A curtain of diminutive skulls hung between rotting logs, separating the passageway. Birds, infants, rats: their remains hung silent and still in the stale air. Though no door barred the thief’s way, he found himself unable to cross the threshold, to touch the profane bones. He had come all this way. Would he really be turned away from Radbathigustinak’s treasure by a simple curtain of fetishes? Breathing deeply and gathering his will, he stuck his hand out to part the strings of remains.
The flesh melted and dripped from his hand, finger bones bleached white by a burning orb emanating from the child’s skull. In his ear, the bird beak pecked and whispered to him his sins against his fellow man, accusations echoing around the pain. The rat skulls crawled tooth-first to his genitals and sank into feast. As his mind left, he heard a voice saying, “I see you’ve found my treasure. To be made a monster before passing into the abyss: this is my gift to those who seek.”