The object he clutched in his hand was, more or less, a key. It did not have the shape of a key and did not appear to unlock any door he had ever seen, above or underground. It took a few minutes for the weight of the whole situation to sink in, but once he began breathing normally, Harjen sat up, his tattered clothes dripping with water that had now fallen well below his body temperature.
Harjen carefully removed his shirt, careful not to rip the only piece of clothing he had to cover his abdomen and torso. It only took a few moments of the warm sun to convince his mind that his body was no longer in danger of remaining at an unsustainable temperature. As he caught his stride on the way back to the underground encampment, his mind was swallowed by thoughts of discovery and imagination.
“What is it that I have found?” Harjen said out loud, to himself, as he couldn’t imagine there was anybody within earshot. “Is this part of the message of the cavern? Do the symbols connect somehow to lead to a buried treasure?”
As no answer came forthright, he remained content to let the thoughts spill over between different areas of his brain. He had quickly moved from worn out to excited and full of anticipation of what this metal object would uncover.
To be continued…