Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fool's Gold by Steve Thomas

He had never seen such a huge pile of gold before, and in a cave of all places.  He tugged at one of the coins.  It was oblong, dull, and most of all stuck, as if some catastrophe had melted all the coins, deforming and fusing them together into a solid heap.

            He set down the lamp and pulled a pry bar from his pack.  He jabbed at the mound, searching for a loose coin.  Once he found one, he slowly and carefully coaxed it free.  The ground shook a bit, but tremors were common at this depth.  That was probably how the gold came to be abandoned down here in the first place.  He would be more careful than the previous owner.

            With the first coin removed, the second pulled out more easily.  Then a third, and a fourth.  He noticed that the rock underneath was a smooth, spongy material, but he didn’t give it a second thought.  Somehow, with a pile of gold to be had, rocks just didn’t seem important.

            The fifth coin was stubborn, but with some extra effort (and a few swings of a hammer), he knocked it loose.  Another tremor.  This one was larger.

            Time to return to the surface.  He could come back for the rest later.

            As he packed up his coins and tools, he noticed some liquid leaking from the spongy rock.  He held his lamp up to it.  It was dark and viscous, slowly dribbling down the gold pile.  Had he also struck oil?  What luck!

            He lifted a drop with his finger and tasted it.  No, not oil.  Something else.

            By the time he realized it was dragon’s blood, he was already on fire.


Check out more of Steve's work on Amazon

1 comment: