(A very small excerpt from Book 1)
By ELISABETTA PANZICA
It was hard to look at them, an entire kingdom of people she loved, but Sahar forced herself, noticing Triana first. She had grown up to be a striking young woman, with raven black hair like her father. She would rule Egypt with compassion and grace. She was Sahar’s only daughter. All that was left of her world. And then there was Arisnoe, he ran past the procession, racing to her side, calling out her name. She tried not to look at him, the anguish in his voice made her heart sink. He had been like … like a son, she squeezed her eyes shut. They made a handsome pair, he and Triana. Sahar smiled, tears welling up inside of her. He was more than a son. So much more. She swallowed, afraid to come apart.
It seemed like yesterday that she had first stumbled upon this land, upon the boy Raven Feather and his brother and sister. Sahar sighed, it had been sixty years. This is where she had brought the young saviors, to this same the same wondrous edifice and watched them disappear into the ether. Sahar turned to face the pyramid. Her face knotted, and her jaw clenched, she would not see Tirana’s upcoming wedding, or her grandchildren, when they came. Nor would she witness her daughter’s rule.
This was the hardest thing she had ever done. Sahar wanted to turn back, to hold Triana in her arms one last time, but the procession would not stop, not even for her, the Queen of Atlantis. Today marked the end of their relationship, and of many friendships. It was time to let go. She had lived a full life.
Sahar stared at the pyramid. It was a grand structure, larger even than pharaoh’s tomb. She could taste the desert all around them, the grainy sand, the olive trees, and the Nile, its scent like newly fallen rain, sweet and humid. This would be the last time she would see the monument from the outside.
Sahar knelt, her skull ached, tears pricked her heart until it was raw. Flattened against the canvas of truth, she saw images of a future civilization. Atlantis would rise again. The images danced in her head. She cringed.
Evil had been put down at the expense of innocent lives. She herself played an influential role, and now, remorse was eating away at her very core. Powerful leaders who once controlled entire nations were exterminated. Weapons with the capacity to destroy the entire planet had been obliterated, and a New World erected, but all … all at the expense of the innocent.
Suddenly the illusion of life seemed all too real, her humanity almost concrete. Atlantis had become a part of her. She had lost herself in the illusion.
Sahar jumped, the pyramid rumbled behind her, Egyptian embalmers and priests rolled an 800 pound stone across the length of the entrance, sealing the tomb. Her breathing grew labored as the oxygen in that chamber became less available.
She was buried alive. Sahar lay down, wrestling to find comfort in the darkness. In her mind she could see an orange blur, flames flickering against stone, and waters rising higher even than the pyramid itself. Then suddenly, she was back in Atlantis, just as she had left it, so many, many years ago.