The Pharoah

23rd February 2022

Prompted by the word ‘Explore’

As we entered the tunnel, the drop in temperature made your hair stand on end, from the desert heat to the cold underground oppressiveness of an ancient tunnel put all of us on edge. We had followed the clues in the journal that Evelyn had found in the British Museum archives.

I suppose I should introduce the whole party. Jack has provided the funding. He is an antiquarian who seems to have unlimited funds that none of us knows the source of. Amelia is a pilot and adventurer. She flew us out to the site, and I am amazed at what she can do with a plane. Then there is Cecil. He is a climber by trade and is here to ensure we are safe when exploring the unknown tunnels we have discovered. I have already mentioned Evelyn. She works for the British Museum and has assembled this team, but I do not know much more about her. I am Jennifer. I am a photographer and a pioneer in moving pictures. I am here to document this expedition.  

The first tunnel was plain, with rough walls and floors. It was astounding to think we were the first people to step here in around three thousand years. After about an hour, we reached a dead end. The blockage stumped us until Jack pressed on one particular stone slab, and a door fell open, revealing a drop of some fifteen feet to another passage. We could see reflections of colour down there. Cecil set up some climbing ropes, and we dropped down to the lower level. The sight took our breath away.

A perfect passageway with painted walls and covered in hieroglyphs. Amelia and Jack had some knowledge of this ancient language and translated it as best as they could. They seemed to tell of events in the Eighteenth Dynasty, founded by Ahmose I. There was something else, though, something that they could not translate. Something darker.  

We reached another doorway. This one had seven hieroglyphs painted on it. Neither Amelia nor Jack recognised some of them, and Evelyn confirmed that these were unknown. The closest we could guess was that they were a duck, a pelican, a platypus along with a palm tree, walk, snake and an Ankh, which was inverted. I took photos and film as best I could with the flickering torches we had.

We puzzled over this for a long time. Some of the creatures could not have been known by the ancient Egyptians, so why were these hieroglyphs here? After a while, Evelyn sprung up and went to the door. She was excited as she traced her finger over them in a precise order. Duck, walk, palm tree, pelican, ankh, snake, and, finally, platypus. The door slid open.

The chamber walked into was like nothing on Earth. Strange, indescribable statues, painted walls with scenes from unknown worlds. A colossal throne was at the end of the room, and on it sat a figure, a Pharoah, black like the night. I tried to take photos, but my hands were trembling. In his blackness, you could see stars, planets, galaxies. He stood and beckoned us closer. We had no power to resist.

 Behind the throne, there was nothing until the Pharoah made a gesture. The far wall now showed scenes from other countries, other worlds, other planes. We all walked towards it and then into it.

I never saw my companions again. Now, I am suspended in space. I have my camera, and I still film the universe as it spins and grows. The Pharoah visits occasionally but never speaks. I pray no one else has found what Amelia, Cecil, Evelyn, Jack and I found.

Copyright: Andrew Miles February 2022