Yelled, Old Sisyphus, bloodied and bruised crawling trying to outrun the falling Denali four-by-four Jeep’s wreckage, and feverishly attempting to stand upright against the sudden onslaught of the violent sandstorm.
“Just a second!” shouted Isabella laying close by, also bruised but otherwise unharmed. Rolling her body trying to outmaneuver falling Jeep parts in the midst of a relentless barrage of sand granules blasting her body at every turn.
“I can’t run in this dress!” She continued. Her eyes tightly closed, Isabella fished her trusty miniature Spyderco switchblade knife from the slender garter inside her right thigh.
Slitting the taut fabric with the switchblade, Isabella ripped off the bottom portion of her Vera Wang evening gown, just above her knees. She tore the severed fabric haphazardly in half.
Quickly, she lurched forward in the blistering sandstorm and handed a piece of the severed fabric to Old Sisyphus. And with the other hand, she wrapped the remaining portion of fabric around her face and throat.
“Hurry Navigator…they’re coming!”
Old Sisyphus shouted. His voice trailed in the howling sandstorm as he swiftly grabbed the makeshift Shemagh scarf from Isabella and wrapped it with immediacy around his head, face, and throat.
Setho Zang, queen of the harpies howled in sync with the gale-force winds of the early Dawn sandstorm. She landed on the Dubai highway pavement with a sound akin to an airplane engine rumbling at takeoff.
The queen harpie picked up the crumpled Denali four-by-four Jeep she had earlier grabbed in transit, while the two spies attempted their hasty escape from the Arabian Peninsula in the stolen vehicle.
Earlier, Setho Zang, queen of the harpies, had plucked the moving Jeep off the highway and shook it violently in mid-air attempting to expunge its occupants like salt granules stuck in a shaker.
And then…she released the Jeep to fall to the ground.
The Denali four-by-four Jeep hurtled to the ground just missing the two spies now strew on the side of the highway covered in sand. Isabella and Old Sisyphus were bruised and dazed, but very much alive.
Setho Zang was now crouched on the highway near the fallen Jeep unperturbed by the copious sand pelting her gigantic statuesque form. Her massive wing span engulfed the entire width of the four-lane highway out of Dubai.
Feverishly Setho Zang, queen of the harpies, scoured the Denali four-by-four Jeep’s smoldering underbelly looking for Isabella and Old Sisyphus’s remains. She poked every crevice of the Jeep’s smoking carcass with her magma-fueled claws like she was scrounging for spare change in an old sofa.
Moments later, she flung the crumpled Jeep’s remains in disgust onto the side of the well-maintained highway into the dark shadows of the golden desert sands outside the city.
Setho Zang shrieked. Frustrated, she called out to her horde of harpies one hundred strong flying overhead. The iniquitous throng was accompanied by their legendary allies, the stone-faced warrior ghouls. The ghouls flew alongside each harpie carrying a piece of the undead bones.
When all the pieces are combined and wielded in Setho Zang’s hands, those undead bones came to life as her fighting stick—the spirit of Mt. Vesuvius. One blow from that enchanted stick could destroy a city, as Pompeii’s citizens long ago, discovered all too late.
“Find them!! I want her word that she will pay my price…Now!!” Her quivering voice screeched as bluish-orange and red saliva with magma highlights oozed from Setho Zang, queen of the harpies’ nostrils.
The edges of her gaping mouth devoid of lips were a deep crevice of forlornity. Below her gaping mouth, her beak dangled precariously on eternally rotting human sinew — the natural order of things, eons ago protesting, refusing to comply with the ancient necromancy intended to mimic the beauty of a soaring eagle’s head and beak profile.
Meanwhile a few kilometers away from the Burj Al Arab Dubai parking lot…
Mr. Tomb crouched as the sandstorm hit. He staggered and toppled to the ground from the sudden blast of pummelling sand that rocketed him from his stance. He lunged to grab hold of a nearby light standard but to no avail.
Without warning or control, Mr. Tomb was swept sideways onto the city street, now filling up with swirling sand and debris launching themselves all around him like missiles.
Suddenly, as he lay prostrate on the street trying to cover his head with the shoulders of his jacket…he saw headlights advancing fast!
Mr. Tomb tried to move out of the way; however, his attempts only aided and abetted the sandstorm’s criminality, dragging him further into the street and closer to the oncoming vehicle’s path.
The driver of the speeding vehicle, obviously surprised by the sudden sandstorm, perhaps sensed or saw in the furious sweeping of his car’s windshield wipers, that someone lay on the roadway directly ahead. The driver slammed on the brakes.
…the car spun out of control and flipped over Mr. Tomb’s body just missing him laying helpless out in the open in the street.
Unplanned and instinctively Mr. Tomb screamed: “God help me!” as the vehicle, an Alpha Romeo Lamborghini, continued to flip in the air landing a few meters away from Mr. Tomb’s prone body.
Miraculously, the Lamborghini landed right side up. The driver dazed and stumbling, tried to run to Mr. Tomb’s aid; however, the sandstorm’s force thwarted the driver’s on foot advance.
Seizing a very slight break in the sandstorm’s force, Mr. Tomb rolled, crawled, and groped his away from the scene to a nearby alley, while sand pellets continued to pummel any exposed skin, his eyelids, nose, and mouth mercilessly.
Mercifully, Mr. Tomb somehow managed to crawl into the alley, to the relative safety of a dumpster. Forgoing decency, he opened the dumpster lid and hurdled inside, where he was immediately greeted by the mephitic smell of rotting garbage.
But, while the sandstorm raged outside...
“Athena!!” called Aunt Virginia from the ease and safety of the poolside bar inside the Dubai seven-star hotel.
“Yes ma’am,” replied Athena as she ran full speed, her running shoes squeaking as she stopped abruptly alongside Aunt Virginia’s lounge chair.
“Whom did you send to finish off my nemesis the lovely Navigator?”
“I signaled her closest friend, ma’am. Their Odin’s eye, high-tech goggles were still active, for some reason.”
“Excellent! Have Old Sisyphus signal me in the usual manner, when it is done…”
****To Be Continued Next Sunday****