Flash fiction piece.
The Egyptian heat was almost more than Sarah could bear. She longed for her home in the English countryside. The archaeologist had been transferred to Luxor two weeks ago in search of a coveted sacred text. The book was excavated from the Valley of the Kings the week after she arrived. Sarah was expected to give a detailed report of the text to the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities by the end of the month. The hieroglyphics translator had yet to arrive. She had expected him yesterday.
Sarah wiped her face with a square of cotton cloth, glancing at herself in the small mirror that lay on the wobbly-legged desk. Her tent was one of the largest on site, owing to the fact that she was the head of the team—and a woman. All but three of her team had headed back to the museum in Cairo, a six hour journey by van. Sarah would have to stay until the translator arrived. She drummed her fingers impatiently, wishing she had a cup of Darjeeling tea to lift her spirits. The ancient book rested in a crate at her feet.
Hearing a voice outside, Sarah poked her head out of the opening of the tent. “Robert, is that you?” Silence and the setting sun greeted her. She returned to her tent, perplexed. She could’ve sworn that she had heard her assistant’s voice.
Returning to her desk, she bent down to take another look at the ancient find. Her breath caught in her throat. The book was gone. Running outside, Sarah spied a set of footprints that lead to the darkened tombs. Leaving her flashlight behind, Sarah pursued the fresh prints. Passing through the low opening of the tomb where the tracks ended, she hit something hard. Then she began to fall.