The archaeologist stood back as a few of his students worked to unearth what looked like a dust covered box. He'd been tasked with—and provided funds—finding evidence that the old Gods had truly walked among men at one time. There have been small things found but they could be explained away. The archaeologist was determined to find something concrete and give definitive evidence. He'd been working on this for a long time; his superiors were losing patience with him after so many years of failures. This was his last chance and he’d only gotten it because one of his students had rich parents who were on the board and had been able to convince the others to move forward with funding.
"Professor Hollis," a female student said, pulling him from his musings.
He focused on the group of five students and saw that they had been able to get the box free. He motioned for them to bring it up to where he was standing. He moved away to the tent that'd been set up at the dig site and would provide some reprieve from the sun. Two of his students carefully carried the three-foot-long box to a table under the tent. The archaeologist blew dust from the top and wiped away the rest, as best as he could, with his hand. He saw that the lid was decorative with creatures he's only seen in books of fairy tales. His heart kicked up in his chest and his hand shook imperceptibly as he reached for the latch. He didn't know what to expect or what he'd find.
A cloth-bound bundle lay within the box with some other objects strewn about. Some long decayed and unrecognizable. The archeologist lifted the bundle delicately out of the box. One of his students moved it out of his way as he sat the bundle down on the scarred wooden table. His students seemed to be holding their breaths as he carefully removed the old, brown cloth from around the bundle revealing a leather-bound book. The archeologist opened it and saw that it was written in an old language he was well-versed in. He needed to get this book back to his tent and start translating it immediately. Without acknowledging his students, he hurried away. They were used to eccentricities and shrugged to themselves.
The archeologist bent over the book, reveling over a story he was reading about three ancient sisters who seemed to have created life itself according to the pages in front of him.
Three sisters sat manipulating the forces they could control. The red god swirled anger, death, and jealousy together creating something unrecognizable. The yellow god weaved intelligence, wisdom, and progress in and out of each other and the blue god sat with beauty, life, and love blended together in the palm of her hands. It is presumed a conversation was had before the blue god suggested that they create something that would provide them entertainment when they were bored. Xanthe, the yellow sister, grabbed a nearby streaking comet and used it to sew the thread of knowledge into it before passing it to Cerise who added lust, death, and war. Cerise passed their combined forces to Azora, the most powerful of the three, who took what they’d shaped to bring it all together by adding life and beauty. The deafening boom and shaking did not even make the sisters flinch as the foundation of the cosmos cracked and exploded in all directions, leaving only glowing dust that became known as the sun and stars and a single blue gem that became known as earth. The sisters looked at their creation in awe, none of them speaking.
The archeologist sat back and took off his glasses. He rubbed his eyes before pinching the bridge of his nose. Finally, he remembered to look at the small clock that sat on the table by his bedside and saw that it was after four in the morning. Although he did not want to, he knew he needed to get some sleep and tackle some more of the translation tomorrow. He had a feeling this was what his superiors had been searching for; this book could hold the answers they all sought.
Art by: Chase Henson
Story written by: Teralyn Mitchell