The Entrallers

9 Sep

Desert hunters considered themselves the freest of persons in Ancient Egypt because of their lives in the most dangerous of environments. One of the most unique individuals in their ranks over unnumbered centuries of time was called Imiu.

Born and raised by a family of hunters on the western Dekhla Oasis, the towering, willowy youth was expected to learn the profession of his ancestors, that of a skilled, fearless desert nuu who pursued wild game.

Imiu, like so many other boys, was apprenticed by his father to an elder close to his immediate family. This happened to be a man of enormous hunting experience, Seneb the bubal-killer. He had the reputation of bringing down the largest of the resident beasts that inhabited the sands, including the giant desert antelope.

The father and mother of Imiu rejoiced at their son’s acceptance by the white-haired veteran. Their hopes for his future appeared assured because of the extent of what Seneb could teach the apprentice studying under him.

There were secret aspects of the hunter’s craft, though, that they were totally ignorant existed, but that their son was privileged to receive from his new master.

“You shall begin hunting for small animals and gradually join with me in pursuit of large ones,” the instructor told Imiu. “Today the objective will be bringing down jerboes with my greyhounds.”

The pupil at first watched, then took part in the hunt for the tiny jumping rodent of the desert. By the end of the day, the pair had over a dozen of them lying dead in their storage wagon.

That evening, the two roasted and ate several of their day’s catch. Both filled themselves up on the meat, then rested in the tent of Seneb.

The latter stared in silence at the beginner, pondering how to express what he was thinking. Finally, Seneb came out with an important decision he had made.

“I have to tell you, Imiu, that I have chosen you for special training that few hunters ever acquire. You shall become one of the unrecognized elite on the desert. I intend to reveal to you certain hidden secrets in a slow, gradual manner.

“Tell me this: have you ever heard of the skill of enthralling?”

“No, I have not,” answered the now puzzled youth. “What does that term mean in connection with hunting out here on the desert sands?”

“Only a small elite of the best hunters know of what their comrades such as me are doing in the secret activity called enthralling. Let me explain it to you.

“It is possible with human eyes to project a spell of enchantment on various game animals. This influence can then be used to command that being to lie down and undergo ensorcelment. The process takes only a few moments to perform, until the animal is completely overpowered and forced to fall to the ground. After that, it can be carried away and placed in a cage. It will then have no will of its own, but comply with any order given to it through signals sent through the eyes by the hunter.

“The animal becomes the obedient slave of the enthraller, through the eyes of both.”

Imiu looked at his teacher with his mouth open, unable to conceal his confusion.

“You know how to cast a spell over some beast of the desert?”

The veteran nodded his head. “I have taken control of large animals of the greatest size. Once you have acquired the art of the enthraller, there will be no limit on how far you can go in enlarging your number of possible targets. Take me, for example. I can bring down anything that I wish to. Nothing is too large or dangerous.”

Iniu had a further question in mind.

“How can we be certain that I have such potential ability, sir?”

Seneb gave a sudden, wide smile. “An enthraller like myself can see the capacity in another hunter,” he announced with warmth and affection.

That evening, the youth received his first instruction on focusing his eyes for the attainment of hunter’s enthrallment.

It was quickly discovered that the inborn mesmeric potential of the novice was profound and powerful. The instructor soon was in awe of what his pupil easily acquired from him in methods and techniques.

“The eyes of a natural adept can be trained to induce deep sleep in any animal that meets his eyes with its own,” taught Seneb. “The power of the human mind found in the heart is great and overwhelming. It can rule over any other being of our world. The individual with this ability controls his own thoughts, concentrating on the idea of the animal’s falling asleep, until it becomes unsure of what is happening to itself. You have that gift, my son. When you concentrate and focus all your thought upon an animal, your mind forces it into a period of profound coma. That allows the killing of the prey, if that is desired. Otherwise, the beast will awaken in the captivity of a cage prepared for it. These options originate from the influence of your sleep-eye.”

“You are the one who has awakened me to this method of hunting on the great desert, sir,” said the young Imiu. “I shall always remain in your debt for this generosity by you.”

The other man smiled with pleasure and satisfaction.

In the months that followed, the new desert hunter graduated beyond the jerboa to the inducement of the sleep state in the hedgehog, hare, wild goat, wild sheep, idex, oryx, wild ass, deer, and gazelle.

Both master and beginner were thrilled at the speedy progress made by them.

“In future days, Imiu, you must go on so that your eyes triumph over the wolf, panther, hyena, leopard, bubal, antelope, and finally, the lion. This last of the animals is the hardest to put to sleep. One must be at one’s peak to achieve that feat. But I am certain that you can rise to that particular height.”

