After the famous “Terracotta Businessmen” discovery was exposed as a hoax, a certain archaeologist found himself out of a job.
So he packed up his pencils, notebooks, and extra socks and hit the road. No more stressful academic disputes, no public speaking, no deadlines — He was free!
He walked for weeks. Finally, just as he ran out of potable liquids, he came to a town, where he bought a cold soda. Towards evening, he was approached outside Bev’s Frypit by a woman who smacked him in the face with a rolled up newspaper. “Mosquito”, she said.
They got to talking. Her name was Sandra, and she worked as a sand artist.
In the greenish glow of a citronella lantern, he dazzled her with stories of his archaeological adventures and promised to take her to Egypt, where he knew someone who could maybe get them a discount on pyramid tickets. She just laughed.
After a while, a guy drove up in a convertible hearse and beeped the horn. “I gotta go,” she said, brushing pink sand from her arms.
When she was gone, the archaeologist finished his soda and left the can for somebody else to clean up. Then he picked up his backpack and headed south under the summer constellations, thinking about ruins.