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    The Boat

    Categories: Creative Writing Prompts Tags: creative writing exercises, creative writing prompts, writing prompt.

    One day, while reading your favorite book on the beach, you notice a boat slowly drifting to shore. It eventually lands near your spot. A person, draped in pirate clothes, yells to you from the boat, “I have a treasure map and I need help. Are you in?”

    Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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    102 Responses to The Boat

    1. lookingforcamelot says:

      Here’s my slightly-longer-than-500-words story. I am a beginner and am not a native English speaker so, if there any mistakes, please feel free to pint them out. Indeed, I’d be grateful for it.
      Hope you enjoy.

      *

      It was your fault. All of this was your fault. A balanced adult would know there are times in which one must say ‘no’. Even to one’s parents. Especially to one’s parents. Particularly when one is still economically dependent from said parents.

      You have never felt so ill because of the weather. Everyone knew how warm southern Italy is, still you managed to pack only long skirts and jeans. No shorts of any kind, God forbid someone’s sees your legs. How does a woman get sinfully smooth legs anyway? This is perhaps the number one reason why you avoid beaches like the plague. Because people will avoid you like the plague if they saw your little scars. Maybe, you’d might find some compassion if there were a tragic story of pain and sufferance behind them but no, nothing tragic about ugly skin and very little time to scrub, hydrate, and such. Nothing tragic about not looking good enough.

      No, mum. No, dad. Thank you but I don’t want to come with you on holiday.

      There. Would that have killed you?

      I don’t know that, do I? Maybe It would have.

      No. No, you will not start arguing with yourself again. There was no winning with you.

      It’s barely dawn and sun is already high and merciless. You reach the deserted beach with your copy of Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens, ready to enjoy a solitary reading in a breath-taking scenery. You find the perfect spot just behind a rock that creates a cone of shadow that will protect you from the incessant heat of the Italian sun. You sit, open the book, and let a sense of peace wash all over you, that incredible feeling you can only find the moment black words find their way to your head and create stunning new colours.

      After a while- never expect a reader to tell you how much time has passed since he buried his nose in a beloved volume- the shadow that shields you from the sun intensifies but instead of a sense of relief you feel slightly chilled and a shiver runs through your spine. You raise your head and an imposing figure blocks your view. Your first instinct is to scream, yet you just try to shield your eyes from the sun to better study the man in front of you. His cheek is scarred, his clothes are unusual to say the least, and he’s looking at you with a mix of surprise and… disgust?

      “Excuse me, would you mind taking a step back? My neck will surely snap if you don’t.”

      The man complies but his stance suggests he didn’t appreciate the flippant way in which you asked.

      Now that he stands further away from you, you notice his short unruly black hair, his blue eyes, his lips shut in a tight line, the white linen shirt, a leather belt, his sword-

      His WHAT?

      You jump from where you were sitting and stare at him, your eyes as big as golf balls. Who are you? The words die in your throat. In any other moment you might have thought him a random guy returning from a costume party. Not this time. There’s something putting you off, and it’s not just his clothes. Nor is the big ship on the horizon.

      More of a vessel, now that you shift your focus from him to the… ‘Andromache’.

      “War of men,” you whisper. You have studied ancient Greek and are familiar with the history of the woman behind the name- Hector’s wife from the Iliad- and its etymology.

      He’s still looking at you but now he seems more relaxed somehow. Although, relaxed is probably the last adjective anyone would use to describe such a man.

      “So, there still are people with the decorum of treasuring human knowledge. My heart rejoices. Even if it comes from a woman.”

      “What a touching speech. I liked the part about decorum. Even if it comes from a man.”

      You have never been good at staring contests but you’ll be damned before you relent.

      A sly smile touches his lips.

      “Touché,” he says, and bows to you.

      You can’t even recover from the surprise of your small victory that he speaks again.

      “I think I’ll spare you the details of our coming. God knows, I am still uncertain myself. Yet, a strange turn of events brought us here while we were looking for something. A treasure, ye might say. My men and I have been chasing the seven seas trying to find it. We’ve followed every step religiously, relentlessly. But this map.”

      He averts his gaze just a moment but you can see the man is struggling to make sense of things even to himself.

      “The map keeps changing. And the closer we got to your lands, the more difficult if was for any of us to read it. I speculate the bloody map is… adapting itself. I need someone to read it for me.”

      You are petrified and, strangely enough, you believe him. You believe every single word while all this time you’ve been doubting even the labels on products in grocery stores.

      “I suppose that what I am saying is… ” Slowly he walks towards you until he stands so close you fear for your neck again.

      “I have a treasure map and I need you’re help. Are you in, lass?”

      He’s staring straight into your eyes until you feel the urgency of this man’s mission, its importance, his restlessness. At the barest of your nods he puts a sack on your head and pulls you on his shoulder as if you weighted nothing.

      Oh, dear.

    2. lookingforcamelot says:

      Here’s my slightly-longer-than-500-words story. I am a beginner and am not a native English-speaker so, if you find some mistakes, don’t feel bad to point them out. Indeed, I would be grateful.
      *

      It was your fault. All of this was your fault. A balanced adult would know there are times in which one must say ‘no’. Even to one’s parents. Especially to one’s parents. Particularly when one is still economically dependent from said parents.

      You have never felt so ill because of the weather. Everyone knew how warm southern Italy is, still you managed to pack only long skirts and jeans. No shorts of any kind, God forbid someone’s sees your legs. How does a woman get sinfully smooth legs anyway? This is perhaps the number one reason why you avoid beaches like the plague. Because people will avoid you like the plague if they saw your little scars. Maybe, you’d might find some compassion if there were a tragic story of pain and sufferance behind them but no, nothing tragic about ugly skin and very little time to scrub, hydrate, and such. Nothing tragic about not looking good enough.

      No, mum. No, dad. Thank you but I don’t want to come with you on holiday.

      There. Would that have killed you?

      I don’t know that, do I? Maybe It would have.

      No. No, you will not start arguing with yourself again. There was no winning with you.

      It’s barely dawn and sun is already high and merciless. You reach the deserted beach with your copy of Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens, ready to enjoy a solitary reading in a breath-taking scenery. You find the perfect spot just behind a rock that creates a cone of shadow that will protect you from the incessant heat of the Italian sun. You sit, open the book, and let a sense of peace wash all over you, that incredible feeling you can only find the moment black words find their way to your head and create stunning new colours.

      After a while- never expect a reader to tell you how much time has passed since he buried his nose in a beloved volume- the shadow that shields you from the sun intensifies but instead of a sense of relief you feel slightly chilled and a shiver runs through your spine. You raise your head and an imposing figure blocks your view. Your first instinct is to scream, yet you just try to shield your eyes from the sun to better study the man in front of you. His cheek is scarred, his clothes are unusual to say the least, and he’s looking at you with a mix of surprise and… disgust?

      <>

      The man complies but his stance suggests he didn’t appreciate the flippant way in which you asked.

      Now that he stands further away from you, you notice his short unruly black hair, his blue eyes, his lips shut in a tight line, the white linen shirt, a leather belt, his sword-

      His WHAT?

      You jump from where you were sitting and stare at him, your eyes as big as golf balls. Who are you? The words die in your throat. In any other moment you might have thought him a random guy returning from a costume party. Not this time. There’s something putting you off, and it’s not just his clothes. Nor is the big ship on the horizon.

      More of a vessel, now that you shift your focus from him to the… ‘Andromache’.

      “War of men,” you whisper. You have studied ancient Greek and are familiar with the history of the woman behind the name- Hector’s wife from the Iliad- and its etymology.

      He’s still looking at you but now he seems more relaxed somehow. Although, relaxed is probably the last adjective anyone would use to describe such a man.

      “So, there still are people with the decorum of treasuring human knowledge. My heart rejoices. Even if it comes from a woman.”

      “What a touching speech. I liked the part about decorum. Even if it comes from a man.”

      You have never been good at staring contests but you’ll be damned before you relent.

      A sly smile touches his lips.

      “Touché,” he says, and bows to you.

      You can’t even recover from the surprise of your small victory that he speaks again.

      “I think I’ll spare you the details of our coming. God knows, I am still uncertain myself. Yet, a strange turn of events brought us here while we were looking for something. A treasure, ye might say. My men and I have been chasing the seven seas trying to find it. We’ve followed every step religiously, relentlessly. But this map.”

      He averts his gaze just a moment but you can see the man is struggling to make sense of things even to himself.

      “The map, it keeps changing. And the closer we got to your lands, the more difficult if was for any of us to read it. I speculate the bloody map is… adapting itself. I need someone to read it for me.”

      You are petrified and, strangely enough, you believe him. You believe every single word while all this time you’ve been doubting even the labels on products in grocery stores.

      “I suppose that what I am saying is… ” Slowly he walks towards you until he stands so close you fear for your neck again.

      “I have a treasure map and I need you’re help. Are you in, lass?”

      He’s staring straight into your eyes until you feel the urgency of this man’s mission, its importance, his restlessness. At the barest of your nods he puts a sack on your head and pulls you on his shoulder as if you weighted nothing.

      Oh, dear.

    3. matlam17 says:

      I stared at the man for a moment. It took several seconds for me to register that this was actually happening and even longer to decide if I should actually join him. With opportunities like this being so rare, my decision was made. I made my way over to his vessel which upon closer inspection, appeared to be far from being in great condition.
      “Captain, seeing as I have a few hours of time to kill, it would be my honor to aid you in your hunt,” I shouted up to him.
      “Happy to hear it lad!” the pirate responded “climb aboard.”
      The pirate threw down a rope ladder for me to climb. The floorboards creaked as I stepped onto the deck of the ship. As I looked around I began to notice how small the ship actually was. From a distance, a pirate ship is already quite a sight but after boarding it, I noticed that the ship was less than impressive.
      “Alright lad, let’s have a look at this map,” he said as he fumbled through his coat and then pulled out a sizeable piece of yellowish paper. Captain held the map out for me to see and I was taken aback by how genuine the map seemed. The map wasn’t covered in decorative sea monsters or anything of the sort but rather looked as if it was drawn very carefully and precisely. There was a red line that began at our approximate location and traveled about a mile or so down the beach. Hardly the elaborate route I was expecting.
      “Well, now we must continue on foot,” Captain said as he looked up from the map.
      “But I just got on. We can’t just sail there?” I replied.
      “I’m actually amazed the boat made it this far,” Captain chuckled. We proceeded to start walking down the beach while receiving strange looks and laughs from the people who saw us. It dawned on me just what I was doing. A complete stranger dressed as a pirate asks me to join him on a treasure hunt that takes us in a straight line as he arrives in his oversized canoe. I had agreed to it. The captain began to tell me of all his great adventures on the seas and about his crew. These tales were difficult to believe mostly due to the fact that I saw no one else on the ship and one of the stories involved the kraken. Captain stopped in his tracks.
      “We’re here!” he shouted.
      “Great! What about shovels?” I asked. Captain froze then began to look around before running as fast as he could away from the beach. I sighed and reflected upon what I had done with my day so far while I walked back to my spot. I woke up, ate, and walked around with an insane man dressed in pirate clothes listening to him tell stories about his voyages before he ran off into the distance. Honestly, it wasn’t terribly disappointing. I never saw nor heard from Captain ever again and perhaps it’s best that way.

