The Curator, Part 1

“I acquired this piece after a lengthy court battle,” the Curator said, motioning to his left. 

I gazed intently at the ornate sarcophagus housed in a dimly lit display case. The golden skin and ruby eyes of the case no longer looked like the face of the dried and shrunken mummy inside it. 

“I really wondered during some of the deliberations whether I would win this artifact in the end,” the Curator droned. “The back-and-forth, back-and-forth was tiresome. I really wish some people wouldn’t take so long in making up their minds.”

“And what decided the case in your favor?” I asked.

The Curator’s voice held a smile, though I couldn’t see his face. “Oh! His heart was hardened and embalmed long before the actual scientific process took place. When the Counsel’s arguments were rejected, the case was as good as mine.”

I leaned over the case and peered at the shriveled hands of the mummy. 

“But you said it was a drawn-out case?” I inquired.

“Well, the fool didn’t want to listen to the Counsel, but he also didn’t want to listen to me. It seemed to be decided in my favor from the outset, but then, when evidence appeared to turn the tide, the specimen wavered. He wanted compromise,” the Curator explained.

“And he could not have it?” I prompted.

“No,” the dry voice of the Curator echoed in the dim corridor. “The Counsel doesn’t make deals with me, nor I with Him. Specimens belong wholly to one or the other.”

I studied the trinkets and weapons that had been buried in the pyramid with this Pharoah. They were good for nothing but collecting dust now. 

“I was happy to add such a fine specimen to my collection. Even before the case was decided, I had this special display made to house it,” the Curator said. 

He gradually directed me further down the corridor. Another display case held a variety of teeth.

At first, I found myself trying to identify what type of animal they might have come from, but then, I noticed that one of the molars contained a filling. I started back in horror.

“Yes,” the Curator drawled lazily, “this is all that’s left of these poor souls. Some were lost at sea. Some were incinerated. Others have long since crumbled into dust. All I get is their dental record!” His rattling laugh sounded more like a cough.

I began to feel rather warm and in need of fresh air as we moved hastily to the next exhibit. The Curator’s black robe trailed on the floor, and in the dim light, I could hardly see to avoid tripping on it. I don’t know how he saw at all, for his long, black hood was pulled low over his face.

“Here is a piece well worth seeing!” he encouraged me to step closer to a rotating display case. 

Only the palms of two hands and soles of two feet hung inside next to a skull. “I made a deal for this one,” he said, “and I won it.” 

This is Part 1 of a 2-part Halloween series. You can find the piece in its entirety at on Halloween 10/31/22.

Advent is around the corner! You can now pre-order the e-reader version of this year’s family worship guide and Advent Devotional HERE. A print version will be available Nov. 1st.

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