Palmyra tower

“If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday.” – Pearl Buck.

A breath of silence. The still tomb seemed to exhale, anticipating the reaction that would break centuries of peace. Bardisan was not going to wait for whatever came next. Balancing on the stone support beam high in the towering chamber, he snatched off his other sandal and hurled it down into the cavernous darkness.

In the blackness of the tomb, the men below couldn’t see what had fallen. Tattered leather and sharp iron sounded much the same when falling in the darkness. They retreated out into the bright moonlight, pulling their red cloaks up around them.

“Surround it.” The officer ordered. “Don’t let the thief escape.”

Four red cloaks snapped as the legionaries jogged to take up positions around the tomb. There was no way out, only the one low doorway. Standing in front of it, the legate drew his sword. He heard a whisper of wind easing out through the door, blown down from the small window overhead. Almost, he could smell the thief’s fear within. He was caught, like a rat in a trap.

A horse whinnied behind him. The legate turned and saw four legs pounding the desert sand, two pale feet gripping the horse’s rump, a flutter of rags and a bundle packed under the thief’s arm. A rope swayed and whispered against the smooth stone walls of the tomb, tugging at the window high above.

For something similar, and an excellent read, check out Emperor and Prophet on one of my favourite blogs (John’s Life and Travels)!

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