I spent a lot of time working on short fiction while still in college. ‘The First Artifact’ — which I also sometimes call ‘The Last Artifact’ — is a product of the time I was taking learning the craft. I wrote a lot of derivative fiction at the time, and this one is no different. It’s got an interesting hook — guy on his first treasure hunt ends up with an ancient, spellbound object with him, all the while being chased — but I can see why no publications picked it up at the time. I wanted to do Indiana Jones meets Tales from the Crypt. Kind of succeeded, but in the weirdest possible way.