A/N: Hi everybody, I don't know if you read my older fanfiction titled "Books of Law," but this is essentially a rewrite. I'm a freshman in high school now, and I can definitely say that my writing has improved since February. I've decided to incorporate both POVs into the chapter- Evie's and Willow's, to lengthen it but also to keep a more general time flow. Third person, though- I believe it keeps more of a serious tone, of which I did not have quite as much of in the old version.
If you need more information on the setting, its the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park/Borrego Springs, California, and I'm sure Wikipedia can provide you with some information there. The Scorpion King movie was actually filmed quite a bit there, which I just found out about this week which prompted a rewrite.
Also, Willow is entirely of my creation, while Evie's character among others will be somewhat similar to the original two movie's written versions of them. Evie is a mix of the first movie and second movie, for sure. Rick is Rick. Jonathan is Jonathan. Ardeth is Ardeth. Alex is Alex.
I hope you have as much fun reading this as I have writing it. Please R&R and let me know what you think of how I'm writing the characters!
Driving… the trip seemed to take forever. Willow kept her eyes on the high desert surroundings as she rode with her mother. She was tired- it was close to sundown. The mountains cast grand shadows on the desert floor below them. She could see the Salton Sea in the distance, though it was getting a little dark. Civilization only went so far in the desert, though two or three roads lead off in the distance, though dirt paths were scattered across the desert floor. Brush seemed to cover the desert. There were only a few hills far out- one specifically held tons of fossils. But motorcycle riders took up a lot of that land, further out. She didn't really like the destruction of such a historic, fascinating environment, but with humanity in the 21st century, it was inevitable.
She listened to slow, old music in her tattered earbuds. Anything to clear her mind. She was tired, and she was prepared for her friends to be filled with energy when she arrived at their condo down in the desert. Her friend Sienna owned it, she and their friend Jennifer had driven down the day after with Jen's older brother, Luke, who was going to be camping, At 16, Willow and the girls could technically drive, but not together. But all Willow really wanted to do was read.
She'd picked up a book, recommended to her by her English teacher. She hadn't known why the teacher recommended it- perhaps to prepare for world history, But thanks to her teacher's enthusiasm, Willow was more than excited to pick it up. "Its an action novel," her teacher had told her, typing the title into Google to show her the cover. "Well, technically its factual, but it's written to be exciting and at the same time educational." All Willow could do was trust her teacher's judgement, and soon learn for herself. After that day of school, Willow had driven herself to Barnes and Noble. Willow searched in the fiction section- before finding herself in the historical section. O… O… she found it. The Mummy, written by Evelyn O'Connell, and bought the book using her parent's money (which, she'd have to find an excuse for doing).
Willow was lost in thought again. Her mother hated that, for she too was an intellectual but did require some conversation.
"Sorry, what?" Willow turned, looking at her mother. Her mother was looking at the road, making a left as the whole desert floor came into view, It was gorgeous. Oh! Willow had forgotten to take out her left earbud, just so she might hear anything her mother had to say. She did so, a little embarrassed.
"Are you embarrassed that I drove you?"
"No, Mom, why would I be?" Willow's voice showed genuine confusion.
"Well, I'm not letting you drive this road yet, and I'm wondering if your friends are."
"Mom, its fine… and they aren't. I'm pretty sure Luke, Jen, and Sienna came from Scissor's Crossing," Scissor's Crossing was a different route, one much simpler to drive, though Willow far preferred the views from the regular route on Montezuma Valley Road.
"Oh," her mother said plainly, before going back to driving. Willow frowned, before putting her earbuds back in. Time seemed to inch away so slowly. Willow almost found herself falling asleep by the time they were close to the bottom of the hill. The town at the bottom, Borrego Springs, was small, a population of about 3,400, give or take. There were gift shops, a library, a bar, a grocery store, and a couple of restaurants but nothing else. Campers though, drove through the town constantly. Willow knew the real reason why Jen's family came down there so often- to get away from the hustle and bustle of their neighborhood. There was no rush in the desert.
In about ten minutes, they arrived at Jen's family condo, where Willow's mom parked the car. WIllow took her bags out, and her mom (who was staying for one night and driving back in the morning) did the same.
The condo itself wasn't too fancy, but it was a gem in the desert. Willow felt at home there, even if it wasn't her own condo. A brown colored door lead to a living room, where a hallway lead off to three bedrooms and two bathrooms. She knocked on the hard, old door, and was greeted by Sienna's mom, who too was going to leave in the morning and give the girls a weekend to themselves.
"Hey Willow! The girls are in the room, come on in!" Mrs. Goldberg's voice was loud, and Willow had not seen quite so loud of an answer coming.
Willow smiled, and spoke quickly and much quieter in response, "It's nice to see you, Mrs. Goldberg. Thank you for letting me stay."
"Aw, we love to have you! By the way, where's your mom?"
"Still at the car. She'll be here any minute."
"Good to hear. Good to see you too, kiddo."
