The Phoenix Prologue

This is the prologue of my Indiana Jones fanfiction, which has been in the revision state for quite some years now.  I do hope to continue it soon, but then again, I always say that! 😀

The Phoenix

(by Allison Rose)


Trekking through the jungle in the same clothes, socks, and underwear you’d worn for the last two days is nowhere near as exciting as they make it out to be in all the adventure books I’ve read.  And let me tell you, if you thought North American summers were hot, then you haven’t been to the jungle!  It was just my luck that my blouse was long-sleeved and considerably scratchy with sweat and dirt.

The man with the hat and the funny name just didn’t seem to get it.

“My feet are killing me,” I said, cringing as I stubbed my toe on a log.  Dislodging it revealed a natural habitat teeming with insect life.  Don’t look, I told myself as a beetle crawled right across my shoe.

“Quit your complaining, okay?”  snapped Indiana Jones.  (Get a load of the funny name, I ask you!)

I made this cover, heehee! :D

I made this cover, heehee! 😀

Complaining, me?  Seriously.  If he thought I was being a complainer, then he hadn’t met my brother.  Henry could read about explorers trekking through rain, sleet, snow, and sun, but he wouldn’t have lasted an hour out here!

Walking a few feet behind Dr. Jones, it was safe for me to stick out my tongue at his back.  We’d been fighting nonstop for hours now.

“Will you at least tell me why we are even in here?”  I hadn’t exactly asked to be whisked off into the jungle to escape a bunch of thugs with guns and sweaty armpits.  I had the right to know.

Indiana Jones sat on a fallen log that happened to have fallen right at the side of the path and reached into his satchel.  It moved slightly to reveal the leather bullwhip he kept coiled at his belt.  I hadn’t noticed it before.

“Take a look at this,” he said, holding a cloth-wrapped slab of stone carefully with both hands.  “And don’t drop it.”

He might as well have said a long list of things not to do with it, because I committed just about every other one of them when I took it from him.

“So what is this?”  I asked.  It was a nearly perfect rectangle, lined with cryptic symbols in almost perfect lines.  If not for its obvious age, I would have thought it had been written with a foreign-language typewriter.  But what stood out the most was a large red engraving in the center of the tablet, of a winged bird – a phoenix.

“That’s what I’m trying to figure out,” Dr. Jones replied irritably.  “It’s an ancient artifact – something from a long time ago.”  He enunciated the last part slowly, as though he was talking to a stupid person.

“I’m not slow,” I retorted.  “I know what an artifact is.”

“But not even I know what to make of this one,” he replied, running his finger over the bird engraving.

“It looks like a phoenix,” I suggested.

“I know that.”  Dr. Jones snapped.

I rolled my eyes.  This guy could be so snippy!

“I just need to figure out what all these symbols mean.”  He pointed a grimy finger at what looked like the first paragraph, assuming such grammar conventions existed at the time it was written.  “This looks to me like one of the pre-Columbian languages, but after this point, it appears to be something else.”

He got up abruptly, wrapping up the tablet carefully and replacing it in his satchel.  “Let’s keep moving.  It’s getting late and we should set up camp.”

“Some way of hiding from those goons,” I muttered.  “Won’t they know where you ran off to?”

“I’m sure they do,” replied Dr. Jones.  “But they won’t set foot in here.  They’re cowards.”

I didn’t like the sound of that.  “What’s to be afraid of in here?”

“Oh, lots of things.”

As if to further emphasize his point, some indigenous creature let out a ghoulish screech, reverberating all through the jungle.  Closer by, another one responded with an equally chilling call.

I threw my bedroll over my head in fear.

With a wry chuckle at my reaction, Indiana Jones, the man with the weird hat and the even weirder name, said,  “Welcome to the jungle, kid.”

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