The last room is filled with rows of—pillars? obelisks? tombstones?—draped in cloth the color of an old bruise.
He says we should look; She says I don’t think so.
Each avoids the other’s eyes.
Their flashlights stab through the dancing dust.
The room goes on further than they can see.
He taps his foot, a nervous heartbeat, while She thinks.
We’ll see what we want to see, She says, or—
Or we don’t look, just keep moving.
They haven’t looked at each other for a long time.
There might or might not be a door at the other end of the dark.
They don’t have to cup their ears to hear the static, the quantum hiss, the tide of electric foam, the million naked eyes blinking.
He’s suddenly thirsty.
Before He knows it She’s lifting one of the cloths and peering under it.
The loosening of the cloth reveals a vaguely familiar shape, but He can’t see what She sees.
What is it? He asks.
He’s imagining a bust or a skull or something with a face.
She takes a ragged breath of stars, of money, of tumbling stones and gems.
She’s about to speak when she feels her edges silvering and slivering.
She could say anything and He’d believe her.
Before He knows it, She’s alone.