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by brom21
Rated: ASR · Short Story · Supernatural · #2137521
Two teenagers and an archaeologist find a key that could shroud the world in darkness.
5,989 words Prompt: The key to another dimension

Lucy sat next to Titus who had a beaming smile on the school bus as it neared the museum. He squirmed in his seat rubbing his hands together.

Lucy chuckled. “You’re such a book worm Titus. You act like we’re going to Disney Land.”

Titus looked at her. “You should be exited too. The museum just acquired over ten new items. Isn’t that great!?”

Lucy shook her head. “I guess that’s cool. Do you know what any of the new artifacts are?”

“As a matter of fact I do. I’m particularly interested in a photocopy of an old scroll that was just discovered several months ago in the Rocky Mountains.”

Lucy raised an eyebrow. “Hmm, that is neat. What is the scroll about?”

“That is what is exiting. It has not been fully deciphered. Archeologists are still translating the actual scroll.”

“How much of the scroll has been translated?”

“I don’t know,” Titus said as he pursed his lips. “I’m going to ask around and see if anyone knows.”

The bus pulled beside a curb next to the museum entrance. Everyone on the bus shuffled out babbling loudly.

Titus hopped out of the bus and sprinted through the group toward the glass double doors and shoved them open and went through.

“Titus, wait for me!” Lucy yelled. She rolled her eyes. “Oh Titus what am I going to do with you?” she mumbled to herself. She walked with the rest of the crowd that was being led by a tall man with glasses in a Polo shirt and Dockers. He looked around the group of students with a frown. He approached Lucy. “Where is Titus?”

“You know how he is. He barged outside the moment the bus stopped.”

The teacher sighed. “Well, at least his addiction is healthy.”

When Lucy had entered along with everyone else, there her best friend was smiling over a glass casing. The photocopy was in a corner of the museum all by itself with overhead lights shining on.

“Isn’t it amazing?” asked Titus.

“I guess so.”

Titus jerked his head to face Lucy. “Holdup; I’m going to ask if any of the staff knows anything.”

Lucy grabbed his shirt. “There is a slim chance that someone here would know what it means.”

Titus pulled away. “I’ll take whatever chance I can get. Who knows?” Next Titus scampered off in the direction of a woman with a name tag. Lucey saw him speak briefly. Then the woman shook her head and Titus lowered his eyes and frowned.

He sulked back to Lucy with raised eyebrows. “She told me she didn’t know what it means and that no one else would know either.”

Lucy put a hand on Titus’ shoulder. “I’m sorry. I know how much it means to you.” Lucy motioned with her head. “Come on. Let’s go look at something else.”

Suddenly a male voice came from behind them. “Excuse me young man, I couldn’t help but overhear your situation.”

Lucy veered her eyes. “Who are you?”

“I am Dr. Grale. I am one of the archeologists who has been working on the scroll you are so eager to know.”

“You are?! Will you tell us!?” asked the jovial Titus.

The archeologist smiled softly and chuckled. “Actually, I can.”

“Why are you telling us?” asked Lucy.

The portion that has been deciphered will be revealed to the rest of the scientific world and the public press in two weeks. I think you both can keep it secret until then.”

Lucy and Titus looked at each other and raised an eyebrow.

“I will tell you what the portion of what has been translated but you can’t tell anyone until it gets published.”

“Thank you sir.” said Titus.

Dr. Grale looked squarely into Titus’ eyes. “Now you both must give me your word you will not tell anyone okay?”

The two nodded.

Dr. Grale went to the casing of the photocopy. “Now much of the writing cannot be directly translated to English words but we are able to get the gist of it if you would.” Dr. Grale stopped and cleared his throat. “It basically says there is an object that has an unusual property.”

Titus jumped at his words. “What kind of Property?”

“Let me finish.” Grale folded his hands and out them to his chin. “This object acts as a key to something. As far as we know, this “something” is one of three things: it’s key to a chest of some sort, a key to a door or a key operates a device of some kind.”

“Where is this key supposed to be?” asked Titus.

“It is located somewhere relatively close to the place where the scroll was found.”

Titus was lit up with a gaping mouth. “I’d give anything to find that key.”

Dr. Grale patted Titus on the back. “My sentiments exactly.” The man looked at his watch. “I have to go. You kids enjoy the rest of the museum.” Then he walked off.

