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All Kasiya could think about was that he was going to finally finish building the Sphinx. Being one of the main designers of that giant cat, he had been forced to work late into the night, all alone. Then wake up early in the morning to start work again on something he believed to be pointless, because once finished all that it would be used for would be to put an incarcerated king in to. Either way Kasiya was exuberant to finish the giant project, after so many years of toil put into the sphinx.
A deep chill occupied the night air, stars sprinkled the sky, and a full moon bathed the landscape in a deep twilight. Kasiya felt weary, due to the final push to complete what would be the king’s final resting place, but he decided that he should inspect the Sphinx anyway and maybe make a few minor adjustments. After walking around it multiple times, he noticed the presence of a minute crack on top of its nose that could be smoothed at with a chisel. So, weary as he was, he climbed the ladders up to the top of the Sphinx. When Kasiya made it to the top he slowly pulled out his chisel and hammer and located the tiny crack. He set his chisel on the crack and sent his hammer flying down. Suddenly he heard a loud rumble and he noticed that the nose slowly moved down, protected from an immediate fall by the ropes that tethered it to the top of the structure. Struck by fear Kasiya dashed down the stairs at full speed and the second he touched the ground he heard a craaaaaack and the nose tumbled down, thudding on the ground loud enough to wake the dead.
Kasiya heard people waking up and, as if in a nightmare, he sprinted as fast as the wind back to his living quarters. As he ran a blur of terrible images rushed to him of the last time, someone made a costly mistake on building, how he tide up to a table, how he had been stabbed in the heart. He screamed and yelled in excruciating pain only to be stabbed repeatedly until finally with a final weak yelp he died. With a dark fear growing in his heart he finally made it to his tent. He dwelled in a small boxy room surrounded by cloth, with a bed and a desk. He began passing his room considering all he could do, he could run, but where the Nile lay miles away and a town could not be seen for twenty miles, and even if he did make it the town would surely where they would expect a convict to go. Then when they would not be able to find him, everyone would know that he was the one that did it. That was it, no one saw him break the nose, so if he pretended to be sleeping the builders might think it just broke off on its own or another person broke it. Being his best plan of action he took it and more weary than ever slumped down into bed.
Kasiya slept on and off for a few hours in an uneasy sleep, when he saw a light outside of his tent, and without warning, fulfilling his worst nightmares Khenti, the leader of the project, walked in with two bodyguards and Neema, the older of the kings two daughters.
Neema pointed at him and yelled, “He is the one he destroyed the Sphinx’s nose. I saw him climb up and come running back down right when the nose began falling. Arrest him!”
Without even taking heed of what their actual leader had to say they pulled him out of his bed tied him up and began walking over to a temporary imprisonment. All Kasiya could do was dwell in his depression, he felt nothing, but a numbing sensation and could not utter a single word. He was tossed into a storage tent like a rag doll and had a guard at the opening, which was pointless because strong ropes constricted his arms and legs.
Kasiya lay for days upon days in the same uncomfortable position senseless, starving, dehydrated, and nearly dead. When finally someone came in, it was the king’s younger daughter, Halima, who was about eighteen and showed greater kindness than her older blunter sister. Kasiya was taken aback by this he expected Khenti being the leader to come in and send him out to his doom.
“Here is some food and water”, Halima gently said as she placed a plate with a little food on it and a cup filled with water down for Kasiya to have, “I have begged my father to let me come see you. I want to help you escape.”
Kasiya slowly glanced up at her, “Why would you want to save me, I destroyed you fathers tomb?”
“It is not just you that I would save, after I saw the last sacrifice I vowed to myself never to let it happen again.”Halima informed him, “I do not understand why a life must be destroyed all due to one unfortunate mistake.”
“How can you save me now though, I am going to be sacrificed any day now and there is nowhere for me to run without being caught.” Kasiya grudgingly said.
“I have come up with a plan, two days from now you are scheduled to be sacrificed. My father knows I hate watching sacrifices, so I have ordered a raft to be made, so I can float down the river back to town. What we will do is
I will knock out the guard with a shovel in the dead of night I will untie you and you will run to the raft and escape down the river. It is the perfect plan.” explained Halima.
After collaborating a little while longer and working out all of the details, they came to a consensus. Everything was set now all they had to do was waiting, for Kasiya the waiting was the worst part, he did not know whether he would escape or die in the attempt and he kept running all of the details that could go wrong through his head. Finally it was time Kasiya could not fall asleep he was to anxious and just when he believed he could not wait any longer he heard a loud thud and a body plopping to the ground. He saw Halima rapidly and silently stride into the room. She confidently pulled out a knife and cut the rope binding Kasiya’s hands together.
“Hurry”, she whispered. They quickly jogged out of the room, when suddenly they heard someone getting up, it was the bodyguard Paki getting up and slowly he realized that he had been knocked out he glanced inside the tent and then yelled at the top of his lungs, “The prisoner has escaped”, over and over again.
Knowing now that there would be no need to be quite the two of them went sprinting all out as fast as they could. Caught up in the moment Halima forgot that if she stopped running that no one would link them together, but the instant she thought about that her idea was dashed when Iah, one of the more intelligent body guards stepped out of his tent and immediately connected the two together. It was no good both Halima and Kasiya would have to escape together.
“There it is.” Halima yelled towards Kasiya. There was a small two to three person raft with a large crate on it filled with provisions and keepsakes. Halima jumped on it as Kasiya began to untie it. He could see multiple people off about a hundred yards, he did not have much time, they were fifty yards away he had just finished untying the rope, they were twenty yards away, Kasiya began pushing the boat into the water. The mob began wading into the water, but with a finally push in which Kasiya had to muster all of his energy he pushed the raft into the river out of the reach of the mob and leaped onto the raft.
After many days Kasiya and Halima made it to a small town called Toka. Knowing that Khenti and his men would be searching for them they laid low for a few days and waited in an abandoned building, after removing all of their food from the raft and then pushing their raft further down the river in hopes that Khenti’s men would chase after that and forget them. Over their days of waiting, they saw many men come through asking residence if they had seen the two, but none had seen them come into town because they had snuck in at the dead of night.
After the men eventually left they came into town one day pretending to be travelers from a far off land and from the other end of town so no one expected them to be the people Khenti and his men were talking about, which is
also due to the fact that they changed their names. Kasiya’s and Halima’s story told that they were brother and sister and had left their former town in pursuit of a new town because they were not able to find reliable jobs at the town the used to live in. Luckily, the other townspeople believed them and it turned out many people had job opens. So, over time Kasiya and Halima became part of the society in Toka and after a few months Khenti stopped sending his men to search there. Kasiya and Halima lived for many years and not until Halima died, and told someone their story, did anyone ever even guess that they were the fugitives that Khenti had been searching for so many years ago.
Oil Springs, Kentucky
Orchard Park, New York
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