    4. E.K Krawforde says:

      The sand tickled my toes as I wandered the long beach when I saw the shadowing figure.
      Wow.
      Who knew boats were still made like that? Big, old, it appeared to be wooden, well damn, it was set up like a pirate ship. Maybe someone made if for the novelty. Then I saw him. I blinked as he invited me into an adventure. I wanted to say know, I knew I should have said no, but my lips parted and said a perfect “yes” and I felt like fainting. The seemed-to-be pirate grinned and grabbed me by the shoulders, his breath was foul, it smelt just like the roadkill I found three summers ago, that rotting. His teeth were black too. Holy shit, was this man the real deal? I shook my head.
      “Aye matey!! C’mon!!” He grabbed my arm and yanked me along and I fell. I yelped and he just looked at me and started laughing, then I heard more laughing, and more, and more and more till my head was filled with the cynical laughs of thousands. I wanted to cry and then I felt the hot liquid on my face. Shit I was. I blinked a few more times and the atmosphere changed, I was in school, I was on the floor, crying, people were laughing.
      Everyone was laughing.
      Everyone.

    5. JaRosie says:

      First Time! Feedback is appreciated!
      Lets see if I can figure out this HTML thing…Try 1

      Really? I was being hit on by a man dressed as a pirate?
      “That has to be the worst pick-up line I’ve ever heard.” I responded to the dreadlocked man with the giant overcoat looked. Who did he think he was, floating on a pool toy in the middle of the river? And how on earth had he stayed afloat?
      “Could you at least give me a hand?” I rolled my eyes but stood. The water was seeping into his little boat. I jogged down the grassy slope and hit the dirt that passed for sand in the Midwest. “I’m pretty sure you could wade over here yourself, you’re close enough.” I wasn’t wandering into the river, soaking myself for some drugged-out creeper when he could wade to shore. After a moment of hesitation, he leaned over and flopped into the river, his floaty spinning away. Triumph swelled in my veins as he stood, the water only to his chest. He waddled to shore, as if holding his arms out from his body would make the water suddenly disappear. Realizing he was coming towards me, I backed all the way up the hill to the picnic area where I’d left my books.
      So much for studying. I hated that class anyway.
      Keeping an eye on him, I shoved my hair up in a ponytail, trying to get it out of the way. Putting the stone picnic table between the two of us, I began to pack my belongings one book at a time. I couldn’t wait to Dad’s and my apartment, he would think this was hilarious. The pirate dropped to the picnic table and threw his face into his hands. Poor guy. He was in his early thirties and his dreadlocks had slipped a little, revealing a sprig of red hair. In one ear, he had a gold hoop through a puffy red lobe.
      I zipped my backpack and took a step back, he could find help if he needed. “Ok Redbeard, best of luck to you, but I gotta-”
      “Stella MacIntyre?”
      Ok. Definitely a creeper.
      He squinted at me.
      “The same Stella MacIntyre who works at the corner gas station?”
      I wondered how fast a water-logged pirate could run.
      He let out a little moan, and continued. “Stella MacIntyre, I have a treasure map and I need your help.”
      The pick-up line suddenly sounded much less like a pick-up line.
      He pulled a soggy paper from his overcoat and handed it to me. I unfolded it and the world stopped. Silence invaded. All I could see was the picture of my dad wearing a jester’s hat sitting, tied to a chair next to three people I didn’t recognize. All were in some sort of costume, and then I saw the rhyme.
      A game you sought a game I bring.
      Join the Pirate, find the King.
      His blood’s already in the sand,
      But save the Jester if you can.

      The world rushed back at me. My stomach churned, I felt like my insides were being twisted into knots. Climbing into the picnic table, I hissed at the pirate, “What is this?”
      He softly touched the picture and pointed at the woman dressed as a fairy. “That’s my wife.” He choked.
      He locked his gaze with mine.
      “Are you in?”

    6. Bianchi Cat says:

      It’s always interested me how the mind will store memories or even displace events, people or information. I’m reminded of this when I remember one late morning in August, spending time on a Florida beach and having too much to drink under a hot sun.
      It began with me nursing a severe hangover from the night before and even by 11:00 a.m. I still felt drunk. I noticed out on the water, far beyond the sand bar, a small brown and pointy boat that seemed to float more on the horizon than on water. Time for me seemed to stand still which is why it seemed like in an instant the small pointy boat just so happened to be a large sailing ship and was just off the bay’s sound. One of its small landing boats coming ashore near me was being rowed steadily by one person.
      The noon day sun had likely cooked the alcohol in my brain. I saw a woman get out of the dingy, that she herself navigated to shore, and walk right up to me and said, “Ahoy thar. What be yor…” and with a few harsh coughs and clearing of the throat, her deeply gruff accented voice became a mild and soothing American voice. “What’s your name?” she asked.
      “Sam.” I replied. She walked over the sand and from the waters edge easily in her mid-calf leather boots. She stepped out of the sun and walked close to where I sat and put her fisted hands on her hips to seemingly strike a heroic pose. A scant amount of her bronze skin over her muscular thighs was exposed beneath her torn and frayed leather skirt. Her over-sized “pirate” shirt sat loosely over her shoulders and covered to her waist. A corset kept her torso secure and, I’m sure, slightly uncomfortable.
      “Well Sam.” She said as she leaned in closer to my face. Her black hair was not completely hidden beneath a brown laced bandana. Her dark eyes locking mine sent an instant soberness to my head. “Are you up for an adventure?” she asked while offering a crooked smile from one corner of her mouth.
      “Possibly?” I answered hearing the crack in pitch of my voice. It wasn’t just that my voice sounded like a pubescent teenager again, my voice was more noticeable because I realized the wind had suddenly stopped blowing. She and I were the only two people on the beach. Even the waves coming into shore had almost become silently still. At that moment I found myself to be as clear-headed as I ever had been. She stood up straight frowning and eyes sharpened in anger.
      “’Possibly’ gets you nothing.” She then smiled slightly and said, “You see Sam, I have a treasure map.” As she pulled from behind her back at her waist a leather wrapped journal and handed it to me. “I need help finding the treasure, Sam. Are you in?”
      My treasures became my memories of those adventures.

    7. Ross says:

      < The lazily setting sun began to obscure Oscar Wilde’s words and the sand, ever diving its fingers beneath the ocean’s waves, itched my back and legs. I stood to brush the granules away and was struck by the seemingly sudden appearance of a ship. Surly it had been making its way towards me for hours, but only now, as it neared the shore, did I see it.
      The ship rocked in the water a good distance from me and my abandoned beach. A small boat began to lower from the ship; a single figure perched inside. I began to feel conscious of my agape jaw and furrowed brow though I did not know what else to do but to stand and wait.
      A hat, a draping shirt, a sword, boots and the lagging shuffle-walk of a man too tired for pleasantries. “I have a treasure map” he shoved a scribbled-on paper in my face, “Help me?” There was still sand stuck to me, I brushed it off, the sun glaring in my eyes. “I need help. Are you in?” “Okay.” He grinned beneath several months worth of facial hair and beckoned me to his boat.
      We sat in silence on our way to the ship. I asked to see the map but there was no response. The small boat clashed agains the ship as several men pulled us to deck. It struck me as odd that the man came to shore only for me and a string of unsettling questions popped into my head. Did he know who I was? Why would he be satisfied in finding me to help him? What makes him think I could help? Had we met before? Where did he find a treasure map in the twenty-first century and who were these men, not enough to find treasure, but enough to man a pirate ship?
      Pirate. The word seemed archaic. Evocative and exciting, but disconcerting. A firm hand clutched my arm, disrupting my panic, and dragged me to what I assume was the Captain’s quarters, and the man attached to the unapologetic hand; the Captain. “What do you know of treasure maps?” “Nothing.” I answered honestly. Apart from a certain classic ’80’s movie my treasure map know-how was lacking.
      “Look.” He shone a candle over the map spread across his desk. I saw ink-marked mountains and rivers and islands and wondered what he saw that I didn’t. I stared at him blankly. “Look.” He insisted, shoving the wrinkled map in my face. “I don’t see anything. Where is the treasure meant to be?” He scoffed, and threw the paper to the floor. It felt strange for a man who just met me to express to me frustration usually reserved for my family. Wanting to ease the tension I picked up the paper and examined it closer. Front, back, side to side. “Well, let’s start here, Captain. I don’t much care for ‘X’s’ why don’t we try the ‘O’?”

    8. clittle says:

      Oh dear God, not here. I tipped my head forward and looked over the top of my sunglasses to see the pirate coming ashore and make his way towards me with that theatrically drunk swagger. I glance at the frosty glass with the chunk of pineapple sitting to my right. He must have seen my pina colada. Stopping at the foot of my beach towel, he leans forward and says, “I have a treasure map and I need help. Are you in?”.

      “No thanks, I don’t drink that brand.”

      “Oh, buy my lady this is a fine score! We are offering 50% off on the first bottle and an additional 10% off on each additional bottle.”

      I’d had enough. I spent an additional $5,000 on the ad free vacation package and here stood this idiot. “Look Black Beard, or Captain Kidd or whoever the hell you’re supposed to be, I told you already I’m not interested in your crappy rum! Now leave me alone!”

      My tormentor got the message, took his brass buckled boots off the bottom of my towel and headed back to his boat. I should have called the resort police and had him arrested. What he was doing was highly illegal, but increasingly common. I watched as he boarded his boat and sailed for the mainland across the harbor.

      The mainland. I looked across to see the banner planes, blimps, flashing signs, branded buildings and boats in the foreground and branded mountains in the background. It had become one giant billboard. Everything was fair game after The Marketers seized control of our bankrupt government and collapsed economy. Their rules were simple: 1) meet your daily sales quota or face execution, and 2) meet your daily purchase quota or face execution. Those who exceeded their quotas would get bonuses and be allowed to take vacations in designated “ad free” zones.

      And here was this pirate, not only disturbing my ad free vacation, but in one of those ironic twists of life, cutting into my own rum sales. I called harbor security.

      “The pirate boat heading back to the mainland? See it? Yes? The owner is in violation. Thank you.”

      I took a sip of my drink and watched with satisfaction the cannon on the harbor police cutter sink my competitor’s boat.

