Theocolese stood atop the step pyramid of Alandalbhe, clinging tight to the rough wall with his climbing claw. No one had seen him scale the back of monument on this moonless night. None would ever think to look up. None would ever dream what he had planned.
He reached into his pocket and pulled out two small bottles smaller than the palm of his hand. They contained the most extraordinary potion he had ever had the privilege of stealing. According to their former owner, the liquid changed your body for a few moments, such that you could pass through solid things. The problem was that this included the ground itself, unless the drinker had undergone a lot of practice.
Naturally, Theocolese had not practiced; he had not even tried it yet. But he had the notion that he wouldn’t need to practice for this particular theft.
He looked up at the stars and oriented himself along the top of the pyramid. He looked down at his feet. Was this the right spot? If he was off by just a foot…
Theocolese uncorked one of the vials, took a deep breath and drank. It was actually quite sweet. Nothing happened for a few seconds. He burped. He suddenly felt his body feel warm all over.
Then he was sinking.
His movement down was quicker than he expected, and he panicked when the floor met his face. But like a muddy pool, all he saw was brown. To his surprise he could breathe, but he wasn’t sure what he was breathing. He was now a little more at ease despite the strangeness of the situation.
Oh no, Theocolese thought. I forgot to count! How long have I been falling? Must be seven seconds by now. Only ten or so left and then… But what if my calculations were off? I could be stuck… well, too late now.
Suddenly it was pitch black, and he could somehow tell that he was no longer falling through the rocks of the pyramid, but through air. He had made it! He was in the chamber!
His body quickly chilled, and a breath later he fell much faster and hit the floor hard. Luckily it had only been a few feet.
He had twisted his ankle, but he didn’t care. He pulled out a torch from his bag with excitement and lit it up.
His jaw dropped.
The sarcophagus of the emperor Alandalbhe, last seen 1000 years ago, was right in front of him.
(The word prompt today was “Off.”)