She Robs the Grave - Part 7

Content Warning: Live burial

"I fought my way back to the surface, and my heart quickened as my head burst through the waves once more, but we had already passed far from the land. I struck out toward the shore, and after what seemed weary hours of struggling against the currents and tides, I cast myself upon the sand. When I had regained my breath, I rolled over and looked up into the sky. There, swooping down from the clouds, diving perilously low toward me, was the Aviator, waving to me from above. I sat up and waved my arm in response, and then I watched as the craft rose once more and flew away into the distance. My heart sank as it dwindled above the horizon and finally disappeared back in the direction from which we had come.

"Willing myself not to despair, I rose and brushed the sand from my clothes, then turned toward the mountain under which you and I now find ourselves stranded. It came into my mind that I would enter this tomb with all its vast, accumulated wealth and turn this temporary misfortune to my advantage.

"I searched all about its slopes, seeking another way in than that by which you entered, and the day slipped away without any success. When the sun had begun to sink in the West, I thought of finding a place to lie for the night, but suddenly a shift in the twilight shadows showed me a small opening in the rock, only a hand’s breadth in size, but leading back into emptiness beyond. I could only reach in with my arm, for a great boulder was blocking any further access, and I could not move or even grip it with my hands—it was too large and smooth.

"Despairing at last of gaining access by this route, and with night coming on, I seized upon a new idea for how I might discover a way not only in but out of this tomb. The night creatures had begun to emerge, so I caught myself a large rat—I have always been skilled at charming animals to my whims—and tied a small strip of cloth to its leg, torn from my own garments. Then I pushed it through the small opening I had found and lay down to await the dawn.

“When morning came, I rose at once and made my way around to the far side of the mountain, to the mouth of this tomb. The great stone that covered the opening offered little challenge to my strength, and I lifted it away, looking down into the black depths below. There, among the many rotting corpses, was my friend the rat, still wearing my token as he feasted among the dead. The stone weighed heavy on my arms as I held it up, so I summoned my courage and cast myself down into the cave. I heard the stone slam shut above me, plunging me into darkness as I crashed down among the fresh bodies and skeletons below.”