B.G. Bowers and I are writing this story together. She is writing the odd numbered chapters and I am writing the even numbered chapters. Please go to her blog: bgbowers to read her chapters. Thank you.
The applause was spotty but sincere. I looked at my sister and reached for her hand. She put her fingers through mine and we stood next to each other and, smiling, we bowed to the audience.
“Well done,” said the ancient priest. “Well done. We have been waiting for you for a very long time.”
“Yes,” he said, nodding. “The prophesy,” he coughed. “Sisters, pale, like the two moons above, will arrive by water and set you free.”
“Uh,” I said, looking around. “I think you have the wrong sisters.
“Free you from what?” asked Kat, pulling me toward the priest.
“From eternal life,” he sighed wearily.
“You want to die?” asked Kate, taken back. “Why?”
“You are young,” he said kindly. “Too much life can be a burden.”
“I can’t see all of you,” I said, squinting into the darkness. “Give us light, please.”
Torches burst into flame instantly. There were at least fifty people in the space and the walls were completely covered in glyphs. “Who or what are you?” I asked.
“We are the Keepers,” said the Priest softly.
“The Keepers of what exactly?”
Kat sighed and looked at me. “Let’s go. I’m tired of always saving someone’s ass and never getting any answers to our questions with out playing games. I need a shower and some hot food.”
“I’m right behind you,” I said, pushing her toward what looked like a hallway.
“Wait,” said the Priest loudly.
“I don’t think so,” I snapped. “You sucked our friend through a tear in the sky. I’m not in much of a helping mood.”
“Please. You must break the curse,” said the Priest, pointing to the wall. “We have kept the Secrets long enough.”
“Does this have anything to do with the Sumerian Underground.”
The Priest hung his head and folded his hands.
“Let’s go,” I said, turning back to the tunnel.
“Ages ago a Sumerian God fell in love,” said the old Priest. “He fell in love with a mortal, a human female. She loved him in return. Because of their joy, everything flourished and life was good. People were happy,” continued the old man, fingering a talisman he held loosely in his hand. “Then the human began to age.”
“I think I know how this ends,” I said, trying to jump ahead.
“She got old. He loved her still, but knew that she was dying. His priests, had been working on a way to give her eternal life so that their God would not be alone and in mourning.”
“They found a way?” I asked.
“Yes, but it was too late.”
“Bummer,” said Kat.
“Is that one of your Secrets, the elixir to Eternal Life?” I asked.
“Yes. It is. But our original cultures have disappeared. We are the only people left from that long ago time. The Secrets were brought to us by the Sumerian God and we were told to keep them safe. He told us that we would live as long as we Kept the Secrets.”
“But you just told us one of them, so you’ve broken your word,” I said.
“That is true but you have not left here so the Secrets are still safe.”
“I don’t like the way that sounds,” said Kate, pulling on my arm. “The Secret to Eternal Life is what the Boss was looking for. I’m sure of it. That’s why he wanted us together. You know, the sisters, the moons and things.”
“Nicely put,” I snickered. “But I agree.”
“So, if you tell us the Secrets and we leave this place, the responsibility will be removed from your shoulders and you can die, right?” smiled Kate.
“Yes and no. We will die but unless the curse is broken,” said the Priest, “our souls will be lost at the time of our deaths. That is the price for betrayal.”
“I see. So how do we break the curse?” I asked, already not liking where this conversation was going.
“You must agree to Keep the Secrets.”
“Not gonna happen,” Kat said. “No way.”
“Will the curse transfer to us?” I asked.
“I do not know,” answered the Priest.
“How many Secrets are there?”
“Okay,” I said, holding up my fingers. “Eternal Life is one. So two and three are?”
“Two explains the Universe and everything in it. And three….,” he paused, clearly uncomfortable.
“Stop” I said. We don’t want to know the last one. We don’t want to live forever and we don’t want to be cursed.” I said, waving my hand at the Priest. “How can you even ask us to do something like this?”
The old Priest looked at the people behind him. “Help us.”
“I hate when they say that,” whispered Kat.
“Me too,” I agreed, turning my attention back to the priest. “What else does the prophesy say?”
To be continued….