All That Is Buried Is Not Treasure

In which we learn the dangers of finding more than was sought…  Also, of quitting wizard school before being trained very well.

This is my story in response to this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction. Click on the blue frog below to read some of the other writers’ takes on this photo of Roman ruins!

Roman ruins.119-08-august-30th-2015

Daen tossed yet another rusted nail and glared at Ellin. “Can’t you focus it so you only detect gold?

Eyes still closed, Ellin turned away, waving his hand slowly around the old ruins. “Don’t break my concentration. And no, it’s all metals.”

Daen snorted. “Can’t believe Father spent so much and you still can’t tell treasure from trash.”

The youngest brother pouted. He’d never get Guild training now.

Ellin pointed. “There!”

The three lifted the stone slab off the central fire pit, grunting in unison.

Something sparkled under the top layer of dirt. A decorative gold chain, shockingly shiny after being buried this long. Daen pulled. “It’s stuck. Keep digging.”

Oma found the bones first. He leapt backwards.

Daen laughed. “The dead won’t begrudge us a bracelet.” Daen untangled it from the skeletal wrists and stood, appreciating its weight in his hands.

Ellin leaned closer, examining the embedded gems. “This must be worth a fortune.”

Oma frowned. “What do you suppose that strange writing is?”

Behind them, the skeletal hand moved. Flexed. Ah, finally unfettered. The dirt fell from her bones as she stood, the jade amulet clanking against her ribs. The boys froze in fear.

Good. She was hungry.

Word count: 200


20 thoughts on “All That Is Buried Is Not Treasure

    • Yep, I imagine that if the real-world Egypt could have used undead grave guards, they would have! In this particular case though it’s not so much a punishment for grave robbing as the predictable consequences of freeing a deadly monster. Oops.


  1. Creepy story that reminds me of the great Indiana Jones & pirate movies from the 1980s. I love the way you drop in just enough detail to let our imaginations fill in the rest!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I was trying to be a little spookier than usual. Too bad Indiana Jones wasn’t there with them; he might have known who this mysterious figure was, and recognized the importance of the golden chain before removing it and freeing her.


    • Thanks Millie! Hilarious, spooky, I’ll take either one. I think how that last bit comes across depends on how sympathetic the reader is with those three brothers, because obviously things are not going to end well for them!


      • No it probably isn’t going to end well for them, and I do sympathise with their plight. But, somehow, the skeleton moving and standing struck me as funny. I know it’s because similar incidents have been used in comedy films and cartoons. I’m sure you intended it to be more spooky (or terrifying) than that. Either way, it made a great ending to your story.

        Liked by 1 person

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