The desert stretched out in front of him like an ocean of sand; moon daubed dunes rolling towards the horizon where they disappeared into the dark night. He tightened his grip on the reins of his camel and dug his heels on its side, so that it went lurching forward, each stumbling footstep a sigh on the soft sand.
Beyond the dirt, he could see the faint outline of buildings. He could see the light and sense the warmth. He had found it. Amosis. The city of gold.
“What use have I for your money?” the guard laughed. “The Lord Osiris has blessed us with all the riches that we desire. Tell me traveller, what can you offer me that I do not already have?”
Hearing this, he withdrew his hand, and dropped the coins back into his pocket. Then drawing forth his hand, he showed the guard a silver revolver.
“Death,” he said and pulled the trigger.
The shot ricocheted through the night, and as the guard fell with a soft thud, he saw lights turn on, and heard befuddled voices wondering what the noise could have been.
He stepped over the body of the guard and made his way through the gates, cloaked in shadows, unseen
He made his way through the twisting roads, the tall spires, glinting in the moonlight, cast long shadows on the paved ground. Everything was made of gold. Even the people wore garments woven with gold threads. Two minutes later, he reached a door, its hinges gilded with gold. He raised a hand and knocked twice.
The man who opened the door was a short, weaselly looking fellow, whose robes were bigger than his shrivelled self. He was clean shaven apart from his neatly trimmed moustache which hung over his thin lips.
“Sire,” he said. “You have journeyed long. Do come in and rest.”
“I am here on business, “was his reply.
“Sire, I will remind of the dangers which taint the task which you have so undertaken.”
“You take me for a fool, Enlas. I have come equipped for these dangers you claim exist, “he said pulling out a revolver.
Enlas swallowed, his gaze fixed on the revolver. He bowed.
“I am afraid I must desist from this task, however well you have come equipped, I simply cannot-“ Enlas stopped short as the back of a revolver hit him on the cheek. Blood gushed from the wound.
“You will have the whole Empire at war with you unless you show me the source of your gold,”he said to Enlas. “And quickly.”
In the dead of the night, two men walked out of Amosis. Only Osiris, lord of the underworld, watched from his starry abode.
“The tomb of Amakhetra,“ Enlas said in a low tone as they stood before a small pyramid of gold bricks.
“ You do not have a gold mine?” he asked.
“No,”Enlas replied. “This tomb bears the riches we are blessed with.”
Enlas watched as he stepped into the tomb. It was dark inside. He brought out a flashlight.
“The sun will rise soon,” Enlas murmured from outside the tomb.
He switched on the flashlight, and his jaw dropped. Before him, instead of riches, lay the bones of humans yellowed with age and scattered on the dusty floor.
Startled, he turned to Enlas “What-“
“Suddenly a gear turned, a spring jumped and the door of the tomb began to close.
He ran towards the entrance, but it was of no use. In the sliver of space that remained he could see Enlas laughing, the sand behind him glittering like gold.
“Behold our riches!”Enlas said, motioning to the desert. “Gold dust.”
He dropped his flashlight, and the bulb broke, just as the tomb entrance closed shut, and as the darkness engulfed him, he faced his slow journey to Osiris.