THINGS were not going as Jack had planned when he briefed his team in London. It was to be a straightforward three week archaeological dig along Egypt’s River Nile to find some trace of Cleopatra’s legacy.
As the heat built up each morning the team would always cease their efforts and shelter in the tents.
At 35, Jack was easily the oldest member of the mixed group of 20-somethings who were all keen archaeologists.
His intention was to see whether there was some truth in the legend that when Cleopatra was romancing with Mark Antony in 44BC she would take him away from her palace to a quiet retreat alongside the river.
For a week, it looked as though the team had been on a mistaken course. Then, just as they were about to break for a few hours, Sarah found a bracelet of such beauty that even the Egyptian government representative overseeing the dig marvelled at what he saw.
Too late, he failed to stop Sarah from slipping it onto her wrist by warning her of the legend that whoever dares to wear possessions of a pharaoh is subjected to the pharaoh’s curse.
As she admired the bracelet Sarah felt a strong urge well up inside her body. At the same time her features seemed to change from an average good-looking English rose to a woman of supreme beauty.
By the time Jack reached the spot, the Egyptian representative had taken the bracelet and was examining hieroglyphics on the gold band’s inner side.
In spite of his protests, each of the girls insisted on handling the bracelet and they also felt strong urges welling up inside their bodies.
Until this point no-one had any interest, other than professional, in his or her companion.
As the team retired for a cool drink Sarah began eyeing Jack in a way he had not seen before.
“God she’s beautiful,” he said to himself as he handed her a beaker of ice-cold water. As she took the container their fingers touched and he felt a tingle of energy run through his hand. He sensed love for her.
‘Sarah, there’s something I’d like to discuss with you…’ he began.
She responded instantly. ‘Let’s go outside, Jack.’
The rest of the group ignored them since Cleopatra’s bracelet was affecting all the girls who were now eyeing their male counterparts as they became detached from reality and falling under the love curse of Cleopatra’s bracelet.
Sarah took Jack’s hand and led him to her tent.
Jack was engaged to marry, but this mattered little as the couple embraced while other members of the party were pairing together.
To the Egyptian’s consternation all thoughts by the group of pursuing the dig were now lost.
Interestingly, the Egyptians who had also touched the bracelet were unaffected. It was just the party members from England who had come out for the dig.
‘Jack you’ve a week left before the permit runs out. Are you going to do any more digging?’ asked the concerned Egyptian.
‘Maybe,’ was all Jack could say as Sarah sidled up to him and stroked his wrist.
‘Jack, there’s something you need to know about the bracelet which we’re analysing…,’ he began.
‘Legend has it Cleopatra used to coat her jewellery like that bracelet with love potions. We’ve found traces on the inside of the bracelet and we’re running tests at this very moment. I’ll let you know the outcome.’
‘OK, thanks…keep me informed,’ replied Jack dreamily as he put his arm lovingly around Sarah.
By the end of the third week, as they packed their belongings for the trip home, all the team had to show for their efforts was one priceless and magnificent bracelet.
‘Will you be marrying your fiancée when you get back to London, Jack, or do you have something else in mind?’ asked Sarah.
Jack responded with a silent kiss.
At the airport, the Egyptian representative gave Jack some pictures of the bracelet along with various reports on the find. Jack promised to read them during the flight to London.
As the Airbus left Egyptian soil Sarah, who was sitting next to Jack hand tightly clasped in his, turned to face him. Their eyes met and both instinctively knew something had changed. The same applied to the other members of the party who were sitting around them.
The moment the wheels left contact with Egyptian soil Cleopatra’s curse was lifted and the previous three weeks became a distant memory with the experiences totally erased from everyone’s mind.
Airline drinks were being served as Jack shuffled through the papers he’d been given. His eyes were riveted to the report alongside which was an English translation of the hieroglyphics seen inside Sarah’s find:
‘Whoever wears this bracelet without the pharaoh’s permission will be subjected to the pharaoh’s will until the pharaoh forgives.’
Jack quickly glanced at Sarah as he handed the report over, which she read slowly.
Apart from suntan, her features were the same as he remembered when he first met her in London. With thoughts turning to his forthcoming marriage, he knew there was nothing he could or would enjoy about Sarah, other than as an archaeological dig colleague.
Sarah, like the other girls, was feeling the same yet at the back of her mind she had that strange déjà vu feeling she’d known Jack in some other life, or was it just her imagination and too much Egyptian sun?
Strange however she was aware her period was late especially as she was always so regular. ‘It must be the Nile effect,’ she thought to herself.
Yet, as she looked around her in the Airbus, Sarah sensed the other girls in the group were also sharing similar thoughts and feelings about Cleo’s love curse and the pharaohs.