Sands of Time
Fate of the True Vampires
Grey Horse Press, Createspace
Date of Publication: October 26, 2015
Number of pages: 90
Word Count: 26,000
Cover Artist: Christine Church
The main character in this first installment is Kesi (later known as Kesi Akhede, as in ancient Egypt they really had no last names). Kesi is a hybrid; half human and half "Pet Mer," a term used for her father's people who are from another place after theirs was destroyed.
She appears a delusive Goddess. She is ageless. But what she wants most is family. Unable to bear children through her own body, and after the death of her husband, she travels the world searching for a way to "create" a child (later known as “Vampyr”). She offers aid to those who need her. But, her deep desire to have a family of her own is never met until she comes across an alchemist by the name of Yin.
Taking what she needs and leaving behind chaos, Kesi continues to run, to search, and to hope. Her everlasting quest takes her through history, from one continent to the next; from her home in Egypt, to China, Scotland, Rome, and finally France.
Read the journals to hear her story, learn about the truth behind the "myth" of what humans call the vampire, read about her unique take on her species and those they create, and discover the chaos and bloodshed caused by a man determined to put an end to vampires forever.
“Queen of the Nile”
Entries found on Papyrus sealed and preserved within a tomb in Egypt
Circa 20th Dynasty
English Translation, 1958
Believed to be written by Kesi, who lived in a village near Giza, and is later known as Kesi Akhede.
Wind over the desert creates a sandstorm that has left all in ruin. The days of old. Eras long past. Will he believe that I existed long ago and was dubbed "The Nile’s Graceful Queen" by pharaohs and kings? Will he believe that, to Amenhotep I in the eighteenth dynasty, I was viewed as an "exquisite work of art?"
I pray now. Not to the gods the desert people bow to, but to my ancestors and my family. I pray that he will understand what it is I must tell him. Who I am. Where I come from. And where I must go.
I think about the time that has passed so quickly. My heart swells with love for my family, for the desert so cruel yet forgiving, the people, and most of all for Jabari.
Life was once simple yet elegant and my people worshiped. When I was young, I heard say that all of the gods had blessed me with a part of themselves. The grace of Bast, the eyes of Horus, the wisdom of Thoth, and even the cruelties of Seth made me who I am. Perhaps this is true still. And yet I remain as I always have and life around me continues to weave its gradual yet inevitable web anew.
Now, the sands of the Sahara have drifted, propelling the destiny of the Pet Mer in a new direction, forcing me to choose, to make the most difficult decision of my life. A decision on which I have procrastinated for too long. A decision, I know, I must make on this night. And so, I prepare my journey with a questionable destination.
The journey was a familiar one. The mud-brick estate stood on the edge of the village, far enough from the Nile that few had business in that direction, yet close enough to Jabari’s estate to place little travel time between the two. My thoughts had already run too far and I needed to make haste.
I saw her before she saw me. Head bowed, ebony hair flowed over her shoulders. Though they were lowered, I knew her russet eyes. My heart pounded, loins ached, each time I saw her. She stood half hidden behind a copse of rose bushes, palm and myrrh trees, nestled within the vast gardens, just as we had arranged. I approached, letting my presence be known.
She raised her head. "Mistress. No one saw me come but I have little time this night, as my chores are vast."
I nodded. This one I had known for over a year. One of few humans remaining who, through family ties, still revered Father’s people. One of few raised to recall a time when my people were seen as Gods from the Sky. When offering their blood to us was an honour.
Yet still I did not know her name. Usually, it mattered little. She was merely a servant, though a generous one with the sweetest scent in all of Giza, Saqqara, Alexandria, and all the Nile Delta. Even as far as Abydos. So many I had tasted none of their names known. But tonight it mattered. Tonight everything mattered. This could be my last eve here.
"I know the time has been long," said I, "but please, tell me your name. I need to know it now."
The girl raised an enigmatic brow. "Zahrah."
I smiled. "Zahrah." Though the dim light exaggerated her high cheekbones and ruby lips, her beauty was real. I pulled her toward me, one arm snaking around her slight waist. Our lips met then, and the lust of Seth came to greet me. Zahrah, her taste. Her scent. Her beauty. Everything about this human tantalized me. Almond and olive oils.
"Sweet," I whispered. "Sweetest in the Valley." With more care than usual, I pierced the thin human flesh of her lips with my teeth. No hesitation. No pain. Zahrah parted her lips against mine.
And then the smooth satin that I treasured above all others flowed over my tongue. Youthful innocence. Power. And within it I was lost. The surrounding world shrank away and all that existed was that sensuous taste. Exuberance. Tensions of the past week released. A cocoon of calm wrapped me in its warmth and I reveled in it. But it was not to last. All at once, coldness settled over me like a cruel wind. A shiver ran through me. Someone approached. In the distant fog of my mind I heard my name on the breeze.
"Kesi! What are you doing?"
A man’s voice, deep, confused, angry. Zahrah was forced from my arms. Painful. The hunger had not been satiated. Frigid desert wind flogged my flesh. My eyes blinked open. At first the whole scene was as a surreal dream.
I heard my own voice. "Jabari?"
He was there. He had taken my hand, pulled me from Zahrah. Away from my meal. I was disoriented, having been interrupted, too bewildered to respond. He was speaking to me.
"What were you doing!? Wha—There is blood!"
I realised then I still tasted the bliss, licking it from my lips, feeling its trickle on my chin.
"What are you?" I had never heard him so angry.
Indeed, what am I? Tell him. You need to reveal who you are, where you may go.
"What has happened, Kesi? Answer me!" He grasped my shoulders with firm masculine hands. He shook me. A blast of wind and sand—a gritty slap in the face—helped to awaken my mind.
Christine began writing at the age of nine, penning and illustrating picture books, taping them together, and even creating a publishing company. In school, she could be found sitting in the back of the class, writing short stories (she aced English and literature). By 1992 she was professionally published in both nonfiction and short stories. In 1998 her book was traditionally published, which led to many more book deals (nonfiction).
Her books and articles have won many awards. She lives for the paranormal, writes in the deep dark night and has a closet full of Goth clothing rarely worn any longer. By day she works at a horse barn caring for 7 horses, including her own noble steed--her best friend, her “son.” She is a professional photographer, actress, and voiceover artist as well. In rare spare time, she loves riding, archery, swimming, singing and auditioning for “Survivor.”