“It sounds like something from Indiana Jones. It is quite a stretch. It could be some legend,” said Lucy.

“I don’t think so. There is something that is peculiar about this.”

Lucy frowned. “So now you have magical senses?”

“I’m serious Lucy. Even Dr. Grale believes it,” Titus put forth.

“Okay fine.” Lucy looked at the crowd of students away from them. “Come on, we should catch up with the rest of the class.”

The two friends joined their fellow peers, and for the next hour they were shown artifacts like pots, and clay tablets as well as some fossils of extinct organisms. Titus appeared lost in thought and that his mind was on the scroll the whole time. At last the tour was over and everyone clamored back into the bus. Titus sat cross armed and stared into space.

“Get a hold of yourself Titus. Return to Earth already. Even if this key exists it will take years to find.”

“You may be right, but still it will be the most important discovery yet. I’m willing to wait.”

“Whatever. Let’s talk about something else.” Lucy looked around as she scratched her head. Suddenly her eyes widened and he face lit up. “Let’s go to the movies tomorrow!”

“Okay! But I choose the next movie we see,” said Titus.

“Alright. Let me guess – the new Star Wars?”

“Yup,” Titus said with a nod.

“Deal,” answered Lucy.

When the bus dropped the students off, ancient history was the last class. It was one of Titus’ favorite courses. The subject being explored was the fall of Babylon at the hands of the Medes. He hung on every detail. Finally class ended with the sound of a bell. Students shuffled books and papers into their back packs.

“Have you seen the latest trailer?” asked Titus.

“Yeah, it looks cool. It didn’t show much about the plot though,” Lucy responded.

“It’s called The Last Jedi. That should give us a hint.”

The two friends continued talking until they were dropped off at the bus stop. The wind was blowing with a light winter gale that ruffled the two students’ hair and clothes. They walked shoulder to shoulder as the socialized.

They made their way down the narrow sidewalk to Juniper Street where Titus lived. His house was a two story giant with a Mercedes parked in a U-shaped driveway. The front of the house was lined with tall palm trees and a fountain inside the U-shape.

Lucy and Titus entered and walked across the tiled floor to the kitchen area where Titus’ mom was. She had just pulled out fresh brownies and had a bright smile on her. “Hey kids. How was the school fieldtrip?”

Her son was about to burst with what had transpired then Lucy elbowed him. “Oh um, we saw lots of cool things. Old artifacts like fossils, tablets and animal bones.”

“I know you must have enjoyed that son.”

He nodded as he took a plate with one big brownie from his mom who also gave one to Lucy.

“Thanks Mrs. Smith.,” said Lucy. “I mean Janet. You know how my parents raised me.”

“Well, you know how it makes me feel old.”

“We’re going to watch TV.” Titus said.

“Okay kids. Off you go.”

They plopped onto a black leather couch and Lucy picked up the remote and turned on the TV.

“You know I’ve been thinking about that scroll. If it is true it could receive more publicity than any discovery in the modern era,” said Titus.

“The archeologist said the scroll mentioned a key to one of three things: a key to an ancient device, a chest, or a doorway. If you could pick one what would it be?”

Titus scratched his head. “I didn’t think of that. They all sound so fascinating. I guess I would choose – a doorway. What about you?”

“I’d choose a chest. I’m sure there would be some sort of treasure,” Lucy said with a bounce.

“Well Dr. Grale said it is still being translated. We’re certain to find out.”

“Now that makes me excited,” said Lucy. “Could you change the channel?” she said with a raised inflection.

“Okay I know. You’ve had enough of National Geographic type stuff.”

A few hours passed and Lucy suddenly blurted out. “That’s’ right! We need money and someone to take us to the movies.”

Titus asked for both things and were given six dollars each and Titus’ mom said she would drop them off and pick them up. Soon, Janet took Lucy home to her modest house. Later, she went to bed. 9 am came quickly as Lucy’s alarm went off. She jumped out of bed, threw on some clothes and went to the living room. A knock came from the door. Lucy opened it to find an empty front porch. She looked around. A small envelope on the ground was addressed to Lucy.

“That’s weird – no return address.”

