"Have you looked up above?"
"Yes, there to the left. Not to the right."
"I'll go, then."
The women were seeking among the tombs for nothing.
That is what they wanted this day of golden light washing the flanks of barren cliffs.
The peaks were pale, the shadows were diamond.
Rose surged ahead, upward, with grim fire which contained nothing of Elaine's smooth grace, Elaine who wove a careful way through the lower level, in blue shadow, she thought the others might have missed. Why they expected the tomb to be higher, farther within the rocky cleft she could not say and did not wish to as she continued on deciphering each phrase and stony furbelow, all was stone here, while eluding the dust and spikes with adept twitches of her skirt-full hands.
Violet stood yet upon the narrow track in sun squinting, shading gray eyes, unable to see all the same inside the rock cracked open it looked indeed like a giant egg but not of crystal and not containing any enviable exquisite Faberge world. "There must be hundreds of tombs secreted here," she whispered, perhaps to Cleo who came behind.
Cleo's fingers gently brushed the dust of ages until she could distinguish the marks.
From another aisle Carrie spoke innocently, "It can't be there. There hasn't been time."
Cleo straightened and moved on, but Rose said, "Don't be so sure."
It wasn't there.
They had to admit that.