Artifact (Part 1)

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Chris turned the ancient golden dagger over in his hands, looking at the magnificent carvings and perfectly shaped blade. The thing seemed to glow with its own aura of mystery and power, yet Chris didn’t see it all as fantastic; there was something about the golden wonder of which he held which seemed almost dangerous, almost too powerful.

He turned a corner off the main road, down his street. The cool summer night’s air was almost refreshing after the horribly stale atmosphere of the antiques store. It was a huge relief to get out and breathe fresh air again. In all honesty, he felt as though he would suffocate if he spent another second in that place.

He continued to look down at the dagger, wondering where it had come from, who had owned it, who had made it…who it had killed.

He banished this last thought from his mind entirely; although death wasn’t necessarily a huge issue to him (he watched the news all the time), he didn’t really like to think that he was carrying a tool of which it was carried out. It made him feel like a murderer himself, and that, in turn, made him feel more than just guilty.

His house was fast approaching on the right hand side of the street. He soon came up to it; No. 12, Endcliff Avenue. His garden was neatly trimmed and cared for, complimented with a plethora of various different flowers and plants. He was proud of it, but he never really mentioned anything of it; he never really thought it meant much to anyone, anyway.

He passed through the freshly painted iron gate, walking up the smooth stone driveway, and headed towards the front door. He pushed the handle, and, without much surprise to Chris, the door clicked and opened inwards.

He stepped inside, the mixed aroma of bleach from the kitchen and pinewood from the furniture in the dining room melted together to create the smell which he most liked to associate with home. He took a look inside the kitchen, expecting to see Jessica, his fiancée, stood in the kitchen. She usually cooked dinner at this time, but she was not here, which surprised him slightly, but not greatly.

He looked in both the living room and the dining room, honestly not expecting to see her there, as there was no sound coming from anywhere; she would be either watching TV or reading, and he heard neither the sound of pages turning, nor the ignorant blare of the TV.

That’s OK, He thought, she must just be having a lie-down. There has been a cold going around, after all. She must be ill.

With this, he rushed upstairs, noticing the bathroom door open, along with all the rest…besides one; his bedroom. He stepped forward, remembering that Jessica never shut the door for anyone, especially not him. What shocked him more was the fact that the door was locked. What sealed his fear completely was that he heard not a single sound coming from within. Surely she would have come out to see him if she were awake, and if she were asleep, he’d hear her breathing.

But even with his ear pressed hard against the door, he heard not a sound. He decided that now was the time to panic.

“Jess!” He shouted through the door, trying to grab her attention, “Open up, please! I need to see you! I found something!” He looked back down at the dagger, which he held firmly in his grasp. The faded gold carvings reflected distorted rays of light back into his face, almost mockingly. Somehow, this gave him a burst of strength.

He stood back, and kicked hard at the door. It rumbled, and creaked as some of the wood splintered, but stood firmly. He made another strong attempt, kicking even harder. This time, one of the hinges almost came clean from the door.

Just one more kick, and the thing would collapse into a heap of wood and metal. He did so, and sure enough, the thing collapsed with a dull, reverberating thud!

As he saw what lay behind the door, he only just managed to muffle a scream…