He kissed the ground that covered the bones of the biblical Adam. Then, he reached up and inserted the stolen key into the lock just beyond the grave. After several turns of the rusty tumbler, the pitted door squealed open.
He slithered inside the trapezoidal cavern. Overhead, lit by ambient moonlight from the fissures in the ceiling, faded frescoes of the martyred saints stared down at him. Turning away from their accusing glares, he climbed to his feet and approached the Selassie Chapel. The sanctuary was so sacred that for ages only the head priest had been allowed to enter it. With a shaking hand, he drew aside a ratty curtain that covered the burial vault of King Lalibela, the monarch who had ruled Ethiopia during the time of the White Knights.
Yes, it was here, in this very vault, where he had spied his father hide the precious Leaves of Eden. How long he had dreamed of the ecstasy now so near his grasp. He heard a whisper of warning from his soul: He who gazes upon the hidden treasures of Lalibela will be struck blind and mute for eternity.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish