Home > Dragon Mage (Dragon Point #7)(2)

Dragon Mage (Dragon Point #7)(2)
Author: Eve Langlais

Which was the most exciting thing ever!

The archeological find of the century and Daphne was in charge of setting it up.

First, though, precautions. She wore a clean white coat over her regular clothes. Her hair was tied back, and a surgical mask covered the bottom half of her face. Mostly to block smells. Old things didn’t always have the most pleasant scents.

Giddy excitement filled her as she laid her gloved hands on the precious artifacts. She knew better than to leave any skin oils on them.

First out of the crate, wrapped in bubble, a chunk of stone about two inches thick, possibly the remnant of a stone tablet. The amazing part? The carvings in it. Weird symbols that reminded her of Egyptian glyphs and yet didn’t match any currently on file. The linguists were creaming themselves in excitement over a new dead language.

She ran her fingers through the faint grooves. So awesome. Especially since one of the symbols reminded her of a dragon in flight. She loved dragons. She actually collected them. Only handmade ones: carved soapstone, blown glass, and several metal pieces of art. It never ceased to amaze her how the dragon showed up in so many different cultures around the world and going far back, too.

Some in her circle speculated that the dragons depicted in ancient texts were actually the remnants of dinosaurs. Flying reptiles that ended up going extinct.

Others were convinced dragons actually existed because of recent media footage of people claiming to have caught them.

Was it real? Hard to tell with today’s excellent CGI, but what if it were true? What if dragons were real?

Maybe she could meet one up close. Pet it.

Keep it.

Okay, maybe she couldn’t keep a dragon.

Unless…there were some people saying dragons could shapeshift to look like humans. Which she personally thought was physically impossible. Dragons were big. People were small. It just didn’t work.

Unless the dragons were small.

Which would make it easier to keep one.

She forgot about dragons and concentrated on her job again, placing the stone chunk carefully on her trolley.

Next, she uncovered an old dagger, forged out of some unidentified metal. Not bronze or copper, it was something that they’d not yet been able to identify. The speculation was the metal was probably harvested from a meteor. But who did it belong to? There’d never been anything other than prehistoric tools found this far into the continent. This predated the first settlers.

Its discovery would change the history of the country! And she got to see it and touch it before the general public. Her hands shook a little as she placed the dagger onto her trolley, giving it a light stroke. Total nerdgirl-gasm.

Wrapped in layers of bubblewrap, she uncovered a vase comprised of pottery shards that had been glued together. They’d managed to recreate the pot, albeit with missing pieces. It took some delicate handling, as she feared it coming apart.

Only one box left. The one she’d intentionally kept for last because it fascinated her the most. Of all the things found in that lake, it proved the most controversial, firstly because it should have never survived. Glass, in a lake that had frozen and thawed countless times? The bottle should have long ago shattered, which led to arguments, as some claimed it wasn’t part of the ruins. It must have sunk there more recently. But they shut up when all the tests they ran pegged it as being old. As in more than a thousand years old.

It had been located in a chamber accessed via a hidden doorway in the center of the dais. Apparently it was like something out of a movie, the way a certain stone, when shifted, caused it to rumble open. The room beneath was filled with water, and so divers were sent in. A team of three. Two of them had seizures and died before they could be pulled back up. The third retrieved the bottle, but then refused to hand it over and tried to break it. He was supposedly recovering in a psychiatric ward, according to the rumor mill.

The tragedy didn’t end there. Of the people who then got to study it, one of them was arrested for trying to break into the lab to steal the bottle. Yet another of the scientists abruptly quit and decided she wanted to become a nun. Two more died in a car crash.

Given a number of people who died retrieving it, it wasn’t long before rumors of it being cursed circulated.

A tragedy for those involved, yes, but still only a weird coincidence. Daphne didn’t believe for one minute there was a curse. Scientists did not believe in magic but facts.

The fact was, because people were freaked out, she got to see the controversial bottle for herself. She took her time peeling it open, the many protective layers only adding to her excitement.

When the treasure was revealed, she took a moment to admire it, wondering at the intact stoppered jar. Not made of just any glass but a very sturdy volcanic glass shaped into a perfect urn, no handles, about twelve inches high with a narrow neck and a fat base.

The glass was a smoky gray color and smooth all over. Not a single chip or crack in it. The plug in the top of it might have at one time been a wooden cork of some kind, but it had hardened into a solid, impenetrable mass. According to the summary reports she’d read, x-rays and other tests had shown it to be empty and old. Even older than the ruins it was found in.

Hefting it in her hands, she perceived a surprising warmth and had to wonder if it was truly empty. As she turned it around, she could have sworn she heard the whisper of something shifting within.

Open me.

As if she would dare ruin such an important find. Still, she eyed the closed neck and poked at the plug. It didn’t budge one bit. A wine corker would probably do the trick. Or the penknife she kept in her desk for cutting packing tape and plastic ties.

She shook her head. What was she thinking? As if she’d damage something so precious. It went on the trolley with the other artifacts, and she carefully wheeled them out to the section in the museum assigned to them.

She paid little mind to the display cases. She’d been working at the museum for more than seven years and was well acquainted with every inch. Loved it. But sometimes she did tire of the repetitive nature of her work. There was a time she imagined her job taking her to strange places where discovery could still happen. And yes, in some of those fantasies, she had a bullwhip and a cool hat.

Alas, reality kept her in Canada, working almost fifty hours a week, showcasing other people’s discoveries. Still, she didn’t hate her work. She just wished it were a little more exciting.

She slowed the cart and locked its wheels, making sure it wouldn’t move by accident, as, one by one, she placed the treasures in the display cases specially set aside for them. The tablet had a stand to hold it upright much like that used for decorative plates. The vase, given it was precariously balanced, had a glass box to go over it to keep it from tipping. The dagger sat on a white swatch of fabric that best showcased the detail.

Then the piece de resistance: the gray amphora. She gave it one more look. The surface reminded her of smoke, as if it moved and changed. A clever technique. She had to wonder at the skill involved in crafting something like this. It seemed impossible with the tools of the time. A true work of art.

Smash it.

The very idea rounded her mouth. Shocking. And not like her at all. What on earth was wrong with her tonight? As if she’d break such an important piece of history.


She could have sworn she heard a growl, and her mouth went dry. Just her imagination. A thing she had too much of. “There is nothing here but me and the past.” She grabbed the vase. With two hands holding it carefully, she placed it on a pedestal. From above, a light would spotlight it because she’d chosen it to be the highlight of the small collection.

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