Willow hated being called kiddo, so once she was inside and away from Mrs. Goldberg, she rolled her eyes. She dragged her suitcase into the bedroom, where Sienna and Jen were passed out, homework on each respective bunk bed. Willow couldn't help but laugh a little. All that worrying about them being over-energetic for nothing. The only thing she had to worry about was Mrs. Goldberg and her lack of knowledge over what an inside voice is.
Willow got ready for bed, pretty quickly- teeth and all. She changed into a pair of pajamas and turned off the main room lights before slipping into bed. She used a small light placed under the top bunk to see what she was doing. Her book was the first thing that she touched. Time to dive in… she thought, before opening to the first chapter.
Cairo, 1923. I could be found sorting and organizing books in the library ninety-five percent of the time. It wasn't necessarily surprising, I'd worked at the library for quite awhile. One day, specifically in April, my brother Jonathan approached me, holding a map that supposedly lead to the fabled city of Hamunaptra. Before I continue, I should explain what and where Hamunaptra is.
Legends had arisen about a city called Hamunaptra, deep in Egypt- the city of the dead. It was lost, only one map existed and sightings of it were unheard of. My brother Jonathan and I grew up on stories about the dreaded Hamunaptra- I don't believe either of us ever expected to actually discover it. Yet this tale stuck with me, even in my adulthood. I couldn't forget the vivid descriptions my mother had given me- not ever. Especially after she and my father perished in a plane crash. I dedicated my life to the study of Ancient Egypt based on these stories.
"This cannot possibly be the real map-" Soon, I observed the genuine papyrus more carefully, shocked. "Jonathan, how did you get this?" And with that question, he explained to me that he'd stolen it from a drunk at a bar, who'd been arrested soon after. I was absolutely excited, so I took it to the head librarian, who accidentally burnt off a good quarter of the map. Jonathan and I would have no choice but to meet the man who he'd stolen the map from. That's where the adventure begins, really. From that day forward, my life changed forever.
Willow found herself entranced, once she got past the introduction. Evelyn's words, past the expositioning, were so full of description and thought, that Willow found herself questioning if it was fiction or reality. Yet all sources pointed to it being a true story, which boggled her mind. Soon, she found Evelyn, Jonathan, and the recently introduced, swash-buckling Rick O'Connell at the ancient city of Hamunaptra, facing impossible creatures and plagues.
It was midnight when she finally put the long, deeply intelligent book down. But Evelyn had barely just introduced the mummy Imhotep, describing his rotting flesh as "still juicy." Willow had self-control, though- two hours of deep reading was enough and she decided to put down the book. She'd read two hundred drawn out pages, which wasn't entirely bad.
Tomorrow, she decided, she would read the rest of the book. No matter how long it took. She sighed, taking her dark hair out of its bun and getting comfortable in this unfamiliar bed. If the girls are hiking tomorrow, I don't care. I'm finishing that goddamn book. God, Willow, why are you such a nerd? She wondered to herself, before settling into a spot on the bed.
Evie woke up at around eight in the morning to talking outside of her room. It was a cold October day- she was only warmed by the fluffy comforter of which she and Rick shared- though he was already up and moving. She lay in bed for a moment, staring up at the ceiling, lost in thought, before sighing to herself and getting up. She threw on one of her, now signature, cardigans over her nightdress, and walked out of the bedroom. There stood the museum curator, arguing with her husband.
"You let the goddamn mummy go missing?" Rick and the man stood downstairs. Rick was fuming, while the curator managed to remain calm.
"Mr. O'Connell, I don't know why the men were even digging for him. They practically destroyed hamunaptra- they're sure he's gone."
"Where the hell would he be?"
"Rick, play nice," Evie called from her position upstairs. "Hafez, are there any possible explanations off the top of your head?"
"I'm afraid not, Evelyn. The mummy is missing."
"That just seems a little… unrealistic," Evelyn descended the stairs, well aware that her hair and overall appearance was not her most composed. "We watched his body, er- sink into Hamunaptra, so to say. He's got to be there somewhere."
One last shake of Hafez's head. "I'm sorry, Mrs. O'Connell, but I do not care to make this conversation go on for much longer. I expect to see you at the museum in two hours. Goodday, O'Connells," Hafez's excusing of himself pissed Rick off- it was so obvious, making Evie have to be extra careful with what she said.
"Rick, Rick, dear, it's going to be alright-"
"Evie, he has an explanation and if I could get it out of him-"
"Yes, yes, I know, I know we'd be on a train to Egypt right now, but there are more important things, Rick. We need to focus on the present- I have work at the museum to tend to…" Evie took his hands. "Rick, why don't you and Alex come to the museum today, as father and son? That way you can bully the hell out of Mr. Hafez, and Alex can be in his paradise."
Rick looked down at her hands, and then back up. Evie braced herself for his possible reaction. "Well-" A pause, one Evie found uncomfortable. "Alright." Evie was relieved.
"Okay. I'm going to go get ready. You go wake up Alex."
As Evie was getting ready, she couldn't help but cautiously eye her unfinished manuscript which lay on her bedside table. Would she ever finish it? She had only written up to her first encounters with the corpse of Imhotep. She was almost afraid to write about her mistake of reading from the Book of the Dead, though it was a very vital part of her story. Yet Evie left for work, abandoning her writing and focusing once more on the reality at present. The first thing that she dealt with was in fact not the disappearance of Imhotep, but the donation of a "Book of Time."
