An Artifact

An Artifact

“This class blows,” said Henry.  “Everything blows according to you – blondes blow but you do not dislike them, do you?” replied Ron.  “No, I do not dislike blondes,” admitted Henry.  He was the more intelligent of the two; Ron thought he had to try to know. He was forced to put forth at least a minimal amount of effort, where Henry sometimes did not even begin to need to. Henry, at times, took his various gifts of intelligence for granted. It was no big deal; it was his way of knowing more with less stress.

The class they happened to be early for was an Archaeology class. It was two weeks before spring break on a Friday; their instructor was from India. His hobby was training for half marathons. The professor arrived (finally), and all entered the class room. Professor Rauckbon said:

“For these few weeks I have been giving you various assignments on research and study. We have been the travelers of a digging study program, found small items for documentation and study. I am thinking today will be a more fun and a less arduous approach. I am thinking… today is movie day. It is a day for showing and telling, a surprise fun and easy day for us all. Why did you not know about this showing and telling? Because I am the one doing the showing, as well as the one doing the telling. So sit back and enjoy what we can do with one of our school’s newest projector mechanisms.”

The professor happily turned the lights off with a remote and operated the projector with yet another remote.  He was originally born in India and spoke over seven languages.  His video was an impressive collection of films documenting historical sites in India, both famous and rare.  He displayed archaeological sites rarely mentioned to mainstream media, including a secret grave site for old religious leaders from thousands of years ago.  His interesting story involved a handcrafted artifact.

The artifact was a sacred object of very old Indian religion.  During those times, in that specific region, religion and the afterlife involved mostly the respect of items considered to be holy or magical.  Only a blessed item could be used to cause intentional re-incarnation.  Before known documented history, the region went to war with a neighboring community.  An approximate two to three thousand men on each opposing side engaged in a bloody war.  The death toll of the war numbered in the thousands.  The sole leader of the region containing the burial site was said to have used the artifact in war to take the life of multiple enemies in one current situation, while reviving his deadliest war heroes.

What made the story interesting to the professor was the idea of modern progress and the notion of the artifact’s “new” location.  A very large house of worship had been constructed during modern times; it contained a secret underground structure with catacombs, tombs, and protected structures for hiding national items sacred for historical or religious reasons or both.  Common thieves had robbed the grave site in modern times; the government of India recovered these items and hid them under the more secure modern temple.  Due to economic expansion, a large skyscraper was built on top of the old burial site.

Hard to explain for the professor, he related that, Geologically, the site was an excellent place for the eighty story building because of the prehistoric bedrock below it.  A highly secret, rare organization could still, in theory, access the actual grave site of the war heroes of long ago beneath the skyscraper.  The office building was an approximate 400 yards in perimeter before including any surrounding structures.  It was very big.

The professor went into detail in regards to the magically religious artifact.  It was a small white monkey, hand carved and polished from the tusk of a ceremoniously fattened elephant’s tusk.  It was clothed in melted and cooled 24-carrot decorative gold.  The artifact’s brow sported an uncut diamond; its eyes were identical rubies.  The rubies were said to glow in various ways, showing powers, dangers, and or actions performed through the item.  It was a surprise to the professor that the artifact was used in a war over territory.  He thought the war would have been over the magical artifact, instead.  It was said to have gained its eternal powers via a dark Indian priest – he died too give the precious little monkey its magical powers.

By this time, 80% of the class had fallen asleep, completely.  Ron and Henry were both paying attention, intently, however.  They would be sure to discuss the knew knowledge of an old Indian artifact after class.  They were not the only students paying attention.  Two students in the back row wrote down the names of certain cities; they exchanged looks.  These two guys were not up to anything phenomenaly wonderful, that was for sure.

The class adjourned.  “Those guys were up to something,” said Henry.  “Of course they were,” said Ron, “What on Earth could it have been?”  “They want that artifact,” said Henry.  “I doubt they can get it,” said Ron, “It would be well worth their time, in this lifetime, to try, though.  The item would have to be of great worth.  I would guess that there is the chance that it is actually spiritually enhanced or magical.”  “It would not surprise me,” said Henry, thinking.  “What is on your mind?” asked Ron.  “Spring break,” said Henry, “I bet if they try to go to India, it will be then.”  “India?” asked Ron.  “They are after that monkey,” said Henry, “I am sure of it.”

Days went by and Henry and Ron continued to do well in school.  The artifact was on their minds; they saw and overheard the two other Archaeology students planning their spring break trip to go to India in the front study area of their school’s largest library.  The two students planning had no suspicion of Ron and Henry’s thought.  Ron and Henry followed the two other students to a travel agency that evening; they purchased tickets to fly to India as the other two students had.

Mexico…” said Henry.  “I agree,” said Ron, “India will be much more fun than a repeat trip to the infamous Cancun.  I cannot wait.  I am bringing my new digital camera for picture taking.  I cannot wait to see what my fellow bloggers post in consideration of my attempts with the photography of distant lands.”  Ron and Henry would fly on the same airplane, land in a big city in India, stay in the most inexpensive resort hotel there, and track/follow the two students attempting to partake in crime.  That was their plan.

Ron and Henry thought their plan to be a long-shot.  The other two classmates were definitely going to try to take the artifact.  Whether they could even acquire it was more than half of the problem, the rest was stopping them or helping authorities in India catch the terrible college students during spring break.