The teenager picked it up, closed the door and sat on the couch. She opened it and inside was a letter from Dr. Grale., the archaeologist from the museum. On the paper were simple instructions: Come to 3020 Washburn Av. at 10 am. “That’s’ a block from the theater at the plaza.”

Lucy’s eyes widened and her heart skipped. “What on earth could this mean? I should call Titus.” The young girl picked up the phone and dialed. There was no answer and she hung up. “That’s strange. He’s always home at this time and the movie does not start until 11 am.”

Lucy got up and went to her mother. The baffled young girl quickly made up something so that she could be dropped off early. “Hey mom could I have a little more money? Me and Titus want to eat at Applebee’s before the movie.”

“Oh. Well just this once. After all it is Janet who is paying for the movie. How early do you two plan to eat?”

“Just an hour before the movie starts at 10 am,” Lucy said.

Lucy’s mom went to her purse and got out twenty dollars. “Here you go. We’ll leave at a quarter ‘till.”

Lucy sat on the couch twiddling her fingers as she bounced her leg. She looked at the clock and sighed. Could this involve the scroll he translated? But why would he want us? This is so nerve racking.

“It’s time,” Lucy’s’ mother said.

Lucy went into the garage and hopped in the car. The door lifted and they drove off. Ten minutes later they arrived at the Applebee’s parking lot in the shopping plaza.”

“Thanks mom,” Lucy said as she stepped out of the car.

“Your welcome sweetie. Now you’re sure it is two hours long?”

“Two hours and twenty – three minutes.”

“Okay. I’ll be at the theater after the movie.” Then she drove off.

Lucy left the parking lot and walked quickly to the end of the plaza where Dr. Grale said to meet him. It was an abandoned jewelry store that had cracked and dusty glass casings. Lucy entered.

A voice came from behind her. “Lucy!”

Lucy turned around and there was Titus.

“Titus! What are you doing here?!”

Titus raised an eyebrow. “What are you doing here?”

Lucy neared him. “I got this strange letter from Dr. Grale saying to meet him here.”

Her friend’s jaw dropped. “So did I! How did you get here?”

Lucy made a coy smile. “I made up a story.”

“So did I. I said I wanted to hang out in the Barns and Noble bookstore.”

Both of them looked around at the old tiling on the floor and the fancy lights hanging overhead. A torn leather couch lay in the corner.

Lucy shook her head gasped. “What could Dr. Grale want with us?”

A man’s silhouette appeared in the door frame.

“Dr. Grale. Is that you?” said Titus.

“It is. Thank you both for coming.”

Lucy contorted her face and veered her eyes. “What is this all about?”

“It concerns the scroll. I have deciphered the rest of the text. I know where the key mentioned is and I have learned it is a key to a door.”

“That’s fantastic!” exclaimed Titus.

“Why did you call us?” asked Lucy with a stiff face.

“It would be best if we sat down and discussed it.”

“How about the book store?” asked Titus.

“No. I do not want anyone to listen,” said the archeologist as he motioned at the couch. Besides being torn it was in fairly decent condition. Grale sat on the left and Lucy and Titus at the right. “Before I start I want to say what I have to reveal is quite dire and disturbing.”

Both of the teenagers swallowed deeply in a frozen trance.

“To begin with, I will say how I came to know what I discovered. In a cave at the base of the Rocky Mountains I brought back a tablet I put where the scroll is in the archeological Institute.”

“No way! Did you decipher it?”

“Yes. It contains a Biblical reference to the book of Revelation,” answered Dr. Grale.

“I love the book of Revelation. What part of it was mentioned on the tablet?” asked Lucy.

“It briefly gives an account of the key to the Abyss.”

“What is the Abyss?” inquired Titus.

“It is a place where some fallen angels are said to be in and that it is kind of spiritual prison,” said Dr. Grale.

“You mean like Hell?”

“Not quite. It is a place empty and void of any goodness or light. The place is mentioned a few times in the New Testament most notably in Revelation.”

“Dr. Grale, what else did the tablet say?” asked Lucy.

Dr. Grale’s face went pale and his eyes widened. “The door I speak of is…a portal to the abyss itself.”

“What will happen if it is opened?” asked Titus.

“If the key links the earth realm with the Abyss, the evil beings within will be unleashed upon the planet and it will be plunged into darkness and destruction.”

