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Pandora

Pod's NEW story

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Pandora

(yes, I'll junk this thread in a week or so)

Now remember, it's aimed at younger readers, about 10-14 years old. I'll put it in the next post. Tell me what you think!

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Pandora

To Egypt and Back

Justin looked with interest at the sarcophagus as the museum guide spoke to his classmates.

“Tonama was a feared and hated Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt centuries before King Tut.”

Mesmerized, Justin pushed his glasses up his nose and moved as close to the exhibit as he could.

The guide continued. “Legend has it that the priests that buried him cursed his heirs through the bandages they wrapped around the dead pharaoh’s body. ‘All descendents of Tonama that look upon the tomb,’ they decreed, ‘will inhabit the body of the first heir, Gontumaio. If the spirit of the descendent is evil, he shall be forever trapped as Gontumaio. If his spirit is good, and he can earn the love and respect of his ancestor’s people than he shall return to live his own life peacefully, and the spirit of Tonama will rest.’”

Justin looked from the sarcophagus to the guide, then back again, and raised a hand to touch the glass case protecting it. As he did so, the ornately carved coffin disappeared, as did his glasses, the guide’s voice faded into nothing, and his skin darkened to a deep tan. He gasped and suppressed a scream. As he looked around him in surprise, he found that the entire museum had been replaced by a huge stone palace. He looked down and his blue jeans and collared shirt were replaced by a colorful linen robe. He was victim of Tonama’s curse, he thought. He must be the descendant of Pharaohs! He shook his head in disbelief, and he saw for the first time that his short dark hair now fell past his shoulders.

A man dressed as a servant approached him humbly and spoke in a language he at first did not understand. Then, as if someone had tuned in a radio, he could understand the strange words as if he were speaking English.

“His Greatness Emperor Tonama is dying!” The servant bowed many times as he spoke frantically. “A serpent has come from the River and His Majesty has been bitten! Come quickly, my lord Gontumaio! Your father the Pharaoh calls for you!”

Justin followed the hysterical servant, staring in awe around him. The servant led him into an imposing room. At the far wall the Pharaoh laid on an enormous bed surrounded by attendants. The servant rushed ahead of Justin and pushed his way past the other slaves, bowing his head to the floor when he reached the bedside.

“Gontumaio is here, Your Greatness!”

“Why does he not approach me?” an old, feeble voice called from behind the circle of attendants, who parted as Justin walked timidly towards the Pharaoh. “Come sit beside your father.”

Justin did as he was told, trying not to look as scared as he actually was.

“Send the slaves away,” King Tonama told Justin as soon as he was seated.

He nodded and faced the servants. “Leave us,” he said with a little less power than he would have liked.

The slaves looked at each other, unsure.

“Now!” Justin snapped, and the servants scattered

“I am dying, my son,” Tonama said weakly.

More terror seized Justin as he realized he would be trapped in Ancient Egypt until he broke this curse, but he said nothing.

“Egypt is yours now,” the Pharaoh said, removing the ornate headdress he wore and placed it on Justin’s head. “Rule your people the way I did, with a hand as strong as stone. Your people will not respect you if they do not fear you.” Tonama tried to say something else, but could not find his breath, and died.

Justin stared at the king’s body for a short time, letting sink in what had just happened. He was Pharaoh. Justin repeated the thought over and over to himself. He was Pharaoh and he had all of Egypt at his fingertips. Justin looked at his hands and decided the only way he’d make it home would be to break the curse. But how could he possibly earn the respect and love of his new kingdom?

Justin stood and turned away from the deathbed. “Servant!” he called.

The same frantic slave that had led him into the room ran to Justin from the hallway. Seeing the crown Justin wore, he bowed at Justin’s feet. “Yes, my King?”

“Find a priest. Have my father mummified and entombed.” With that he went back out to the room he had originally found himself in, thinking to himself how strange it felt to call Tonama his father. But, if he wanted to break the curse, playing the part of Gontumaio was the only way.

On his way from the bedroom, several servants bowed deeply as he approached them. After he’d passed, he heard one whisper to the other.

“King Gontumaio is even more cruel than his father Tonama. See he does not cry. Even the most hard-hearted man would weep when his father died. Our new Pharaoh does not even look down.”

Justin spent the entire night tossing and turning, wondering how he could possibly win the love of an entire country when he can’t even win the school election for class secretary. It would have to be something big, he thought.

Justin rose from his bed and went to the balcony that overlooked the city of Memphis. The Great City on the Water slept below him, as a breeze gently turned up sand in the streets. Justin took a deep breath and let some of his fear pass out of him. Memphis, Egypt seemed so small, yet so large compared to his home.

