The air in the ancient Sicilian cave was cold and stale. I could see the faint hint of the vapors of my breath in the light of my torch in the near-fifty degree temperature.
I turned the corner, and realized that this wasn’t just a cave, it was a long-lost prehistoric firebrick kitchen that had the most luscious form of deities – Pitz’a’coatl. It was a round, flat deity that seemed to center around the gastro-intestinal functions of its devotees. Something about constipation, I think.
But it was the idol itself that drew me here, halfway across the world. The legend alone was fascinating enough. When I learned that the idol was a beautiful solid gold disc with upturned edges and a distinct pattern on its flattened topside, I knew it would be a powerful addition to the Museum of Ancient Foods.
There it was. It glistened in the mysterious golden light that seemed to come from nowhere. I carefully walked into the chamber, taking precaution to only step onto the small, red circles scattered about as to avoid setting off one of the many booby traps in the temple.
It came out of nowhere. WHOOSH! I ducked just in time as a sword sliced the air beside me. I looked up at the invader. I suspected that some kind of undead entity would come after me to prevent me from taking my prize, but this wasn’t just a sword-wielding zombie. It was triangular, with crusty, molded cheese.
How odd, I thought. It closely resembled a piece of supreme pizza that I had left out for a few days once. I quickly brushed aside the thought as I reached for my bull whip. I was too late. The attacker had swiped again, leaving me no time to use the whip, so I reached for a loose stone and blocked it in the nick of time. The sword sparked as it struck the rock, and had time to roll away.
Shit! The booby traps! Arrows whizzed by from the walls, and pierced the attacker, but it kept coming. I was too low on the ground for them to hit me, so I finally took hold of my whip and used it to pull the sword out of it…wait… it wasn’t a hand. It was more of an elongated sausage that had rotten into a tough, ugly bone-thing. Well, I pulled the sword out of whatever it was.
I picked up another slab of stone and hurled it against my new enemy, flattening it. They don’t make zombies like they used to, I thought.
To my horror, the thing stood again! It picked up its sword, and began to walk toward me again. This was quite enough, so I pulled out my .44 and leveled it against what looked like the creature’s eye. The gun’s discharge echoed throughout the cave, and the monster exploded into a shower of goo and mold.
Finally free of any more intruders, I then carefully stood and walked toward the idol. It was clearly beautiful, and the torch that I left on the ground revealed its glory.
Then, to my horror, I heard a slight click under my foot. As I watched, the idol began to slide downward as a loud clunk broke through the air. My heart sank, and then began to pound in my chest. I rubbed my chin and wiped away the sweat from my brow. What could this possibly be?
It sounded like a rumble, no, more of a grinding noise. Slowly, I crept away, step-by-step, once again taking care to not set off yet another booby trap.
I looked over my shoulder. I really shouldn’t have, but I’m glad I did. The rumbling-slice-sound got louder still, and I realized that it wasn’t a giant stone ball that threatened me. I really didn’t know what it was, but it sure looked like a giant pizza cutter. It was old, rusty, and looked rather dull, but I wasn’t about to take a chance on how it would impact my body, so I threw caution to the wind and ran as fast as I could.
Arrows whizzed by, side-to-side, and from the floor and ceiling. I don’t know how I missed them all, but then, I’m not sure I did. The giant blade pressed closer still, and I had no choice but to keep running. So I ran, even though my sides were screaming in pain.
Just when I thought I was to the next level of the temple, I ran face-first into a flattened stone. I didn’t notice the inscription on the top that said “pampered” or something like that. All I knew was that I was about to be sliced. I turned, and twisted, and moved as fast as I could to avoid the giant rotary blade. It backed off for a second, and left me with my one chance, so I pulled myself to the top of the stone and flipped over it with no time to spare as the blade smashed against the rocky ceiling.
I caught my breath, and briefly lamented on my lost prize. To my astonishment, I then looked up and saw that very same golden pizza-esque statue fall through the ceiling, right into my waiting hands. Finally! I had acquired my prize. I could barely catch it as it weighed nearly forty pounds, but I was not about to let this beautiful piece of culinary history be smashed on the rocky floor.
The opening of the ancient cave was once again in full view. I raced toward it, and saw my partner standing at the mouth.
“I got it!,” I said in between pants. My partner, John Pepperoni, who always liked to be called “Papa,” was a man who knew the history of Pitz’a’coatl more than anyone. He examined the piece carefully and glided his fingers over it gently.
His eyes glimmered. His mouth quivered in anticipation. Suddenly, his entire countenance changed and melted into a sigh. He shook his head slowly.
“No, Indy. I’m sorry. You didn’t get it. This is imitation cheese.”
When I woke up from my dream, I realized that I really shouldn’t have had that pizza so late in the evening.