Lara Croft and the Amulet of Wyuma - Ch 1London, England
Lara Croft stepped out of Lloyd’s Bank and onto the short flight of stairs that led to the car park. A light rain drizzled down, glazing the rows of cars. The weather was cold for a June day and a shiver ran through her. The hairs on the back her of her neck stood up as she headed for her car. For years, this was her sign that danger was nearby.
Looking around cautiously, she spotted a teenage girl emerging from behind a mini-van. The girl scurried toward her. Lara felt her body tense up, though she couldn’t imagine what kind of threat the girl posed—she looked harmless enough. The girl’s short, blond hair was soaking wet and flattened against her scalp. Greedy blue eyes peered out of a round face. She wore a black tank top and jeans that were torn at the knees.
“Someone just robbed me!” she said, her eyes wide with terror.
“Oh dear.” Lara took a step back.
“The bloody wanker stole my jacket,” the girl continue
Lara Croft and the Amulet of Wyuma - Ch 2Morning arrived, bringing much warmer weather with it. Lara felt well rested. She had slept through the entire night thanks to the Ibuprofen. Her knee still hurt though. She waited patiently in the brightly lit doctor’s office as her doctor examined her knee. Lara looked around. Many anatomy posters hung from the walls while heavy brown curtains blocked the room from the street outside. She had been going to see Dr. Winston for years and felt comfortable with her. The woman had a phenomenal memory.
“So, doctor, what should I do?” Lara asked. She looked down at her knee. An angry, red-purple bruise had formed during the night.
Dr. Winston took one more look at the bruise. “Judging by your symptoms, I think you just need RICE therapy: rest, ice, compression and elevation.” She wrote something in her electronic clipboard and began to stand up.
“That’s good news,” Lara said. She had suspected that would be the treatment. Last year, she had sp
Lara Croft and the Amulet of Wyuma - Ch 3Lara thought about her phone call with Jack and tried to remember the details. Grey Wolf’s Heritage Museum was close to Downtown Fargo but the rest of the details related to the city had slipped from her mind, in a haze from the painkillers.
“How many people live here?” Lara asked loudly.
Anna turned down the radio. “Around 130,000, I think.” She turned left onto 12th Avenue and continued straight for several blocks, toward the Red River. Anna pulled into a parking space in front a three-storey building that was nestled between two older-looking buildings. The sign above the door had light grey text on a dark wood background. “We’re here.” She smiled and pulled the keys out of the ignition.
“Thanks for getting us so close to the entrance.” Lara undid her seat belt.
Lara got out of the passenger seat and took her crutches from the back seat. This time, her knee only protested with a small pain. It would
Lara Croft and the Amulet of Wyuma - Ch 4Satisfied about the new lead and her new destination, Lara let herself drift off to sleep. Visions of fresh-scented, flowering meadows and groups of shrubs swept past her, relaxing her body and soothing her mind. Then, she was standing someplace much darker. A gentle breeze, from the open flap of a tipi, ruffled the loose wisps of her hair.
Wyuma stood slightly in front of her, looking down at the man who had, in the previous dream, tried to comfort her about the dead children. His face was ghastly pale. It was a noble face with a multitude of lines, evidence of a life of hard work. A heavy sadness clung clawed at Lara’s senses.
Streams of tears ran down Wyuma’s cheeks. Her eyes were red from crying. “My whole family is gone,” she said to no one in particular. Her voice held a bitter edge that cut through Lara’s heart.
“I’m sorry,” Lara said. “I wish I could help.”
Wyuma spun around. “Who are you?” Her eyes glisten
Lara Croft and the Amulet of Wyuma - Ch 5Lara arrived at Portland International Airport around noon. No one appeared to be following her but she kept a wary eye out anyways. An airport employee put her luggage into the trunk of the black Honda Civic she rented from Hertz Rent A Car and she started the car.
Green fields and groups of stores and buildings rushed past her as she headed south east down NE Airport Way. The car had GPS installed but she preferred using the map and GPS on the smartphone that Edgar gave her. She stopped to check her location two times and then turned onto another road heading south past the Colwood Golf Center. A strong breeze beat at her face through the open window. She loved driving with the windows down. It made her feel free as if the rush of wind removed all worries. Air conditioning was for the weak. She smiled to herself.
