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37_1

My Attempt: Enjoy.

Aravia hid an ivory horn behind her tunic. She froze, when she noticed priest Jemal watching her from the lead camel.

“Halt.” He commanded to the caravan line.

The camels walked some more, stubborn to stop at that moment.

Jemal’s camel slid to the hot Sahara’s sand.

“Easy, boy.” Jamal patted the tired animal. He slipped from the hump, feeling the heat of the sand eating and melting his sandals. “Drink time.”

He watched the whole group to unsettle from the long walk.

Aravia stretched her hands and winced from the back pain. Still watching Jemal, she hoped he didn’t noticed the horn in her hands moments ago.

“Everyone is welcomed to take a long drink,” Jemal declared. And his caravan mates whined about the long walk.

They were tracking for a month a jewelry trader through the desert. They believed he possessed the golden horn with the powers to control any living being or nonliving thing.

She snorted at Jemal and walked into the slaves’ row, waiting for her turn. She was captured by them few weeks before, when Jemal’s band ambushed her and her father, the jewelry trader, causing her dad to be wounded by an arrow. He pleaded her to stay behind, so she could be spared, while he would pursue to walk more miles to the closest city. Her father left her with the golden horn.

“Promise me to hide it well, my Aravia.” Her dad pleated her. “Grave things will happen if it wwould fall to the wrong hands.”

She promised him. But now she was fearful about what happened just moments ago: the horn slid from her undertunic and almost fell, when she retrieved it back under the watchful eyes of Jemal.

“You.” She heard Panaris, the second hand of Jemal. He scowled at her. “Do you want it or not?” He held out some water in a coconut shell. “I guess you not having any.” He spilled it to the ground.

She spit in his face.

He threw the shell to the ground, and raised up. He knocked her to her back and put his dusty sandal on her chest. “Ever attempt that again, and your beautiful neck will be split open.”

“Now, Panaris.” Jemal walked to the man. “We wouldn’t need her soon anyway. She brought us something precious with her.”

Jemal jerked her up, pulling by her hands. “Give it to me.”

Aravia winced from the throbbing pain, caused by the firm grip. She watched Jemal’s eyes and knew she would better give it to him.

“Let my arms be free.” She broke out from the grip. Watching the men, she slowly pulled the horn.

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