      “X marks the spot my friend, X marks the spot”

    9. AndyJadeStar says:

      “I have a treasure map and need help.” The pirate called from the disabled rowboat. “Are you in?”
      Laura looked up from her book and raised an eyebrow. She had parked her beach chair sitting in the waves to get the full experience of the beach while she read. This crazy man had interrupted her perfect afternoon.
      “Hey!” The Pirate yelled, “You! Are you going to help me?” His tiny excuse for a dingy was floating about 15 feet off shore.
      “What’s in it for me?” Laura called.
      “Well, I won’t kill you for one…”
      Laura shook her head. “That’s not good enough.”
      “Not good enough?” The pirate was flabbergasted. “This is going to be the adventure of a lifetime! What could you possibly want that’s worth more than that?”
      “How about twenty bucks.”
      “Money!” The pirate jumped to his feet, nearly tipping the rowboat and throwing himself into the water.
      “I take cash in advance.”
      “I don’t have any cash! I’m going after treasure!”
      Laura just shrugged. “Then I guess you don’t really need my help.”
      The pirate was flabbergasted. “Fine, I’ll give you money. How about we make it forty dollars, and I pay you after I’ve captured the treasure!”
      Laura thought for a moment. “Fifty and you have a deal.”
      “Fine, fine, fifty it is. Now come help me pull this boat in. I’ve lost my oars, and at this rate I’ll never make land.”
      Laura got up, tossing her book back onto the chair. She waded out into the water.
      “Hurry Hurry!” the pirate urged her. “I have much to do today.
      “Do you have a rope?” Laura asked thinking of how she would get the boat to shore.
      “Do I have a rope? What self-respecting pirate doesn’t have rope?”
      “What self-respecting pirate doesn’t have oars?”
      Laura trudged along towards the boat. When the water was about chest high, she was able to grab the rope the pirate offered her. She threw the loop at the end over her shoulder and began pulling back towards shore.
      “You could have done this yourself you know.” She grumbled. The boat was heavier than she had initially thought.
      “I should think not, that is beneath me. Besides what if I were to drown?”
      Laura stopped pulling. “Are you seriously afraid of drowning in water that is waist deep?”
      “Get back to work!” The pirated yelled, insulted. “We have much ground to cover before nightfall.”
      “No.”
      “Yes, now mush!”
      “Mush this!” Laura yelled as she ducked down into the water and flipped the boat.
      The pirate splashed around causing a commotion, before finally standing up. Water poured off his hat, and left him looking rather pathetic.
      “What kind of lady tries to drown someone in distress?”
      Laura just turned around and headed back to shore. “What kind of pirate can’t swim?”

    10. ShawnJohnson78 says:

      Never follow the crazy, kids. It can be everywhere or everyone and it usually looks for you, if not always dressed like a goddamn pirate. Amongst the waves you are meant to feel at one with the world; to behold the infinite in your finite view. You are not, on the other hand, meant to sit out in 99 degree heat baking in the sun like a rotisserie chicken. And still we slather on oil to come as close to the baked culinary delight as god intended.
      One hour into my impromptu nap, I awoke to the feeling of warm water slapping against my feet and my favorite book (and by favorite I mean the only one I had in my car, and by book I clearly mean old comic book) protectively shielding a small portion of my chest, just enough so I look ridiculous with my shirt off for at least three weeks.
      I blinked awake and was for some reason surprised that the sun was bright (I’m also told it’s hot, but that’s just conjecture at this point). The water near my brain bled out through my eyes to the astonishingly bright sun (hot too); an involuntary reaction, I’m told, to the change from light to slightly more light. They in no way were tears of pain from the burn surrounding my rectangular reflective chest mark; I’m a man goddamn it. Just when the light became too much and my mommy’s name was on my lips to shelter me, what I thought was a cloud began to cover me; rudely as I was getting a tan! I wiped my man tears away and from my eyes and cheeks…and chin (it’s a heavy flow issue…don’t judge!) I looked upon the grandest sight a child of 30 could ever hope to see; a floating something or other as big as a pirate ship. It had a flagpole much like the one in front of my elementary school but I don’t think it floated from this tiny salt water bath to teach me numbers or the value of detention, no this flag had the symbol of what I knew to be the universal insignia of the mortician’s guild. I gazed upon my sun savior with awe. Looking down upon me was the most beautiful woman, topless and I think part fish. What she was doing on the front of the boat I will never know but her calm demeanor never wavered, in fact, she didn’t move a muscle, just posed…women! I heard the sound of wood on wood clanking louder with ever beat. It was terrifying, and I’m not ashamed to say I wet myself…with perspiration. Two hands grasped the rail and like a creepy jack-in-the-box, he popped his head over the rail and thrust a piece of paper in the air and yelled through a set of missing teeth “I have a treasure map and I need help. Are you in?” And then the white light got brighter

    11. russellvicente says:

      It was sometime between the afternoon and sunset and I was just kicking back in Newport reading some self-help book. It seems that these days I’m always reading self-help. It’s not even that I want really want to, it’s more that I have to you, you know? I wish I didn’t have to read that kind of crap so much, but my life always feels like it is in some earnest disarray that I can never really get going. In reality, I wish I had the peace of mind to sit down and read fiction. It’s way cooler than self-help and it gives you the opportunity to enjoy your imagination. I guess because I want to read for pleasure as opposed to always be trying to fix myself. Anyway, so I’m chilling and am just starting to get my mind right, when in the distance, I see this old looking pirate ship in the distance. It get’s a little bit closer and I see a bunch of sketchy individuals on the deck wearing pirate outfits. “What the hell?” I think to myself; what are these people trying to do? After about half an hour I see a small boat paddling for the shore. It was tough to really see it through the distance and the fog, but after closer inspection I realized I realized it was a pale looking, beautiful girl. Her hair was a light chestnut brown that glimmered with the sun ray’s and her clothes were dingy and old. She yelled out; “Hey you! What are you doing over there?” I looked around and then pointed to myself. “Me,” I thought to myself, and then yelled back, “me?” . “Yes, you! Who else would I be talking to!” I was utterly amazed. What were the chances of a beautiful woman coming out of a pirate ship so mysteriously? The boat came ashore and we began to talk. “Who are you?” I asked; “I am Enchantra, Queen of the nether regions and the Great Ocean Deep, I have come looking for a young man of age and a pure heart to ask him if would like to go on an adventure.” “An adventure? I can’t go on an adventure. I have to work. You know, bills need to be paid.” She replied, “Yes, the bills must always need to be paid, but if you seek out your personal adventure, the bills have a magical way of taking care of themselves. Do not be a coward.” “Well, then, what kind of adventure is it?” “It is the best kind, the kind you that will take you to your deepest self where your truth resides. If you make it, you will find your true self underneath all the dirt and grime that the world provides. And then, and only then, will the world work with you and you will find your true calling and find true love!” She explained. “It sounds fantastic!” I said. “What do we do next?”

    12. Amy says:

      Anyone know why we are unable to post to this weeks prompts? The poetry blog is the same!

      • iRoswell says:

        I had issues posting to this prompt and then it came up after the week was almost over. I’m guessing they’re having server issues or something.

      • slayerdan says:

        It was on MSN. The site has been blocked as several of the people that run the site are tied to some big hacker group and they were using the WD site as a front to do hacking jobs on other businesses. So its locked up for now. It may not be back up for awhile. Or it is a server, I am not sure which. Sounded like a good idea though didnt it? Maybe its Y2k?

    13. mimrlith says:

      For a while there, I thought I could actually hear the characters in my book speaking. Not that it was unusual. I often became so involved in my reading that it was like a movie running inside my head.
      Well, what’ll it be, matey? Yer up fer a bit of adventure?
      Okay, that wasn’t in my book. I frowned and re-read the previous page again.
      Awk! Treasure map!
      Someone impersonating a parrot definitely got my attention and I looked up.
      Ahoy, matey! What’ll it be? I need a treasure hunt partner! Me boat’s big enough fer a pair o’ tars.
      I cracked a wide smile and turned my book over on my knee, still open at the page I was reading. I didn’t mind playing along.
      Where does your treasure map lead to, pirate?
      The prospect of real adventure excited me. So far, the majority of my adventures had been vicarious, thanks to Jon Swift, Rob Stevenson, Jules Verne, and their ilk.
      Wa-al, it looks to be a right sportin’ trip down ta duh Car-ee-beeyun.
      Ah, we’re going to an island then?
      O’course, matey. Ever hear of a treasure that wasn’t on an ah-land?
      Okay, let’s say I go with you. Where is this island?
      Ah really wouldn’t know, mate. We’d hafta follow the map. Sometimes all ya find is a clue to anothah ah-land.
      Right. So we could be sailing all around the world chasing around for clues to find this magnificent treasure.
      At’s the general ah-deeyuh.
      What’s the treasure supposed to be?
      Wa-al, I heard tell it involved some kinduh hee-yuge chest o’ precious mateeree-yuls.
      And pray tell kind sir, where did you find this treasure map?
      Aha! A real pah-rate would never tell.
      But it could be a fake. You know, the kind some people make just for fun and there isn’t really any treasure where ex marks the spot.
      Hmmm. At’s a frightening possibility. But me sources ‘ave proven ta be real trustworthy.
      I thought you could never trust a pirate?
      Mebbe, if he wuz a plunderer or a freebooter or a brigand. Them’s the bad ‘uns.
      So there are good pirates?
      O’course, mate. Hain’t ya e’er heard of buccaneers or corsairs? Them’s the good ‘uns.
      Are you a buccaneer or a corsair?
      A swashbucklin’ buccaneer o’ the seven seas! At your service.
      He grabbed his hat and, with a dramatic flourish, offered me a bow.
      Oh my, you do sweep me off my feet! I suppose I would enjoy a bit of adventure at sea.
      Hurrah!
      The pirate promptly launched into a jig upon which his little boat tipped precariously, dancing with the tide and throwing the costumed buccaneer off balance. I couldn’t stop my laughter as he tried to offset the wild swaying of the boat and failed completely, tumbling into the water. He quickly surfaced and crawled ignominiously onto the beach, falling on the sand next to me as we both laughed our heads off insanely for the longest time I can remember.

    14. igonzales81 says:

      “Excuse me?” I replied, staring up at the strange figure from where I reclined on my padded chaise lounge. Beyond the shade of my beach umbrella, the shore was bathed in brilliant sunshine.

      The odd character, swathed head to toe in regalia that looked as though it had come straight from a Hollywood movie set, grinned broadly, revealing the gleam of several gold teeth. “I’ve a map, one that will lead straight to a treasure as grand as any you’ve ever laid eyes on. But I’m in need of an able-bodied man to help me claim it, so I’m offerin’ you a fair share of the plunder if you’ll take me up on it.”

      “I see,” I said, my gaze going from the man arrayed in piratical splendor before me to the small boat he had rowed in on, the wood of its hull warped and bleached by sun and sea. “Are you sure it’s genuine?” I tried to keep my tone neutral, unsure of the mental stability of a person who would dress up as an eighteenth century pirate and coast about looking for people to help him a-hunting treasure.

      “Oh, aye, it’s genuine enough,” he replied with a slow nod. “Had to spend a long night dicing to get it, and still ended up stabbing a man through the heart and leaping out a second-story window to make off with the thing.”

      “Right.” The scene was becoming increasingly surreal, something that didn’t seem as though it should or could be happening. In the past, I’d never been one to shy away at such occurrences: they usually afforded interesting possibilities. But I never leapt without taking a good long look first. “So what exactly is in this for me?”

      The man’s grin widened further. “Everything you can imagine, mate. Adventure, excitement, danger, and a fortune for the taking. Sign on with me, and you’ll have the means to buy all that you’ve ever desired, and you’ll feel you’ve earned it, too.”

      I had to admit, I was intrigued. I let my eyes wander from the figure in front of me to the picturesque scene beyond, taking in the white sand beach, caressed by the gentle surf, and the deep blue waters leading away to a horizon where sky and sea met in a blending so subtle you almost couldn’t tell that happened at all.

