The Treasury of the Sphinx

An Egyptologist and her partner discover a vast store of riches, then become its guardians. Mature.

To my esteemed colleagues, Victoria began. It was the third draft of her letter asking for more time and funding, and she still sounded desperate. Cambridge wanted another Tutankhamun, but all that the workers had uncovered was sand and stone.

"Ma'am? One of the boys thinks he may have found something."

William stood under the tent flap, surrounded by the glare of the desert sun. Victoria squinted up at her fellow archaeologist like he was a mirage. Then her blue eyes widened.

Victoria slapped on her hat and stuffed her feet into her boots and was still twisting her hair back into a ponytail as she followed William across the camp.

The young Egyptian man still clung to his pickaxe. He beamed brightly, standing next to the apple-sized hole into some deeper darkness behind the rock. William lifted his lantern to the hole. There was a flash of something beyond, but the hole was too small to see through properly.

In her best Arabic, Victoria asked the young man for the pickaxe.