As she passed the cases, she noticed her reflection in the glass doors looked a little different.
Completely disregarding other shoppers, she paused in front of a case of ice cream.
Her reflection warped into a full-length view of the woman she’d seen in the bathroom mirror and fountain, complete with Egyptian headdress. She’d recognize her anywhere and this time she even thought she saw tips of wings behind the woman’s calves.
“Aah!” Arsinoë leaped back and threw her cart a couple of feet in front of the next case.
“What happened?” a shopper asked, grabbing the front of Arsinoë’s cart to stop it.
“I’m fine, thanks,” Arsinoë said, eyeing the glass door.
The woman was still there.
Arsinoë’s eyes widened, and she quickly opened the door before the other shopper could see the woman. “I just really love cookies and cream.”
She reached in and grabbed a half gallon of ice cream at random while the other shopper released the cart and continued down the aisle.
Arsinoë replaced the ice cream and faced the woman in the reflection directly.
She spun from the door and grabbed the handle of her cart, but her feet felt heavy, like she was moving through wet cement.
They were steering her toward the glass door.
Determined to leave the reflection woman in frozen foods, Arsinoë grasped the handle of the cart and took a deep breath before taking two awkward galumphing steps.
Her entire leg rotated in the opposite direction.
Straining to resist, Arsinoë took a step forward.
She clenched her teeth to fight through the pain of a twisted knee, but when it popped, she had to give up.
She stumbled toward the glass case where the woman still stood.
“I’ve been patient long enough. Ready or not, you’re going to listen to me now.” Arsinoë thought she saw a flash of a flame in the reflection’s brown irises. “Osiris was murdered, and Apophis was slain. Now, I just need that key–”
“I told you I don’t have a key. You have the wrong person.”
Arsinoë opened the case door and pretended to grab a container of ice cream again as someone else passed behind her.
The rattling of their cart reached the end of the aisle, and she let the door fall closed.
“If you’re not the right person, then where is the key?” The woman folded her arms.
Arsinoë pulled her keychain with her car and apartment keys out of her purse. “These are the only keys I have. Unless you’re looking for one of those, I can’t help you.”
She thought she felt the snake bracelet quiver on her wrist. She shook it to stop the sensation.
“I need the key to resurrect him. Please.”
Not wanting to start a conversation with herself in public, she raised her hand to block the cases and made a move to continue her shopping. Every step got heavier until it felt like she was wearing cinderblock shoes.
She lunged, making an effort to break free.
Her cart gradually slipped from her one-handed grip and she only succeeded in pitching it down the aisle, where it collided with another shopper crossing outside to the next aisle over.
“Sorry!” she called.
The other shopper gave her a quizzical look and walked on.
Arsinoë pivoted involuntarily toward the case door.
“Set is after me.” The woman’s throne-like crown seemed to tap against the glass as she leaned in as close as she could to Arsinoë. “He wants to rule the earth. I need to find the key before he can stop me and use it to bring–”
Arsinoë opened the door to make the vision go away. The handle jerked out of her hand and the door closed, revealing the woman once more.
“I can’t do this without you,” she said.
“Why not?” Arsinoë crossed her arms and tapped her foot.
This was getting ridiculous. She just wanted to finish shopping and get home.
“Mortals can’t handle seeing deities in their true form on Earth, at least not while they’re completely alive, so I need a host.”
“Mortal? Deity? You’re a goddess?” Arsinoë raised an eyebrow.
Then it clicked.
“Osiris, Set. So, you’re Isis.”
“Would you help me if I was?”
“You know what?” Arsinoë lifted her index finger in the air. “I know this myth. You win. You piece Osiris together, bring him back and live happily ever after. Good conquers evil. You don’t need my help. You got this. I believe in you.”
Arsinoë patted the reflection’s shoulder, leaving fingerprints on the glass.
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