This is where I'm posting excerpts as I'm going along, so keep in mind that everything on this page is Rough Draft. --G
The Angel in the Rock
l'Histoire Secrete des Anges
The construction site was a clattering din of heavy equipment, in spite of the waning twilight. Deep in one corner of the pit, Carl Espada pushed his battered hard hat up his forehead and frowned as he wiped the sweat from his eyes. His frown deepened into a scowl when he looked at the rock wall again.
For a second he entertained the notion of calling one of his co-workers over for a second opinion, but quickly dismissed it. He'd learned weeks ago that they didn't share his enthusiasm for archaeology, and calling their attention to even the most remarkable specimen would only result in more hooting and name-calling. Well, to hell with them, he thought, and spat in the dirt. Whatever this was, he wasn't going to share it with anyone.
Although... The rock was speckled with the usual trilobites, but even in the strange electric shadows of the halogen lights, there was something odd about the marks here in the stone. Fossils of some sort, that much was obvious. But what were they? Carl glanced over his shoulder. The foreman was busy on the other side of the excavation, most likely hollering at one of the younger guys on the team for some stupid thing or another, and his pickaxe was lying close enough by his feet that he could snatch it up quickly enough if he came around. The crew was running on a tight schedule, trying to get the excavation finished according to an impossible timeline. The client wanted the building open by Christmas, and it was already the first week of November. If Carlos had been the foreman, he would've told the client flat-out where he could find a shovel, but hey, that wasn't his job.
Carl returned his attention to the rock, and fumbled in the chest pocket of his overalls for his rock brush. The soil here was absolutely crammed with specimens; a prehistoric lake must have covered almost the entire area where the town now stood, and where they were digging must once have been a really happening neighborhood. The client's blueprints called for five stories of underground parking, and even though most of these specimens would wind up hauled away to some quarry to make way for them, the stuff they were digging into now was too good to just let pass. Wiping again at the sweat on his brow, Carl brushed tentatively at the stone. Judging just by the rough shapes, it looked like the fossilized claw of some dinosaur, but what dinosaurs lived at the same time and sea depth as trilobites?
"Ichthyosaur?" he muttered to himself. "Nah, wrong time frame..." Carl squinted at the rock and leaned closer, so close that the tip of his nose was almost brushing the stone. For that matter, what dinosaur had claws that were exactly the same size and shape as a...
The brush clattered to the ground.
"Madre con Dios," Carl breathed sharply, backing away from the wall. His heart exploded into sharp hammering as he tried desperately to remember the Hail Marys the Catholic kids in the barrio used to recite, but he crazily found himself whispering the closest thing he could think of. "Kumbaya, my Lord, Kumbaya... Kumbaya, my Lord, Kumbaya..."
"I'm not hearing enough digging going on down there, Carl!" The foreman shouted something else from behind him, but Carl wasn't paying attention. The sound of the foreman's boots crunching in the rubble grew louder as he walked briskly across the site towards him. "Do you hear me, Espada? If I have to warn you one more time about this Indiana Jones shit, I swear I'm going to..." The foreman froze in his tracks when he saw Carl, down on his knees in front of the wall and singing old church camp songs. "What kind of crazy Mexican shit is this?" Then he looked up at the wall. Abruptly, he understood.
There in the stone, its fingers splayed, was a fossilized human hand.