Continuing on with my paranormal romance set in ancient Egypt…Nima and Kamin have been captured by a caravan master who plans to sell them to the pursuing enemy. Nima challenges the man to a game of senet, with her life and Kamin’s as the stakes and a blood oath between herself and the caravan master that they’ll each honor the outcome. Ptahnetamun, the caravan master, brings out a gameboard and they play, with Kamin, all the caravan workers and many of the caravan passengers watching. Today’s excerpt seems a bit spoiler-y but so many people wanted to see how the game ends…
(Based on my research and my consolidation of the differing views, painted sticks rather than dice were thrown to determine the number of spaces moved by a pawn. My sticks are black-and-white and earlier in the book I explained the points scoring system but basically if a white side is showing when the stick comes to rest, that’s worth one point and the pawn can advance one space. )
…Nima dropped the sticks on the table, much as Ptahnetamun had done a few moments before. As the counters rolled and spun, all eyes following their path across the table, a cold breeze swept across the campsite, causing the fire to dance and flicker eerily. One black side, then one white side to secure half the needed points. Two sticks kept going, tumbling ever more slowly. A white side—one more hard-won point. The fourth stick slid lazily across the table, black side showing, before taking an odd jump, ending on the white side and giving her the needed third point.
“You won,” Kamin said, half in disbelief.
Deliberately, touching each square in turn, Nima moved her pawn off the board, saying as she did so, “Victory is ours.”
VS sez: Ah, but how does Ptahnetamun react?
I love and appreciate your comments and feedback every week! Go here to find all the other Weekend Writing Warriors and read an amazing variety of terrific excerpts…
Egypt, 1500 BCE
Nima’s beauty and skill as a dancer leads an infatuated enemy to kidnap her after destroying an Egyptian border town. However, she’s not the only hostage in the enemy camp: Kamin, an Egyptian soldier on a secret mission for Pharaoh, has been taken as well. Working together to escape, the two of them embark on a desperate quest across the desert to carry word of the enemy’s invasion plans to Pharaoh’s people.
As they flee for their lives, these two strangers thrown together by misfortune have to trust in each other to survive. Nima suspects Kamin is more than the simple soldier he seems, but she finds it hard to resist the effect he has on her heart. Kamin has a duty to his Pharaoh to see his mission completed, but this clever and courageous dancer is claiming more of his loyalty and love by the moment. Kamin starts to worry, if it comes to a choice between saving Egypt or saving Nima’s life…what will he do?
Aided by the Egyptian god Horus and the Snake Goddess Renenutet, beset by the enemy’s black magic, can Nima and Kamin evade the enemy and reach the safety of the Nile in time to foil the planned attack?
Can there ever be a happy future together for the humble dancer and the brave Egyptian soldier who is so much more than he seems?