Seneb glowed with pride at what he was bringing forth in his followers.

A sudden, unforeseen excitement invaded the Dakla Oasis when a contingent of officials accompanied by royal guards arrived from the capital of Memphis. Their mission was to organize a royal hunt for the Pharaoh Imyotef and a party of his personal friends and cronies. Th affair had to guarantee success for the visitors. Complete security had to be maintained. The animals needed for capture had to be available within safe holding pens so that the ruler and his retinue of familiars could kill the beasts with bow and arrow. “There must be a goodly number of bubals and leopards,” said the official in charge of the great excursion. “His Majesty will greatly enjoy bringing down those particular types of game.”

The public officials of the oasis assigned the various duties connected with the royal visit to a group of hunters familiar with the desert. Seneb was given responsibility for bringing into one of the corrals set up for the Pharaoh a large bubal antelope. “It must be an impressive target for the king’s bow and arrow,” he was told by the oasis governor. “There must not be any doubt that His Majesty will be able to hit and bring it down.”

Seneb returned to his tent and informed Imiu what their difficult task was.

“We have to capture an impressive, dangerous-looking bubal, but it has to be an animal that the Pharaoh Inyotof is able to shoot with his bow. The two major requirements are obviously contradictory. Yet both must be fulfilled by you and me.”

An idea suddenly struck the younger hunter.

“Why not apply the power of enthrallment in this instance?” he asked. “We would furnish the wildest, fiercest bubal possible, but arrange matters so that the beast was brought down with an eye of sleep. What do you think of the idea? Our success would depend, of course, upon a very high degree of coordination.”

Seneb wrinkled his brow. “There would be risks involved,” he warned.

“I am more than willing to make the try,” declared Imiu with excitement in his voice. “But there has to be careful planning and arrangement. Let us think out how it can be done.”

The veteran hunter paused briefly before giving his approval.

“Yes,” he decided. “That is the only way to accomplish the task, with the eyes of sleep. There is no alternative to that.”

The pair agreed that they had to find, capture, and bring in the most impressive antelope possible. Only a splendid animal would be satisfying for a Pharaoh of the two Egypts.

It took them several days to locate what was needed for the royal visit and hunt.

Imiu was the one who enthralled and put to sleep the magnificent, gigantic antelope.

They used a large cart drawn by two mules haul the animal to the oasis corral where the Pharaoh was to hold his recreational hunt.

The pair stayed close by so they could see the bubal awaken and rise up. It searched about, finding that escape from its encirclement was impossible. The animal laid down, waiting to learn what its fate was to be.

In a few hours, the Pharaoh and his entourage arrived at the oasis.

“The hunt will begin within a few hours,” said Seneb to his assistant. “When the royal group comes to the corral for the ruler to fire his arrows, you and I will be ready to act as well. You shall be at one end, while I will be located at the opposite one. We will both be able to have an opportunity for enthrallment of that bubal.”

“Either one of us can knock down the big beast,” noted Imiu. “The animal is certain to be put to sleep by either you or me. The Pharoah will believe he has killed it himself.”

“But the true victory will be ours,” grinned his tutor.

The party of Inyotef arrived hours later than expected, having met delays on its trek over the desolate sands. The Pharaoh decided to go directly to the hunting corral and try out bow and arrow on the antelope kept there for him. A small crowd formed to watch his results. The two enthrallers stood at opposite ends of the enclosed field, apart from the others there to observe the pretended hunt within the corral.

Tall and athletic-looking, the sovereign of Egypt approached with his weapon, the large antelope watching him warily from its position lying on the ground in the middle of the enclosure.

Which way would the animal be grazing at the critical moment of time? Each of the pair of enthrallers watched, trying to anticipate when he had to act.

As the monarch stopped, lifted his bow and arrow, and prepared to shoot it off, both psychic adepts tensed nerves and muscles.

Both of them decided to let go the force of visual assault simultaneously.

Where was the bubal looking when two pairs of sleep-eyes sent their empowered gazes toward its own eyes?

Somehow, the animal momentarily closed its eyes at that point in time.

The force from the eyes of Imiu met that coming from the eyes of his teacher.

Each enthraller received what was transmitted by his partner, also enthralling.

Both of them fell instantaneously into sleep.

It turned out to be the final, eternal slumber called death.

For the first and only time, sleep-eyes met sleep-eyes, both emitted by adept enthrallers. The result for both men was a sudden end of life.

No one present had any explanation for the tragedy. No one understood what had happened.

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