Movement in the streets caught his attention. Justin squinted and leaned over the railing of the balcony, trying to see the figure more clearly. It was a rider on horseback, masked against the desert sand with a linen cloth. The rider stopped the horse in front of a homestead, and the horse neighed as the rider dismounted and went into the house. Justin heard a muffled scream and the rider came back out a moment later dragging a young girl, while a woman—obviously the girl’s mother—struggled with the masked man until he threw her to the ground, mounted his horse with his new hostage and rode off. The woman rose and tried chasing the horse on foot, but he was at a full gallop. The woman coughed, choking on the dust and collapsed, sobbing, in the street.

Justin watched as another woman came from a different homestead, hearing her neighbor’s cries and tried to console her. Justin could not hear what they said, but the first woman continued to look in the direction the rider had gone, sobbing hysterically, reaching out a hand as if she would grab the horse and drag it to her, all the while the second woman held her back, nearly dragging her back to her own homestead, looking occasionally towards the palace. Justin grew nervous as the woman continued to look to the palace, and more so when the crying mother followed her gaze. He felt as if they were glaring at him.

Justin quickly retreated back from the balcony, wanting to do something, but unsure of what. What could one boy possibly do? He paced the length of his room. He had to do something… but what? Justin stopped abruptly. He was not just one boy, he was ruler of Egypt. Now he knew exactly what he would do. First thing in the morning, he thought.

Justin smiled to himself and went back to bed after giving the guard at his door instructions to wake him right after sunrise. He had no trouble sleeping now. He would be home before dinner the next day.

The guard did as he was told. When Justin stirred, the guard scrambled backwards and touched his forehead to the stone floor.

“Stand,” Justin told him. “Find a messenger. Tell him to gather the town in the square. Their Pharaoh is going to speak to them.”

“It shall be as you wish, my king,” the guard said and bowed again before backing out of the door.

Justin waved off the attendants that rushed into the room to help him dress. “If I’m going to be Gontumaio,” he muttered to himself when the last servant left him alone, “then I will be the Pharaoh that Egypt needs.”

A servant approached him at a run, bowed, and spoke from his humble position. “Your Greatness, the people are gathering as you ordered.”

Justin motioned for the slave to stand. “Good. Lead me to the square.”

The servant bowed again, “Yes, my lord Gontumaio.

Justin entered the square and men, women, and children all bowed as he did. Justin smiled. Now they would love him, and he would be home safe again.

“My people!” Justin shouted to the gathered crowd, and began to be Gontumaio. “Tonama was not a great ruler to his people. I will be a great ruler to my people. Under Tonama, crimes against the citizens of Egypt went unpunished,” Justin guessed, hoping beyond hope that he was correct. “Under my rule, no crime shall ever go unpunished. None!”

The people looked from the king, to each other and back again.

Justin turned and went back to the throne room. He heard the crowd erupt into chatter as soon as he disappeared back into the palace and smiled. They will love him now. He promised to protect Egypt and he will. They know he will.

In the throne room, Justin called seven armed guards and ordered them to patrol the streets, bringing to him anyone they found committing a crime. The guards hurried out into the streets, and Justin waited. He sat waiting expectantly to be transported home as he had been to the palace.

A slave served him lunch as two of the guards he’d sent out approached the throne, dragging a half-starved peasant behind them. The guards bowed and threw the quivering man in front of Justin.

“Lord Gontumaio, we found this man stealing from the market.”

Justin looked at the sobbing man, lying prostrate before him. “Were you in the square this morning?” he asked him.

The man nodded. “Yes, my lord Horus.”

“Then you know that there is no tolerance for crimes anymore.” Justin nodded to the guards. “Bind his hands and feet. Lock him in the stables.” He looked at the criminal. “If he is going to behave like an animal, let him live with them.”

The guards bowed and dragged the peasant away as they were instructed.

He was the only criminal the guards caught that day. Justin went to sleep happy, expecting to wake up in his own bed at home. Morning came and Justin was still in ancient Memphis. He looked around, wishing he was still asleep, waiting to wake up at home. He laid awake for an hour before he gave up that hope and dressed himself, wondering all the while what he did wrong. Justin decided to make a visit to the stables and speak to the criminal he’d had placed there.

A slave bowed to Justin in the stables. “Your Excellency, would you like me to ready the caravan for you?”

“No, I’m not going anywhere. Where is the peasant two guards brought in here yesterday?”

“He is this way, my lord,” the stable-hand said and led Justin to the back of the stable and opened a stall for him. In the stall was the peasant, bound and shivering from the cold night on the ground.

