His callused finger tips slid slowly over the dry stone wall, feeling for anything out of the ordinary. They moved in a pattern, left and right, painstakingly up and down. The dust of the stone work covered his hands. He had been doing this for close to an hour. The dim light of his flickering torch starting to gutter and fade as it lay on the floor at his side. Just as his torch died, he felt it. It was the slightest depression, but it was there and it didn’t match the surrounding stonework. Perhaps he should have been searching in the darkness all along, not allowing his vision to impede the years of training his fingers had searching for hidden treasures in the deeps below Mount Kendril. But then he heard it, a faint sniffing sound, coming from the hall outside the room he now searched. It could only mean one thing. He was no longer alone.
He had found the secret lever, but without a light, those evil beasts had grown more bold, seeking out with their hands, that which their eyes couldn’t see. He realized now, that perhaps he was the treasure in the tomb, not the seeker. Perhaps the torch going out had allowed both he and his pursuer to finally locate what they sought. So, how would it go down? Would he trip the switch and learn what lay behind the hidden panel, risking it all, or would he crouch, move along the wall and try to skirt the grasping hands of his undead pursuer? The time ticked away. The sniffing sound grew louder. He could feel the sweat on his brow as his finger traced the edges of the lever in the darkness, over and over.
He had faced difficult decisions before, but this was so much more. Now he could smell it, that’s how close it was, shuffling this way and that, much like his hands had moved over the wall. He caught himself mesmerized by the thought of his hands as a metaphor for this undead monstrosity and realized something was assaulting his mind. What was this thing? He couldn’t even be sure, but it was getting closer. Just as he prepared to flee, he subconsciously triggered the lever. It popped open with a THWICK! Instinctively he rolled just as a silent rending claw ripped into the stone with the strength only the dead could muster. Now, he was in trouble…..