Title: Escape from Ancient Egypt, Neiko Adventure Saga, Book Two
By: A. K. Taylor
Publisher: Soaring Eagle Books
Publication Date: December 19, 2012
Genre: Teen/YA, Fantasy/Science Fiction, Action Adventure (ages 12-17)
IBSN 10: 1-943326-05-3
Number of pages: 314 in paperback/hardcover
The other five tribes came to the battle site and bailed out of the cars. The Crackedskulls were running amok, destroying homes, cars, buildings, property, and chasing the Mohicans and Sparras and terrorizing them. Great Spirit knows what could happen next, and the chieftains weren’t going to sit around and find out before sounding the alarm. The remaining five tribes let out a shrill war call to let them know of their presence and charged under Neiko’s direction. The small force of plundering Crackedskulls tried to retreat, but the Indians smashed into them. The Crackedskulls fought savagely, but the angry Indians’ hunger for retribution was greater. The Indians wounded quite a few and killed a couple with clubs, slings, bows, spears, and tomahawks—they used native weapons to keep things quiet and not draw attention from Outsider authorities. The Crackedskulls answered back and Indians were injured.
“Neiko, go and find Eagle Claw while we hold off these goons!” said Pike as he hit a Crackedskull across his eyes with the handle of his tomahawk.
“Righto, Pikey boy,” Neiko said with a salute and knocking out a two Crackedskulls as she broke through and headed to Eagle Claw’s house which was in the center of the territory.
The house was on fire, and Eagle Claw and his family were screaming as the flames got dangerously close to them; they were tied up and lying in the floor.
“Neiko, call for help. You can’t do this alone!” Eagle Claw screamed from within as he wriggled.
Neiko looked and saw that they were fairly close to the entrance, and she saw a way to get to them. There wasn’t much time. If she left to get help, they would be dead in a few minutes.
A few burns and some soot on my skin is a small price to pay for helping out a comrade. I’ll just take another shower, she thought as she balled her fists and swung her arms like she was preparing for a long jump as she psyched herself up for what she was about to do.
She put her dagger in its sheath, took a deep breath to prepare for the risky operation, and ran into the burning house. She jumped over and ran around the flames. She crouched low to stay below the smoke and hot, toxic gases overhead. She made it to them and freed them from their bonds, leading them to safety as they dodged falling pieces of the smoldering roof. All of them heard the roof beginning to crackle and sag. They jumped out of the door, and the roof caved in just behind them, sending embers and sparks flying. They scrambled off the covered front porch before it decided to crash down upon them too.
“Well, at least you’re safe–but, I’m not so sure about your house,” said Neiko, helping them to their feet and brushing off the ashes and soot from her clothes, hair, and skin. The black grime seemed to smear and mix with her sweat and war paint.
“Never mind the house. I’m glad you came because that could’ve been us in there!” Eagle Claw said trembling at his close call. “I am certainly glad you didn’t listen to me and were stubborn just like always,” he added with a good-natured and grateful smile.
Neiko looked around as more Crackedskulls came out of the woods, closing in on them. “Oh great. This is nice,” she grumbled as she saw one hundred armed Crackedskulls with Karo, the General and supreme commander of the ground force in the lead. “Don’t look now—we’re not outa the woods yet. I think this situation just got a whole lot worse,” Neiko said gripping her quarterstaff tightly with both hands.
Eagle Claw looked around as the Crackedskulls closed in.
Eagle Claw’s wife began to panic and gather her young kids around her like a mother hen as the older ones prepared to fight regardless if they are only armed with fists and courage.
Deatheagle, the high commander of the Winged Warriors, and his two subordinate commanders surrounded them in the back.
“Well, well. I expected to find you here, Neiko. You are so brave and heroic that you are predictable. Well, the trap worked. Get them,” Karo said with fiendish and conquering grin.
“What do we do with them, sir?” asked one Crackedskull.
“Take Neiko to Prince Bloodhawk. But, as for these other rats, take them away and kill them like we intended to do in the first place,” Karo ordered.
“I don’t think so, stinkweed!” said Pike with an insulting jeer that was just like he also said “Surprise!”.
He had two hundred Indians behind him with their bows drawn and clubs raised. They fired on the Crackedskulls further from the apprehended hostages and wounded thirty-five. The Indians came from behind them, and the ground-force Crackedskulls were surrounded. The winged warriors flew away, and some of the infantry retreated. They then closed in and knocked out all the Crackedskulls that remained except for Karo.