Many things went as planned.  The two questionable young men flew to India.  So did Ron and Henry, with information on the other two students from the travel agency.  All four rested through one night, Ron and Henry woke up before dawn to see a mind blowing sunrise.  They found and followed the other two.  The two questionable individuals had attained secret information on the modern religious structure.  They assaulted and bound two guards, entered a door with an electronic key/pass-card.  Once in the catacombs, the two had  a small amount of time to find the stone storage structure which contained the ivory monkey.

The two bad-guys had attained a map; they found a large stone box.  They used a nearby pry-tool to open the box; it contained a few skulls of old war heroes, some ancient religious texts, some old jewelry, and an artifact or two.  One of these small items was a little bottle used to preserve a dead-person’s blood sample for religious reasons.  This item frightened one of the thieves, the other one shook him by the shoulder so they could get the monkey and go.  The scared one took the monkey and put it in his small backpack; they ran to escape.

It would not be easy for the two criminals to escape.  They did so, however.  They were chased by government officials and religious leaders.  They made it to a popular part of the large city and were somewhat safe from the authorities there.  They did not escape Ron and Henry, though.  The criminals went to a large shopping mall to safely plan a nonchalant route back to their hotel.  They planned to fly back to the states and sell the artifact for as much as possible.

Ron and Henry found the two in the shopping mall.  The mall was near the criminals’ hotel.  Henry snuck up behind the student with the backpack and opened it.  Ron reached in and grabbed the monkey; they walked away.  The criminals noticed the open backpack.  Where was the artifact? They did not know.  The criminals were in shambles, and they were surrounded by authorities and arrested on counts of violence and improper entry.  No one knew where the artifact was other than Henry and Ron.

The two intelligible college students considered themselves to be the good guys.  They flew back to the states with the spiritual item; they would know what was best for the artifact.  Ron and Henry got the item back to the states safely.  They gazed upon it in Henry’s living room.  He split his rent with four other students.  His housemates thought the monkey was cool; Henry kept it on a mantle.

Summer came and Henry’s housemates had all gone back to where they were from for work-related purposes.  Ron, like Henry, stayed in college over the summer to take more courses.  They had time in the evenings for study.  One night, the artifact came up in conversation.  “It has been sitting on your mantle there for weeks like a 5$ dust collector,” said Ron.  “I have not thought much about it,” said Henry, looking at the monkey.  Its gold was impressive; its eyes were mysterious.  Henry stood and beheld the artifact.  He sat it on a small table in the center of the room.

Ron gazed upon the item, as did Henry.  “I think we can talk with it,” said Ron.  “How?” asked Henry.  “I will try a way,” said Ron.  He gently pet the top of the ivory artifact’s head, and its eyes began to glow.  Henry and Ron both immediately sat back in their seat on a sofa.  They were not too scared.  The two students were rather curious instead.  A spirit floated up out of the monkey.  It was a female elephant.  “Who are you?” asked the elephant.  Henry was speechless.  Ron never really knew what he was talking about, anyway.  He said, “I am Ron, and this is Henry.  We are amazed with your history – we know little about you.”  The nice elephant blushed, slightly, and said, “I have helped many a man in war.  I have helped many a woman in love.  My powers are rare and desired.  I can fulfill untold desires.”  Henry still did not really think he was experiencing anything real.

“We are more interested in what you want,” said Ron after thinking hard and fast with his attention focused on the female elephant spirit.  He figured she would disappear if he lost concentration.  It had happened before with other spiritual conversations.  “If you must know,” replied the elephant, “I want to return to my original tomb.  I was there to protect an old warrior from spiritual malevolency.  I want to go there until certain resolutions from this side are resolved permanently.”  “Then what will you do?” asked Ron.  Henry was still gazing upon the elephant in awe.  “I am not so sure,” said the elephant, “I am not very selfish, resolutions of these sorts can take a great deal of time.  At least we have made progress over there.”

“Amazing,” said Henry.  “You talk after all,” said the elephant, “Thank you for protecting me.”  She was beginning to return to the monkey.  “Wait!” said Ron, “What is your name?”  “Imalia,” whispered the elephant, and she faded away.

“Well that does it,” said Ron, “We have to bring that back to the site under the big skyscraper.”  “Maybe I should just keep it,” said Henry.  “For what?” asked Ron, “The terrible war you have to wake up for in the morning?  Cannot quite re-incarnate your soldiers without a bashful elephant spirit?”  Henry was trying not to laugh.  “What is so funny?” asked Ron.  “Nice belt” said Henry, “Was that on sale?”  Ron looked down to find that he had put on his girlfriend’s belt by accident, earlier.  It was pink with little sparkling plastic gym-stones.  “Very funny,” said Ron, “Mine now, ha ha.”

“We do not have the money to go to India, again,” said Henry, we already had to borrow to get there the first time.”  “What if we borrow again?” suggested Ron, “When we graduate, we can borrow even more.  We will call it ‘Grad School’.”  “Very funny,” said Henry.  “I guess we can figure something out,” said Henry, “We will have to formulate a plan for a trip before fall classes begin.  Well will bring this magical elephant-monkey back to where it wants to be.  We will visit a prehistoric tomb.”  “Awesome,” said Ron, “I cannot wait to take more photos for blogging.”

The two planned it all out and made the trip to the giant skyscraper.  It was their turn, this time, to have to bound a guard.  They put a t-shirt over his head to keep him from being able to see them.  They returned the artifact to its proper location and escaped unscathed.  Once back in the United States, they finished their graduate studies and went to work for large corporate entities.  Ron saved a photo of the artifact being placed beside the old warrior’s bones in India, showed the photo to his old Archaeology professor with a self deleting file.  The professor was amazed.  He could only guess as to whether the photo was actually what it highly resembled.

daily prompt, antique antics


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