Eye of Newt, Skin of Toad – Teaser

“Hello, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police dispatch. How may I help you? Yes, ma’am, we are aware that there’re some folks at Tule Springs, and they have a fire. Yes, ma’am, they have a permit. According to my log, ma’am, they will be there all night. Yes, ma’am, they are some sort of witchcraft group, but what they are doing is perfectly legal. I will have an officer check on them, ma’am. Yes, ma’am. Thank you, ma’am.”

Ok, let’s see – who’s got patrol out there? Mary – Ok.

“267, this is dispatch – come in.”

“Dispatch, this is 267; what can I do for you?”

“Mary, what’s your 10-20?  

“I’m in the West Charleston area, not too far from Rainbow.”

“I just got a citizen call about a group that’s toasting marshmallows at Tule Springs. Any chance you can cruise by there and check them out?”

“10-4, dispatch – just as soon as I get done with this domestic bliss call that I’m on.”

“10-4, 267 – be careful – dispatch out.”

The two archaeologists climbed out of their truck and strolled toward the tarp they had left covering their small excavation pit.

“What’s this I heard about a witch’s coven having some sort of ritual here last night, Charlie?”

“Yeah, that’s what I heard from the Metro. They gave me a heads-up in case we had anything that might need protecting. I understand that the coven folks think Tule Springs is some sort of astral power center. I think they got onto the notion from some of the local Paiutes.”

“You know, I think I have heard that the Paiutes have some ancient stories about Tule Springs. That’s not too surprising, considering how long humans appear to have been around here. That reminds me, did you remember to photograph that flake we found yesterday?”

“Oh, damn. No, I completely spaced on that. Let me get my camera. We left the flake in situ when we finished and covered the pit yesterday.”

“Ok, I’ll pull the tarp back. Sure hope the witches didn’t decide to wander over here and check out what we are up to.”

Dr. Charlie Meroux, the number two person on the new Tule Springs ancient man dig, turned and walked back toward the truck. Dr. Alex Gibson, the site lead, continued toward the tarp covering the excavation’s first pit. When Alex reached the tarp, he leaned down, grabbed one corner, and turned to pull the tarp back, away from the dig site. As he did so, Alex caught a glimpse of something under the far edge of the tarp. Pulling his corner away from the side of the hole, he walked over, grabbed the other corner, and started to pull it back. Alex stopped in mid-pull and let out a whistle.

“Holy shit! This ain’t no ancient man.”

☼ ☼ ☼ ☼

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