heading towards the sarcophagus. He casually lifted the lid and peered inside. Anna stood in place, but shined her flashlight towards the coffin.
David shook his head. “Nothing,” he said. “That could mean there’s a secret chamber where the body’s hid.”
Anna raised her eyebrows, looking at him hopefully. “Could that be a reason for a…spirit to come back? If it was placed out of its sarcophagus?”
Anna saw a look of doubt glaze over David’s face. “We’ve seen plenty of empty sarcophagi,” he answered. Realizing he was right, Anna sighed and looked at the ground. “Are you okay?” David asked. “You seem kind of stressed out about something.”
Anna lifted her head abruptly. “No—I mean, yes, I’m fine. I’m just looking around…that’s all. I don’t see anything here,” she said, her tone suddenly harsh. “Let’s try the Queen’s Chamber.”
They gathered their bags and tromped back up the stairs, this time walking upwards into the darkness. They reached the flat area in the staircase’s center and turned sideways into the narrow and short tunnel leading to the shut door.
Anna put her hand on the knob, turning it with all her strength. The hinges creaked and the door opened, choking the tomb with a blaring grating noise; then, complete silence swallowed the air again.
Anna walked straight into the arid Queen’s Chamber, shining her flashlight all over to get an overview of the room. She stuck her flashlight straight up, its beam rising to light a small florescent light, one of many imposed on the ancient tomb for the tourists’ benefit.
Anna waved her flashlight back and forth so violently that she almost flung it away. Her head darted around towards each spot, yet she saw only empty space: no statues, idols, pottery, or relics, possibly because the prince died before claiming a queen. The barren room held no sign of life, death, or the Egyptians’ sacred immortality—then, Anna flashed her light on one of the dense walls, seeing more of the painted strips running along its center. ©Brenna Pierson
Anna advanced to the nearest wall, centering her light beam on the picture and staring at the faded painting. In the painting, a bald Egyptian towed a flat stone sled with a trunk, which supposedly held the canopic jars on their trip into the tomb. Behind the sled was a group of women lifting their arms and heads in mourning. A cluster of servants carried chairs and food to make the soul comfortable in the tomb, and a wooden boat to take the soul to the other world.