An Ancient History Action Adventure
An accident of birth prevents Abel, first born son of King Solomon, from inheriting the Throne of David. Instead he is apprenticed to a Bedouin spice merchant and trained to become a palace flunky. He must find a way to gain what he perceives is his denied birthright without killing his father.
Meanwhile a life threatening incident forces him further and further away from the City of David. He is the sole witness to the murder of the Kemetian High Priest. The two killers chase him across the middle eastern deserts and the Middle Sea until he turns about and faces his nemesis with the help of friends. A hurricane spawned tornado adds to his misery and blows him to a distant land known only to a select few Phoenician mariners. Here, he encounters a fierce Jaguar culture and the two lady-loves of his life. All these conflicts must be resolved.
The half naked youth stretched face down along side a length of smooth thick wood protruding from the sand. His left arm draped the exposed piece of steering board. Ragged lines of foamy bubbles lathered his feet - the diffused remains of a pounding surf that raced in from off shore.
A short distance away, a royal procession trooped through the steamy tropical jungle onto the wind-washed beach of hard packed sand. First, came the flankers who ranged ahead to ward off trouble from wild beasts or disgruntled citizens. Next, a six-man squad of spear carrying Jaguar warriors dressed in the skins of flayed jungle cats picked their way through the pillars of palms. They arrayed themselves in a defensive line as a four-posted palanquin roofed with iridescent green, crimson and yellow quetzalli feathers followed. Four stout men carried the ornate platform onto the sand. A few steps further, the sole female occupant waved a bracelet-spangled arm and signaled a halt. The bearers set down the palanquin and made sure its four legs stood firm with no wobble. Each man flicked the sweat off his brow and faced seaward to catch the incoming breeze. The cooling relief from humid heat was immediate.
From behind the palanquin, a bevy of chattering, brightly dressed maidens swarmed around the princess as she stepped down from the royal seat. She stretched and yawned. Freshening flurries of wind molded her simple white cotton garment to her youthful body. A purple ribbon tied her long black hair like a sheath of maize. She undid the knot and her tresses streamed away from her shoulders.
Another squad of Jaguar warriors brought up the rear. They fanned out and faced the green wall from which they had just emerged.
The princess strolled up the beach littered with clumps of driftwood, stooping occasionally to pick up a seashell or a piece of flotsam. After a cursory examination, she would either toss the piece away or hand it to one of her attendants who stuffed the object into a mesh bag. She noticed the shore debris got thicker. Where did all this stuff come from? She looked up to widen her view.
A Jaguar flanker ran toward her. He halted gasping for breath. “A body! Up ahead! Lashed to some kind of pole! Barely alive!”
The flanker led her and the women, whose chatter rose in proportion to their swelling curiosity, to the washed ashore young man. Another flanker scooped away the sand and cut the rope that tied him to the board.
The princess clapped her hands to her mouth and stifled a gasp. She suppressed her excitement and said with a calm voice, “The sun blisters his pale skin. Find some aloes to cool his body.”
She motioned to the captain of the Jaguars. “Move him to the jungle’s shade and make a shelter,” she said. “Pick two trusted men to stay with him and I shall select a maidservant to nurse him back to reasonable health.”
Captain Baktari did not like taking orders from a woman,especially from one not of his people.He and his men were here only because his king ordered him to accompany the princess as a conciliatory gesture after the Cuexteca ball team lost the Game of Life or Death. His disdain was obvious, “It shall be as you wish, Princess.” Pretending he did not see the excitement in her eyes, he said, “May I ask why you take these extraordinary measures for someone who is nearly dead?”
His contemptuous sneer rankled the princess. She faced him with a withering stare and said, “The why is none of your business, Captain. It is true he may die. If so, so be it. If he survives, I will have an interesting pawn to use the next time we confront you Rubber People in the game of Pitz.”
The captain’s mirthless smile matched his vacuous eyes. “I have heard that your father calls you the wisest of his offspring.”
The princess ignored the jeer and called for her palanquin.
He motioned to two of the Jaguars. “Assuming this piece of hurricane trash gets well enough to travel,” he said, “you will escort him and his nurse to our homeland border at Pantolan. Do not cross the river. Our obligation to the princess ends at the riverbank. The other side is Cuextex land so let them manage on their own. If he dies, bury him deep."
He pointed toward the tree line. "Meanwhile, build a shelter over there."
In a more conspiratorial tone he lowered his voice so the princess would not hear. "Anything can happen between here and the river," he said. "I would not be surprised if some kind of accident overtakes them...if you understand my meaning." The two warriors looked at each other and grinned in understanding.
Ben Solomon is available from www.sarahbookpublishing.com, Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, or your favorite bookstore. Retail price is $18.95.
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