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|Charlie MacDuff and the Test of Time|
by I. MacPenn
Charlie and George screamed a second after Alice when they saw the beast. They all froze in their tracks, unable to think of what to do or where to go in the darkness.
Charlie's flashlight gave them only a glimpse of an angry-looking monster towering over them in the darkness. Its golden eyes glared at them. It had a black, dog-like head and huge pointed ears atop a massive and muscular human body. The beast was over eight feet tall, and looked as though it was about to pounce on them. It was holding a blood-red heart in one hand and a long, glistening dagger in the other. A scaly silver snake was coiled on the arm holding the heart - the snake stared at them hypnotically. The monster wore brightly-colored clothes, a wide gold collar and a jeweled belt.
It wasn't moving at all. The three friends suddenly realized that the monster wasn't moving at all. It was only a statue - but it was a very realistic and frightening statue. It was a statue of the Egyptian god Anubis, the God of the Dead. Someone did not want them here.
They looked at the statue carefully. Alice said, "It was obviously meant to scare people away, and I'm definitely scared. Let's go back. There are probably even worse things up ahead."
"No," said Charlie, "we have to find out what's in here. We can go around the statue."
George quickly replied, "I'm not sure we'll fit around it, and I don't want to get stuck here in this corridor."
"Me neither," said Alice, "let's go back."
"It's just a statue and we won't get stuck," Charlie said, "I'll go first." He twisted one leg over and around the left knee of the statue, hopped over the huge knee, then pulled his other leg over to the other side. Charlie had the flashlight, so George and Alice had no choice but to follow him. Plus, they really did want to explore the pyramid. They followed Charlie.
Charlie, George, and Alice walked tensely along the gloomy corridor, half-expecting another scare. The walls were soon only wide enough to let them walk in single file, and the ceiling was so short that they had to stoop. Walking was difficult and slow. Charlie was followed by Alice and then George.
Charlie called out, "This passageway seems to end up ahead, but I think I see a hole in the floor."
As they approached the dead end, Charlie shone his light into the hole. It seemed to lead to another passage that looked just like the one they were in. "Let's go." he said.
He dropped down into the other passage, and Alice and George followed quickly from the now completely dark corridor. The new passage was much larger than the one they had just been in. The friends could now walk side by side again, and the ceiling was tall. They were relieved at this, and began to walk at a normal pace again.
Alice soon remarked, "What's wrong with the floor? It's kind of sticky here."
"Look, over there," said George, "I see a light in the ceiling."
They ran toward the light, but before they reached it, there was a flurry of movement from the ceiling. A deafening sound came from the ceiling and muffled the desperate shrieks of Charlie, Alice, and George, who were being attacked from above.
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