Humidity hung thick in the air. Beads of sweat gathered together and ran down Remkie’s face. He pulled the remaining vines off the ancient stone wall in front of him. A strange excitement fluttered in the pit of his stomach as he ran his hand across the seal.
The two remaining members of his expedition looked on with pained expressions on their faces. The others had abandoned the party when it became clear that Remkie was determined to open the tomb despite their pleading warnings.
A single blow from his pickax split the seal in two. The exotic song of the jungle quieted when the shards hit the ground. The seasoned archaeologist put his shoulder to the massive stone door. It slid back easily, almost as if under its own power.
Tree filtered light streamed in through the open door of the tomb. There was a hint of sweetness in the air that intrigued him. The scent drew him in. He heard a faint rhythmic sound when he stepped through the door and paused to listen. The sound faded away.
Urged on by an unnatural curiosity, he plunged headlong into the darkness. His hands stretched out before him as he groped along the black corridor. Though his mind knew nothing of this place his feet seemed to know the way.
The sound returned. It was familiar, but still too faint to identify. He stopped to listen, but again the sound quieted. His need to find the source of the sound bordered on madness. Each time he stopped to listen, the sound faded away. Remkie forged ahead, faster than before.
He turned a corner and saw the soft glow of daylight coming from a chamber at the end of the passageway. Somehow he knew that he would find what he was looking for through that door.
He reached the chamber, chest heaving, eyes searching. It had a small opening in the ceiling, just big enough to let in a tiny amount of sunlight. After the darkness of the passageways, the dim light was enough to illuminate the room for him.
The chamber was empty except for a full length looking glass that sat in the middle of the floor. He had found it! The soft rhythm of the sound called him to the mirror. It was unmistakable now. He had been following the sound of a baby’s cry.
He peered into the looking glass. Archaic stone carvings and intricately painted designs on the walls reflected perfectly on the surface, but he did not see his own face. In place of his reflection, there sat a lone baby on the stone floor.
Remkie took little notice of the cool stone as he knelt down to look into the baby’s sorrowful eyes. A tiny hand reached out to him. Still drawn by an unseen force, he reached back. A bright light engulfed him the moment his fingers touched the smooth surface of the mirror.
When his eyes had recovered from the dazzling flash, he was no longer looking at the baby. Instead, he was looking into his own eyes. He took a deep breath. It felt as if he had just awakened from a dream. He watched as a smile spread across his face.
“Sorry my friend,” he heard his voice say say, “but I’m sure you were warned just like I was all those years ago.” Remkie tried to call out as he watched his body hurry out of the chamber, but he could form no words.
He tried to stand, but had no strength in his legs. When he looked down, his khaki shorts and hiking boots were gone. In their place he saw the chubby bare legs of a baby. He was horrified to hear his own voice in the corridor, “Hurry! Seal up the door. This place is cursed!”
The porters rushed to the dark opening of the tomb. They worked frantically to block the entrance. Their hands shook when they heard sound of a baby’s cry echoing throughout the tomb.
The sound was cut off when the thick stone door slid into place. Three men breathed a sigh of relief and vowed never to return.