The Burned Pharaoh
Scion of Anubis, 5'9", scrawny, fast, clever
Amenthes McLaren is the 23 year old son of murdered Egyptologist Molly McLaren and Egyptian God of the Dead Anubis. He is currently studying Egyptology himself at Purdue University in Indiana where he resides in the dorms with his roommate Steve “Beer Bong” Wilkowsky. He has no known, mortal, living relatives.
I just don’t know what to think anymore. Mom’s dead and I’m the son of a god. I always knew she loved Egypt, but I didn’t know she loved it that much. Twelve hours ago, when I came home to do my laundry, my house was surrounded by cops.
“You Aim-in-thist?” One of the officers walked up to me as I stood staring confused at the scene.
“Amenthes,” I’m used to people mispronouncing my name.
“I’m Officer Miller. We’ve been trying to reach you for a while, you look just like your mother did.”
Did? Officer Miller sat down on the curb and had me do likewise. I didn’t start crying until after he finished. She’s dead. Dead. Shot in her own living room. The next couple hours were a blur. I went down to the station and went through all the motions. I was passive for most of it, until something the detective said that caught my attention.
“Your father already came in to identify the bo… your mother.” He didn’t seem to see the expression I gave him. “Your free to go now, I’m sorry for your loss, kid.”
I wandered outside. The cop that drove me back to my car didn’t say anything. Father? I never found out who my dad was. Whenever I would bring it up to my mom, she would start to cry. So I didn’t bring it up. I still wasn’t allowed inside the house. Which was fine; I didn’t want to go inside.
The laundromat was empty. I sat on the washer full of the clothes I wore the past week.
“Excuse me…” Someone was standing next to me. I didn’t look up. I didn’t hear anyone come in, either…
“I’m using this one. There’s, like, fifty others. Use one of them.” I wasn’t in a good mood. Even though this guy was being polite.
“No no. You are Amenthes, correct?”
It wasn’t normal for people to know how to say my name, especially when no one should know where I am. I looked up, and the spin-cycle almost knocked me off the washer. Standing in front of me was a guy with the head of a dog. I know laundromats are good places to meet weird people, but this takes the cake.
“Holy shit!” I blurted out. I wasn’t expecting that.
“Relax. I must speak with you. It is of the utmost importance.”
“Ok…” What else was I going to say? I slipped off the machine and we sat in the row of chairs meant for sitting.
“I am the god Anubis.” I stared at him blankly. “I am also your father.”
“But… but… you’re a dog.”
“Jackal. Luckily, you inherited your mother’s appearance.”
“But… but… you’re a dog.”
“I have come to see that your mother’s death is avenged.” He continued.
“You know what happened?” I finally found something constructive to say.
“Not everything. I will give this to you now.” He took a necklace from around his neck. I examined it having just noticed it for the first time. You don’t notice what a guy with a dog head is wearing. It was just a string with a feather attached to it.
“Is this Ma’at?” I said.
“Your mother taught you well. Your knowledge will be most useful to you.” He grinned as much as a dog/jackal can. “This will allow you to know what wrongs people have committed and to see the dead.” I quickly looked up at him. “Molly has already passed.” He added. It was the first time I had heard my mother’s name since she was murdered. “And you will need this.” He handed me an envelope. Inside was a one-way ticket to Egypt.
“This is only going to remind me of mom…” I felt tears starting to force their way up, again.
“You must go to Egypt to claim the rest of your birthright.”
“Who killed my mom?” I demanded. The shock was starting to wear off. This guy, god, whatever knew something about this mess.
“I do not know yet. I know it was not a mortal. Please, go to my home. You will find the tools you need to right this wrong there.”
The washing machine stopped spinning and buzzed. I got up and put everything in the nearest dryer. When I turned around, Anubis, the Egyptian God of the Dead, was still sitting in a plastic chair in a cheap, downtown laundromat. He started at me nobly. He wasn’t one for talk. I walked back over to him and he stood up. He was about seven feet tall.
“I am sorry I cannot tell you more right now. I will be in contact when you come back from Egypt.”
“The ticket’s one-way. I don’t have enough money to buy a return trip. I didn’t know you gods were such penny-pinchers.”
“You will find what you need to return there. Take care, my son.” And, with that, he walked out into the cold December night.
The plane trip was long. I had done this once before when I was very young. I looked a the picture of my mother and me with the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids in the background. After I landed, a short, well-dressed man in a turban greeted me at the terminal.
“Mr. McLaren, I have been expecting you.”
The streets of Cairo are cramped and noisy. After about an hour of traffic, we arrived at the famous Egyptian Museum. We weaved through rows and rows of sarcophagi and relics from Egypt’s past. The man, who had not yet given me his name, swiped a card, entered a code into a keypad, and opened the door to a room deep in the bowels of the museum. In the center of the room a lone box stood on an otherwise empty table. Various other items lined the walls. The box was adorned with scenes from the Weighing of the Heart; a carved jackal sat on the lid.
“This is what you have come so far to see.” He pulled up a small step-stool and motioned for me to do the same.
We carefully lifted the lid off and set it on the table. Inside were four things that didn’t belong in a box so old. Two guns, a backpack, and a ticket home.
“All of these are yours. The ticket should not make you leave for a few days. Please, I would be honored if you would spend some time here with us. It would give us some time to inform you further of your heritage. I believe this is a time called ‘Christmas’ in your homeland, is it not?”
Everything fit nicely into the backpack. I was worried when I got to the airport. I had two guns on me! But when customs opened the pack, it contained only a bunch of random crap. The clerk was puzzled by my amazement. I just smiled and picked up my new treasures. I went home knowing what these “tools” were for. I feel sorry for the poor bastard that did this to my mom… well, not really.