      “I’m afraid I’ll have to pass,” I said at length.

      The pirate’s jaw dropped open. “You’ll pass?” he gaped in surprise. “I just told you that every wish you have can be satisfied, and you’ll pass? What’s in your head?”

      I picked up my book again, opening it to the spot where I had stopped when the approaching boat first caught my attention. “I’ve already lived a life of danger, excitement and adventure,” I said with a shrug, not bothering to meet his gaze. “And I already have everything I desire. Now, if you’d be so kind, take your boat and get off my beach.”

    15. WV Jim says:

      I was minding my own business. Well, ‘business’ wasn’t really what I was minding. I was actually on vacation, lying on a damp towel in the sand, reading, when something other than the sound of seagulls and surf grabbed my attention. I saw a ship; not just any ship, mind you, but one of those wooden things with masts and sails and…well, a pirate ship.

      But the noise taking me away from my reverie was a small, wooden rowboat sliding into the sand, and footsteps in the surf: the footsteps of what one could only call a pirate.

      “Arrgh,” he said.

      “Excuse me?” I offered in reply.

      “Bucko, ye be just the man I be lookin’ for. Avast and ahoy, matey, I be in need of your services.”

      I rolled over on my wet towel, looking behind me for whoever this buccaneer could be talking to. But I was alone on the beach; he was addressing me.

      I answered, “My services? What do you need?”

      “Arrgh, bucko, I got this map; she be the map to a buried treasure.”

      I looked around again for the cameras filming this practical joke. There were none.

      “A buried treasure, eh?” My doubt was obvious.

      “Aye, me friend, buried treasure be here, for certain.”

      “And just where is it buried?”

      He held up the map; I could see the configuration of shore, sea and sand, and a large, bright red “X” in the middle.

      “There!” he shouted, pointing directly at me.

      “Where?” I asked.

      “Beneath ya, me boy. It be buried underneath where ya be lyin’.”

      Treasure? Here? Under my towel? Okay, I’ll bite.

      I stood, moved my wet towel, showing this pirate the spot marked by his big red X.

      Suddenly he dove to the ground, and started digging like a dog; like a dog that hadn’t eaten in a week and suddenly discovered a buried steak.

      “Well, what’cha be waitin’ for?” he said, and slid over to allow me room to dig.

      I don’t believe I’m doing this. But I did.

      I jumped down on the ground beside the pirate, and started scooping sand. I brushed it aside gently at first, then got the fever, and started digging furiously. In fact, I was digging so ferociously that I lost track of the pirate. All I could think of was treasure…digging sand…treasure…riches!

      Suddenly I felt a hand on my shoulder. I was knee deep in a hole filling with water almost as fast as I could dig out the sand. I looked to see what the pirate wanted…

      …and my eyes found a small boy.

      “Mister, are you okay?”

      And that was when I noticed a beach full of people, all looking at me with strange eyes. And then I saw my book, still lying on my towel, the towel where I’d apparently fallen asleep and had a dream.

      A dream about pirate ships and buccaneers and…buried treasure.

      I vowed right then to start reading home improvement novels on my next vacation.

    16. Red Jackson says:

      I sat there in the hot sand, listening to the salty waves crashing upon the sandy beach and exposed rocks. As I wondered whether Crichton would have wanted “Pirate’s Latitude” to be published, I spied a barnacle encrusted rowboat drifting toward me. Not being one to refuse an adventure, I climbed into the seaworthy crusty old boat. His breath stunk of rum and where his right hand should have been, a vicious gleaming hook caught the rays of the afternoon sun.
      “You are a strong looking young lad,” he said. He slurred his words and spittle dribbled from his lip.
      “I try to keep fit.” I replied, not wanting to encourage conversation because of the man’s foul breath.
      “Let’s see how well you dig for a share of diamonds and gold.”
      “Will we split it fifty fifty?” I asked, as I looked at the map he had offered. It looked authentic to me and I knew the island well.
      “I need two good hands to dig and so you shall get your fifty percent.”
      The oar weighed heavy in my hand. An unexpected shock travelled up the wood as it struck solid scalp and skull. I could not help myself. I knew he told a lie. It was self-defence, really. Do you think he would have let me live? My wealth was doubled in the blinking of an eye.

    17. CERLINTWIZ says:

      TREASURE FOR BLOOD

      It’s been two weeks now since my shipmates set me to die on this island, wrongly claiming I cheated at dice. Me, their one legged cook, without a dishonest bone in my body. No food, no drink, just my pocket knife and this tattered copy of ‘Lord of the Rings’. Fortune favored me, however, with a grove of banana trees and a pond of fresh water. Sitting beneath a palm tree on the edge of the beach, I can see I’m in for another day of blue skies, intense heat and endless boredom. I turn to the chapter I started yesterday when I spy a dinghy slowly drifting to shore with the surf. It lands close enough for me to see its sole inhabitant is draped in tattered pirate clothes similar to my own.
      “Ahoy,” he calls. “I have a treasure map and I need help. Are you in?”
      I rush best I can on my make-shift crutch to help drag the small boat onto the bleached sand. His sunburned skin and dehydration tells a tale of many days adrift at sea.
      “You’ve made a poor choice for a port,” I say. “This is naught but a small speck of an island with nothing but bananas and my own sorry soul.”
      “Aye, but bananas are more than I’ve had in many a day and now you’ve got a boat, a compass and a friend,” he says with a grin of missing teeth. Clutching a gunny sack to his boney chest he supports himself on my shoulder as we limp to sit in the shade of the nearby palms.
      “Take some fresh drink and rest. Then tell me how you came to be here,” I say. I offer him some water from a bowl I fashioned from banana leaves.
      “I was a mate on ‘The Black Raven’ captained by none other than Red Beard himself. We had just buried a chest of French gold pieces and were heading back out to find another ship to plunder when a storm capsized us with all hands. I managed to save the map and find this life boat.”
      “A likely story,” I say to him. “More like you stole the map and jumped ship.”
      “Nay sir, I’m a pirate, true enough, but I’m an honest man. See for yourself.” He pours out his sack and there lands a dozen gold doubloons, a compass and a piece of stained parchment. “These markings will show where the chest is buried. All we need do is get to an island but three days sail from here and it’s ours.”
      “Aye it looks true enough. I have heard tell of a Captain Red Beard.”
      “Help me find this gold and I’ll help you avenge yourself on those that cast you off to die.”
      “Alrighty then, it’s a deal we’ll strike; gold for vengeance,” I say to him as we shake hands to seal the bargain. “My friends call me Long John.”

      • swatchcat says:

        This was pretty good. There is the question of fluidity of your characters to keeping the integrity of your story. In order to jump generations of your choice of characters and material ie. Red Beard (circa 1400-1500′s), Long John Silver, “Treasure Island”(circa 1800′s), and Tolkien 1937, it may be a suggestion to help the reader understand how these characters remotely are capable of being in the same place at the same time. Silver unless not “The Silver” could not being reading Tolkien. But the story itself is a good try. Thank you

        • Ross says:

          It’s pretty clear the writer knows Tolkien was not alive when Robert Louis Stevenson was. With such a blatant stretch across time and characters you have to assume CERLINTWIZ realizes the liberties he took. I think it’s safe to say CERLINTWIZ’s ‘good try’ was meant to be entertaining, not historically accurate.

    18. Page and the Key says:

      I started the day with some nice wine, my favorite book and the beach. I was flipping through the pages, getting to the good part, when a rowboat caught my eye. Well, actually it wasn’t the vessel that drew my attention but the fact that the man rowing it appeared to be dressed in pirates clothing and was heading in my direction. As nonchalantly as I could I gathered up my things and started towards my car.
      “Ahoy. You there, lad, would you mind giving an old sea dog a hand?”
      “Crap.”
      The pirate jumped out of his boat, bounded up through the surf, coattails soaking up sea water, one hand wrapped around a sheet of vellum, a sheet yellowed by time. I drew back slightly as the scent of five day old rotten fish sticks and cheap body spray crammed its way up my nostrils.
      “Lad…”
      “Um, I’m twenty three.”
      “…I be needin your help findin the treasure this map leads to.”
      “Uh, yeah, you see I have a doctor’s appointment…proctology exam…studied all night for it…can’t miss it, good luck to ya.”
      “There be no time for that lad. Don’t you want to find something in this life truly worth having?”
      He tore off down the beach hollering out even more clichés with that thick pirate accent as I heard the voice of my mother saying ‘Now Peter, you must always be willing to help those in need, whether they are poor or sick. You never know what good may come from it.’
      “Double crap.”
      So I set off with Long John Wannabe as we searched for his treasure.
      The day carried on fruitlessly into the afternoon, crossing and re crossing our steps as I was just beginning to wonder if the police could actually arrest me if I knocked out a man in a pirate outfit with a wine bottle, just one of those laws you wish you’d studied about in school, when he smiled and pointed.
      “There lad, that be where the treasure lie.”

      The gold, unfortunately, supposedly, was buried under a half nude sunbathing woman. The pirate charged in and I can now scratch from my bucket list the sight of a pirate being tazed by a terrified beach patron. The police showed up not long after with a beautiful young blonde in tow. She came up to me; the pirate had been safely put in one of the cruisers.
      “I want to thank you. My brother, he has problems. You stayed with him. Not many others would have.”
      “No problem, y’know I was gonna spend the afternoon reading my book but after all this…how would you like to grab dinner with me?
      She smiled and accepted my invitation. Despite the day’s awkward morning, that evening more than made up for it. We talked, we laughed, we had a great time with each other over dinner, a meal we had at a small sea side restaurant called The Pirates Treasure.

    19. Smileyface256 says:

      A Pleasant Surprise

      I’m sitting in my favorite spot by the lake, my mind off in London in Old Bailey court, gasping with the spectators as Sydney Carton reveals his striking similarity to Charles Darnay.
      “Ahoy there!” I’m rudely jerked back to the present by a familiar voice.
      I mark my place with my finger and look up and squint, shading my eyes from the afternoon sun. “Jared?” I’m not sure it’s him; he’s wearing some kind of pirate costume with a cutlass strapped to his hip and it’s been two years since I last saw him in Theater Improv class. We’ve kept in touch, but it’s been awhile since I looked at his picture.
      “Yup.” He drifts closer and leaps onto the sand in front of me.
      “How in the world did you find me? What are you doing here?”
      He grins. “I thought I might make a surprise visit and your roommate was kind enough to tell me where you were.”
      “But, what are you doing here?”
      He holds up what looks like an old piece of parchment. “I have a treasure map and I need your help. Are you in?”
      “I—I guess.” I look it over. “It’s just a dotted line with an x at the end. It doesn’t give any specific location.” I glance up into his blue eyes. Wow.
      “The treasure is you, Sophie. Care to go fishing with me?” He gestures at the small boat that has a tack box and poles in it and offers his hand. Tempting…
      “How could I refuse?” I grin as he kisses my hand and helps me into the boat, my finger still on my book.
      He rows us out to the middle of the lake and we cast our poles, swapping stories of the past and laughing about the time he wore a clown costume around campus the entire day. Different story.

    20. hcwand says:

      Here is another version. Which is best??

