A Living God
Copyright 2012 Charles Andrew
A Living God
The two boys ran side by side through the dusty street, followed by the indignant cries of traders as they barrelled through fruit stores and wine sellers stalls. The Royal guard who pursued them struggled to keep up, the midday heat and the weight of ceremonial armour, slowing them as they fought their way through the twisting alleys and packed market stalls. Horeb, the captain, shouted at them breathlessly to stop. But the youngest boy just laughed and made the sign of an imbecile towards him as he weaved through the crowds.
The youngest guard saw where the boys were heading and shouted to his commander to go left into one of the small worker’s houses that lined the market square. The heavily clad soldiers crashed through the door of the house and into the darkened space inside, overturning furniture and crockery as they went. A woman was screaming at them in the old Hyksos tongue as they made their way clumsily through the house towards the rear yard. A small dog hurtled through the door and sank its teeth into Horeb’s calf as he reached the door, bringing him crashing down heavily in the courtyard. The remainder of the guard struggled through the doorway and clambered over their commander as he wrestled with the creature, before making there way out into the deserted alleyway behind the house.
The soldiers arrived together in the alley just as the two boys careered round the corner from the main street, colliding with the lead man before they had a chance to stop. The guard grabbed both boys by the arm and turned as the injured yelp of a dog issued from behind the wall and Horeb emerged from the gate of the courtyard, limping and cursing under his breath.