“Well then we simply do not use the key,” said Lucy.

“There is a problem. The location of the key and the door is written on the scroll. The place indicating what the key is for is and where to find the door is on the tablet I found.”

Lucy’s eyes widened. “If the other archeologists discover where the door and the key is they will use it!”

“That is the problem. Despite where the key is said to lead, the lead scientists Dr. Kats, would not believe such things.”

“Why don’t you just take the tablet and hide it?” asked Lucy.

“The Institute is camera monitored and guarded by lasers.”

“This whole thing sounds a little farfetched,” said Titus.

“It’s real Titus! I’m not the most spiritual person in the world but I believe the Bible.”

“Why do you want us to go?” asked Titus.

“I’ll explain on the way to the site indicated on the tablet.”

Dr. Grale rose and walked towards the exit. “Follow me.”

“Wait! My mom is supposed to pick us up in a few hours.”

“Don’t worry. The site is close and our task is simple. You’ll be back in time.”

The two youngsters followed the archeologist to his SUV parked on the side of the old jewelry store and the kids hopped in. Dr. Grale drove off and began speaking.

“To start with, the main reason I need you two is because acquiring the key calls for three people.”

“What do you mean?” asked Titus.

“The key itself lay in large, circular stone structure. Now at three points around the structure are stone plates that can be pressed. I first thought they had to be pressed in a certain order. Then I saw a small picture of three human figures touching the plates at the same time.”

“That’s why you needed us – to press the three plates at the same time!”

“Precisely. Whatever the key is, we must keep it out of the hands of the other archeologists.”

Dr. Grale was now driving on a rural highway with the Rocky Mountains becoming larger as they neared it. Then they pulled to the side of the road where a slight incline led to a boulder that blocked the cave mouth. The boulder was covered with strange pictograms engraved into it.

“This is the place you two – just right in that cave.” The archaeologist got three flashlights from the very back seat. “Here you guys go,” he said as he gave one to each.

The three trudged towards the cave. Titus looked at Dr. Grale and tilted his head. “Umm…there is no way into the cave. How did you get inside?”

“Ah, but there is.” Dr. Grale neared the large stone and began touching pictographs one after the other. “This should do it.” The archaeologist touched one more pictograph and a deep, loud rumbling was heard as the boulder rolled to the right revealing a dark cave mouth.

Lucy and Titus gasped and stepped back.

“What…just happened?” asked Titus. “How did you do that?”

“It’s like magic!” exclaimed Lucy.

“It was mentioned on the scroll. I think it is ancient technology.” said Grale.

The trio turned on their flash lights and entered. The cave was about twelve feet high and perfectly round as though it had been hewn. When they past the boulder it resealed.

“How do we get out?” asked Titus?

“Yeah how do we?” Lucy repeated trembling.

“Relax. We just push against the boulder and it will open in the same fashion,” assured Dr. Grale.

Then the three began their trek through the cave tunnel.

“When do you think the rest of your colleagues with decipher the rest of the scroll and the tablet and learn the key is here?” asked Lucy.

“They are just as eager as I am. It may be this very day. Let us hope not though.”

Stalactites hung like suspended spears as they dripped water making small puddles on the cave floor. The air was moist as a light current of wind flowed against them.

“Are those tiny diamond deposits glittering on the walls?” asked Titus.

“I thought the same thing. If it was, I’d be on the first flight to Tahiti and be on a one month cruise. I tested a sample and unfortunately it is just some mineral deposit,” said Grale.

They continued onward as the cave tunnel began to descend.

“How long until we get to the stone thing?” asked Lucy.

“We will reach the stone structure in just over twenty minutes.”

“How disgusting!” yelled Lucy.

Titus jerked to his left where Lucy was staring at a black tarantula on the cave wall. Her hand was on her mouth.

Titus rolled his eyes as Dr. Grale tried to muffle his chuckle in his palms.

“It’s just a spider. Gosh. It’s not going to jump out at you. Stop being such a wimp.”

“I hate spiders!” Lucy exclaimed.

Titus sighed and motioned with his hand to keep going. “Forget about it. Let’s go.”

The eager individuals went on until the cave began to widen.

“We’re getting closer. The stone structure is quite large.”

