Excerpt from my WIP “Antiquity”
Summertime Publishing Company
Copyright © R. Weinstein, 2012
All rights reserved.
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Smashwords Edition, License Notes
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.Regina rested her head on the frigid, steel table, her headdress placed on the metal chair next to her. It had been hours since she’d last seen her Aunt Eudora before being taken into custody. She couldn’t remember how many times she’d gone over her story to the officer sitting across from her.
It had been several weeks since Regina had last spoken in Greek and the words felt foreign on her tongue. Although she had been allotted several bottles of spring water and already drained two of them, her mouth felt so incredibly dry. She bit her lip and looked down at her lap, blinking back the tears of frustration she refused to let fall. She ran a hand along her doeskin skirt, feeling the velvety softness of it, assuring herself that what had happened to her was indeed real. Exhausted from the questioning and her ordeal, Regina wearily insisted that what she told them all was true.
“But I did go back in time. I don’t know how. It just happened. If you don’t believe me, I have the scars to prove it. A Slink attacked me. The marks are still on my back.”
“Mmmm. A Slink. And a Slink is again … ?”
The officer with a receding hairline and thick bushy mustache thrummed his pudgy fingers on the table. Regina hated the way officer Argyros looked at her, as if she had missed her last dose of lithium.
The young, female officer in the gray pencil skirt stood off in the corner next to the two-way mirror, watching Regina but saying nothing. Her legs crossed at the ankles mimicked her arms resting in front of her white blouse. She leaned against the mirror, her steely eyes scanning Regina with cold, hard scrutiny.
Regina’s eyes slid to the two-way mirror, where a leaner version of herself stared back at her. She tucked a rogue dirty-blonde lock behind her ear and noted the dark, puffy circles under her emerald eyes. She was tired, too tired. Regina remembered how incredibly good she felt back home in the village. At least, it was home to her. It was a stark contrast to how she felt right then in the metal chair, at the metal desk, with the tape recorder slowly rotating its tiny gears and recording her pleas that they understand the truth in her words.
Argyros cleared his throat, pulling Regina’s thoughts back to her interrogation. He repeated his question.
“It’s like a giant, wild cat. It looks like a leopard.” Regina opened her eyes and looked from the pudgy officer to the female and back again. “Look, I’ve already told you this twice!”
Argyros nodded. “Mmmm. Why don’t we try it a third time?”
Regina sighed. She had been through so much in the past few weeks and none of it compared to being grilled by the Rhodes police detectives. Well, maybe almost getting roasted alive by a dragon named Eldrid could compare. She plopped her head onto her fist and closed her eyes for a moment, summing up the energy to tell her entire story again.
“We were exploring the ruins and Comanche ran into an old temple–”
“Who was exploring the ruins?”
“Me, my cousin Kostas, and his best friend, Nikos. But you know that because I’ve told you three times now.” Regina’s patience had run thin, if it hadn’t disappeared completely. She sighed again and continued. “We went in after Comanche and realized that the temple looked different than it should have. It was almost brand new. There was new paint, offerings on the altar, and torches on fire. We knew that it wasn’t supposed to be that way.”
“Mmmm. How did you know?” Argyros leaned forward. “Had you been there before?”
Regina shook her head. “I hadn’t been to the ruins since my last visit here.”
“So how did you know?”
“Because Kostas said so. He said they hadn’t renovated the temple. Anyway, so Comanche ran back outside and we followed him and when we came out, the rest of the area was brand new too. There was a flowing fountain, nice statues, and a group of Amazons was coming to the temple with more offerings.”
“How did you know they were Amazons again? Did they introduce themselves?”
“We didn’t know right away. We learned it later. They were speaking Amazonian.”
“Mmmm. And you understood them.” Argyros smirked at her. Regina narrowed her eyes at him. She didn’t like the way he made her feel, always questioning her statements, digging deeper when there was nothing more to reveal. At least officer Halkias just stood there, leaning against the wall, listening to her.
“No. But after a while, Nikos figured it out. He’s majoring in Linguistics, remember?”
Argyros nodded and motioned to her with his hand in a rotating gesture that said ‘move the story along,’ and then continued thrumming his fingers on the table.
“So they took us to the camp, it turned out that one of them, Terrat, spoke Greek and she helped us by translating. Nikos picked up the language fairly quickly as well. They said that I was supposed to be their new leader and they trained me so that I could go through the trials for the new queen.”
“Mmmm. And these trials were … ?”
“There were five, for wisdom, strength, compassion, courage, and the last one was I guess for truth. The last one was where I freed the Pegasus, who I named Mercury.”
“Right. Because you can talk to animals, too.” Argyros stopped thrumming his fingers, flexed them and then folded them on the table.
“I can! I’ve told you all of this twice! Why don’t you believe me?” Regina banged her fists on the table in aggravation.
“That temper’s going to get you in a lot of trouble, missy!”
“It already has!” she shot back.
“Oh?” Argyros leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms. “How so?”
Regina lowered her eyes, all the fire gone out from them as she realized just how much she missed her cousin already. “I got in a fight with Kostas.”
Argyros’ bushy eyebrows angled down over his eyes as he narrowed them at her. “Was that before or after you made him and Nikos disappear?”
“Before…wait.” Regina leveled an angry glare at Argyros. “I didn’t make them disappear! Just what are you getting at?”