Story and artwork by Dean Adams Curtis
excerpted from the feature motion picture script
"Into Eden"
copyright 2008

Brushes delicately remove soil from an ancient painting. A depiction of a bird's beak is revealed. Eyes that are cowry-shell-shaped surround the beak. Archaeologist Maria Demeter continues brushing.

Human-like breasts appear from beneath the soil. Wavy lines flow down from the breasts like meandering rivers across a belly that looks pregnant. Egg-shaped thighs are parted. Both knees are bent. Its as if the bird figurine is having a gynecology checkup. Between the splayed legs appear prehistoric symbols whose meaning has been lost to modern humans.

"Birth giving instructions from the bird goddess," says Maria.

"There you go using your intuition again," her archaeologist husband and excavation partner Daniel replies.

"I use it so I don't loose it," Maria tells him.

"The only way we could know for certain what this figure depicts," Daniel assures her, "Is if we could translate these ancient symbols. But so far nobody's been able to do that."

"Someday I will," Maria says confidently. "When we get back to the university I'm going to focus on deciphering them."

The ancient painting is on a large stone block. Maria and Daniel free the block from the Earth. Daniel hoists the block out of their excavation site. Maria guides it from below. The chain Daniel is using to hoist the block jumps off the sprockets of a ratchet.

The block plummets toward Maria, nearly crushing her. She experiences a momentary time space slippage. The metal ladder she is on transforms briefly into a prehistoric lashed wood ladder. Maria looks down at the room they've been excavating and it is alive with people and activity as it was 9000 years previous. Then the ladder becomes metal again.

"You alright down there?" Daniel calls out.

"Yeah," Maria calls back, but she's not sure.

Maria preserves the prehistoric painting she and Daniel have discovered. Other artifacts from the excavation are in various stages of being packed. The couple has been paid to excavate this ancient site before a dam is completed. Now, the dam's sluice gates are about to be closed. The river behind the dam will back up and submerge the site Maria and Daniel are revealing to modernity. The river that was a source of fish and mussels for the ancient people who once lived in the valley will become a giant reservoir.

"We've found all the significant artifacts," Daniel says optimistically to Maria.

"I've got a feeling we've missed something important," Maria replies.

Daniel opens a bottle of white wine he's been chilling in the river.

"To another successful excavation," Daniel toasts.

"I can't believe we've only got one more day to dig," Maria laments, then toasts. "To digging up a reason to keep our excavation underway and stopping that damned dam from opening,"  

Night falls with the archaeologist couple feeling happy and buzzing from the wine.

They make love. As Maria reaches a climax, a full moon pops up over the rim of the dam.

Next week's episode: "Maria's Breakthrough"