The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Let Sleeping Boys Lie
Tall mountains stood sentinel in the grey mist. The fog swirled thickly around them, allowing only a few feet of vision on their downward path. Their guide, Diego, had already disappeared into the mist, eager to get as far away from the two archaeologists and their treasure as he could.
“Do you really think this is wise? It may cause more trouble than its worth.” Sandy glanced at his partner, Dr. Pete Gallagher, as he puffed his way down the hill. “You know the stories. And the Peruvian natives will definitely cause a stir when they see it.”
“But the scientific community will thank me.” Dr. Gallagher smiled as he patted the covered figure that rode a stretcher beside him. He casually ignored the terrified faces of the two men who carried it.
Sandy mused over this for a bit. He stole a glance at the mummified remains that accompanied them.
It truly was a magnificent discovery, and one that Dr. Gallagher had strived hard to bring to the attention of his fellow archaeologists. It had been an uphill struggle to get the permissions to acquire the child.
The boy looked as if he was asleep, but his murder/sacrifice had been made at least a hundred years ago—if not longer. Sandy marveled at the remarkable preservation that had been accomplished by the thin air and cold temperatures that surrounded this peak.
His thoughts were interrupted by a sudden and terrified screech from within the murkiness ahead.
“Dr. Gallagher? That was Diego…”
Gallagher snorted. “Probably saw a snake.”
Sandy noted that the mummy was no longer beside them. He looked back in time to see the carriers running away, slipping into the fog behind them and leaving the child abandoned on the trail.
Gallagher harumphed. “I will certainly not be paying those two. Afraid of a snake…”
His words were cut short when he saw the look of terror that now effused the face of his colleague. Sandy was pointing down the trail, seemingly paralyzed.
Gallagher looked where he was pointing, and his heart about stopped.
The skies had cleared, but the fog remained. It had morphed into a giant white snake and was coming toward them, its eyes afire and its mouth wide open.
The two didn’t have a chance to call out or to run. In seconds the snake had engulfed them.
Silence descended on the trail once again. The snake slithered to the boy, who opened his eyes for a moment and smiled. The foggy reptile picked him up in its coils and made its way back to the cave where he had been unearthed. Once inside, the boy nestled into the snake, let out a sigh of happiness, and went back to sleep.
The snake released the child, as tenderly as any mother, and left the cave.
It ascended further up the mountain and deposited the bones of the discovery party on an obscure altar stone, hidden from view for all time. It then returned to its fog shape, forever the guardian of all that was sacred in its realm.
Fiction © Copyright K.R. Morrison
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com.
More from Author K.R. Morrison:
Lydia’s faith in God is strong – at least on paper. But what happens when that faith is tested? Turned into a vampire by the worst – Vlad Drakul – she feels that God has abandoned her. But the opposite is true. God rescues her from a fate worse than death, and brings her into the plan He has for global redemption. With the help He sends, she feels like nothing can stop her. But when Vlad torments her again, and then her family, the temptation to run and hide is almost too strong to resist. Her answer to God’s call is the deciding factor in the battle that pits the angelic powers of God against the demonic powers of Hell.