Friday, December 19, 2014

Story Seed - Disturbed Sleep

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The sound of stone grinding on stone echoed through the burial complex like a dragon's roar. The opened tomb gasped, exhaling fetid air from ages long passed.  The two men gagged and coughed on the foul stench, not dry dusty and ancient, but wet, cloying, and rotten. The torch, jammed into a wall sconce older than their great grandparents, guttered, turning sickening colors of green and purple like a week old bruise.

"This isn't right. The stories, they must be true, this place is evil, cursed!" the younger of the two men exclaimed, eyes on the torch as it returned to its former colors in hues of orange, red, and yellow.

"Grow a spine Yaffy, there ain't no such thing as curses." He jammed the long iron pry bar back into the gap in the stone, "It's a tomb ya daft bastard, what' ya expect it to smell of, roses and sunbeams? Now come on an' put yer back into it. The hard part's over and the pay is only a stone's breadth away."

"Sure ... yeah, sure. Whatever you say Samn," the younger replied, hefting his own pry bar and approaching the stone once more. With a cry he stabbed the iron length into the gap beside Samn's own tool. "On three then ... one, two, three -nnggg."

The pair heaved once more, forcing the stone aside inch by inch.  The rough hewn surfaces ground out a fresh bellow of sound that ended only when the two finally ceased pushing having lost leverage.  The sound died out, fading like a moan to silence broken only by the heavy breathing of the grave robbers and the quiet flicker of the torch's flame. The air from the tomb poured out even more freely, dank and damp and thick with rot.

Samn sized up the gap, "Alright, hand me the torch and take up a satchel, it's time to get rich." Yaffy pushed the torch into his partner's and and picked up a heavy burlap sack. The two squeezed crabwise into the tomb through the gap in the stone, their torch leading the way, throwing off oily smoke. "Gods its dank in here," Samn muttered as he looked around.

The room was black as pitch, even with the light of the discolored torch, now burning like a bruise once more. There was no familiar gleam of gold, no reflection of jewel, glass, or metals. "Where's the gold Samn? Where's the riches?" The room appeared to have been painted black, the only object a long sarcophagus upright in the center of the small chamber.

Samn waved the torch around the sarcophagus, "I dunno Yaffy, maybe ..." He cut off as he saw that the sarcophagus was open, a handwidth of blackness even more pure than the rest of the room showed between the stone lid and the rest of the box. "We ain't the first to be here; look, they even opened the damned coffin."

Samn turned and found himself alone.  Yaffy was gone, the sack abandoned on the black stone floor. He waved the torch about looking for his fellow miscreant. "Damnit Yaffy, joke's not funny." Behind him the sound of wetly ragged breathing made Samn spin in place.  Where he'd expected to find Yaffy he was met with a worn death mask riding atop a flowing shadow. One eye was cracked and missing, but the other glowed from within, a red hateful glow that bored into Samn's soul, and froze him in his place unable to even scream with his last breath.

The sound of stone grinding on stone roared out once more before silence and darkness descended on the tomb.

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