Chapter One

Chapter One

A Chapter by Autumn

Investigating an ancient tomb.


Daniel Penrose pulled his hat down over his green eyes to help protect them from the blowing sand as he carefully put one foot in front of the other, trying not to collapse from the dreadful heat of the Sahara Desert. He stole another swig from his water skin, eyeing a flag that a man in front of him was carrying. It depicted the symbol of his company, the Federation of International Archeology, and blew harshly in the wind, the sand slowly tearing it apart, like it was sinking in a vat of acid.


   His excitement rose as he spotted their destination in the distance: an ancient tomb which was believed to be the grave of a man ten times the size of the average human. If the rumors were true, it could be a very jarring discovery for the world, and Daniel felt privileged to be the leader of the expedition team that would explore the tomb.


   Mr. Herman, Daniels boss, had even brought his own expedition team, so they could explore around the outside of the tomb, as by the pictures, it seemed almost alien. Daniel found it rather inconvenient that Jeramiah would stick with Mr. Herman's team, because he couldn't be expected to command a team efficiantly if he could not speak their language.


   "Das ist ziemlich erstaunlich. Ich habe noch nie so etwas," said one of the men following him. His team was made up of mostly Germans, which he found rather odd, but he dared not question it. He found their language and culture quite fascinating. However, it was frustrating when they talked too fast for him to translate what they were saying.


   When he was close enough to see the tomb clearly, he came to a stop so he could examine it. The rumors had proved right thus far; it was the most alien thing he had ever seen.


   "Lassen sie uns gehen," said another.


   "Nein, wir warten auf die team leader zu geben." The five German men looked to Daniel. He stared them down hesitantly, not too sure what they were saying, as he was too tired to really translate properly. He wondered where Jeramiah could have possibly run off to, but by what he could translate in his tired state, he suspected they were only eager to go inside.


   He nodded and said, "All right, then, follow me." Shivers ran up his spine at the thought of going inside, and he almost didn't want to.


   They descended stone steps lightly covered with sand to a platform below. An entrance wide enough for one man lay in the sandstone wall, and Daniel took the lead. He fumbled with a tinderbox and lit a torch he held in his left hand. The light purged the darkness and revealed a long hallway with Egyptian glyphs along the walls at eye level.


   Daniel stayed at least ten paces ahead of his men and examined the floor intently. There was an intriguing design on it that seemed to lead somewhere.


   "Die donkelhelt scheint es unnatürlich, nicht es?" said one of the men.


   The word "unnatürlich" struck a bone in Daniel and he hesitantly agreed with the man, as the word meant "unnatural". It almost felt as if the darkness engulfed their light.


   Sand filled the cracks in the stone floor as it weaved its way down the hallway. As Daniel watched the design, the more familiar it seemed to him, though he couldn't put his finger on it. Finally, he reached a point where the hallway intersected with another, and he turned back to the five men following him.


   "Leon and Axel, explore that hall," he instructed and pointed to his right. The two men hurried off, carefully examining each crack and crevice they came upon. "Bruno and Christof, you take that hall." He pointed to his left and they departed excitedly. Only the shortest man was left. "Karl, come with me."


   Daniel cautiously continued down his hallway, as quiet as a mouse, and examined the walls. Vines and forest vegetation, despite being in the middle of a scorching hot desert, covered the walls. The design on the floor grew more intricate and drew him forward, as if someone was guiding him.


   The tomb did not stink of rotten corpses, nor were there any coffins to be found. He was starting to feel as if there was no giant's body, and that it wasn't a tomb at all. The more he thought about it, the more it felt like a sanctuary. He could only reassure himself that, logically, the hallway couldn't lead to just nothing.


   The corridor stopped abruptly and opened up into a large room. Daniel hesitated to step inside. It gave off the most terrifying vibration.


   "Das ist beunruhigend," stated Karl, behind him.


   Daniel nodded, pretending he understood the man, and shoved his fears aside, marching in. His footsteps reverberated off the walls and pounded against his ears. The torchlight lit the room, but just barely. The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end as he inspected what lay before him. The room was utterly bare. The design on the floor stopped, there were no glyphs on the walls, no columns, and no coffins. The fact that it was so amazingly empty made it all the more startling.


   The ground shook and rocks fell, one by one, to cave him in the room. His breathing grew quicker and he dropped his torch, now blown out by a gust of wind.


   The fear of his black surroundings consumed him and he fell to the floor. He tried to pull in a heavy breath, but his airway cut off. Only the beat of his heart pounded in his ears. His vision finally flashed white before he lost consciousness, overtaken by his fear of the unknown.

© 2011 Autumn

My Review

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I would have loved a bit more detail, a bit more characterization, since this is the beginning and the pivotal point on where the story will go, how it will unwind. I also did not like the ending at all. It was very abrupt, very curt and done. I wish that the ending could have been built upon. The rocks fall, he loses consciousness.
Also,some sentences come off as clunky.

Posted 10 Years Ago

0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

welll look i am not a good critique but i know this is good and it is different from stories i read so far good!:)

Posted 10 Years Ago

Love the edited version. Very well done. Now we just got to work on introducing the time period.

Posted 10 Years Ago

0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

What an exciting chapter. The ending was definitely thrilling and to tell you the truth I'm a bit creeped out by the whole feel of the tomb.

Though I love the opening, I do think we need a bit more detail here. Why not start this chapter with Daniel getting out from behind the wheel of his 4 wheel drive jeep? This way you can focus on the area he finds himself in and his opinion on it. It could also be a great way to introduce the name of the company he works for when he pulls up to the excavation site - perhaps there's a sign that has the name of it?

Also, this particular part doesn't really make sense to me.

"It was rare that he ever left the office, let alone go on an expedition with the federation, but Daniel imagined it must have been a pretty important discovery to drag the man out. Shivers ran up his spine just looking at it."

Clearly Daniel realizes the importance of this discovery considering that it's giving him shivers as he's looking at it. So why would he imagine that it might be important? I would also add where exactly this expedition is located from the start. For example:

"It was rare that Daniel was ever given the opportunity to leave the office grounds, unless the boss, Mr. ___, called for a coffee run or some last minute emergency errand. Sure he worked his way to the top, proving himself worthy enough to lead his very own research team, though even that wasn't enough to earn the respect of Mr.____.

I really like the idea of surrounding Daniel in an area he's unfamiliar and uncomfortable with. The german workers are a nice touch (just be careful though - it's starting to sound a bit like Indiana Jones).
When Daniel is eavesdropping on their german conversations, why not translate them into english? Make it broken up, to show that Daniel is struggling to translate it perfectly for us. But it could create an interesting or even peculiar effect.

When in the tomb or sanctuary, I strongly recommend adding a lot more detail, since this is the most exciting and mysterious part of the chapter. As a reader I feel robbed by the fact that I barely know anything about it (I.E. What it looks, smells and even sounds like from Daniel's perspective.
When the secret passageway opens up, delay the caving in moment. Let us peek around a bit in the room, scare us with anticipation, and then deliver the thrill.

A great chapter again. Can't wait to read the rest!

Posted 10 Years Ago

2 of 3 people found this review constructive.

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4 Reviews
Added on June 14, 2011
Last Updated on July 24, 2011
Tags: tomb, sancturary, german, men, expedition, team, project, leader, daniel, penrose



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