Tag: ALTERNATIVE HISTORY

Today’s News in: Rip – Find the Magic Key

orange swatch— Spring, 1947. Jack goes AWOL and gets up to his old tricks. Their Sherman tank, Carla , takes a break. —

“Don’t move!” Tom whispered in German, while holding his knife blade to the girl’s throat.
“But my brother will hear us!” she hissed back, struggling to escape his grip.
Tom squeezed her neck so tightly that she couldn’t breathe properly and her voice rasped.
“You know what I want?” he murmured.
“Yes. I won’t struggle or scream, if you let me go.”
He felt her tremble, but also the sound of effort in her voice, as if she were trying to hold back an urge that he knew all women couldn’t resist. It excited him.
The day had started quietly:
“All crews to stay in bunks, and that is an order! O-ffi-cial blanket drill!” Above the moans of the four tank crews in the tent, the corporal continued under his breath, “Scuttlebutt is; the next is the last action. After that, it’s home to your sweet-hearts fellas!”
“Brindley, you ninety-day wonder,” somebody shouted. “Why the fuck didn’t you let us get an extra hour instead of waking us then? Asshole!”
“You know what that means? No battle breakfast!” shouted somebody else.
“Sheet!” Deak added. “K–rations! That means biscuits and black coffee! Hardly ambrosia for the gods of death, is it?”
When they finally staggered out of the tent in their camp near ten miles from the Czech border, Lieutenant Tom “Jack,” Mayflower-Merriweather finished shaving and waited for his crew.

Rip-Find the Magic Key: 2nd longest Western novel at 1 M+ words. Subscribe bit.ly/LazloFerran | Buy Vol 1 bit.ly/ripvol1 | Understand more bit.ly/inforip

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Today’s News in: Rip – Find the Magic Key

gold swatch— Om interrogates his wife after two assassins nearly kill him in his bedroom. —

Om began to feel incredibly tired by the time he reached his bed chamber. All he wanted to do was sleep but he had to know the whole truth about the conspiracy. Merti sat on the bed, hands covering her breasts with her forearms.
“I know it was you and Menkhaf who planned this,” Om said quietly, sitting on the end of the bed.
“What do you know!” Merti spat. “You know nothing about me really!”
“I know you have both been lovers for many years!”
Merti pouted and sounded sheepish when she replied:
“So! You have lovers. It doesn’t mean I would want you dead!”
“I might have believed you dearest. But I have been wondering why Menkhaf has been bothering me with repeated requests to make it lawful for a man to have more than one wife! I think I’ve worked out why.”
“He has one already. Perhaps he wants a second!” Merti blurted
“Menkhaf has envied me almost as long as I can remember him, certainly since the battle at the fort. He would like to be King. He also has the backing of the Merchant Guild. They don’t like taxes. I know all this. But your father is also powerful and he wouldn’t like it if his daughter was left without a husband. That’s why Menkhaf wanted the law changed! So he could marry you after I’m dead! He keeps Pamiu off his back and gets you too!”

Rip-Find the Magic Key: 2nd longest Western novel at 1 M+ words. Subscribe bit.ly/LazloFerran | Buy Vol 1 bit.ly/ripvol1 | Understand more bit.ly/inforip

Today’s News in: Rip – Find the Magic Key

gold swatch— Om’s daughter wants to wear an ankh necklace but Merti won’t let her. —

Ome’s youngest daughter, Itet, had come to him and begged to wear an ‘eye necklace.’
“Mother won’t let me!” the little girl cried.
“Oh. Wait, I’ll get you one. Tell her one of the Palace Guards gave it to you.”
Anhabtna, son of the deceased Anhabtni, and now Captain of the Palace Guards, smile at the ruse. He knew that the Queen could not speak directly to the Captain of the Palace Guards so would not be able to find the culprit. He pulled off his own necklace and gave handed to Om, who placed it carefully around his daughter’s pretty neck.
“My friend told me that everyone wants to wear an eye necklace now,” Itet explained. “Because you wear one!”
“But mine’s a key!” Om insisted.
“It’s an eye!” Itet replied vehemently. “Everyone paints their eyes black to be just like you too papa.”
“Oh. Run along now or else Merti will smack my bottom!”
“No, she won’t silly! You’re the King!”
Om couldn’t resist bending over to kiss his little daughter. She puckered her lips, making her look irresistibly cute.
“Kids are so cute,” he whispered to Anhabtna, nodding his head ruefully. Anhabtna nodded, adding:
“We have to go now sire!”

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Today’s News in: Rip – Find the Magic Key

gold swatch— Mehy asks Om why the hieroglyph for ‘M’ is the vulture. —

Just one more temple.”
Mehy shook his head, adding:
“You are not a trader Om. You will never understand business.”
“But I am rich!”
“Yes.”
“Let’s go inside. It’s too hot. At sunset, I will have to officiate at the opening ceremony. Until then, the people work and I worry.”
Om reached a point where the Palace gardens looked out over the valley of the great river. Just south of the City, barley stalks shimmered like gold as a zephyr whispered in their ears. He stared out over the fields and whispered:
“Do you know. It costs me more in gold than Menkhaf’s yearly income, just for the pressed grape juice we give to the children.”
Mehy came to rest his elbows on the wall next to the King and replied:
“I’ve started to learn to read. My father says it’s a pointless exercise. We started with the gold and silver currency bars. You invented our writing, didn’t you?”
“Sort of. Anen helped me.”
“Why the picture of a vulture for the first letter of your name?”
“Because we were watching one, up there on the crags above the Palace. She looked so noble, with the wind lifting her white feathers and ruff. She has a nest some years. Not all years. But when she does, she looks after her chicks like no other mother I have seen. When two boys tried to take her eggs from them, she flew at them again and again, even though they beat her with a stick. They confessed that they had killed her when I caught them. But she didn’t die.”