      THE BOAT Option Two

      I took the bag off my shoulder and handed it to him. My hand was still inside the compartment with the Glock, and my finger was near the trigger. He kept his gun trained on me and reached out and pulled the bag toward him. He froze for just a second when he saw the gun come out of the bag aimed at his chest. I squeezed the trigger three times. He dropped to his knees and pitched forward.

      “Damn these fools!’ I thought with regret. ‘Now I’ll have to clean up this mess.”

      Looking back, I definitely didn’t see this coming. After an unusually stressful week, in a covert profession chosen by only a few, I promised myself a nice quiet afternoon on the beach. When I arrived, the beach was inviting with perfect weather and soft rolling waves. My promise included a chance to finish my favorite book by Robert Ludlum, “The Tristan Betrayal”. I put down my blanket, dropped my bag of stuff, and settled in for a long and peaceful afternoon.
      A few hours later I could feel myself beginning to drift off as the warm sun and rolling water released the stress. Then I heard the yelling.
      To my surprise there was a boat coming ashore right in line with where I was laying. It looked like a small pirate boat with all the sails and riggings. A man dressed as a pirate was waving and yelling –

      “I have a treasure map and I need help. Are you in?”

      My first thought was, “what kind of a weird asshole is this?” My instincts and training told me to stay right where I was. But the waving and the yelling got me curious. I reached for my bag, hooked the strap around my neck, and slowly unzipped the side section,. My hand went inside and found the familiar grip of my Glock G26. Walking slowly toward the boat I could see it indeed had fine markings and excellent craftsmanship. It was impressive, and almost diverted my attention.

      “Take a look at this map’, he yelled. ‘Help me find it and I’ll cut you in!”

      Instinct told me to approach cautiously, and to watch for any sudden moves.

      “Here’, he said, ‘come over and see this thing. It will blow your mind.”

      I approached slowly. Glocks don’t have manual safeties and are always ready in experienced hands. He quickly stood up and instead of a map, I was looking into the barrel of a Beretta nine millimeter pistol. So much for caution!

      “Hand over the bag and nobody gets hurt. Don’t do anything stupid.”

      “Hey, man, be cool,’ I said casually. ‘My wallet and cash are in there, and you’re welcome to them, just don’t get nervous.”

      That’s when I handed him the bag. My nice quiet afternoon on the beach quickly went downhill.
      I reached down and picked up the map and said: “Hmmm, now where is that treasure?”

    21. ag58925 says:

      THE “SCAM” ARTIST

      Instead of a chuckle, I received a glare, “How ignorant of you, this is a real treasure map,” he said gesturing towards his paper.

      “Or construction paper dipped into coffee,” I replied, slightly miffed, “I’ve been out of Kindergarten for ages.”

      “Fool,” the man grinned, “I’ve got the map to nearly 50 pounds of gold and jewels.”

      No longer wanting to participate in this conversation, with someone who was clearly a scam artist, I plugged my headphones back in and turned up the volume.

      He shot one last glare at me, and left, stomping his feet in a remarkably childish manner. I rolled my eyes, what an idiot.

      I think it was about 3 months after when I realized that that had been the worst decision of my life.

      I remember that I had been at home, lounging on my couch and destroying my brain cells by watching what was the probably the stupidest thing ever on TV. In front of me were a bag of chips and a liter of coke. Dinner, I thought happily, as I shoved some chips into my mouth.

      Sighing, I mindlessly flipped through the channels, trying to find something intelligent to watch. I finally settled on the News, and became quickly enraptured in the story of a cat saving a dog.

      Just as I was about to change the channel, a familiar face appeared on the screen. I frowned, where had I seen that face before? My eyes widened as I realized who it was, that crazy man on the beach! Did he get arrested for cheating thousands of people out of their money? Good riddance.

      I wish that had been it, but it wasn’t. My eyes widened even more as I read the headline: Richest man on Earth. I choked on my Coke, as I drank in the scene.

      He had been telling the truth. “Argh!” I groaned, smothering my face into a pillow. “Trust issues!” I screamed, “Stupid, stupid, stupid!”

      From that day on, I believed everything I saw and heard.

      I fell victim to numerous scam artists.

    22. ag58925 says:

      The Scam Artist

      I flipped the page of my damaged copy of Lord of the Flies, my eyes skimming through the familiar lines and rugged markings in the margins. Shifting my position, I glanced down at my iPod and changed the song, welcoming the relaxing music. As I returned my gaze to my book, I caught sight of a tattered boat, sailing over the gentle waves. I kept reading, choosing to ignore it, the boat probably belonged to a fisherman.

      A few more pages read, I suddenly heard a loud voice, bellowing to me, “I have a treasure map and I need help. Are you in?”

      Looking up, I saw a man dressed in what looked like a pirate costume, complete with an eye-patch. Unable to help myself, I laughed, “Sure, Jack Sparrow, whatever you say.” I couldn’t believe it, the kind of people you meet in Florida.

      Instead of a chuckle, I received a glare, “How ignorant of you, this is a real treasure map,” he said gesturing towards his paper.

      “Or construction paper dipped into coffee,” I replied, slightly miffed, “I’ve been out of Kindergarten for ages.”

      “Fool,” the man grinned, “I’ve got the map to nearly 50 pounds of gold and jewels.”

      No longer wanting to participate in this conversation, with someone who was clearly a scam artist, I plugged my headphones back in and turned up the volume.

      He shot one last glare at me, and left, stomping his feet in a remarkably childish manner. I rolled my eyes, what an idiot.

      I think it was about 3 months after when I realized that that had been the worst decision of my life.

      I remember that I had been at home, lounging on my couch and destroying my brain cells by watching what was the probably the stupidest thing ever on TV. In front of me were a bag of chips and a liter of coke. Dinner, I thought happily, as I shoved some chips into my mouth.

      Sighing, I mindlessly flipped through the channels, trying to find something intelligent to watch. I finally settled on the News, and became quickly enraptured in the story of a cat saving a dog.

      Just as I was about to change the channel, a familiar face appeared on the screen. I frowned, where had I seen that face before? My eyes widened as I realized who it was, that crazy man on the beach! Did he get arrested for cheating thousands of people out of their money? Good riddance.

      I wish that had been it, but it wasn’t. My eyes widened even more as I read the headline: Richest man on Earth. I choked on my Coke, as I drank in the scene.

      He had been telling the truth. “Argh!” I groaned, smothering my face into a pillow. “Trust issues!” I screamed, “Stupid, stupid, stupid!”

      From that day on, I believed everything I saw and heard.

      I fell victim to numerous scam artists.

    23. hcwand says:

      THE BOAT by Howard Wand

      Well, I finally made it! After an unusually stressful week, in a profession chosen by only a few, my promise was now a reality. The beach was unbelievably inviting with perfect weather and soft rolling waves. My promise was a quiet afternoon on the beach, and a chance to finish my favorite book by Robert Ludlum, “The Tristan Betrayal”. I put down the blanket, dropped my bag of stuff, and settled in for a long and peaceful afternoon.
      A few hours later I could feel myself beginning to drift off as the warm sun and rolling water released the stress. An afternoon nap was definitely in order. Then I heard the yelling.
      To my surprise there was a boat coming ashore right in line with where I was sitting. It was a unique boat that quickly caught my attention. It looked like a small pirate boat with all the sails and riggings. A man dressed as a pirate was waving and yelling –

      “I have a treasure map and I need help. Are you in?”

      My first thought was, “what kind of a weird asshole is this?” My instincts and agency training told me to stay right where I was. But the waving and the yelling got me curious. I reached for my bag and slowly unzipping the side section. My hand went inside and found the familiar grip of my Glock G26. I walked slowly toward the boat, and could see it indeed had fine markings and excellent craftsmanship. It was impressive and almost diverted my attention.

      “Take a look at this map’, he yelled. ‘Help me find it and I’ll cut you in!”

      Instinct told me to approach cautiously, and to watch for any sudden moves.

      “Here’, he said, ‘come over and see this thing. It will blow your mind.”

      I approached slowly. Fortunately, Glocks don’t have manual safeties and are always ready in experienced hands. As I got closer he quickly straightened up and instead of a map, I was looking into the barrel of a Beretta nine millimeter pistol. So much for caution, I thought.

      “Hand over the bag and nobody gets hurt. Don’t do anything stupid.”

      “Hey, man, be cool,’ I said casually. ‘My wallet and cash are in there, and you’re welcome to them, just don’t get nervous.”

      I reached out and handed him the bag with my hand still inside the compartment, and my finger near the trigger. He kept his gun trained on me and reached for the bag. When he pulled the bag toward himself, he froze for just a second when he saw the gun in my hand aimed at his chest. I squeezed the trigger three times. He dropped to his knees and pitched forward.

      “Damn these fools!’ I thought with regret. ‘Now I’ll have to clean up this mess.”

      I reached down and picked up the map and said: “Hmmm, now where is that treasure?”

    24. Mtaticu says:

      Lucy sat with her manicured toes buried in the sand, head covered by a large floppy hat encircled by a white scarf with frayed edges. Her tanned hands loosely held a copy of her latest favorite book, and she gently bit the inside edge of her lips as she read.
      The tide was rising and the waves occasionally lapped against her ankles. As she turned the page, she looked up at the water to determine how much longer before she had to trudge further up the beach, and she noticed a small boat drifting towards the shore, about 200 feet away. It marooned near her and a girl of about 13 wearing a black dress over candy-striped stockings jumped out. The girl wore a scabbard around her small waist in which was sheathed a small blade that might or might not have been real. She wore a perfectly tied black bandana over straight jet-black hair. Old-fashioned black leather boots completed the pirate look.
      The girl looked at the wrinkled piece of paper on her hand and then at Lucy. “I have a treasure map and I need help. Are you in?”
      Lucy squinted at the girl. “A treasure map?”
      “Yes, a treasure map.”
      Lucy thought for a moment and then closed her book over her index finger. “What kind of treasure?”
      “A pirate’s treasure, of course,” the girl replied, a little impatient. “So, are you in?”
      “You’re looking for a treasure and you don’t know what it is?”
      “Does it matter?”
      “Why would you waste your time if you don’t know what it is? It could just be worthless coins, or old pieces of paper that might have been important at one point but are now just rotted and soggy.”
      The girl pulled a large pail and small shovel from the boat, “But what if it’s not? What if it’s gems and pearls, or an eye patch belonging to one-eyed Willie or Blackbeard or Calico Jack?”
      “I don’t think one-eyed Willie was a real pirate.” Lucy looked at the girl holding the pail and shovel, “Where’s this treasure anyway?”
      The girl unfolded the map and showed it to Lucy. “Right there,” she said, pointing to a big X scrawled amidst the roughly drawn sketch of the coastline. She shielded her eyes and stared up the beach towards the high rises across the street. “I think it’s just over that sand dune.”
      Lucy turned her head to where she was pointing, but did not see the sand dune. “I’ll tell you what,” she said, “I’ll sit here and watch your boat for you, to make sure you don’t end up shipwrecked.”
      The girl nodded, “Good idea.” She shoved the map into the strap around her waist, picked up the shovel and pail and began shuffling her feet through the sand. Then she turned back and said, “If I don’t make it back, will you tell my story, and make sure everyone knows that it was a heroic quest?”
      Lucy promised and turned back to her book.

