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Rated: E · Short Story · Horror/Scary · #2148325
Artifacts on the Hill-A Screams!!! Win

The Sentry

Tommy and Michael stood staring at the tree. Unsure of what they were looking at, puzzled expressions covered their faces. Ten-year-old boys aren't usually captivated by a tree unless it involves climbing it. The tree was old and towering, and its trunk was massive, chiseled with marks of age. It projected wisdom, a stately sage of antiquity. The boys cared nothing about that, at the moment they were scared.

"Did you hear that, Tommy?" Michael whispered.

"Yeah, well, maybe. What did you hear?" Tommy spoke afraid to admit to his friend that he was shaking in his boots.

"That tree just said it was going to kill us. Let's get out of here! "Michael was visibly quivering.

Tommy shook his head in agreement. Quickly, they ran down the hill, stopping at the bottom to look back up at the tree.

"Damn, I wanted another arrowhead. I told them I would bring it to school on Monday "remarked Tommy.

"I am not going back up there. I don't care what you say. Something is just not right about that tree."

Tommy sneered at his friend. Then, he got the thought that maybe if he shamed his friend, he wouldn't have to go back up the hill alone.

"You, chicken shit! Go on home. I am going back up."

"Not me, man. You are on your own." Michael climbed back on his bike, riding away from the tree and away from the hill.

"Jerk, I think I hear your mommy calling you." Tommy stood at the bottom of the hill pondering whether the arrowhead was worth the trek back up the hill. He would risk it. No dumb old tree was going to scare Tommy Scarborro. He steeled himself, running back up the high hill carrying a big stick.

Once he was on top of the hill, he was sure to maintain a five-foot radius away from the tree. No use being foolish, the boy thought to himself. He started digging in random areas. They had been quite lucky to unearth many artifacts on this hill. Most of the items were found in the gulley around the hill, but Tommy was sure he would find something really cool on the hill.

Cahokia Mounds was the official name of the hill that the kids liked to explore. It is one of the largest archeological sites in North America. Known for the large earthly structures, stretching over 5 miles, its origins date back to 600AD. A strong Native American history lies beneath the dirt. A large population of Indian culture called Cahokia home. The mounds that were constructed for religious, ceremonial, and burial purposes are rich in Indian artifacts. Even today, mystery and strange occurrences surround the site.

Tommy continued to dig until he struck an object that caused his pocket knife to break in half. The boy worried about having to explain the damage to his knife to his father. He swore he heard the tree laugh. He wasn't giving up. He had to have the object buried in the ground, so he used the end of the knife to dig. Tommy started digging with intensity, using his hands like a dog looking for a bone. Finally, he unearthed the item of interest. It was a primitive mask. It was a fully intact ceremonial mask decorated with faded colors of the earth.

Tommy was excited by his find. He picked it up and carefully tried to dust away the dirt embedded for thousands of years. Tommy was sure to be the big man on campus come Monday. He couldn't wait to show those nimrods.

The wind started blowing hard with a whistling howl. The branches of the tree moved with the wind. Tommy suddenly felt very isolated and alone with only the tree and the mask for his company. The sky grew dark and heavy with clouds.

Tommy thought it would be a good time to head home. He had already proved his bravery by finding the mask. No need to push the issue. He turned to descend the hill with his prize in hand.

He heard a voice deep and strong that carried through the wind. "This is the burial site of our Gods. No man shall unearth their treasures."

Tommy turned to the tree, staring. He spoke to himself,"Tommy you did not really hear that. Just take the mask and get the hell out here."

The tree answered, "Do not ignore the Sentry of the Gods."

Tommy started to run but his feet were held in place. Tree roots wrapped around the boy's legs, tying him to the mound. He held tight to the mask.

Tommy yelled at the tree," Let me go!"

The sentry spoke,"All treasures must remain. Death will come to all who sully the site of our Gods."

Tommy argued, "I'm leaving if you let me go. I will be gone. Just thought the mask was cool, man. "He set the mask down.

The tree roots started to slowly unwind from his legs. Tommy's plan was to grab the mask when he was free. Then, he would run like crazy. No tree could catch him.

The Sentry spoke, "The treasures must remain buried."

"Just let me go, man! I'm out of here."

Tommy thought that if he wore the mask the sentry would not hurt him. The tree was supposed to protect the mask. Logically, Tommy would be safe if he wore the mask.

Tommy dashed to mask and placed it on his face daring the tree to hurt him. The mask came to life, molding to the boy's face. Tommy fought to tear it off.

The Sentry spoke," Treasures of the Gods must remain buried..."

The ground began to sink around Tommy sucking him into the ancient burial site. Dirt from the earth covered the boy and the mask.

The Sentry spoke," Treasures of the Gods must remain buried..."

word count 989
© Copyright 2018 L.A. Grawitch (lgrawitch at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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