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Today’s News in: Rip – Find the Magic Key

gold swatch— Om and Mehy discuss the politics of the City and marriage in the Palace of Zawty. —

Today was the start of Renpet, or New Year, the festival that marked the flooding of its banks by the Iteru in high summer. Too hot for work, Om had long since decreed that the next twenty-seven days of each year should be set aside for celebration, all feasting and entertainment paid for by him. But he had a problem.
Mehy waited for him in one of the side-chambers of the Palace, breathless.
“What did you find out?” Om said, oiling his hair and adjusting his tunic.
“You have egg and breadcrumbs all over your face!” Mehy said, laughing.
The two had become close friends since Mehy introduced Om to Chen and thwarted the attempts by Pamiu to monopolise the frankincense trade. This had not pleased Pamiu, however, and he was the father of Om’s wife.
“They’re up to something,” the handsome young man replied.
“I know that! But what?”
“I saw Menkhaf go to Pamiu’s house late last night.”
“Hm. Walk with me. I need some fresh air. This frankincense is great for getting rid of the foul smells from the canal, but it’s bad for hangovers.”
Om led Mehy into the Palace garden while he thought things over
“They have both told me they can’t lend me the gold I need,” Om began thinking out loud. “This means I can only pay for the first ten days of the festival. I don’t believe them of course. They want something. And then they meet last night. Menkhaf has always fancied himself as King. Do you know, the other day, he asked me why I hadn’t taken more than one wife!”
“And what did you tell him?”

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Today’s News in: Rip – Find the Magic Key

Green swatch— While Prince Sumataniki recovers in his tent, his wife, Llanka and B’katan’s wife discuss the foolishness of men. —

Llanka began leaving her tent more regularly, and one day, she encountered B’katan’s wife. The two women pulled their panaha’s tight around their shoulders against a chill wind, the first sign of coming winter.
“It’s cold, but refreshing, to feel the wind on our faces Llanka.”
“Yes. I heard that B’katan is recovering too. I’m very happy for you.”
“He has even begun to walk, with the aid of a stick. He’s a very lucky man if a bit of a fool. I told him he’s too old now to play at soldiers. He promised not to go to war again!”
“They are like little boys, aren’t they?”
“You heard what the men are saying? They want Prince Sumataniki to claim the title of King! It’s his right! Then we can go back to Peroturnakar and kick Tuma out!”
“He won’t! I have asked him myself. He says that until Tuma has gone and Peroturnakar rebuilt, he thinks of himself as only a Prince.”
“But while both he and Tuma claim the title of Prince, there will always be war!”
“I know. Such stupidity. Like little boys!”
“Yes.”
B’katan’s wife spoke truthfully. Every Exile wanted Sumataniki to proclaim himself King but he would not do so. Nevertheless, Llanka’s short conversation with another woman had lifted her spirits. She began to hope that the Prince would live, and sure enough, over the next few months, he began to grow stronger.

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Today’s News in: Rip – Find the Magic Key

Green swatch— Prince Sumataniki holds the top of the hill in a great battle but Quytur is out for his blood. Only B’katan is close enough to defend his prince. —

Sumataniki raised his sword to ward off any blow from Quytur, but when he saw the black barrel of the gun, he almost lost hope. His sword seemed to waver in his hand. He closed his eyes and whispered:
“God help me now!”
B’katan seemed to see everything in slow-motion, despite the rapid gallop of his lamaca. The soldiers fighting around Quytur and Sumataniki were fighting for their lives; they didn’t see how close the titans, the Prince and General, were. B’katan yelled again, “Save the Prince!” and brandished his spear, but to no avail. He watched, horrified, as Quytur raised his gun to fire. At the last moment, B’katan made a decision. He swerved his lamaca and forced it to a desperate lunge with his heels. The poor animal leaped over several bloody corpses and landed in Quytur’s line of fire.
Quytur swore and pulled the trigger again. This time it clicked, and the barrel jerked upward. If it hadn’t, he may well have still hit Sumataniki, but B’katan’s lamaka stumbled on the bloody ground and fell forward. Quytur’s shot slammed into the beast’s neck, bringing from it one, brief bleat, before it fell to its knees and tipped B’katan into the growing pile of bodies.
“Damn you!” Quytur raged, throwing away his gun and drawing his sword. He thrust the blade through B’katan’s back, stepped over the lifeless body and strode up to the Prince with his blade raised for the first blow.

Rip-Find the Magic Key: 2nd longest Western novel at 1 M+ words. Subscribe bit.ly/LazloFerran | Buy Vol 1 bit.ly/ripvol1 | Understand more bit.ly/inforip