"Have you read from it? Where'd you find it? What does it do?" Evie seemed to be asking the explorer who found it a million questions- he appeared very overwhelmed. But he answered everything with almost a confident tone.
"I found it in the Hamunaptra ruins, but the only thing I've read from it is the title. I don't know many hieroglyphics."
To that, Evie offered to read, but Hafez, who among many others had heard about her incident with the Book of the Dead, told her that he'd read it himself to make sure it was safe. Evie had rolled her eyes and muttered something about equality under her breath. Hafez took the book away. If Evie hasn't been looking for a certain artifact in the storage, she would've missed a vital event.
"Where is that statue..." she said to herself, quietly walking among the large historic collection. It was a medium size statue of Anubis, about three feet tall with flaking paint, though it was mainly faded. Another voice startled her. It was that of the curator Hafez, standing over a table with a page from the Book of Time open on it. He was reading a line of Ancient Egyptian, of which he followed by Anza-Borrego, October 9th, 2017. 2017? That seemed odd. The date was nearly a century away. But the curator disappeared right after, out of thin air. Holy shit… Evie thought to herself, before scolding herself for cursing. It seemed so unreal… granted, she'd seen walking mummies, but this was even more astonishing.
It didn't take Evie long to practically run out of the storage room and yell for Rick. It wasn't long before the man came running, clearly worried about why she was yelling so loud.
"Evie, what's wrong?"
"Hafez, the curator, he… he was reading from the Book of Time-"
"A book, similar to the Books of the Dead and Living, I believe. An explorer who I'm not familiar with donated it to the museum today. And if I'm correct, this book transported Hafez to a year far in the future… 2017."
"Wait a minute… why 2017?"
"Exactly, Rick. Why 2017…?" She looked up at Rick, hoping that he'd catch on.
"You don't mean…?"
"Yes, that's exactly what I mean. I'm going to use the book and follow Hafez there." Evie had made up her mind, and there was no way of changing it. Evie knew that Rick would try, but she was as stubborn as a bull sometimes and would put her foot down.
"Evelyn, that isn't the smart choice."
"I know it isn't, Rick, but we're dealing with Imhotep again so I am once more allowed to be unrealistic. If you have a problem with that, you and Ardeth are welcome to follow me. I'll give you the date." Evie began walking towards the storage area. Rick followed her, furious.
"Are you out of your mind?"
"No, no, I'm quite sane, actually. Hafez goes to us about Imhotep and then time-travels away from us? I don't think it's coincidental!" There was quite some fire to her tone, as she walked quickly down the hallway, repeating the date in her head. October 9th, 2017… She couldn't forget it.
"Evie, just listen to me, don't do it! What if you accidentally turn up on a battlefield of a second world war? What if you got killed in the future?"
"This is a risk I'm willing to take! We can't let Imhotep attack the future when there's something we can do about it!"
"Who says he's in the future?"
"Look, Rick, I'm going, and if you have a problem with that, you can divorce me." There was a pause, an uncomfortable one. "Rick, you aren't possibly considering…"
"If it means so much to you, would you let me divorce you over it?" They came to the table, where the Book remained open. Evie stood over the book, her fingers running over her wedding ring.
"Rick, the future of the world is in danger…" she trailed off, looking down at the hieroglyphics. "Oh my… Rick, there are prophecies written here…" She began to read the writing, her finger following her eye. "The downfall of the Roman empire, the American revolution, the great war…" There was a prophecy about another world war, but Evie avoided that as much as possible to keep up her hope. "Armageddon… by man."
"That's gotta be our guy."
"Yes, yes- hold on…" She read further. "In a desert far from lands known to civilization, an immortal will gather books placed by the gods and use them to kill off mankind and create a paradise for him and his love."
"Yep, we've found him." Evie looked up at Rick, who frowned. "I hate to let you do this."
"I'll leave instructions. Find Ardeth, he'll read for you. The date…" she messily wrote down October 10th (a day after, to give her some time to explore and become familiar with her surroundings), "and…" Anza-Borrego. She wondered whether that could possibly be. Perhaps it was in America, maybe in California which she heard was close to Mexico. It had a very Spanish feel to it. Rick made his way to Evie, before embracing her.
"Goodbye, Evelyn," Rick whispered, "I love you."
"I love you too.. but I'll see you there, in the future," Evie twisted her head so she could look at him. His face showed signs of worry, and Evie didn't want him to be.
"Right… but I don't want to have to wait 90 years to kiss you again."
"Who says you have to?" The two shared a kiss, before Evie broke the kiss. "I have to do this, here and now. I'll see you soon."
"See you soon," Rick sighed, letting go of Evie. Evie smiled, a little bittersweetly, and then looked down at the book. She shouldn't have been so afraid, yet staring down at the hieroglyphics she couldn't help but be terrified.
"Right, then…" her words were unsure. She didn't like being unsure. But she spoke the Egyptian with utter confidence, before stating her destination. She closed her eyes.
And then she blinked.