and clinging to her body, and by the turquoise bracelets
on her arms. She made soft gasps and snuffles as she drank.
Here was Egypt, all of beautiful, dying Egypt,
captured in one young woman crawling on her belly to suck at Mother Nile.
Unexpectedly tender feelings stirred and grasped the strong young man, like the
thicket of papyrus plants that crowded him, murmuring and shushing as though to
calm a distressed child.
Se-Sheh-Shet, the reeds whispered softly in the breeze...
(Excerpt from "Hunting Hathor' (Kindle). This story also appears as a tale within a novel, in "The Smiting Texts" (Amazon Kindle and paperback)
‘Egypt Eyes’ – “Be my eyes in Egypt,” she says to him.
young Egyptologist and space archaeologist Dr Constance Somers had once explored
ancient Egypt from space.
But now she is legally blind.
She hires controversial,
alternative Egyptologist Anson Hunter to be her guide on a Nile cruise. ‘Show
me the hidden Egypt of your imagination,’ she says. But does she have a darker purpose,
planning to use his unique skills to help her penetrate a secret and dangerous site
that she found?
Where is the blind girl leading him? And why are agents of the US National Reconnaissance Office, a secret
Intelligence agency in charge of satellites and overhead security, suddenly
taking an interest in the work of the space archaeologist? Has she made a
discovery in her satellite archaeology that has global security ramifications?
Anson must face unexpected enemies at every turn and use his skills to
survive the dangers of a lost underground sanctuary as he tries to unlock its shattering
‘Egypt Eyes’ is groundbreaking
adventure and mystery fiction with an Egyptologist’s blogs and photos.
1. Walking into trouble
Sanctuary, Temple of Philae
What happened in the Temple of Isis today?
I stepped straight out of the dimly lit sanctuary and
into a meaty hand that clamped around my mouth. The hand muffled my gasp as I
was yanked aside.
I am rangy, yet I was dragged along like a piece of
furniture, the hot salty palm preventing me from making a sound. My surprise removal
ended in a darker side chamber.
As a controversial alternative Egyptologist, who
also occasionally takes small tour groups around Egypt, I am always walking into
trouble, but this was physical.
I had been the last out of the sanctuary, the
footsteps of my small group fading in the distance, when I walked into my
“You’re okay,” the human gag said, taking his hand
make a noise. We need to talk, privately.”
It was a swarthy, good-looking young man I had seen
walking around outside the temple. He’d got here pretty fast, then I saw
another arrive and now there were two of them blocking my way out of the
chamber. In fact two of him. Twins.
“That’s a good trick being in two places at once,” I
“We find it useful,” the new arrival said.
Identical twins? No, not quite. The second one was
a faintly milder version. It’s a curious thing about twins, even so-called
identical ones. One of them always looks more defined than the other, as if the
printer cartridge is running low on ink for the second iteration.
“What, collectively, do you want from me?”
“Your help,” they said together.
“I’m afraid you’re going to have to hijack another
guide. I’ve already been hired to show someone else around.”
A flicker of a smile touched the face of the
milder-looking of the two.
“Yes, we know you’re an alternative Egyptologist
who has been hired by Dr Constance Somers, a satellite archaeologist who is now
blind. But what do you know…”
“…about her? Tell us why she would hire you,” the
dark-print twin said, not so much ending his brother’s sentence as shutting it
“What do you know about me that you think I’d want
to tell you?”
“We know quite a bit more about you than you think…”
“You’ve consulted with US Intelligence in the past,”
hard-edged twin said.
This is no secret. I’ve blogged about it.
“Who are you?”
Twin Lite said softly: “Let’s say US surveillance.”
“What sort of surveillance?”
“That doesn’t matter. The fact is, Dr Somers may
have stumbled on something that could have far reaching repercussions and
Dr Constance Somers is celebrated for her work in
satellite archaeology before she went blind. Am I now her eye on the ground, where
once she had a satellite eye in the sky?
Who are these two on her trail?
Having worked with Intelligence organizations in
the past, I have heard of the National Reconnaissance Office or NRO. It was
once a classified agency of the US Department of Defence and its existence was
flatly denied until recent times. NRO designs, builds and works with the Air
Force, operating the US reconnaissance intelligence satellites. Nothing on the
planet is beyond the NRO’s prying eyes in the sky, or beyond. Conspiracy
theorists on the Internet accuse the organisation of covering-up their
monitoring of unidentified objects.
“So she stumbled across something she shouldn’t?” I
“We can’t specify the nature of our investigation.
But we’re asking you to keep us in the picture if you learn anything or anyone
approaches her. The very fact that she hired you to accompany her would suggest
to us that she is acting unusually…”
“…and we know of your past history of unorthodox
investigation,” the other one finished his sentence.
“Why don’t you talk to her?”
“She’s keeping a secret?”
“We believe so.”
“If it’s such a secret how did you get onto it?”
“That’s not really important right now…”
“…what matters now is that you say nothing to
anyone and just keep your ears open. Others may try to reach her. Dr Somers has
attracted the interest of groups that want to discover what she knows.”
So they want me to be their ears and she wants me
to be her eyes.
I had the feeling that the walls of the chamber
were closing in.
“Why should I help you? She’s asked me to be a
guide and so I think my loyalty should be to her.”
“Maybe it will change your mind if we tell you
something. One of our investigators was tracking her and then disappeared. Dr
Somers found something hidden beneath Saqqara, and he followed her down there,
but only she came out. She is playing on your well-known interest in dangers
from the ancient past. We think she plans to take you, without warning you,
into an environment with unknown but lethal hazards. We don’t want you
“So you’d better have this,” the harder one said.
“A tracking device so that we can come if you
He handed me a small object about half the size of
a flash-drive stick.
I was puzzled enough right then to accept it and to
slip it into a pocket.
“Don’t say anything to her. Just keep an ear to the
ground. We’ll get back to you down the track.”