“Thank you, servant. You may leave now,” Justin said before entering the stall.

The servant bowed low again and scurried away to his duties.

Justin squatted in the sand next to the criminal. “What is your name?”

He neither moved nor answered, but lay shivering from cold and fear.

“Don’t fear me,” Justin said, as gently as he could. “What is your name?”

“G-Gebi, Your Greatness,” he stuttered.

“Don’t be afraid,” Justin said again, and untied the man’s feet so he could sit. “I have never heard anyone in the streets. What to the people say about me?”

Gebi answered slowly. “They say… that you are our Pharaoh, My Lord. It is a crime to speak more about our King.”

“No, what do they say that they should not?”

Gebi looked at Justin fearfully.

“You will not be punished for answering what I ask, and they will not be punished for speaking their mind,” Justin said, still trying in vain to calm down the peasant. “What do they say?”

“Th-they fear you, Your Greatness,” Gebi quivered. “They say you are as cruel as your father Tonama.”

Justin thought a moment. “After I promised to protect them?”

Gebi nodded. “They do not believe that you will protect them justly. They fear you will rule with too hard a hand.”

Justin looked down at the sand as he realized that was exactly what he had done. He looked back at the criminal in front of him. “What did you steal from the market, Gebi?”

“A melon, My King, to feed my family,” he said and cast his eyes downward. “They have not eaten in two days.”

Justin looked in shock at Gebi. “What have I done?” he whispered to no one but himself. Without a second thought, Justin untied Gebi’s hands and helped him stand. “I can’t apologize enough for what I did to you.”

Gebi stared open-mouthed at Justin, hardly believing that an heir of Tonama had just shown regret for his actions.

Justin led Gebi to the palace kitchen. “Come with me.” He gave Gebi enough food to feed his family for a week and personally escorted him back to his homestead, waving off guards and servants that offered to take Gebi back to the stables where they thought he belonged.

At Gebi’s homestead, a large group of citizens had formed around Justin, eager to see what was going on. When Gebi showed his wife the sack of food their king had given him and told her the story, the crowd looked at Justin. As one they kneeled in the street.

Justin looked around him in awe at what such a small deed could accomplish. The people around him were not afraid of him now, he realized. The respect they were showing him was genuine this time.

As he continued to look around him, the street vanished, and Justin was looking at the sarcophagus in the history museum again. Justin was again wearing his glasses, jeans and collared shirt. He heard the guide once more.

“…If his spirit is good, and he can earn the love and respect of his ancestor’s people than he shall return to live his own life peacefully, and the spirit of Tonama will rest.”

Justin was home. He looked at the guide, and had to force himself not to tell him that curse was broken.

Tell me what you think, and what you REALLY think, because I asked for your opinion, not what I want to hear!

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Pandora

*cough* FanFic Forum*cough cough* :wink:

*cough* It's not fanfic or I would put it there! *cough* *cough* I'm a mod too, igmo! *cough* I know where things go! *cough* *cough*

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Pandora

*cough* I know! *cough* *cough* Hence I said "I'm a mod TOO"! *cough* *cough* *COUGH!*

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CorSec

*hands everyone some cough syrup*

Maybe I should busy myself by reading this now...

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chozen

I read the first 5 sentences got bored...

now maube if you changed the characters name to chozen..i might get intersted....

also mention that hes a great looking guy 8)

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Bad furday

*applauds* Well done Pod! I liked it very much! :D

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Pandora

Thank you, Furday!

As for you two... *looks at Chozen and CorSec* Don't bash it if you haven't read it.

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Princess

Chozen quit being an ass. Good story Pod.

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Princess

*ignites her lightsaber and holds it at Chozen's neck*

Don't make me draw back.

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chozen

Hey i can have an opinion i dont like the name justin its not fitting the story, there it is.

back off

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Pandora

*steps between Chozen and Princess* okay, okay, let's not throw each other's blood all over my story, okay? It'd be a waste of a good time. Thank you for standing up against Chozen for me, Princess. And Chozen, thank you for the opinion.

Princess, I'm glad you like it. :grin:

Chozen: why do you think Justin doesn't fit?

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Pandora

I can't fix it if you don't give me any specifics.

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Pandora

AGGGHHHHH!!! Chozen! I HATE it when people do that to me!!!

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CorSec

Wow...Great Pod! 3 Thumbs up! well....2...uhhh...*steals chozens thumb* 3!! :D

Whats it for?

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Pandora

:lol: Thanks CorSec. It's for my college course I'm taking.

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