    25. ggkb says:

      I set the Firm’s manual aside, shading my eyes against the sun to see him better. He was right out of a movie: ruffled shirt, patched velvet coat and a battered dinghy nudging my beach. I’d rented this house for a week so, technically, he was trespassing.

      “Are you in, Matey?”

      He was bigger than me and wore a cutlass so I decided to play it cool. I strolled over. “Come on, buddy, shove off.”

      Up close, I recognized him as the star of the Firm’s senior sales team and felt disoriented like the world had shifted somehow. It was eerie because I’d experienced a similar feeling last month. I was at a club with guys from work when a girl in a French courtesan costume hit on me and we enacted this weird scenario that felt like it went on for days but lasted only one night. Then she vanished, leaving me with an STD my doc claimed was common in the eighteenth century. Since then, I’ve sworn off both clubs and recreational drugs.

      But this wasn’t the same situation. I was sober and standing on beachfront property worth millions.

      “You’re Tad, right?” I asked. From my first day at work, I’ve been after his job.

      He shook his treasure map, his eyes wild, his face dripping with sweat. “ARE YOU IN?”

      Obviously this was a test dreamed up by the Firm. Read the manual, wow the clients and take home six-figures starting. For that, I could play pirate. Grinning, I climbed into his boat.

      He pushed me onto the seat. “Row, you bastard.”

      Poor old Tad sweating the target on his back. In fact, the whole senior team was full of lily-livered swabs–I chuckled at how easily I learned my role and calmly steered us beyond the surf.

      Tad grabbed some clothes from an old chest and tossed them at me. “Get dressed.”

      I pulled on grimy breeches stiff with salt and threw a shirt over my head that stank of body odor, rum, and roasted meat. The sleeves hung way past my hands. “It’s too big, Cap’n. Can’t row.”

      Tad whipped off his velvet coat. His shirt was so small he had to wriggle out of it. “I’d hoped for better backup.”

      “Oh, yeah?” I was angry now. Success at work required brains not brawn. Then I stopped and stared. A bandage had fallen off Tad’s bare chest revealing a jagged hole recently stitched up, oozing blood. Tad taped the bandage back on, gritting his teeth. “Thank god for the Firm’s health plan.”

      “What happened?” I squeaked.

      Tad’s face was gray. “I thought winning was all it took. Now I don’t know. Are we competing or working together…?” He shook his head.

      Over his shoulder, I saw a forty-gun frigate scudding toward us.

      “Here’s a tip,” Tad gingerly touched the wound on his chest. “In your next test if you encounter the vampire–he’s the good guy.”

      “Thanks,” I said and rowed like hell.

    26. Novic says:

      After a single swift dab of the tongue,my thumb succeeded in turning the page over.The last time had i peeked at my wrist watch it assessed the time at 4:30pm.

      At this time in the ordinary way,the cold currents of the Indian ocean wont to take charge of the streched Durban coast.
      My pointed elbows worked in association as they dug sternly into the beach sand,staunchly seeing to it that my anatomy was fixed into a steady and passable position, as it lolled calmly on the beach.

      I enjoyed the quietness on offer ,a very sedate and peaceful part of the coast.And the toasty petering out sunlight seemed a spiffing bonus.By squinting my eyes,i could make out a distorted picture of a massive crush jibbling and running about in the distant main beach.

      Instinctively,i hurled a casual glance over the vast,blue glistering ocean,to which i then took notice of a yatch drawing off shore thither my spot.I lowered the book i had been reading,carefully laid it on my laps as i was now seated bolt uprighted.In depth,i studied the average approaching wooden plank clinical yatch which within tautted minutes heaved to within spitting distance from my spot.

      ”Awe!” a raspy voice strolled from the yatch.Circumspectly,i closed and placed the book on the sand and rose to my feet,briskly dusting off the specks of sand at the rear of my denim and took to confronting the Pirate.After a covert scrutiny,i noticed his torso was cocooned in a faded white tatty,long sleeved billowed shirt.

      ”Can i help you?”,i asked exhibiting no feeling or emotion whatsoever.He stood erectly in the yatch and said with a gummy friendly smile ”oh yeah i’d love that,i-” short of finishing the sentence he quickly turned away and franticly lolloped across the yatch,wobbling it as he did so.I remained dazed at what was happening.From where i stood i could see him squatted before a russet holdall,unzipping and subsiquently zipping it after fishing out a folded paper.Two strides brought him to where he stood initially.
      ”sorry about that”,he apologised reverently and courteously.He seemed different from all the Buccaneers i’d seen on the movies,i noted secretly.
      ”I,ve got this!” he raised a hand with the paper clutched in it.
      ”What’s that?” i asked desperately wanting to feed my curiosity.”This my good friend is a treasure map and i need help,are you in?”
      ”In!?” i shouted impatiently spreading my hands and my head gesturing simultaneously.

      He explicated how he got his hands on the map and owing to my knowledge of the target island in question,we set out into the furious,now manacing ocean.The mission was accomplished quite well,we apportioned the spoils among ourselves as the yatch bobbed back off-shore for my sake.
      From the same holdall the pirate had produced a coal-black carrier back for me to stuff my share and all the while as i did so he had been on the steering wheel.After a weary and cheerful sigh i sprang up having completed my packing.
      ”By the way!”,i shouted as i steered my body to his direction ,but soon stood immobile and tongue tighted as i learned a rifle had loomed before my face, threatingly pointed directicly to the level of my brow.
      Aghast,i slowly soared my hands vertically in the air surrenderingly.”Wha-what are you doing?” i quietly stammered noting that my stomach had bleakly commenced churning passably.
      ”Couldn’t think of a better way to thank you mate!”, he said with a voice accompanied by rancour.His tongue brisquely swept round his lips then he continued,”i’m sending you not to America,England or France.No!” he emphasized.”I’m sending you to Paradise!”,he smirked wickedly.Defeated,i slowly shut my eyes,belched loudly and swiftly resighned myself to coming to terms with the utter fact that i was about to die.

      • slayerdan says:

        This is the problem I have with this: it seems you are trying to use big words or several descriptors for a lot of what is going on. Sometimes minimal is way better. With the feel of the piece, it just seems that being more basic with some terms would have helped immensely. And: spellcheck. Multiple spelling erros can make a passage hard to keep flowing. Keep writing-you have a good imagination, just master the basics. Much luck.

    27. tracerconstant says:

      “Yeah, sure, whatever,” I said, turning to page 80 like option A instructed me to do. I started to read what lame action my choice had brought me when I heard a man’s voice calling to me from nearby. The kind of from nearby that tends to make some people jump, and being one of those people I did.

      A man draped in pirate attire straight out of Hollywood stood next to me holding out a map that looked so ancient it was amazing he could hold it in his fingers without it turning to dust. It was also amazing that he could hold it because quite a few digits of each hand were missing.

      I looked back down at page 80 thinking I had surely read it wrong. But clear as ink page 80 began, “Yeah, sure, whatever,” and continued on as I have described.

      “Here we are,” he said, thrusting a stub of a finger down on the unfolded paper between us and causing me to shift my gaze back to him. The strange markings on the map were mostly illegible to me save for the giant X upon which that same truncated finger landed, accompanied by an unnecessary, “We need to go here.”

      I tried to focus on the map, but that half a finger creeped me out, as did the fact that I had just read “”Here we are,” he said” when he had regained my attention.

      He noticed my staring at his mangled, finger-challenged hand and said, “If it has teeth, ye best stay clear of it.”

      I nodded, but couldn’t help noticing that he smiled when he said it and an exceedingly large number of teeth occupied that smile.

      “I’m glad you’re in on this with me. I’m always willing to share my treasure with the right person. I used to have a first mate but he was careless and met an, um, unfortunate fate.”

      “Oh? What happened?”

      I probably shouldn’t have done what I did next. I should have just waited for his answer. But curiosity got the better of me. So instead I looked back at the page again, and sure enough, the scene was written as it had played out, all the way to curiosity getting the better of me and continuing on. So I read on about me reading on.

      “He had a tendency to keep reading when he should have been paying more attention to me,” he said, causing me to jerk my head back up at him. But I was too late.

      Too late? I thou

    28. jenjeg says:

      She had chosen this serene location for it’s white sandy beaches, clear blue waters and most importantly, it’s solitude.

      She reread the same page of the trashy romance novel four times, but her mind wondered with worry. What was she going to do? Jennifer, had spent money she didn’t have for this vacation. Her breakdown caused her to lose her job and now she needed direction.

      She sat the opened book down on her chest, leaned back in the warm fine sand and whispered “Please God, give me the answers, a sign…anything.”

      She couldn’t run from her problems, she had to go back and reclaim her life. As she dusted the sand from her body, she looked out to see a large beautiful wooden sail boat drifting towards the shore. She was mesmerized. As the boat approached, she could see a man looking directly at her from it’s plank.

      “I have a treasure map and I need help. Are you in?” He called.

      What was with this freak? She had gathered her things and was about to walk off when she heard that little voice inside her head. She had just asked for a sign, maybe this was it.

      “Okay.” She said and headed towards the boat.

      “Hi, I am Brady.” He offered her his hand.

      “Jennifer.” She said. As she shook his hand, a chill ran up her spine, something wasn’t right. This man was a stranger and she was foolish for getting on this boat.

      “Let me give you the tour.” Said Brady

      Although everything told her not to, she followed him down the creaky stairs to the berth of the ship.

      “This will be your living quarters.” he held the door for her as she walked in and looked around the dusty room.

      “You should be comfortable here until your father pays the ransom.”
      He laughed as he shut the door, locking her inside.

      She hadn’t spoken to her father, the most successful man on Wall Street, in over three years. Jennifer wondered how this man knew who she was and where to find her. Since her move, she never shared with anyone that Maxwell Lawson was her father and only a handful of people knew she was visiting Fulton Island.

      Enough with that. She had to think of a way to get off of this ship, before it was too far from shore for her to swim back. She ran to the door to tried to open it again, no luck. There was a small port window, but even if she broke it, there would be no way she could fit through it’s tiny opening.

      She threw herself on the dusty bed and began to sob. It was hopeless and after the last month, she no fight left in her. She knew her father wouldn’t pay any ransom.

      Then she heard another voice, the man was talking to someone else.

      “Call my office and demand five million dollars.”

      She recognized the voice, it was her father’s.

    29. Page and the Key says:

      I started the day with some nice wine, my favorite book and the beach. I was flipping through the pages, getting to the good part, when a rowboat caught my eye. Well, actually it wasn’t the vessel that drew my attention but the fact that the man rowing it appeared to be dressed in pirates clothing and was heading in my direction. As nonchalantly as I could I gathered up my things and started towards my car.

      “Ahoy. You there, lad, would you mind giving an old sea dog a hand?”

      “Crap.”

      The pirate jumped out of his boat, bounded up through the surf, coattails soaking up sea water, one hand wrapped around a sheet of vellum, a sheet yellowed by time. I drew back slightly as the scent of five day old rotten fish sticks and cheap body spray crammed its way up my nostrils.

      “Lad…”

      “Um, I’m twenty three.”

      “…I be needin your help findin the treasure this map leads to.”

