Born in England, but raised as a free spirit, Steve travelled in search
of adventure, lived on a kibbutz, crossed the Sahara, lost himself in
the jungles of the Congo, found love and lost it, but not without
reward, for it brought him to the shores of Lake Huron, and gave him a
different kind of love as a father. Now he spends his time writing, and
planning a trip to the French Alps and a second attempt on Mont Blanc.
Congratulations, Steve, for finishing in the Top Ten at the 2010
Preditors and Editors Readers Poll for Short Story, Other, with Only
Something in my Understands!
New Title(s) from Steve Olley
Click on the thumbnail(s) above to learn more about the book(s) listed.
When journalist, John Brooks, hears of a young woman haunted by visions
of an earlier life lived in Egypt, who has an uncanny understanding of
hieroglyphics, he must meet her. And so begins a lifelong friendship
that would take each of them to the brink, balancing at the edge of
reason, in this heart-wrenching tale of enduring love.
Based on the true life story of Dorothy Eady, who believed herself to be
the reincarnation of an Egyptian priestess, who took her own life 3,000
years before. The first woman to carve out a career as an archaeologist
in Egypt, she made predictions that led to discoveries that would
astound her colleagues.
But only her closest friends knew her deepest secret. The conviction
that fuelled this remarkable and romantic life, that drove her passion
for Egypt, and the love affair that was so strong, even death could not
Word Count: 13,500
Pages to Print: 50
File Format: PDF
Only Something in me Understands
It all began in London, on a cold day in December,
1931, walking along Oxford Street on my way to the British Museum. As a
journalist for The Sunday Times, my assignment was to interview Sir
Ernest Wallis, former Keeper of Egyptian Antiquities, who was retiring
after a long and distinguished career. The story did not fill me with
enthusiasm, and as I turned off Oxford Street onto Museum Road, I
wondered how I could transform a potentially boring interview into
something the Editor would not fall asleep while reading. However, Sir
Edgar was far from dull and the story he chose to share with me was as
fascinating as any I’d ever heard.
Darkness closed about me as I crossed the cobbled courtyard and climbed
the steps to the main entrance. A chill wind carried a swirl of
snowflakes through the yellow light from the windows and it was good to
leave the damp cold behind as I entered the museum.
In the entrance hall a trio of guards stood whispering to
each other in reverential tones, their voices muffled by the wood
paneled walls and the soft padding of feet on cold polished floors. One
of the guards led me up two flights of stairs and along a dimly lit
corridor, past a group of students from the university, who were bent
over the exhibits, scribbling in notebooks, consumed in their own
worlds, lost in the folds of time.
When we reached Sir Ernest’s office, tucked into a corner of
the third floor, I thanked the guard, knocked and entered. I found Sir
Ernest sitting behind a worn mahogany desk, smoking a pipe. The room,
dimly lit by a single banker’s lamp, was crowded with boxes and stacks
of manuscripts. Shelves along the wall overflowed with books, and, where
space allowed, framed photographs hung on the walls, pictures of men in
pith helmets standing before famous archaeological sites. Sir Ernest’s
desk faced the door and behind him, through a tall but narrow window,
the lights of London twinkled in the cold evening air.
“Mr. Brooks, so pleased to meet you, please, do take a seat.”
Sir Ernest was older than I had presumed, a shock of white hair swept
back over his head, tweed jacket and matching waistcoat, handlebar
moustache and a pair of round wire-rimmed glasses he removed as he stood
slowly to shake my hand.
“Hello, Sir Ernest. It’s good to meet you, and thank you for
agreeing to the interview.”
“Mr. Brooks, I am honored to meet you. I’ve read many of your
articles. I always find them interesting. But for the life of me I can’t
imagine why you would want to interview an old fogey like me.”
“Well sir, you have worked at the museum for a long time. I
thought you would have something interesting to tell us about all those
years. How many has it been?”
“Oh now you’ve got me. Let me think. Left Oxford in 1880 and
spent six years working in Egypt and Mesopotamia and of course off and
on since then, but I think I came to the Museum in 1886. So I’ve been
here for forty-five years, the large part of that as keeper of Egyptian
“And that is the position you’re retiring from?”
“Oh, no! I left that position to someone younger about ten
years ago. No, I’m just a part time curator now. I am, after all, in my
“Sir Ernest, I’ve read about your work in Egypt and always
wanted to know a bit more, with reference to the likeness of the Sphinx
to the Pharaoh Cheopen.”
“Yes, yes, all a long time ago now; basically I came to the
conclusion the Sphinx is older than previously thought.”
“How old do you think it is?”
“Almost five thousand years.”
“That’s older than the Pyramids, isn’t it?”
“Yes it is.”
“Fascinating,” I said, but in my head I thought This is dry
old stuff. Interesting on a scholarly level, but this isn’t going to
keep my readers awake.
I must have betrayed some of these thoughts in my look, for
Sir Ernest said, “I can see you were hoping for something a little more
“I’m sorry, Sir Ernest, personally I have a great respect for
archaeology, unfortunately that does not apply to many of my readers,
even in The Sunday Times.”
The old man smiled; perhaps it was a trick of the light, but
I could have sworn I saw a twinkle in his eye.
“Well I have something you may find a bit more exciting,
something to curl the toes so to speak.”
Intrigued, I looked up from my notebook at the old man. The
dim light cast shadows across his face. Past him, through the window,
black with the night, the snow fell steadily across the city.
“Have you ever heard of a woman named Dorothy Eady?”
“No, I can’t say I have.”
“Miss Eady is quite the remarkable woman. I met her for the
first time towards the end of the Great War. 1917, I believe, when she
came under my tutelage. It was rare for me to take students, especially
one as young as Dorothy. She was thirteen years old when she came to me
for help with her hieroglyphics. Hard as it is to believe she already
had a rudimentary grasp of the language. Strange, you may think, for a
young teenage girl. But Dorothy was no ordinary child.
“As I said, that was the first time I had met her, but it
wasn’t the first time I had heard of her. For even at thirteen years of
age she had already led an unusual life. When she was three years old,
the poor child fell down the staircase at home. The doctor was sent for
and duly came and pronounced her dead. About an hour later, he returned
with the death certificate and a nurse to lay out the body, but found
the child completely conscious, playing about and showing no sign of
anything unusual. But then the strangest thing, her parents told me once
she’d finished playing she started to cry, saying she wanted to go home.
And no reassurance she was already at home could soothe her.
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