Today was payday and I was about to deliver a reality check. I wasn't going to let some sugar daddy give my tootsie a roll. Not that I can blame him. Who could resist 6 feet of blue eyed red hot southern charm, which is why I was on my way to Leroy "who's your daddy"Burfield's juke joint.
With it being the Christmas season and all, I planned on only half killing him. Who knew Mel, a scrap of an ancient papyrus, and my curiosity would lead to a modern day murder. Oh, right , I was only going to maim him.
Somewhen in an Amazon village
"Xena."Gabrielle looked over at her partner, who was sitting on a fur with bits of leather and tack surrounding her. The cold and snow had forced everyone in the village to huddle around their hearths fighting off the fingers of cold that tried to poke their way in.
Xena looked up from the piece of harness she was working on, "What?"Gabrielle
had decided to use her hours of captivity to catch up on her Amazon law and rituals.
She sat on the bed amidst
mounds of very old and smelly scrolls.
"I'm having a problem with some of these scrolls. I think this last bunch is written on some kind of skin. Don't these people throw anything away?' She held up a ragged piece of leather that had seen better days.
"Well Gabrielle,"Xena drawled. "Maybe the queen could gather some amazons, who happen to be sitting on their butts, and give them a bucket of ink to recopy them. I wouldn't ask for volunteers though, even with the cold you will get zero warriors stepping up."
Gabrielle's face did a fast break into the most sinister grin that Xena had seen in a while. "I know just the three to start with. I think its time they got in touch with their roots."
I warned them. I told Ephiny her queen hated practical jokes. Xena picked up her bit of harness and once again worked on the worn piece. "Would you like me to retrieve them for you? My legs could use a stretch."
"Thanks Xena. I'll try and sort these into some kind of order."Gabrielle frowned at the skins. It was hard to tell where to start first; all of them looked older than dirt.
Xena finished up with her harness, left her nest on the fur, grabbed a cloak
and headed out into the cold.
Melinda Pappas very carefully dusted off the lid of the wooden chest she was trying to free from the earth. Though fragile, it had not rotted away and seemed to be intact. A little at a time she cleared away the dirt that trapped it. Finally, with a little pull, the box was in her hands.
"Janice."She hollered at the blond who was working the trench on the other side of the dig. A blond head popped up and Mel, with the box in hand, trotted over to share her find.
"What treasures you got for me Mel?"Janice Covington brushed her hands against her pants and climbed out of the trench. She smiled at her lover's eagerness, as she ran her eyes up and down Mel's frame. There was a hundred reasons why Mel should never of had anything to do with her, but much to Janice's surprise, the southerner had bestowed upon her a depth of love that sometimes scared the hell out of her.
Mel held the box out for Janice to examine. "Lets take it over to the tent and see if we can open this baby."Janice said as she took the chest from Mel. "Its not very heavy so I think we can rule out a 100 grand in old coins."She set the chest down on the table and searched it for any crests or personal sigils that might identify the owner. It was what it was, a plain wooden chest with no discerning marks.
Janice picked up a chisel from the table top and gently pried the lid open. They both leaned in , peering at the scrolls that had been stuffed into the chest. "I think it belongs to you Mel,"Janice commented as she tried to read a scroll she had opened. "I can't make head nor tails of this. In fact I can barely make out the text."
Mel gently took the scroll from Janice and began to translate the writing. Her hands began to shake and she whispered, "Oh my god."She set the scroll down grabbed Janice, a hug and several kisses later said one word, " Amazons."
Though Janice had kept the faith, believing Xena when she had told her the
amazons had really existed, and history insisted on a tribe of women warriors,
she had doubted there would be any proof left to verify this. She tenderly ran
her fingers down the chest. This was better then a ticker tape parade down 5th
avenue. Eat my shorts academia, the grave robber's daughter just scored.
Somewhen in an Amazon village
"This can't be right."Ephiny twisted and turned the scroll hoping that a change of perspective would clear everything up. She looked over at Eponon, who was fidgeting around on the bench she was sitting on, trying to look as if she really was working on a scroll. "Ep have you ever heard of this ritual?"She waved the scroll in front of Eponon's face, thus killing any chance for her to pretend she hadn't heard.
Ep growled and grabbed the scroll out of Ephiny's hands. "Thanks ms the queen doesn't mind a good joke."She studied the scroll for a moment. "What in Zeus's name is this?"
In a move that would have done an olympian relay runner proud, Eponon handed the scroll off to the amazon sitting on the floor next to the hearth. "Solari, here take a look at this."
After studying it for a moment Solari asked, "Who is the goddess Sybarites?"She
read a little more.
"My queen see if this makes any sense to you."She passed the scroll to Gabrielle.
"Xena why would the cooks lead the rite and not the high priestess. I mean their cooking is okay, but let's face it, its not ambrosia. It's also very specific on when and where the rites are to take place."Gabrielle ran her finger down the scroll trying to read the words that had almost faded into the skin. "Two seven days before the winter equinox, gather the village and meet in the house of Hershey."She paused for a moment to ponder where this abode existed.
"You know,"Xena commented, "I always wondered why that ugly stone building on the edge of the village was left standing. I asked Melosa once why they didn't just tear it down. The best she could come up with was an ancient temple and the fear they might break any promises made by their ancestors."
"Well,"Gabrielle urged on her recalcitrant helpers, "Let's get these copied then we can see what this rite is all about."
South Carolina November 1949
"As much as I love the thrill of the hunt, I'm glad to be home,"Janice
said, as she gave a huge sigh and sank into their feather bed. She watched as
Mel started to unpack one of their suitcases.
"Why don't you wait until tomorrow to start that."She put on her best come hither look and patted the bed.
"Oh no you don't Janice Covington. The last time I fell for your wily ways, it took us a month to find the source of that god awful smell. Why on earth you had a bag of oranges and a head of cabbage in your luggage, I'll never know."
"I told you,"Janice said, as she put on her most innocent face, "that guy at the aerodrome, Mel why can't those pompous assess just say airport like the rest of us, planted it. Either that, or I wound up with his lunch when that other butter fingered inspector dropped all your silk drawers on the table. Mel I have yet to figure out why the sight of women's underwear causes a man's brain to turn to mush."Melinda Pappas walked over to the bed and dropped her pants. Janice Covington, PhD, descendant of a bard, sighed as her brain forgot any language skills it had once possessed and turned to mush.
The sun, a much weaker version than they had become accustomed to, tried to sneak in through the curtains that draped the bedroom window. Two bodies laid entwined on the bed and on the floor the contents of two suitcases layed strewn about. A blond head, cuddled on her lover's chest, raised up and surveyed the room, looking for a clock, not that she had any intention of moving, it was just nice to know how decadent one was being. Janice raised a finger and slowly ran it over Mel's chest carefully avoiding the nipples that called to her. She heard her lover's breathing hitch and watched as Mel ascended to consciousness.
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