“All right, pig dung, you go tell Raven if he tries another cheap trick like this again, then we will visit it back on him one thousand fold. Get outa here before we change our mind,” Pike menaced as he thrust his spear at the general, and Karo ran off. The Indians raised their weapons in triumph as they shouted and trilled their voices in victory calls. To everyone’s surprise this battle was over just as quickly as it started. Raven must be getting sloppy.
“Everyone, let’s return home. We will celebrate this victory tomorrow night!” said Xartna, and everyone chanted as they left. The Mohicans and Sparras left with the other tribes so that they could find a place to stay the night and begin the preparations for rebuilding.
Neiko returned home late that night and went to her front door. She took her dirty tennis shoes off. The wood of her new front deck felt good to her tired feet. “Ohhh, that shower is calling my name and will feel sooo good,” she said closing her eyes and craning her head to stretch her neck and thinking about that hot, steamy water hitting against her tired muscles. She was glad she specifically asked for a massaging showerhead for her shower when the Tribes built her house.
She dug around in her pocket for the key. She had to get into the house first before she could get into that shower. She finally found the key, but then she dropped it on the mat.
“Aww, darn it!” Neiko grumbled as she bent over to pick it up with a grunt.
“Nice evening, isn’t it?” came a familiar voice from behind her.
Neiko looked around, and Francesco was standing on her porch, smirking.
“Why are you here and what are you so happy about? We kicked your butts so bad tonight,” Neiko said with cynical tone and a sideways grin. “Go away. You’re not wanted. If you’re still here after I get outa that shower, then your carcass is toast,” she said with an ominous tone. She was tired and cranky and totally not in the mood for his antics or whatever messed-up scheme he was cooking up or whatever his purpose was for being here.
“I wouldn’t be so satisfied about that victory tonight. And you are still painted for war–how nice. This will be the last battle you will win against us because you won’t be here any longer,” Francesco said still smirking. The smirk became more dark and sinister by the second. “Second of all you’re shower will have to wait—permanently. You won’t be enjoying another hot shower ever again where you’re going. You’ll have plenty of the ‘hot’ part.”
Neiko looked at him like he was mad. “What is that supposed to mean? What are you gonna do–kill me?” she asked with a sarcastic snort. “They probably have showers in heaven, but where you’re going they don’t.You’ll stink like rotten eggs, burning sulfur, and soot in hell,” she shot back. “In about two seconds I’ll send you on your one way ticket if you don’t beat it.”
Francesco snorted and grinned like he had become Satan himself. “No. Remember when I said I would get you back for my humiliation and your sorrows would be one hundred fold? Here is that moment—your time has now come, Admiral. Don’t tell me you honestly think you’re that self righteous.”
Neiko burst out laughing. “Just you being here makes me sorrowful,” she slandered. “Why are you here anyway? I could beat you up with one hand tied behind my back! I’m not self righteous at all for your information. I think Karo and Deatheagle have more honor than a traitorous scum like you any day. Since you won’t get lost, let’s have at it—mano y mano,” she said dropping her key back into her pocket and putting up her fists like she was in the mixed martial arts octagon.
Francesco looked at her like she was nothing more than a Neanderthal that solved everything by hitting it with a club. “I’m not here to fight you! I’ll let you figure this out on your own. And there is no way back,” Francesco said as he pulled out a green crystal from his pocket. “It will be the same for you as it was for them…”
Neiko looked at it with surprise and raised her right eyebrow quizzically that asked “Hey, neat—what’s that?”. “Oh, are you gonna frame me like last time? Ha! That won’t fly this go ’round. And what do you mean there’s no way back…and who is the ‘them’ you’re talking about? What kind of new toy is that anyway?”
Francesco said nothing as he rubbed the crystal. It began to glow. He mumbled chants, and it glowed brighter and brighter. Then he thrust his hands up and waved the crystal toward her. A green light surrounded her, and she disappeared.
About the Author
A.K. Taylor grew up in the backwoods of Georgia where she learned about nature. She enjoys hunting and fishing, beekeeping, gardening, archery, shooting, hiking, and has various collections. She also has interest in music, Native American history and heritage, Egyptian history, and the natural sciences. A.K. Taylor has been writing and drawing since the age of 16. A.K. Taylor has graduated from the University of Georgia with a biology degree, and she shares an interest in herpetology with her husband.
Soaring Eagle Books: http://soaringeaglebooks.org/books/escape-from-ancient-egypt/