I won’t even explain this one. I’ll let it stand on its own, and if you want to know more, you’ll just have to buy the book 😛
The three of them stood in a stretch of golden desert. In the distance, barely visible, was a grove of palm trees. The treetops swayed gently in a breeze that Megan did not feel. The sun reflected off the white sand, nearly blinding them; it beat down on them with brutal ferocity. Behind them was more sand, and along the horizon ran a ragged mountain range. The peaks looked blue gray in the hazy heat.
Diedrich brushed the sand from his legs. “Excuse me? Ancient Egypt?”
Megan nodded. “Well, Sir Gregory’s version of it, anyway. We’re inside a story he’s written.”
“You people really are nuts. Where is my father?” Diedrich looked down at himself and swore loudly. “And what am I wearing?”
Megan giggled. Diedrich was bare-chested, with only a short white cloth draped around his waist. A wide collar of lapis lazuli, amethyst and gold hung around his neck, and a piece of wide-striped cloth, like a veil, sat on his head, secured with a gold circlet.
“Nice headdress,” Megan said. Her face twisted as she tried to hold in a laugh. Her own pajamas were gone, and both she and Claire wore simple, form-fitting, ankle-length white linen dresses with wide shoulder straps. Strands of lapis and amethyst beads hung around their necks, and several gold bangle bracelets on each wrist. All three had brown thong sandals on their feet.
“Is this a skirt?” Diedrich said. “Why am I wearing a skirt?”
“Because, in the book, we wear the clothes of the civilization we are in,” Claire said with a shrug, as if it should be the most obvious thing in the world.
“In the book?”
Megan rolled her eyes. Is he really this thick? “We told you that’s where we were going. It’s not my fault you didn’t believe us.”
“Look, we don’t have time right now. We have to find your father and Rachel. And some shade.”
A dark square of wood sat on the ground near where they had landed. Megan picked up the Book of the Dead and shook the sand from it.
“It made it,” Claire said. “I’m amazed. I really didn’t think it would. You’re brilliant.” She took the book and looked over the cover. “Megan, you do realize you can’t read this, right?”
“I know, it’s in hieroglyphics or something,” Megan said. “But there should be a translation in the back. I saw it in there before.”
Claire turned the book over and opened the back cover. “Nope, sorry.” She showed it to Megan—the tag Sir Gregory had taped inside the cover and translation were gone.
Diedrich gave her a sidelong glance. “You really can’t read hieroglyphics?”
Megan groaned. “Uh, no, duh. This is great. Now what are we going to do?”
Diedrich took the book from Claire and looked through it. He put his arm around Megan’s shoulders and leaned close to her ear.
“You don’t think, being the son of an Egyptologist, that I never learned anything?”
Megan raised her eyebrows in an unspoken reply. Diedrich nodded.
She threw her arms around his neck, any suspicion she had about him forgotten. “I am so glad we brought you along.”
“Yes, well, I’m glad I can be of some use. Look, wherever we really are, and however you managed to get us here, can we get going, perhaps? It’s getting hot.”