a to z · Children's Stories · microfiction · Short Stories

X Marks the Spot #atozchallenge #shortstory #children

“They say there has been treasure hidden somewhere around here. It was left by pirates a long time ago.” my cousin whispered as I drifted off to sleep the first night I was staying at his house.

“Tony what were you thinking giving Bobby ideas of treasure seeking? He already has so much to deal with his mother being so sick and all.” Tony’s mother wrung the color from her hands.

“Ma it will keep his mind off of it.” Tony looked at her seriously.

“A rousing game of Monopoly would have done the same.” She sighed. “He fell asleep with the map under his pillow.”

“It will be ok. I promise” Tony hitched his shoulder and went upstairs to the room he was sharing with me.

Tony said those words repeatedly to his mother over the weeks that followed. What she didn’t realize he was doing it as much for her as for me. My mother,  Alicia, was his mother’s younger sister. In some ways, she was like her daughter. He knew neither of us could take it if  “Auntie” died.

“Ok… I’m ready for another search” I said with wide-eyed eagerness.

Each day, before going out, Tony would tell a story about pirates and treasure. Each day his mother and I listened intently.

“That boy’s quite the story-teller” she said proudly to a neighbor as they watched us venture off with a trusty shovel and dirty map.

I’m not sure that I believed Tony until one night…

…I  had this crazy dream of fire, pirates, lots of bottles of something that made them shoot off their guns and yell into the night. They didn’t know I was watching them as they buried their treasure. I woke up the next day with an indelible “x” in my mind.

“Tony, Tony. I had a dream… pirates…treassure. The dream told me where the treasure is.Tony, Tony.”

I became the story-teller that morning before we set off. I could see my aunt’s eyes glisten with tears.

The sun was setting and Tony’s ma was getting a bit worried.  She didn’t realize carrying pirate’s treasure is a lot of work. When she saw us, she ran to see what the trouble was.

“We found it!!!!” our arms and legs were exhausted but our voices conveyed the  exuberance in our discovery.

“Oh – you did” she said rather breathless with excitement.

Inside the box was a treasure of gold doubloons that were who knows how old.

The next day she got the call from daddy.”They can treat Alicia but it will cost more than any of us could raise in a lifetime. I have no hope left.”

We heard a “whoop” from the next room and ran to see what was happening. There was my auntie on the phone. “Here tell your daddy about the treasure Bobby. Tell him!!!”

***

That was years ago now. I still love a good story told by my cousin Tony who has a weekly radio show. The left over money from the treasure put Tony and I  through top notch universities. I became a syndicated writer for associated press. Tony occasionally asks me to write a script or two…

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This is my offering to The A to Z challenge. I had to revert to my story telling and script writing to pull off today’s letter “X.” Whewww (no that’s a “W”)