Sweat poured off Larry’s brow. Chinese summers were particularly humid and since his arrival with the research team, he’d struggled to keep cool, though it wasn’t just the dampness in the air that caused Larry’s perspiration today. If all went well, Larry’s team should uncover the last keystone which would finally divulge the location of the lost Zhou Dynasty treasure. This discovery would be the crowning achievement of Larry’s ten year obsession.
A sharp cry from the pit captured Larry’s attention. Rushing to the edge, he called down.
“You have something?”
“I think this is it, sir!” came the reply.
As the stone was carefully lifted by rope from dig site, Larry’s hands trembled with anticipation. It all came down to this.
The mud-caked block was gently placed on the examination table and buckets of warm water were poured over the tablet. The water smoothly cascaded over the surface revealing the long awaited logo-syllabic glyphs.
Larry hovered over the find, scarcely able to breathe. Moving his hands down he began to translate. Everyone crowded in the tent was silent.
“What does it say, sir?” burst out Johnson, shattering the calm.
Larry’s face fell.
“Eat at Hong’s. Best duck in Hao”
Word Count: 200
[This is my entry into the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge, hosted by Alastair Forbes. Write a short story of 200 words or less from the photo prompt provided.
I did a small amount of research into the Chinese language and history of the dynasties, but I acknowledge there may be technical errors. For a short story like this it may not matter so much, but the perfectionist in me prefers complete accuracy.]