Sanity is forbidden Circulation: 133,024,427 Issue: 274 | 12th day of Sleeping, Y9
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by biogirl1991


A Yellow Ruki stalked through the desert sands. He seemed mighty grumpy as he trudged along, kicking pebbles and ignoring the blistering sunlight (what did a little sun matter to a Ruki?). His elder brother could be such a pain sometimes. Mister 'I wouldn't touch that if I were you,' and 'Bad idea, Mahsh,' and 'That's EX-thief, Mahsh.' Mashushi huffed angrily. Why did Zan have to be so demanding? He was in a foul mood. His elder, adoptive brother, a tall red Ruki named Qurzan, always told him things. Of course he would then use the excuse, "It's for your own good." What good did it do to him? Mahsh thought. He looked up from his four feet. In front of him were the legendary Gebmids. "Don't go in there," Zan had always told him. The yellow Ruki smirked and picked up his pace to a brisk run towards the shapes.

      Mahsh looked up at the tall Gebmid in front of him. He dug around the base, searching for a door inward. He grinned when he found an entrance. Hastily, he burrowed down to enlarge the hole. When it was large enough, he swung through the gap and braced himself to hit the bottom. It took longer than he had expected and the impact was painful. His legs ached from the rough landing. The floor was cold, hard, and sandy. It was dark. Except for the stream of sunlight from the door he had come in from, Mahsh was surrounded by inky blackness. He felt around, found an old torch and a couple of stones, and then he scraped the two rocks together, sending sparks over wood and kindling. The newly lit torch blazed brightly and lit up the room. It was a tomb; large and magnificent. Engraved clay jars and other various glittering objects were littered about, and they now served as homes for the Selkets and Wadjets that scuttled and slithered around the tomb. The Yellow Ruki lifted his torch higher to illuminate the room and stared in awe at the many riches and treasures. Suddenly a rush of air swept past him, snuffing out the flame of the torch. Mahsh was, again, in darkness...

      But not for long.

      A blinding flash of light filled the tomb from behind him. Mahsh turned around to face the overwhelming glow. The bright light made it impossible to see what had happened. He lifted up a claw to guard his eyes.

      A voice spoke. "Who disturbs my rest?"

      The floor quivered and shook, nearly knocking the Yellow Ruki off his feet. He accidentally dropped the unlit torch and it clattered to the ground.

      The voice was strong, fearsome, demanding, yet lovely, melodious, and oddly pleasant to hear. It questioned again. "Who has awakened me from my sleep?" The light dimmed, revealing the speaker. A spectre stood, no, floated above a large stone casket. A light faerie, long deceased and glowing like a golden sunset, gazed straight at Mahsh with her two eyes; twin orbs of luminescence. Mahsh stood there, dumbfounded and in awe of the beautifully illuminated figure.

      He game no reply.

      The faerie spoke once more; her voice had softened to an almost crooning, comforting tone. "Mashushi..."

      Mahsh held back a gasp; how did this spectre know his name?

      "Not only because of the invasion of my tomb do I do this, but most importantly, for your actions. You have been disobedient, disrespectful, and ignorant."

      Mahsh didn't like they way this was going, even though he hadn't yet spoken a word.

      "Mashushi, from this moment henceforth, you are cursed." As soon as the word floated from the light faerie's mouth, a searing pain shot through the Yellow Ruki like a lightning bolt. "Every day at dawn, you will not be the same as you were the day before. Every day when the sun rises, a new face will take the place of yours. Your life will never be able to settle and have peace. It will never end, unless you prove yourself obedient, respectful, and willing to learn from others."

      Mahsh only faintly heard her words. The overwhelming pain that surged through him was too much to allow him to concentrate. He vaguely felt his legs beginning to give way.


      He heard a scream of pain and was terrified to realize that it was his own.


      His vision began to cloud and his senses fade.


      His eyes widened as an image appeared on the back of his right claw. A star with six points. The light faerie's mark.

      "CURSED!!" The shout rang through the air and echoed against the walls.

      The tomb darkened once more to a pitch black. Mahsh didn't notice. The Yellow Ruki had collapsed to the cold stone floor and faded into unconsciousness...

      Hours later, he awoke. Groaning from a terrible headache, Mahsh groggily sat up and looked around. He was no longer in the tomb, but sitting on the warm sand just outside of it. The scorching day had turned into a cool night. Innumerable stars danced in the velvet sky. He sighed heavily with relief. He must have been dreaming. He tried to recall the dream, or rather nightmare. Remembering something, he looked down at his right claw. A six pointed star was branded on the surface. It hadn't been a dream... He moaned. What was Qurzan going to say about this? Mahsh shuddered and pushed himself to his feet.

      The Ruki wandered around the moonlit desert for a few hours until he found and oasis. He was only to happy to find a cave there to spend the night in. The sky revolved overhead while he slept, and eventually dawn broke.

      Mashushi blinked his eyes open. And immediately shut them again. He was afraid of what he might see. Keeping his eye closed, the Ruki began taking a mental inventory. Arms? He moved them. Still there. Antennae? They wiggled. Legs? He tried to tap each foot against the stone floor. Strange... He had felt only two taps. Hesitantly, he opened his eyes and turned his gaze downwards to glance at his feet. Only two. He gasped, sat up, and counted again. Still two. He looked at his claws. The mark was still where it had been the other day, but his claw were now sharp, pointed, and practically mutated. As a matter of fact he was now a mutant. Mahsh was terrified. Why? Why did this happen? he thought frantically. He remembered the light faerie's words.

      "Not only because of the invasion of my tomb do I do this, but most importantly, for your actions," is what she had told him. He sighed. His brother had been right about the Gebmid, and he had completely ignored his advice. Mahsh buried his face in his warped claws in despair. How could he have been so foolish?

      Just like the faerie had said, every morning when the sun rose, Mashushi changed into something different. Sometimes his color would change, sometimes his health, occasionally his species, and he was mortified to discover that even his gender could change.

      When Mahsh returned home and told his story, he was surprised that Qurzan didn't give him the lecture he had expected. His elder brother simply gave him a couple kind words and then let the subject drop. Even though his relationship with Zan had been slightly repaired, rest and peace never came because of his ceaseless changing.

      Mahsh was, indeed, cursed...

The End

Thanks, 00_shrimp, for letting me borrow mashushi and Qurzan for the story.

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