Sons of the Sand Book Bundle
Sons of the Sand Book Bundle
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He falls first
Fish out of Water
- Days of Hunger
- End of Hope
- Chasm of Eternity
- Skies of Fire
The girl should’ve screamed.
But she didn’t.
Instead she threw a shoe at me after I showed up in her room. She summoned me but didn’t realize it.
She commanded me to leave and so I had to obey.
But the need to see her again is powerful and I’m not sure I can resist. She will come easily, like the others. Three thousand years may have passed, but women always stay the same.
They fell for pretty words and gave up their lives willingly.
This girl would be no different. She’d make her wishes and her soul will be mine. And if she resists a little, well then, the end will be all the sweeter…
Ty was going to die. I would see to it. This was my last day in Egypt, and I still hadn’t bought a single souvenir. In fact, we spent most of spring break on a boat or at the beach. Not that there was anything wrong with the beach. The Red Sea was gorgeous, but I was in freaking Egypt, and we’d spent only one day checking out the pyramids. One. And now Ty was MIA with a note that told me to catch a cab to the market and buy my junk. His word, not mine.
I flopped onto the very hard mattress. This was so unlike Ty. He rarely left me to my own devices. Certainly not in a foreign country that had scored number one in sexual harassment rates. And pepper spray was illegal.
Where on earth did he go?
I shouldn’t be upset that he wanted to go out on his own. It’s bad enough that my twenty-two year-old brother had to take care of me when he should be in college having the time of his life. He became my caretaker when my parents were murdered and we were sent to live with Gran.
It wasn’t fair to him. I’d tried to tell him I could take care of myself, but he said sixteen was too young. I had Gran, but he said that didn’t count because she couldn’t really take care of me. Maybe he’d have to come up with a different argument when I turned seventeen. Lots of seventeen-year-olds take care of themselves, right?
I rolled over onto my side. Somehow, living alone with Gran scared me less than being alone in Egypt. Bravery wasn’t my strong suit. Well, I could be brave, but only when I had help. Going out by myself wasn’t something I did. Ever.
I always had my wing-woman, Nora, with me. Or Kole. Or Penny and Scarlett. I never had to be alone.
Knowing Ty, he was probably at a business meeting of some kind. He took his job very seriously. As serious as a diving videographer could. Regardless, he had meetings all the stinking time. I snuck into one once. What a snoozer. They talked about figures and percentages. It was altogether too much math for me.
I opened the curtains and stepped onto the dusty balcony. Below me, cars wove in and out of one another like a school of fish, and the drivers laid on the horns. A lone man in a long gray dress, or galabaya as they call them here, strolled through the chaos. I held my breath for him. He was unsteady on his feet, and the cars brushed by him. He stumbled as a truck piled high with mattresses passed him. He got to the other side and I let out a breath.
I might head to the market today, but there was no way in hades I was about to cross a street. Part of me loved the craziness of Egypt, but I also longed for the logic and calm of my home in Michigan. Well, most of the time anyway. Logic went out the window during the Coast Guard Festival.
I watched the man for a little bit longer. His reward on the other side of the street was a cart with hundreds of oranges. He poked and prodded them and finally plucked out one that fit perfectly in his hand. He glanced over to the woman who ran the fruit stand. She was arguing with another man. I had no idea what was being said, but it involved a lot of hand gestures.
The man who crossed the road tucked the orange into a pocket and waddled on down the street. I smirked. That man had a death wish as the woman who ran the fruit stand was now beating the other man with a reed.
I strolled back inside and steeled myself. I could go out on my own. Be brave.
I couldn’t do this. After a death-defying cab ride to Khan el-Khalili, the market, the swarm of people terrified me. I spoke no Arabic and was a lone girl. One of the only ones without my head covered. This was going to be a disaster.
I imagined what I would do if my BFF Nora were here with me. We’d get back into the cab and go home. Scratch that. Maybe Scarlett. She’d take one look at the group of people and order her driver to haul her to the nearest mall. Maybe not Scarlett. Penny then. Scarlett’s twin. She’d grab my hand and plunge right into the crowd, and she usually had good judgment. She wouldn’t let this intimidate her. Okay, channeling Penny.
I took two steps forward, falling in with the crowd. So far so good. The cars behind me still honked, and the crowd around me buzzed with various Arabic phrases. Body odor hung heavy in the air, but it disappeared when I hit the spice market, and my fear dissipated.
The crowd had dispersed some, and the air was rich with spices. I hurried down the alley, excited for the first time since I woke up and discovered Ty was gone.
I felt like I’d stepped back in time a thousand years. Men and women wore traditional dress, and the spices lay piled into cones on top of large barrels. Colorful lamps hung from the cloth ceilings. Small alleys opened to more small alleys. Every kind of merchandise could be found—from brightly colored cloth to cell phones.
I drained nearly my entire spending allowance, mostly buying magnets and other trinkets. I had no clue where I was in the market, but I didn’t care. As unsafe as I had felt this morning, I was fine now. I still wished Nora had been with me. She would’ve loved it. I took a few pictures and sent them to her.
Some boys at the coffee shop catcalled me, but I couldn’t understand a word they said, so it didn’t feel as ominous as it probably should have. Bravery felt good. I should do this more often. As I wandered the shops, I wondered where else I should channel Penny and take the plunge. Maybe I should stand up to my boyfriend more often or do things that prove to Ty I was responsible.
I ducked into a small shop with ancient trinkets and was drawn to the back to shelves that held hundreds of glass bottles of every shape and size. I crouched down to the bottom shelf to examine what looked like perfume bottles. They might be good for my friends.
I picked up a pretty green one and held it up to the light. A smoke-like substance swirled within, giving an almost magical appearance. It would be perfect for Nora. I could probably get some for Scarlett and Penny too.
“How much?” I asked the wizened old shop keeper in a faded blue galabaya.
“For you, beautiful lady. Five pounds.” Fifty cents? How many were there? I could sell them in our booth back home where Gran and I sold stained glass window ornaments. These bottles were worth far more than fifty cents each.
I could only find ten bottles total. They were all different colors. My favorite was a midnight blue one with a sparkling fog. It was as if someone bottled the night sky. I wanted to open one, just to see what would happen, but I was afraid the man would get mad at me.
Loaded down with my purchases, I wove my way through the throngs of people and flagged down a cab.
I’d done it.
But I was still going to kill Ty for leaving me alone.