across the map of the world
pictures of times past
happier days now
singed in ash
How long had it been? Those stolen moments? Those discovered treasures. She pressed her fingertips to each. Oh, how she missed him. Days scattered into weeks and months. And finally, years.
She picked up the spyglass. When had he used it last? Had he found what he’d been looking for? Or did the engravings deny him translation. Many times, over their relationship, she’d seen him baffled and intrigued by what history had to offer.
Egypt had been their last work-vacation. Her, in the hotel conference her boss had arranged for his employees. Him, the remains of a new-found mummy. When she’d last held his hand, he’d croaked out something about plagues. Had she heard him correctly?
The map slowly curled its edges while she went to prepare something for lunch. She turned on the faucet to get water to boil, and the liquid splattered in the metal sink, blood-red. Thick as molasses.
Outside, locusts flung themselves repeatedly at the windows.
She backed away from it all. Closed her eyes. No, she was imagining. When she looked again, a meteor of fire flashed across the skies.
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