Hey, Even a Policeman Has to Eat.

The Crypt of Monochromos.

Dis is where he stashed the statue?

“No, this is where he found the statue. We’re here to find the other one.”

Why?

“It’s a solid gold statue made by master craftsmen thousands of years ago.”

And we want one a dose?

“It’s worth a crapload of money.”

Ooooooooooohhhhhhhhh, right.

The tomb itself isn’t strictly a tomb. It’s more of a stash. Seeing as all the stuff is Egyptian but completely not in Egypt, my guess is it was buried by some eccentric millionaire and forgotten. At least a hundred years ago, judging by the bricks. The air itself looks brown. That nasal moron probably planned to bring out ‘finds’ one by one, so he didn’t have to bother actually doing any real archeology. So it’s hardly like I’m stealing at all.

Though that hardly means I’m gonna let anyone else get away with it. Like whoever lit that lamp.

I cover my flashlight. “Max!” I whisper, “Go put out that lamp. There’s someone in here, I’m gonna take them by surprise.”

Why me?! he squeaks.

“Because I’m the one with the flashlight.”

Well why donchu gimme the flashlight den?!

“Because you couldn’t knock out a flea with it!”

He very very gradually makes his way to the lamp. I hold the flashlight ready to blind and then bash the first thing that moves, and get ready for the darkness to come down.

What I’m not ready for is the darkness to lift right back up again.

“Max?”

Yeah?

“You put out that lamp, right?”

Yeah.

“Did you light it again?”

No.

“Huh.”

What?

“I said, ‘huh.'”

Oh.

“Well, you can’t have done it right. Put it out again. Now that we’ve completely lost the element of surprise.”

Two and a half seconds of darkness later, I’m looking at the same tomb lit by the same firelight. Max, you’re an idiot. I put down the flashlight, tell him so, then stomp over and put the lamp out myself.

Huh. Guess that’s a stubborn lamp.

Sly, are dose statues facin’ us? Max says.

“Sp what if they are?”

I’m pretty sure dey wasn’t when we came in.

“Maybe because we weren’t standing here when we came in? Quit getting spooked, there’s got to be a rational explanation for this.” I douse the lamp again, and in the split second without light we both hear the sound of the flashlight being knocked over and rolling up against the wall.

“Well.”

Yeah.

“I’m gonna go ahead and say we don’t need to put this lamp out. In fact, I’m gonna go ahead and say we don’t really need that statue.”

Serisously?

Well, no, but I’m not gonna say that out loud, because something tells me that a statue of a fox’d go great in here. “Oh yeah. We’re leaving that where it is,”I tell him loudly as I slide over and slip it into my pocket. “In fact, I think I want to go now and never come back. More than anything.”

Which, I think as we duck past the statues that are all somehow posed as if reaching for the place somebody would have been standing to repeatedly put out a lamp, is true enough. So it’s not like I was lying.

Not really.

The Final Word.

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