Roz Liddle 2/10/17

Treasure

Percy stared at the weather-beaten oak box and particularly, at the huge rusty padlock. He sighed, rubbed his head with a filthy hand and contemplated the adventure he had finished.

His journey began with the discovery of a map. It was a creased piece of dark, thick paper that Percy had found when he was nosing around an old desk. He had been fiddling with the drawers — trying to find secret hidey-holes — when out popped a little compartment.

Inside were a folded paper, compass and dice. Percy held the dice and compass and opened the paper. The map looked old with faded writing. At the top was a symbol for the compass, in the middle was an island with a maze of paths and trees and arrows pointing the way to … he looked puzzled, the way to what? Adventure time.

Outside, Percy watched several stars shoot across the clear sky — it was too late to begin the expedition now — he would start very early in morning. He groaned.

Sunlight streamed through the window — waking Percy — as he had wanted. Jumping out of bed, he dressed rapidly, collected supplies and stood ready at the door. In his jacket were the map: die, compass and snacks, while in his trouser pocket sat a hefty bunch of keys.

Collecting an old walking stick, he stomped down the path and turned west into the trees, then stopped at the water’s edge. In front was the island and to the south, his way there.

A slim rickety bridge went across to the island — a good job — as Percy was terrible at rowing and always toppled into the water.

The rain started just as he crossed the bridge onto the island — he consulted his map. Paths were everywhere — his brow furrowed — then he noticed arrows carved on all the trees. What?

On the map was a drawing of dice next to a foot. Percy rolled — counted — then marched seven paces, following the direction of the nearest pointer. He repeated this several times — falling into numerous small boggy holes and using the cane to climb out.

Sodden from head to toe, Percy stepped from the labyrinth of trees into a small clearing, where a huge gnarled stump sat. He poked miserably around the top with the stick and hit something metal. Eureka!

Percy trudged dejectedly back over the bridge — he slipped on the wet timber and — plop — something metal fell into the water.

Tramping back home through the mud, he saw a rainbow shining over the house. A good omen?

Percy found the old shed, behind the house, and burst through the door. He shook the tin he found on the island — Grandad had much to answer for. Tired, muddy, slightly excited, he was ready to unlock the chest and discover the treasure. He put his hand into his trouser pocket and found a large hole.

“Percy, time to come in for dinner,” his Mum shouted, “and have you seen your Dad’s car keys?”

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