Lucy and Titus started walking faster as the cave became wider.

“Slow down you two. I don’t have the adrenalin like you have.”

Suddenly all of them stopped. Their flashlights exposed a set of stone stairs carved out of rock.

“We’re here,” said Dr. Grale. “Come on you two – up the stairs.”

Lucy and Titus ascended the steps and both of them gasped.

“Amazing!” exclaimed Lucy as she beheld the enormous round structure.

Titus was speechless with a gaping mouth. Then he shook himself. “Show us where we are supposed to press the plates,” he said to Dr. Grale.

“Just circle around it until you both find two octagon - shaped stone plates.”

Both of them did as they were told and Lucy and Titus found the first plate. “Dr. Grale, we found the first plate,” Titus yelled.

“Very good. Titus, stay with that one. Lucy, go and find the next one.”

She circled around and soon found the next plate. “I’m here,” she spoke loudly.

“Alright. I’m at the third one. Everything is in place. When I count to three we all press them at once. Are you guy’s ready?”

“Yes,” the teenagers yelled at once.”

“Okay. One…two…Three!”

The plates were pressed simultaneously. The sound of grinding stone was heard as a ramp came out of the circular stone mass on all three sides where the plates were. The three of them backed away.

“Dr. Grale, something just came out wall where I am,” shouted Lucy.

“Me too,” yelled Titus.

“So is it on my side. I think we’re meant to go up them.”

“Whatever you say,” said Titus as he walked up the ramp in front of him. Then the three found they were looking at each other on top of a smooth surface.

Before anyone could say anything, a small pillar rose from the center. And there on top of it was a black key about a foot long in an imprint on the stone. The three approached it and for a few moments all they could do was stare.

Finally Dr. Grale stretched forth his hand and then hesitated for a couples seconds. He looked at the two teenagers as he breathed heavily. Then he clutched the neck of the key and picked it up.

“We did it! We have the key!” exclaimed Titus.

“Indeed. Now we must put it where none can find it.” Dr. Grale tilted his head and stroked his chin. “I must say I do have a morbid curiosity about what the evil within the door is like.”

“Well not me!” spoke Lucy.

“Where is the doorway anyway?” Titus inquired.

“In this same cave through that tunnel,” said Grale pointing at a round opening directly opposite the tunnel they came from.”

“Let’s get out of here,” Lucy said as she shivered.

“I couldn’t agree more,” agreed Dr. Grale as he put the key in a brown satchel.

They retraced their steps all looking like they were eager to leave. When all three were meters from the boulder that had rolled away and rolled back in place, it rolled open without any of them touching it.

And standing there huddled at the cave entrance were ten men in digging suits. Dr. Grale’s heart jumped and his jaw dropped.

“Dr. Grale, how is it that you are here alone? Did you decipher the rest of the scroll before we did and not tell us?” said a tall stocky man with the name Dr. Kats on an ID tag.

Dr. Grale mouth was open but nothing came out. Then he opened his mouth. “I was going to tell, but I did not want to wait for you all to come so I went by myself.”

“Then who are these two children doing with you?”

“I’m sorry. By ‘myself’ I just meant without all of you. These two are my nephews.”

“You’ve never mentioned them before.” Dr. Kats put forth.

“Neither have you asked.”

Another archeologist stepped forward. “I guess you know of the key and how to get it as was indicated on the scroll.”

“Of course. Now I must take my nephews back to their parents. Wait until I get back before you do anything. I’ll be back shortly.” He turned to Lucy and Titus. “Come on guys. Time to go home.”

As Grale pushed through the group of his colleagues he bumped into one of them and the satchel fell to the ground.”

“I’m sorry Dr. Grale. I’ll get that for you,” asked a short woman with blond hair.

Before Grale could object, the other female archeologist picked it up. She paused. “What on earths do you have in here? It feels like a dagger or a metal stake.” She looked into it and gasped. “That is one big key!”

“Wait a minute! Where did you get this?” said Dr. Kats as the rest of the group huddled around the woman holding it.”

“I...I…I” Grale stuttered.”

Is this thee key? Don’t lie.”

Dr. Grale looked down and exhaled deeply then wiped his sweaty face. “Very well. I do not think this is the key to the doorway in question. I happened to find lying on the cave floor.” He turned to the woman. “If you wouldn’t mind, I’ll be the one to carry that,” he said as he put it back in his satchel.

