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Sam inched forward and aimed the flashlight inside. “Uh oh.”
“What?” Joey gasped.
“It’s a ... well, kind of a ... skeleton.”
“Awww,” Roger screamed, ran, tripped, and sprawled on his stomach.
“It can’t hurt you, Roger,” Sam said. “Come on.
Take a look.” One thing about being in a family of paleontologists, you got used to bones.
Roger quick-shook his head. “No. No. No.”
Joey took three slow steps and stood next to Sam. “Sweet. A dead guy. Man, let’s get out of here.”
“Hold this.” Sam handed Joey the flashlight. “Keep the light on him, okay?”
The skeleton was partly covered by a tattered shirt and pants. Bony fingers clutched a wooden box with a piece of thin metal about two inches long on its top.
Reaching inside, Sam tried to pry the box from the skeleton’s grasp, but the finger bones fell through the rib cage and clattered to the bottom of the chest. The box lodged between the ribs.
The light jiggled in Joey’s hand. “Come on Sam, enough already.”
Sam picked up the thin metal piece from the top of the box, and held it under the light. One end of it was bent at a right angle. A faded red tassel looped through the other end.
“Here, take this.” Sam handed Joey the strange object, then reached inside the chest and gripped the box. He lifted it slow and easy. It could be a trap. It could be dangerous. His hands twitched and the edge of the box caught on a rod that held the chest lid open. He barely snatched the box free before the lid crashed down.
What sounded like an angry dragon exploded around the cave.
The walls trembled, and the floor heaved under foot.
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