Archaeology was her passion. Digging out things you never even knew existed. And discovering ancient civilisations and evidence that would change everything you knew until today. History was hidden deep beneath the very ground we walk on. That’s what Susan Archer believed. She was passionate about her job. She found it thrilling. And she was great at it.
Her current mission had to do with an ancient tribe from Latin America. Their name was too difficult to pronounce and no-one knew exactly neither how it was spelled nor how it was written. There was hardly any record of them in any history books or any book in history for that matter. Except for one. And she was on a quest to find it.
This hidden book had become her latest obsession. It would shine light on where this tribe had existed, where they lived, perhaps even how and more importantly why they never survived. It would let mankind know what went wrong. Perhaps it would tell of what they failed to accomplish. Something that we could pay attention to and ensure the survival of the human race instead. Perhaps it would even finally spell out their name.
Her team had reached the insides of the cave where they all suspected the book to be. They had found a path leading up to it. Hidden from sight and as if it simply appeared out of nowhere. The torches were lit and Susan headed the team. They pushed the rocks aside and silence swept across the room. Then a breeze rushed in and blew out her torch. She could feel her heart pounding but somehow knew they were close. The answer lay ahead. All it took was a few more steps. And she was determined to take them. Peter handed her another lit torch. They all raised their torches high and light spread before them, to the edges of the cave room, revealing the sand and stones that lay ahead. But there was something more….
At the other end of the room there was a raised upside-down cone that sparkled in the light. And on it there balanced a square. A blue square that seemed very much like…
Susan inclined her head to the side.
It was the book! They had found it. Cautiously the five-member team quickly paced towards it. They had found it and the mystery would soon be solved. They surrounded the book like aliens trying to understand the riddle of human form. They had to make sure there were no traps when the book would be touched. It seemed like hours had passed before Susan finally caressed the hard blue cover and opened the book.
So many thoughts, questions, expectations whizzed through her mind during those nanoseconds.
The book was finally there. Before them. And they would now know all they so longed for.
She turned the page.
It was empty.
So was the next.
And the next.
Was this a joke?
She flicked through the creased pages.
One page before the end. She found a word spelled out in English. Just one word. And nothing else.