      “Uh, yeah, you see I have a doctor’s appointment…proctology exam…studied all night for it…can’t miss it, good luck to ya.”

      “There be no time for that lad. Don’t you want to find something in this life truly worth having?”

      He tore off down the beach hollering out even more clichés with that thick pirate accent as I heard the voice of my mother saying ‘Now Peter, you must always be willing to help those in need, whether they are poor or sick. You never know what good may come from it.’

      “Double crap.”

      So I set off with Long John Wannabe as we searched for his treasure.

      The day carried on fruitlessly into the afternoon, crossing and re crossing our steps as I was just beginning to wonder if the police could actually arrest me if I knocked out a man in a pirate outfit with a wine bottle, just one of those laws you wish you’d studied about in school, when he smiled and pointed.

      “There lad, that be where the treasure lie.”

      The gold, unfortunately, supposedly, was buried under a half nude sunbathing woman. The pirate charged in and I can now scratch from my bucket list the sight of a pirate being tazed by a terrified beach patron. The police showed up not long after with a beautiful young blonde in tow. She came up to me; the pirate had been safely put in one of the cruisers.

      “I want to thank you. My brother, he has problems. You for stayed with him. Not many others would have.”

      “No problem, y’know I was gonna spend the afternoon reading my book but after all this…how would you like to grab dinner with me?”

      She smiled and accepted my invitation. Despite the day’s awkward morning, that evening more than made up for it. We talked, we laughed, we had a great time with each other over dinner, a meal we had at a small sea side restaurant called The Pirates Treasure.

    30. PAE says:

      I closed my worn copy of “The Help,” and slipped my SUNY sweatshirt over my tank top. Despite the chill, I wasn’t ready to return to the rental. Without Evie, I hadn’t been able to recapture the magic of my childhood summers in that bungalow.

      I looked out across Nantucket Sound, watching the graceful flight of the terns as they searched the shallow waves for food. Distracted, I didn’t notice the drifting row boat until it was quite close to the shore.

      When the boat’s progress was halted by the shallow water, a man stood up, covering his eyes against the sun’s glare, and stared directly at me. He wore a dark red head scarf, tapered ends falling below his shoulders, a white shirt, knee length black pants, and boots.

      “A pirate?” I mumbled disbelievingly..

      He pointed at me and yelled, “I have a treasure map and I need help. Are you in?”

      I knew he was speaking to me, but I still turned to confirm I was still alone on the beach. He must have taken this as a yes, as he leapt out into the shallow water, a shovel in one hand. He didn’t bother to secure the boat, but began walking in my direction. He didn’t slow when reaching me, waving for me to follow.

      Surprising myself, I followed to where he stopped on the dunes. He pulled a wrinkled, brown paper from the pocket of his jacket. “The map,” he said, turning the paper in my direction. I stepped closer, curious. Written across the top of the sheet were loopy cursive letters of a child. Treasure Map. There were roughly drawn trees, a few rocks, a house, the Atlantic Ocean, and beyond the ocean, Spain. Midway between the house and the ocean was a large “X.”

      Without a word, the pirate handed me the map and leaned to pick up the shovel. He began to dig furiously, sand flying high in the air. Within minutes, there was the sound of the metal on metal.

      “What is it?” The first words out of my mouth.

      “It’s what you have been looking for.” He stepped aside and gestured to the hole. I dropped to my knees and reached in, pulling out a rusted green ammo box. Just like the one my sister, Evie, and I had buried during our first summer on this island. With shaking hands, I released the metal latch holding the lid closed. Inside were the treasures we had found that summer. A pink scallop shell, a gull feather, a piece of drift wood shaped like a turtle, a pine cone, and a “I Like Ike” button. As I caressed each treasure, I felt Evie beside me, back on this island, back with me. I stood to ask the man where he had gotten the map, but he was gone. His boat was gone.

      I returned the treasures to the box and returned to the bungalow.

    31. ggkb says:

      I set the Firm’s manual aside, shading my eyes against the sun to see him better. Right out of a movie: ruffled blouse, patched velvet coat and a battered old dinghy nudging my beach. I’d rented this house for a week so, technically, he was trespassing.

      “Are you in, Matey?”

      He was bigger than me and wore a cutlass so I decided to play it cool. I strolled over. “Come on, buddy, shove off.”

      Up close, I recognized him as the star of the Firm’s senior sales team and suddenly felt disoriented, like the world had shifted somehow. I’d had a similar feeling a month ago at a strip club with the guys from work. A girl dressed like Marie Antoinette hit on me and we enacted this twisted scenario that went on for days, but really lasted only one night. Then she vanished leaving me with an STD my doc claimed had been eradicated years ago. I’ve since sworn off both strip clubs and recreational drugs.

      But this wasn’t at all the same. I was sober and standing on beachfront property worth millions.

      “You’re Tad, right?” I asked. Ever since I’d been hired—right out of school—I’d set my sites on his job.

      “Are you in?” He shook his treasure map at me, his eyes wild, his face dripping with sweat.

      Obviously, this was a test dreamed up by the Firm. Read the manual, wow the clients and take home six figures to start. For that, I could play pirate. Grinning, I got into his boat.

      He pushed me onto the seat. “Row, you bastard.”

      Poor old Tad sweating the target on his back. In fact, the whole senior team was a bunch of lily-livered swabs—I chuckled at my pirate-ese and steered us out beyond the surf.

      Tad grabbed some clothes from an old chest and tossed them at me. “Get dressed.”

      Calmly, I pulled on grimy breeches stiff with salt and threw a shirt over my head that stank of body odor, rum, and roasted meat. The shirt’s sleeves hung past my hands. “It’s too big. Bad for rowing.”

      Tad whipped off his velvet coat. His shirt was so small he had to wriggle out of it. “I’d hoped for better backup.”

      “Oh yeah?” I was angry now. Success in the Firm required brains not brawn. Then I stopped and stared. A bandage had fallen off Tad’s bare chest revealing a jagged hole recently stitched up, seeping blood.
      Tad gritted his teeth as he taped the bandage back on. “Thank god for the Firm’s health plan.”

      “What happened?” I squeaked.

      Tad’s face was gray. “I thought winning was all it took. Now I don’t know. Are we competing or working together…?” He shook his head.

      A forty-gun frigate appeared on the horizon scudding toward us.

      “Here’s a tip,” Tad gingerly touched his chest, “In your next test if you encounter the vampire—he’s the good guy.”

      “Got it,” I said and rowed like hell.

    32. Page and the Key says:

      I started the day with some nice wine, my favorite book and the beach. I was flipping through the pages, getting to the good part, when a rowboat caught my eye. Well, actually it wasn’t the vessel that drew my attention but the fact that the man rowing it appeared to be dressed in pirates clothing and was heading in my direction. As nonchalantly as I could I gathered up my things and started towards my car.

      “Ahoy. You there, lad, would you mind giving an old sea dog a hand?”

      “Crap.”
      The pirate jumped out of his boat, bounded up through the surf, coattails soaking up sea water, one hand wrapped around a sheet of vellum, a sheet yellowed by time. I drew back slightly as the scent of five day old rotten fish sticks and cheap body spray crammed its way up my nostrils.

      “Lad…”

      “Um, I’m twenty three.”

      “…I be needin your help findin the treasure this map leads to.”

      “Uh, yeah, you see I have a doctor’s appointment…proctology exam…studied all night for it…can’t miss it, good luck to ya.”

      “There be no time for that lad. Don’t you want to find something in this life truly worth having?”

      He tore off down the beach hollering out even more clichés with that thick pirate accent as I heard the voice of my mother saying ‘Now Peter, you must always be willing to help those in need, whether they are poor or sick. You never know what good may come from it.’

      “Double crap.”

      So I set off with Long John Wannabe as we searched for his treasure.

      The day carried on fruitlessly into the afternoon, crossing and re crossing our steps as I began to wonder if the police could actually arrest me if I knocked out a man in a pirate outfit with a wine bottle, one of those laws you wish you’d learned about in school, when he smiled and pointed.

      “There lad, that be where the treasure lie.”

      The gold, unfortunately, supposedly, was buried under a half nude sunbathing woman. The pirate charged in and I can now scratch from my bucket list the sight of a pirate being tazed by a terrified beach patron. The police showed up not long after with a beautiful young blonde in tow. She came up to me; the pirate had been safely put in one of the cruisers.

      “I want thank you. My brother, he has problems. Thank you for staying with him. Not many others would have.”

      “No problem, y’know I was gonna spend the afternoon reading my book but after all this…how would you like to grab dinner with me?

      She smiled and accepted my invitation. Despite the day’s awkward morning, that evening more than made up for it. We talked, we laughed, we had a great time with each other over dinner, a meal we had at a small sea side restaurant called The Pirates Treasure.

    33. Claire says:

      I was sitting in my beach chair, absorbed in mindless reading of a trashy romance novel to escape my troubles, when a voice rang out from the shore in front of me.
      “I have a treasure map and I need help. Are you in?”
      I looked up to see an old man dressed in an elaborate pirate costume of white ruffled shirt, red jacket, topped with a wide brim, black hat, complete with a large plume jutting off the brim. He was standing at the wheel of a small boat, letting it drift towards shore. Was this for real? He dropped the anchor and gazed at me, waiting for my reply.
      I looked around to check myself and make sure it wasn’t a dream. Everything seemed normal, but it was too coincidental that I should be reading a romance novel, wishing to be whisked away from all my problems, when a pirate appears and asks me for help searching for treasure. Was this the José Gaspar of my dreams? It wasn’t Gasparilla Day or even Halloween, and good old José sliced his girlfriend’s head off her shoulders in the end, so why would I consider him a hero of my dreams?
      I thought of the woman found floating in the bay years back, raped and strangled and tossed overboard like chum for the sharks. But the sharks didn’t get her, and the tide washed her into shore instead of out to sea. Still, the monster that did it would never have been caught if he hadn’t eventually got drunk one night and bragged to a neighbor about what he did. Why were there so many sick people in this world lurking like wolves waiting for easy prey? Why were there so many innocent lambs like me, whose boyfriend was cheating on her, who didn’t have her rent money, and whose car was about to be reposed, who would actually think this must be God’s way of letting her win the lottery without ever buying a ticket?
      I felt myself lowering my book still fighting the temptation to leap up and run to the boat but still pulling myself to my feet, when a shriek of laughter broke out behind me and an older woman in an elegant wrap and wide brimmed straw hat came trotting down the beach behind me.
      “You nut,” she cried still laughing. “Where did you get such a ridiculous get up? Are we going to a costume party or a beach party on the island?”
      I stood, turning my back to the shore and reached down for my purse, pretending this was my intended action all along. I rummaged through my purse while out of the corner of my eye I watched the woman wading out to the boat, smiling, laughing, and enjoying her day and her life. A dollar bill caught my eye, sticking out of my wallet. I decided to go buy a lottery ticket.

    34. nelleg says:

      Little Treasure Hunters

      On a smelly sticky summer day
      Little Jill was on the beach wanting to play

      After awhile she started to read a book
      When up walked a kid with a hook

      He told her he had a treasure map
      That leads to the land of ‘Don’t Have To Nap”

      Jill thought “that sounds great”
      So she decided to help the little mate

      They started out across the sand
      Hoping to find the magical land

      “My name is Jack!” said the little guy
      “I hate naps and rhubarb pie.”

