Todd unfolded the old map he’d found buried beneath a log down by the creek, being careful not to tear the fading, yellowing parchment on which the map was drawn. He showed it to his brother, Tim, and looked around at the trees surrounding them. “I think we’re at the right spot,” he said.
“I think you’re taking us on a wild goose chase,” Tim said. “We’re not going to find any buried treasure here.”
“I feel it in my bones,” Todd countered. Looking up at a specific tree, he pointed at it. “That’s the tree shown on the map. The one with the gash in its curved trunk.” On the map, in a cryptic, old fashioned script, were the words, “At precisely three o’clock on the afternoon of the twenty third of August, follow the beam of light that will shine through the gash in the curved tree trunk.”
“It’s almost three o’clock,” Tim said, looking up at the tree. “I guess we’ll find out if this map is real or if you’ve been hoodwinked.”
“Synchronize our watches,” Todd said. The teenage boys waited a few minutes until 3:00 arrived. Sure enough, a beam of sunlight shining through the large gash landed on a spot maybe 20 yards from the tree. The brothers ran to the point where the sunbeam led them, pulled out their shovels from their backpacks, and began to eagerly dig.
The August heat and humidity was taking its toll on the brothers. Both were covered in sweat and dirt after half an hour of hard digging. Other than rocks and roots, they had nothing to show for their labors.
“I told you this was a wild goose chase,” an exhausted Tim said.
Todd took a sip of warm water from his canteen and handed it to Tim. “Let’s keep going for another fifteen minutes,” Todd said. “If we still have nothing, we’ll call it a day.”
“Fine,” Tim said, looking at his watch. “Fifteen more minutes, but then I’m outta here.” Tim then stuck his shovel deep into the pit and was surprised when he heard a tinny sound as his steel shovel hit against something that wasn’t a rock.
“Cha-ching,” Todd screamed. “I told you this map was legit.” The two boys feverishly dug deeper until they unearthed a fairly large, very rusty metal lockbox. They carefully pulled it out of the pit.
“It’s locked,” Tim said.
“No worries,” Todd said, pulling out a large screwdriver and a hammer from his backpack. “As they say in the Boy Scouts, ‘be prepared.’” Using the tools, Todd was able to break the lock. He slowly opened the lid.
“Holy shit,” the brothers cried in unison, jumping back in shock at what they saw inside the metal box.
Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt.