The Treasure Hunt
“The Treasure Hunt” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Miral Hazem Husain, Kuwait International English School, Kuwait.
The Treasure Hunt
Hello this is the story of well… you will find out soon enough. You may proceed and read this story but I need to WARN you, this story may lock you in, shall I say, so be careful, you have been warned. You may proceed at your own risk. Just remember do not trust anyone, people are not who they seem to be.
Once upon a time, there lived a girl called Jessica. She was 18 years old, but usually acted like she was 10. Although she was clumsily gullible, she was bold and adventurous. She was kind, caring and sweet. She would often get herself into trouble but she always convinced her way out of it. She lived in a far of island with trees that reached the sky, fruits that could feed a whole country, and hearts that beat as one.
It was a clear bright day. She was on her houses doorstep looking around at the beautiful view. She could hear birds chirping, the wind flowing, and the water splashing. She could hear laughter and happiness. She walked slowly down a rigid path that led to a cave. The cave was always her hiding spot. She felt safe and secure. She was now in the cave looking for her book. She got it, sat down, and started drawing. Every single part of her was focused on making this drawing perfect. She felt the tip of her pencil gliding smoothly across the paper.
She heard bangs, bells and fires lighting. This was usual in a place like this. This all just meant that a ship just docked. The only thing that was unusual was that there was a lot more noise. She took her pencil into her hand and left to see why there was so much ruckus. She was standing in front of the ship in awe. It was huge, and was painted a nice ocean blue, with murals of whales and dolphins. A large muscular man with a sharp jaw came out of the ship. “Hello everyone, I am Faydem Comper, I am here to announce the treasure hunt,” the large man said “oh” -so enthusiastically. She heard murmurs and saw people faces just spitting out confusion. “Each person will be given a map of where the treasure is, you will all set sail at the same time… whoever finds the treasure will keep it,” he said while one of his men came out of the ship. This man was thin, tall, and stern. He looked like he had just received the worst news ever, but that just might be how he always looks. “Whoever would like to compete meet here same time tomorrow,” the stern man shouted as he pat Faydem on the back.
The next day came along and Jessica sprang out of bed. She got ready and as she was about to leave, someone got a grip of her hand. “Where are you going,” her mother asked strictly. ‘To the treasure war’ is what she wanted to say but instead said, “to catch some fish.” As soon as her mother let go of her hand Jessica was up and running again. She went to the docks to sign up. There was a short, plump man writing the sign ups. “I’d like to sign up,” she said confidently but the confidence soon ran out as the short man started laughing. “Look at you, you’re tiny,” the man spat. “Yeah well so are you,” she shot back as her hair flared up. “Mm Touché… go to a boat, in it is everything you need. You will set sail as soon as you hear a gunshot, now go ya little kid.” As he was talking Jessica’s eyes glanced off to a strange paper with the number: 3189. She did not really care and brushed it off. Jessica then ran joyously over to a boat a got into it. In it were a compass, map, and a horn that could make a sound so loud that people with 10 km can hear it. She looked at the map then put it safely inside of her pocket.
She heard a gunshot and her arms started paddling as fast they could. She could hear her heart beating faster than the speed of light. She could feel her speed getting faster and faster with each beat. She heard another gunshot, another, and one more. She looked back to see three people with blood rushing out of their hearts. She looked in front of her to see that all the strongest men of the island had left to find the treasure. She wanted to save the innocent people but she knew it would be dangerous. Instead, she paddled so fast it actually hurt. She heard behind her Faydem Comper shouting, “They will never find the treasure, those idiots!” She wanted to stop but her body and mind were on very different ends of the spectrum.
Over the horizon, she could see dark black clouds heading her way. She saw lightning strike ahead. She felt it echoing inside her head. The last thing she saw was fire then splash into the water. She woke up covered in sand and water. She got up, dusting the sand right off her. She looked around to find the horn to be able to call someone. She accidentally stepped on a piece of broken wood and her foot started bleeding. She fell to the ground realizing that the piece of wood was the horn. She got away from the sharp shattered pieces while holding firmly onto her foot. She got back up and started walking limply.
As she was walking, she heard something hiss. She stopped to look to see who or what it was, but found nothing. She walked and heard it again. She turned around only to see a slithering snake coming her way. She slowly walked backwards but tripped on her limping foot. Suddenly she saw a knife slice straight off the snakes head. She looked up to find her brother looking down at her with a knife in one hand. She looked over to see a gun in his holster. Her mind was filling with thoughts.
Backstory: Her brother (Jake) had been kidnapped a year ago and never came back.
“Jake, what are you doing here? I thought you were…”, “I’m not, now what are you doing here?” She took out the map from her pocket and handed it over to him. “Oh, I saw that X before, come I’ll show you.” They walked for a while until they finally got to the X. Next to, it was a chest with a lock. “I tried opening it up but… well see for yourself”, Jake uttered. Jessica touched the lock suddenly found a number insert hologram. As she thought of a combination that may fit the lock, she recalled a memory. The memory had resurfaced in her mind. She remembered the paper with the short man. The number was 3189. She wrote it in and the chest opened. Inside of it were yens upon hundreds of gold.
A few days past and the sibling’s ad built a ship using wood and a sail using the map. They headed home to find there was no home. Suddenly she felt somebody get a grip on the chest she was carrying. “Give us the chest and no one gets hurt”, Faydem yelled. She heard shots and in front of her, she saw Faydem and his men dead. She looked back to see Jake with a gun in his hand. She saw people coming out of hiding including her parents. She and her brother ran over to them receiving hugs and cries of joy. Their family had been torn apart once, but their faith brought them back together.