The box was sealed with wax, but a few moments with my trusty penknife was all that was needed to break the seal and discover what was waiting inside.
An odd and exotic mixture of smells wafted up from the small casket as it was opened, revealing a startling object resting inside. My initial shock at making the gruesome discovery soon gave way to curiosity.
The box contains what appears to be the mummified hand of a small woman or child, which is holding a key.
My impression was that the queer object was quite ancient, but I gingerly removed it from the box for closer examination.
Much heavier than it would appear to be, the hand is quite solid and did not crumble as I had feared when lifted from its resting place. A ring with a large blue scarab beetle upon it encircles the third finger. Is this truly that old? Or simply decorated with a much more ancient object? The key is certainly much more recent, and presents many more questions of its own.