Ancient Conundrum

This story was written in answer to Fandango’s One Word Challenge. Word – ‘Ancient’

This story also includes the Your Daily Word Prompt word – ‘Describe’

Here’s what I came up with …

Ancient Conundrum

It was a dark day in the city thanks to heavy storms breaking across the region. Deep within the Castle Museum, Curator Ivan Hart had received some new exhibits. With the crates on the workbench, he began to open them using a crowbar. The room was filled with squeaks and groans as the lids came off.

“Okay, Sammy. Let’s see what we got in here,” he said to his assistant while wiping his sweating forehead and replacing his glasses.

“Sure, I’m ready to describe everything for the records.” The blonde apprentice preservationist had joined the museum just a couple months ago. She was sat at the computer ready to work.

“Thank you, Sammy.” Ivan thrust the first lid aside. “Everything we have here should be from Ancient Greece.

Sammy grinned. “That explains the ten-foot Poseidon in the entryway this morning.”

“Indeed, it does, we’re going to have a whole Greek exhibit for a while.” Ivan drew a tall black-and-white lekythos vase. The sides depicted Achilles and Ajax sparring against each other. “Very nice!”

“It’s beautiful,” Sammy began entering information. “How old?”

“This’ll be of the Diosphos Era — 500BC I reckon.” Ivan found the manifest sheet. “Yup, it’s confirmed here.” He gave Sammy the inventory and continued to line up more Lekythoi and Amphorae from the crate. One such Amphora was painted with ‘Pompeii’ it commemorated the volcanic disaster in Italy.  The next contained a Terracotta bull in a Hellenistic style. A series of display cases containing beautiful coins depicting various gods and creatures. Then came something which Ivan wasn’t expecting. He drew out a large gold disc. It seemed to glow as it came clear of the crate.

Sammy’s mouth dropped open, “Wow that’s—”

The lights flashed out for the briefest second before the power was restored. With it came a burst of heat as if the thermostat had been switched to full in the room.

“— Magnificent.” she finished glancing about her with a fearfulness.

“Is … this … on the manifest?” Ivan said, his face amber in the glow from the ancient and mysterious disc. It was easily a meter in diameter and carved with intricate spiral patterns.

“I don’t see anything that could be it, listed here,” Sammy said running a pink manicured nail down the list item by artefact again.

Ivan felt as if his hands were glued to the mysterious object. Some sort of power was vibrating along his forearms in a way he couldn’t describe. He couldn’t tear his eyes from the large spiral in the centre. “This … is not … Ancient Greek,” he muttered with sweat dripping from his face onto the metallic surface.

 “How do you know?”

“Orichalcum.” Ivan’s glasses slid off his nose, bounced off the disc, and shattered on the floor. He remained frozen; gazing at the confounding object.

“What that?” Sammy asked, her eyes fixed on him. “Are you okay?”

Ivan shook his head, “… ancient … alloy of undetermined … metals.” Ivan felt his whole-body vibrating. “Likely gold and … copper or brass … zinc or something — something … betw —” The vibration stopped and Ivan crashed the floor.

“Ivan!” Sammy dropped beside him. She saw the disc still clutched in his hands. Grabbing the rim, she tried to take it away. Ivan’s hands were clenched tight upon it. “Ivan let it go!” Sammy gripped his fingers and tried to prise them from the disc. Now, the mysterious energy was pouring into her body as well. Within seconds she too was unconscious alongside the curator.

The weirdest part was still to come. When Ivan and Sammy woke up in the hospital a week later; both were able to vividly describe the orichalcum disc and its effects upon them. Yet those who found them on the floor of the examination room had never seen the ancient disc. It had vanished as if it was never in there.

The End


Thanks for reading my friends. As always there are more stories to be enjoyed (I hope) in the Short Stories and Short Stories 2 tabs.

Have a great day!

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