Behind the wall

By , Elk Grove, CA

After a thousand years the artifact was finally going to be revealed. My partner and I walked up the mossy, crumbling steps of the tomb to a plain, seemingly unimportant wall.


“Ten seconds,” my partner said taking out an old rusted key. He handed it to me  and by the time it reached my hand a beam of light from a hidden hole in the ceiling shone straight at a path in the wall.


A smile spread across my face. A transparent lock had become visible through the light. There were no intricate details, no mysterious symbols, just a square shaped lock in the wall. With intrigue building up, I turned the key.


I could hear gears and locks turning and clicking, as if they were surrounding us. Then for a split second everything stopped. Silence flooded into the room. My partner and I glanced at each other.


Before either of us could say anything a loud roar filled the tomb as the locked section in the wall fell to the ground. A small pedestal was revealed with a tablet sitting on top.


“We found it,” I said letting excitement pour out. We had spent years together, working and researching different leads. But as I looked at it, I stood unable to move, staring in awe.


“What are you waiting for,” he asked as he walked ahead of me. I ran to catch up with him, and we both walked over to the tablet filled with gold markings.


Ancient symbols were scratched into the surface of the stone. The legend goes that the Egyptians hid their most powerful treasures. These riches were rumored to have special abilities. But there was a catch.Wherever they went, death followed. Eventually people believed that no one should ever have that much power. So they were buried with only a tablet to reveal their location.


I started to reach for the artifact, trying to be careful not to damage the old fragile stone.  Then suddenly I heard a gun click. I spun around and saw my partner standing behind me, pointing a gun directly at me.
“Give me the tablet,” he said. The friendly voice I once knew had turned hateful and poisonous.


I stopped dead in my tracks, unable to speak, just staring into his once trustworthy eyes.


“Don’t make this harder that in has to be. Just give me the tablet.”


Snapping back to reality I asked, “Why,” betrayal followed each word I said, “Why did you spend the last couple years with me? Why not find it yourself? Why-”


“Because you are the best. No one can argue with that. You are able to find any artifact you desire. It just so happens that what you want is what I want too. I heard about you, became your partner, your “friend”, and now we’re here.” He grinned. He knew he had won. He had the upper hand with the gun.


But I realized I still had the tablet. I still had some cards left to play.


“Time’s running out. You either hand me the tablet or die,” he stepped closer.


Standing still I quickly glanced around the room. The exit was directly on the other side of the large tomb. As I scanned the room I saw vines and Egyption symbols around the walls. There was a large stone platform, raised hip length, in the center of the room, directly under the glass covered hole in the ceiling.


According to legend tombs were always build with an escape plan but unless you were the builders, you would need a map to figure the escape plan out. The only escapes that I could find were the exit and the whole in the ceiling. Both too far for me to reach.


Bang! A bullet flew a couple inches to the right of me.


“Time’s up.”


My mind was swirling with ways to get out of this mess but they all lead to one ending, I get shot and he gets the tablet. Defeat started to settle in and I slowly raised my hand with the tablet. I looked down at it, staring into the beautifully carved golden writings. One specific picture caught my eye. It was a river with an arrow pointing at in.


My eyes darted to the left wall where I had seen that exact symbol before. I had found my escape plan.
Looking back at my partner I handed him the tablet. His eyes shifted from me to the tablet. I had a split second where his focus wasn’t on the gun. He reached out to grab the artifact but as he started to close his hand around it, I grabbed his hand holding the gun. I jerked the tablet away from is grasp and shoved the gun out of his hand and onto the steps of the tomb.


We both were struggling and as he tried to reach for the tablet I ducked and slipped out of his grasp. At lightning speed I sprinted to the gun, picked it up and pointed it at the symbol.


The arrow pierced the river and now the bullet was going to as well. A loud rumble filled the tomb as the bullet crashed into the wall. We both stopped dead in our tracks as dust flew into the air, not by the crumbling wall, but by the floor giving way under it. A patch in the floor quickly tumbled down into a secret passage leading out. 


I started running towards the passage. I was almost the the entrance when I was suddenly dragged to the ground. My partner had tackled me and grabbed my gun. A vicious look shone through his eyes as fear crept into mine. I was still clutching the tablet when I felt a sharp pain across my leg. I let go of the tablet to hold my leg that he had shot.


He grabbed the tablet got up and started walking towards the passage. With determination I started to push myself up. The wound wasn’t going to kill me but my energy had been drained.


He looked back, smiled at me, and said, “I hope we get to work together in the future.” And with that he was gone.


I slowly lifted myself up feeling defeated. At the time the only thing I was thinking about was how I had lost. But what lied ahead was worse. The artifact should have stayed hidden.






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