Normally of strong stuff, travelling the world, digging up bones in ancient soil, Professor Whynn Prentice thrived in her career’s related perils. However, present events, finally took their toll.
Therefore, at the vision of her notes materializing in the once apparently empty gift box—she fainted.
She came to, to Greg’s voice, and to a paramedic holding her wrist checking her pulse, “Are you okay Whynn?”
Embarrassed more than anything, pulling her arm away, she quipped, “I am fine, why did you called 911. It was nothing.”
“Well, I saw your car in the parking lot. Then, when I knocked on your office door, several times, there was no answer. I opened the door with my key to find you on the floor. So yes, I phoned for an ambulance.”
“She should be fine, just have her rest,” said the paramedic, as he and his partner, packed up their equipment, and departed Whynn’s office.
Still concerned, her Supervisor Greg inquired, “Have you had anything to eat?
“No, I have not eaten. Meg should be here shortly asking whether I need anything. I am certain that she will get me something from the cafeteria…”
Before she finished speaking, Meg rushed in.
“I just heard. Are you okay? Can I get you anything?”
“I could do with some lunch,” said Whynn, raising herself upright on the small, uncomfortable, tattered red sofa by her window.
A sofa which she kept for sentimental reasons over comfort; for, it belonged to her mother. Her mother’s favorite scent, oil of Argan, still clinging to the buttons, and seams of its gently cared for fabric.
Meg wheeled around on her heels, and rushed out of Whynn’s office, “I will get you something from the cafeteria. I will be right back.”
Greg, flabbergasted by Whynn’s inexplicably accurate depiction of future events, shuddered as an eerie chill ran down his spine, “How did you know that Meg was coming…and what she would…” His dismay, and his shivering core choked the rest of his sentence in an inaudible whisper.
Whynn replied, “I don’t know. I just knew.”
Suddenly, as a strange draft of cool air drifted around her office, a whiff of Argan oil kissed Whynn’s nostrils, at which, her mind vaulted into an epiphany.
It was no accident that she was determined to investigate the legend of King Fumauiti and his sorcerer’s gem.
She smiled as she looked out her office window, recalling the story her mother told her every night until she was eight years old. It was of a once royal Fumauiti family, who escaped Egypt, presumably, to protect the location of a precious gem.
As the story goes, the family arrived on Ellis Island in the autumn of 1892. And there, among the wave of wondering souls roaming the earth for a place of freedom, to call home, they landed on America’s shores. The family changed their last name to Prentice, the same as Whynn’s family name.
In her teenage years, whenever Whynn questioned her mother on the veracity of that story, her mother would change the subject quickly.
It was the mystery of that childhood story, which sparked Whynn’s interest in ancient Egypt, its ancient languages, and in archeology.
****To be continued next week****