Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Stolen "Gift"--The Sorcerer Gaumata

The night before the demolition, he decided to break in. I floated above him reading his thoughts as he moved quietly in the dark. Prince Cambyses was stealthy in the darkness of the royal gardens. He knew the area quite well, having killed many imaginary foes in the winding, flowery paths as a youth. It was very dark, providing the cover he would need. So far, he had only met one guard, for most of them were posted on the outside of the gardens and grounds. His father, Cyrus, never wanted them in his private area. He slunk toward the Quiet Room with no guilt in his heart at all. He had never loved his father. Hell, he rarely ever spoke to him. Instead of seeking advice from his true son, the old coot would rather go to the magi. Now he would see what riches were stored there, for he thought it was a thing of greed that his father wanted them to bury the jewels along with himself. He had found the key after searching through his father’s personal things.

The door opened easily and he slipped in. He lit the small candle that he had in his pocket. The room had no windows, but the roof of it was open in places, making it smell fresh. The twinkling stars above were enchanting. He could see why his father had loved this place so. He stopped his musings and got to work. He would check methodically and find whatever was in here before it was destroyed. Nobody would ever know. Looking around, he found that it was a spartan place, aside from its natural beauty. There were rare flowering bushes inside the walls. They were able to get sun from the open roof and yet they were protected from the winds by the walls. He checked under and around these bushes. The floor was simply earth except for the marble blocks used in paths. These all seemed to be undisturbed and grass grew between them. He decided that no recent digging had taken place.

He saw that there was a stone throne in a dark corner, but little else. It must be the place of the wealth, he thought, grunting with impatience. He ran over and sure enough, the throne had a lid on it—the perfect hiding place for the jewels. He moved the heavy stone cover and reached in, but could feel nothing. Laying his chest on the throne seat, he reached as far down as he could, thrusting his hand in as deeply as it would extend. There was something soft and mushy at the bottom of that hole. He quickly pulled out his hand and gagged as he held it stiffly in front of him. He dared not shake it, but began to wipe it on the stone floor. The smell seemed to have hands that caressed his face, although he struggled against it. It was thick and he felt it work its way up his nostrils. He felt it pry his lips apart and slip past the rows of clenched teeth. His lungs were full now, as if the stench were a solid thing.

“It won’t ever go away,” he muttered in panic. He ran out of the room and stuck his hand into a nearby pool. He began to wash and wash, but the substance was viscous and it lingered, slimy against his skin. The smell lingered, too. He pulled up a clump of grass and used the roots and dirt to scrub at his hand, but it slid back and forth in the slime. He scuttled toward his apartments and washed again, attempting to rub off the slippery sludge that clung to it. Finally, in desperation, he doused himself with strong perfumes and then he changed out of his sweaty clothes and went to bed.

Thus, I had found the perfect opportunity to enter Cambyses’s mind. It was so simple in that one moment of shock. The fear of the king’s curse helped instill terror into the heart of the prince. From now on it would be simple. I made a place for myself in the mind of the prince and prepared for the next step in my plan. “It was just too easy,” I said aloud as I rubbed my hands together in an ecstasy that threatened to boil over.

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