Goliath’s severed head, Nebuchadnezzar’s fingernails, Belshazzar’s golden goblet, and the worm-eaten corpse of Herod featured prominently in the Curator’s collection.
I grew tired of hearing his gloating long before he was tired of detailing it.
Finally, we had toured the entire museum. Only one exhibit remained.
“Perhaps you are pressed for time. Would you like to just skip the last exhibit?” he asked.
Before he asked the question, I would have jumped at any chance to be out of that place; but now, his obvious reluctance to show me the exhibit made me want to finish the tour.
“I can spare a few more minutes,” I said.
The black cloaked shoulders shrugged, and I followed him to the remaining display.
It was an upright glass case, and it was the first one I had seen that was well-lit. A single light illuminated the white shelf inside. The case was taller than a man, and I would have had to step up on a pedestal to get into it. As it was, I stood tiptoe to get a full look at the shelf.
The only thing there was a pile of linen.
I looked inquisitively at the curator, but his hood still hid his face.
“This is the only exhibit I haven’t been able to retain. You know, it’s popular nowadays for museums to be forced to return artifacts and specimens to the countries and tribes where they originated,” he said.
“So, you were forced to return this piece?” I asked.
He simpered for a moment, turning his cloaked head this way and that. “Well, as a matter of fact, this specimen returned Himself.”
I raised my eyebrows. “Indeed? That seems quite wonderful!”
The Curator shook his head. “I have never seen anything like it. I only had Him for parts of three days, and then, He walked right out of here and went back to where He came from.”
We both stood looking at the empty case.
“The horrible thing is that He has sued me for every artifact and specimen that belongs to Him,” the Curator said.
“And will you comply?” I eagerly wanted to know.
“I have very little choice in the matter,” the Curator replied, “so I guess I must content myself with what is mine. The trick of it is, though, that I can fool so many into hallowing my collection.”
I thought back on all that I had seen that day. The dusty, gory artifacts didn’t seem worth hallowing.
“How will you do so, sir?” I inquired.
We turned to walk away from the last exhibit.
“I will secure their devotion to these ancestors of theirs. ‘You are what you worship,’ or so the saying goes! The more of them that revere what I have here, the less I will have to give up to my Competitor.”
“And how will you get them to ignore His collection?” I asked.
“Well, no one can view them! When people are busy revering Death, no one thinks about Life. I certainly have the advantage.”
I looked over my shoulder at the empty case. I felt that Whoever had walked out of there had the advantage in every way.
This is Part 2 of a 2-part Halloween series. You can find the piece in its entirety at http://www.SarahDixonYoung.com/Articles.
You can also find my upcoming Advent Devotionals at http://www.sarahdixonyoung.com/Advent