Dr. Kats smiled as he glanced at the two teenagers. “So what have you three been doing here?”

“We were exploring the tunnel for a while. Then we gave up and went back.”

Dr. Kats veered his eyes and frowned. “Really?” Then he smiled and patted Titus on the shoulder. “Well lets’ get going.”

With that, all the archeologists and the two youngsters began their course farther into the cave.

Lucy whispered into Grale’s ear. “Once they find the indention of the key on the small pillar, they’ll know.”

“I know. I’ll think of something,” he whispered back.

Suddenly Titus bent over and grabbed his stomach. “Oh! My stomach!”

Dr. Grale rushed to him. Before Grale could say anything, Titus spoke into the archaeologist’s ear.

“I’m faking it.”

Grale made a small nod. “Something is wrong with him. I should get him to a hospital.”

One of the others in the group asked what kind of pain he was having.

Uhg, It’s sharp…and…and…ah! heavy,” Titus uttered between grunts.

“I have to go Dr. Kats. It could be anything,” warned Grale.

“By all means, get going!” he answered.

“Thanks I hope you find the key.”

Dr. Grale picked Titus up and Lucy followed him. The crafty young deceiver cried out the whole way to the cave entrance. Soon the group they had left was a small light from far from them.

“You saved us Titus! I must admit, you are a good actor,” said Lucy.

“She’s right. You’re very crafty indeed. Let’s get out of here.”

Grale pressed the boulder blocking the exit and it rolled open as the cave vibrated causing dust and small rocks to fall. The sunlight was strong in their eyes. They promptly ran to their vehicle and fled in it.

“Where will we go? What will we do with the key?” asked Lucy.

“I’m going to throw it into Prospect Lake. It is quite large. No one will find it.”

“But won’t you get in trouble once the rest of the archaeologists realize you lied?” asked Titus.

“I may be stripped of my Ph.D. or even go to jail. But it a small price to pay.”

He drove to the lake and grabbed the key and was about to cast it way as far as he could when a police officer called out his name while holding out a pistol. “Stop Stephen Grale! The department has issued an order to arrest you on grounds of thievery.”

Grale froze.

“Put the key down and back away!” the officer commanded. He called for another police car to collect Grale. When the other officer arrived, he took the key to transport the key to the rest of the archaeologists and left.

Dr. Grale was put in the back of the first policeman’s car. When he did not see the two teenagers, he thought nothing of it. Just as he opened the door to step in, Lucy came from behind him and uppercut him in the groin. He dropped holding himself. Titus got the keys from the side of the door and let Grale out then took off his cuffs.

“It looks like we are all in trouble now,” he said as he withdrew the gun from the agonizing officer’s holster. “This is just in case I need some persuasion.” Grale tucked the gun in the back of his pants.

“What do you mean by ‘I’?” asked Lucy.

“I don’t want to put you in danger. There is no need for you two now.”

“But what if you do need us? What if something requires three people like before?”

Grale looked down exhaled deeply. “You may be right. Hop in.”

The doctor took to the wheel and Lucy and Titus got in the back and they sped off.

“The officer with the key left ten minutes ago, we should be able to catch him if we hurry. And that means running red lights when possible.”

With every street long enough, Dr. Grale almost floored the accelerator. As they drove through every red light, drivers honked and yelled at them. Eight minutes later, they had gotten on the rural highway. There were almost no cars on the road and Grale pushed the pedal to the floor reaching one-hundred miles per hour. When another five minutes had passed they were at their destination and gasped at the sight of an empty police car.

“He has gone into the cave to give to them!” exclaimed Grale. “We must hurry!”

The three bolted into the cave and made out a person with a flashlight farther in.

“Officer wait!” the archeologist yelled.

“Who’s there?” returned the officer. “Stay where you are!”

“You have to listen to me! Don’t give them that key!”

The policeman shined his high-powered flashlight onto the three at the entrance. “What are you doing here?”

“Just hear me out,” said the doctor as he raised his hands.

The officer pulled out his firearm. “Stay there!” He then pulled out his radio and the three heard him call for backup. Suddenly one of the archeologists came from behind him. It was the lead archeologist Dr. Kats.

