Short Story: Trespassers Will Be Cursed

An old, weathered plaque stands outside the cave. You know the words written on them by heart.

KEEP OUT. TRESPASSERS WILL BE CURSED.

You ignore it, as you’ve done all your previous trips to the excavation site. The rest of your team follows without a fuss.

Well, most of your team.

“It says keep out,” your new assistant says.

“Don’t worry about it,” you say.

“But I don’t want to be cursed.”

It’s a familiar fear. Most of your current team members had the same doubts when they first came onsite. You convinced them, and you’re confident you’ll be able to talk the newcomer around too.

“We’ve been here for years, and nothing has happened to anyone. It’s just a relic of a long-gone civilization,” you say.

In this modern day and age, that usually works, but the new assistant is unconvinced.

“I don’t feel comfortable. I’d rather stay out.”

You frown.

“This is where we spend most of our time. If you don’t want to go in, then you’re unfortunately not suited for this team. Your job or your superstition. You choose.”

Your new assistant wrings her wrists, but finally relents and follows you in.

“Good choice.” You pat her on the back, then turn your attention to today’s work.

Even after years of exploration, you’re still discovering new rooms. Today’s chamber was only found yesterday, and you’re excited to see what you’ll uncover.

Your assistant is less so.

“I think I’ll resign after all,” she says anxiously, ignoring all the ancient artifacts you have just unearthed. Your lips twist as you turn to her.

“If that’s how you feel, the exit is right behind you.”

The girl leaves. You put her out of your mind. You have more significant things to focus on.

Like the gold-plated doll on the ground.

You pick it up with gloved hands, but the thin material isn’t enough to stop what is to come. Your human hands have defiled the guardian of the temple. You have defiled my avatar.

The eyes on the doll open.

“Trespasser, on you a curse I place. Until all of mine is back in place, you and yours will have no place.”

You are alarmed, but ultimately brush it off as a trick from a dead culture. You will learn better soon.

Better start looking, trespasser.

~End~

Genre: fantasy

September post count: 6/12

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