Traffic bustled with cars and people running lunch-time errands. Everyone drove on the wrong side of the roads but she had travelled to America enough that she was used to i
Lara Croft and the Amulet of Wyuma - Ch 6Lara picked up a ham sandwich from a nearby grocery store and ate it in the car. The parking lot was packed and she cast stealthy glances at the other cars. Nothing suspicious stood out. A sharp pain shot through her knee when she shifted in her seat. She needed to put ice on the injury soon but for now she took an Ibuprofen and washed it down with a bottle of water.
The map on her smartphone showed that Alonzo’s Car Dealership was only two miles away. She started the car and headed west through Portland, past shopping malls and suburban neighbourhoods, and onto a road lined with many restaurants and pubs.
The dealership was on a busy corner. It looked much like the dealerships in the UK. Strands of metallic flags danced in the wind, reflecting the sunlight in a myriad of colours. Shiny cars filled the lot. Some looked mid-range while others were more expensive. She found the entrance and parked near the sales office.
The hairs on her neck stood up and she studied the lot for a m
Lara Croft and the Amulet of Wyuma - Ch 7Lara tumbled over the cliff after Wyuma. The rocky floor below vanished and she fell endlessly through a dark sky filled with stars, screaming the entire time. Her fear rose so sharply that she tossed the bed sheets into the air and jumped off the bed. Luckily, her knee didn’t give out though there was a small twinge of pain. She braced herself against the wall, breathing heavily. The room felt chilly and a cold sweat covered her.
“These sodding dreams are trying to kill me,” she muttered to the empty hotel room.
Sorrow lingered in her heart as she went about her morning routine. She showered and then got dressed so fast she barely noticed what she put on. The sadness remained like a caterpillar fused to a host. Anger coursed through her too. Life seemed so unfair sometimes. Wyuma didn’t deserve such a horrible fate.
By the time she finished breakfast, she was spoiling for a fight but wasn’t sure what or who to direct her anger at. She needed some fresh ai
Lara Croft and the Amulet of Wyuma - Ch 8Lara opened her eyes to a bright sun that burned her skin mercilessly. She lay on her back panting for air and wondering if she was in Vina’s backyard. A large group of birds flew high above her. Vultures!
She bolted to her feet and wobbled for a moment before regaining her balance. A moaning sound to her right made her jump.
Wyuma lay among a group of shrubs. She had missed the dozens of jagged rocks that rose like sharp teeth from the land. Blood seeped from a wound on her head but she was still alive. Her chest rose and fell slowly.
Lara looked up at the cliff wall and gasped. Wyuma had survived an eighty-foot fall. The vultures settled onto a nearby tree, waiting for a meal. It wouldn’t be today. She picked up a rock and tossed it at the tree trunk. The impact sent the birds back into the sky. They wouldn’t stay there for long though. How could she help Wyuma?
Relief flooded her as she spotted movement across the field. The figure of a man approached in the distan
Lara Croft and the Amulet of Wyuma - Ch 9Lara went up to her hotel room to get Alonzo’s gun from her suitcase. Having it on her was dangerous on foreign soil but it gave her peace of mind. She slipped it into her purse and then gave Viktor Grey Wolf a call. She updated him about her efforts to track down Vina Willis, leaving out the more violent parts of the job. Her thoughts turned to Christopher Masters. How did he know she’d be at Vina’s home? One disturbing idea came to mind. He must have put a tracking device on the rental car during the time the luggage was in the trunk. The man was persistent in removing her from the hunt one way or the other.
After the phone call, she headed to the hotel parking lot and circled the car, checking the more obvious areas. There was no time to start lying on her back to look under the car. A few sharp pieces of glass framed the empty passenger side hole where the window had been shot out. There was also a small dent in the nose of the car, from where she had hit the othe
Lara Croft and the Amulet of Wyuma - Ch 10Somewhere in the distance a phone started to ring. How strange to hear a phone in the forest. Lara blinked and the hotel room appeared around her. Light from the street helped her find the smartphone on the night table. The clock said 1:00 am in bright red numbers. She was still in a daze when Viktor Grey Wolf said his hellos and apologized for calling so late.
“I found a listening device in my office,” he began. “Someone really wants the amulet as much as Vina did. We can’t let it fall into the wrong hands.”
“I won’t let that happen,” Lara said. Her throat felt dry and the hand that held the phone shook slight with the aftermath of the dream. “I’ve been talking to Wyuma in my dreams,” she blurted out. The secret was too big to hold in any longer.
“What?” His voice sounded sharper but still friendly.
“She’s an amazing woman,” Lara said.
“I’m curious to hear more but right now it&