From a distance Lucy, Grale and Titus saw the armed officer give him the key.

“Doctor, the key really does lead to the Biblical abyss like the scroll spoke of,” he yelled again.

Across the way from the three, it appeared the other two were talking. Then the officer lowered his gun.

Dr. Kats yelled out. “You truly believe this key opens door to some kind of underworld? It’s obviously a ruse to ward off treasure most likely. Think of how famous we all will be when we publish this news to the world?”

“No, you’re wrong!”

“Just so you can see for yourself, I will let you witness us open the door.”

“I’m begging you Dr. Kats!”

“Stop babbling and come here. Let your nephews come too.”

The three ran to him and kept pleading with no avail. They were led past the circular structure to another corridor. At last they all met the rest of the archeologists. And towering nine feet high was a double stone door with a keyhole on the right one.

“Ladies and gentlemen today we are making history,” said Dr. Kats.

Everyone clapped and cheered accept Dr. Don Wright, the youngest in the company except for the two teenagers. He frowned while looking down, playing with his hands.

The lead archeologist took the key in the keyhole and turned it. Moments later the entire cave started to quake. Pieces of rock and dust were falling from the walls and ceiling. The door began to crack open as thick, black smoke spewed through the opening.

“You fool! I told you!” yelled Dr. Grale to Dr. Kats.

“What’s happening?!” Kats uttered as his eyes widened and glossed over.

“You’ve opened the portal to the abyss!”

The people shouted and ran for the exit. The door opened wider and blood curdling shrieks and roars came from behind the door. Suddenly an immense, dark, winged creature with the head of a snake flew past the door and landed in the way of the fleeing archeologists. They were trapped.

“After we finish you, we will wreak havoc upon the Earth,” said the winged creature.

The cave area was now filling with unwelcomed entities. Great beasts like harpies, dragons the size of bears, huge repulsive spiders and centipedes were filling the space. Everyone was choking on the smoke from the abyss. It seemed they were all doomed.

Then the timid Dr. Don Wright closed his eyes, kneeled and began saying something in some kind if middle-eastern tongue.

“Don what are you doing!?” asked Grale.

Don kept speaking for a few more minutes. The door was now fully open and a ferocious black three headed dragon more horrific than any other of the evil beings was stepping through. Don spoke for several more seconds and a bright light filled the area. Then the dragon and all the abyssal beings were being sucked back into the nebulous, eerie, smoke-filled portal. The smoke was being drawn back into the void and the door was closing.

Suddenly, a giant snake-like creature with wings snagged Dr. Kats with a forked tongue as he was pulled into the door. He cried for help but was pulled into the abyss as well. Strangely the vacuum that was sucking in the dark creatures had no pull on the humans. The beings tried to escape as the door closed. They cried out until their maddening shrieks were extinguished. It seemed like it was over.

Grale approached Don. “What on Earth did you do?!”

“I spoke a divine prayer that expelled the dark entities back to their prison,” he answered with a sporadic pant as he bent over, trying to catch his breath.

“But where and how?”

“Honestly, I did not think it would work. You see I found yet another tablet saying how to reseal the door and drive the beings back in. But, like I said I had no idea the key would open a portal to another dimension. Not in my wildest imagination did I believe this would transpire.”

“Then why would take the time to memorize it,” asked Lucy as Titus followed her.

“Lucy, Titus! I forgot all about you guys. Where were you?” asked Dr. Grale.

“We were hiding over there,” Titus said pointing to a small crevice in the cave wall.”

“To answer your question Lucy, I don’t know how I recalled it. It just came out of me.”

Everyone else was still in shock, rubbing their eyes and coughing.

Dr. Grale took the key out of the stone door and put it in his satchel. “I think it would be good to just leave the key here and collapse the tunnel with dynamite.”

“That is a good idea,” said Titus.

All who had witnessed the heinous occurrence realized they would carry it to their graves knowing none would believe them except for a few people with exceptional intuition.”

“Oh no! My mom was supposed to pick us up forty minutes ago!” said Titus.

“Let’s just say we were in the book shop and say we lost track of time,” offered Lucy.

“I hope it works,” said Titus.

Lucy took a deep breath then sighed. “If only the rest of the world could know what happened.”

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