The Tomb

“This is sure to be it.” The shaky beams of their flashlights swung through dust-laden air and converged on a door, heavy oak and rusted metal and ancient. Mannerheim dropped his pack, pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose, and grinned triumphantly. “We found it. Bloody fool Tennenbaum and his bloody fool curse. Probably translated it wrong.”

Rogers prodded, “Shall we?”

Mannerheim tried the handle, found it frozen tight. He picked at the lock, but tripped no mechanism. Finally he pulled a crowbar from his pack and tried to wedge it in —here, and then there — before giving up: there were no useful gaps between door and stone. “If we only had the key.”

“Franz, I do wish you hadn’t said that.”

Rogers’ hand had closed tight around his upper arm, nails digging in. Mannerheim turned to see his friend’s face ashen and lip quivering. He followed his eyes…

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