      “My name is Jill and naps I fear!”
      The little girl told the buccaneer.

      The first thing on the map was a pail
      The boy and girl looked without fail

      They found one near a castle of sand
      Then carried it together hand in hand

      Jill stared at the map for a spell
      “It says we need to go to that well”

      Jack looked up to the top of the hill
      Then back at his new friend named Jill

      Jack just shook his head than began to tell
      “This is not going to end very well!”

      The End (not quite)

    35. Birdee0809 says:

      The Escapist

      Cassie absently brushed the sand from her bare legs and looked up from her book to the sight of a small boat dipping and rolling through the waves parallel to the beach. On deck, a pirate hooded his eyes and surveyed the beach. He stopped and waved in her direction then cupped his hands around his mouth.

      “Good afternoon Cassie! I was hoping to find you here again,” he said in a loud voice. Then he smiled broadly as he removed his captain’s hat and graciously inclined his head in her direction.

      Cassie looked left and right at the other people on the beach. Nobody seemed to be looking. It was as if they didn’t notice anything at all, not the boat bobbing in the waves nor the shouting pirate.

      “Are you ready for another adventure? I have a treasure map and I need help. Are you in?” said the pirate. He had a charming English accent and a kind smile.

      Cassie hesitated. She reasoned they must know each other; he called her by name didn’t he? Something inside was telling her he might be able to help her, although she couldn’t remember with what at this moment but it was something she wanted very much.

      “Escape with me and we’ll sail the seas together,” he shouted, but Cassie hadn’t heard anything after the word ‘escape’. That was it…escape. That’s what she wanted. At once, she was up and moving through the surf toward the boat.

      The pirate helped her on board then took her hand and pressed it to his lips.

      “My lady,” he said. Such a nice smile.

      Cassie looked down at herself expecting to be drenched but she was not. She gave a curious look to the pirate and his smile faltered but only for a second then it was back as broad and sweet as ever. When she looked down again she was damp with droplets of water.

      “Now, while I get us underway, you must rest now love,” he said leading her to a soft pad on deck. Cassie lay down and closed her eyes.

      “Rest, yes,” she murmured dreamily and was instantly asleep.

      The two men quietly exited the small room and went into the hall. After closing and locking Cassie’s door, they looked at each other. One of the men, the smaller one, opened his mouth and at the same time began shaking his head from side to side as if he couldn’t make sense of what he had just witnessed.

      “I told you, she does it every time,” the other man said, his voice low. “The doctors say she’s stuck in her head. Like an extreme form of daydreaming but one that can be influenced,” he said holding up a bottle of water and a small paper cup filled with sand.

      “That was really freaky,” said the smaller one.

      ”That’s nothing; you should see where the scent of coffee and a ringing doorbell takes her.”

    36. SSTWhig says:

      It shouldn’t be happening, here alone on the beach, but I had the someone-watching-me feeling as I finished the last page of Chapter 6. I dug my toes deeper into the sand. I pulled my sunglasses down over my eyes. I did not need this paparazzi ogling today. This invasion of my privacy. I was sick of it.

      A rustling of paper and fabric mingled with water lapping the shore. I heard breathing. I pretended to read, but I had already forgotten the plot; I was too angry. I looked up at a small dark man with weathered skin and tricorne hat stepping out of a row boat. A black patch covered his left eye.

      Oh for God’s sake.

      “Jesus. Who the hell are you?” I asked the man.

      “I have a treasure map and I need help. Are you in?” he whispered harshly, glancing over his shoulder several times to make sure we were alone. Unfortunately, we were.

      This was not the first time I’d been approached by an insane man with an eye patch. But the costume. Now, that was a special touch. I had a soft spot for actors; I loved dressing rooms and makeup and becoming something other than you are. I closed my book and propped my shades on my head.

      “A treasure map. I see. Quite amazing. But why do you need my help? I asked.

      The man blushed behind his sunburn.

      “I was told you knew how to become invisible. But, I found you. That is a sign, if I ever saw one, that this is meant to be. You and I,” he said.

      A treasure. A mysterious man. A deserted beach. This was better than shooting on location. I walked to the boat in three steps, sat down on the wooden seat and grabbed the oars.

      “Show me the map,” I called over my shoulder.

      The sun was sinking lower so we rowed as far as we could, then bumped into a rocky shore after midnight. The crescent moon barely lit a path to the woods. I was cold and dirty. I wanted a gin and tonic, a massage, or both. But my companion (I called him Greybeard but he had no beard; we were both enjoying the charade), did not rest.

      We slogged over hills and through marshes. I lost track of time, of myself. Who was I? Greybeard didn’t talk much. Then a clearing opened in the trees and the breeze picked up. I held out the map, tracing the landmarks with a finger and pointing to the X, marking the spot.

      “I think we’re here,” I said.

      I looked up. I was alone. I scanned the dark forest for Greybeard. Then I dropped to my knees and dug in the sand until my fingertips were bloody.

      Nothing.

      I knelt back, exhausted. Happy. Something lost had been found; thank God I didn’t need a new eyeball. But I did need a new life.

    37. tourmeline says:

      I don’t read stories about Yettis anymore; not since my vacation in Yellowstone, when the action turned altogether too real. I was kidnapped by Bigfoot and held in a cave for about ten days. I don’t know whether he had in mind “mate” or “meal”, but I was really thankful to those lumberjacks who found me.

      Then there was the novel about prohibition and the psycho who thought he was Al Capone, holding me at gunpoint while he scribbled numbers into a notebook. I wondered, at the time whether a real tommygun looked like the one he had.

      Oh, there was also that book about Cochise – Yeah, I won’t go into that. It was hair-raising.

      Well, I think I’ve learned my lesson; no more sensational reading for this gal. In the future, I’m sticking strictly to the classics, so here I sit, on a chaise lounge in the sand, where the quay begins, reading Robert Lewis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island”. “Yes,” I think, “this is getting good.”

      I’d sort of half noticed a boat drifting near, but I was pretty engrossed in the book, and didn’t look up till I heard his voice.

      “Ahoy, there!”

      He had docked on the quay and was already heading toward me when I took in his pirate outfit. “I have a treasure map and I need help. Are you in?” he shouted.

      I looked down at my book, then back up. The pirate had reached my chair and was grinning down at me.

      “Oh, no,” I thought.

    38. MeganAStephenson says:

      I tried to ignore him, looking everywhere and anywhere except him, but he wasn’t having it. “I know you can here me, Megan.” he said, blocking the little sunlight left for me to read.

      I froze, how did he know my name? Maybe I’m going crazy. Too much sun and not enough water can do that to a person. I didn’t even want to be here, but it was my mom’s idea to have a family vacation to lighten to mood since the anniversary of my father’s death. Now, because her, I’m hullicating attractive pirate men, wanting to take me on a treasure hunt.

      “This isn’t real,” I told him, “You are just a figment of my imagination.”

      I stood up, grabbing my things, hoping he would just leave. He didn’t move, instead he inched closer.

      “Oh really?” he taunted.

      He was inches from my face. He was magincant to look at, dark brown hair pulled in a tight pony tail at the nape of his neck, with sea foam green eyes that made me catch my breath. He looked about my age, maybe bit older. I wanted to fill all my senses with him, but it was that coy smile playing on the tip of his lips, I realized he knew my feelings.

      “Nope, not interseted.” I shook my head.

      Breaking my gaze from the pirate, I walked up the path towards my family’s hotel room. As I reached the gate, he called out, “What if I told that I knew your father? Richard Stephenson, isn’t that his name?”

      I stopped in my tracks. My heart was pounding in my chest. I looked to see if anyone else could see him, if was actually real or not, but it was late evening and everyone was gone. I fumbled with my things as I tried to open up the gate, dropping my book in the process. “He isn’t real,” I told myself, “he isn’t real.”

      “He called you Toostie, because you loved eating them! He would take up to Miss. Molly’s candy shop every Sunday, so you could buy them.” He called out again.

      I turned around, he was already half-way up the path.

      “You couldn’t possibly have known that.”

      “But, I do. He didn’t die from being mugged, Megan. He died finding this treasure,” He held up a old note book, “He was a pirate.”

    39. handyman43127 says:

      PIRATES HAVE PATCHES

      Always in the summer months I come here. Away from the pressures and deadlines I find refuge on the bench that faces the lake. Before sunrise I arrive, I fill the bench with old newspapers on either side of myself and read. I await, await for the sun that rises and warms me.

      From behind, between the old oak that is split, the sun rises to warm my back. First my shoulders, then my neck, I can tell time by the warmth, especially when it heats the crown of my head.

      Reading, that’s what I do best here. In the quiet and solitude of the park I find peace.

      Under the light that illuminates the bench I begin to read. It is only the birds that sing and the sudden shutter of the light shutting off that distracts me.

      I look towards the lake. The sun is shining now and casting her colors upon the waters. In my mind I envision myself on the ocean fighting the large fish, the one in the story I am reading for the third time, THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA.

      A difference. a man barefoot pulling a white wooden boat upon the sands of the beach that now catches my attention, and I find myself captivated, drawn to his every move.

      Turning I now see his face, lines sprout from his eye’s and from the corner’s of his mouth. Years of salted air have preserved his face. His head is covered with a dark dew rag and his pants are ragged just below the knee’s. His shirt though is a vibrant red, separated by white stripes.

      Trying my best not to make eye-contact fails. He soon discovers me.

      “Ahoy land lover” he says. “Care to find treasure with me?”, as he holds what looks to be an old dirty tee-shirt, above his head.

      “Sure, I think,” I say.

      Pushing my newspapers aside he finds a seat next to me. Shoving the shirt, that he called a treasure map close to my face, he says “Look.”

      Nothing, empty, nothing but a little grass stain was all I saw. Uneasy now I just sat and listened to his tales.

      About an hour, yes that’s close, two men walked up.

      “MR. Summers” you ready to go home?

      “I have to find the treasure”, he said, “I have help”, pointing to me.

      “We are sorry for any problems Mr. Summers has caused you”, an attendant said.
      “Pirates have patches” he said as they placed the jacket that confined his arms.

    40. ndokken says:

      A large flock of swarming seagulls covered up the sun like thick white clouds as they glided in the strong westerly winds overhead. I was annoyed by each passing second as I attempted to read Stephen Crane’s “The Open Boat”. They screeched and squawked in the wake of crashing waves on the lookout for an easy meal that swam below the surface of the pristine waters. I grabbed my beach towel and relocated about a hundred yards away right next to the Father Richards Pier. A gaggle of children giggled at a sand castle they had built as their standing mothers shielded their eyes from the blinding sun and gazed out into the open ocean that sparkled like a mat of diamonds. I took no heed to what they were looking at because I was just getting to the part where their small boat had capsized.

      The sounds of the world appeared to have muffled into an eerie lull as I found myself waking up to the setting sun. Suddenly as I sat up to wipe away the sleep from my eyes I saw a man dressed as a pirate standing in front of me. He was holding on to a rope that prevented his small boat from drifting away in the oceans current and what appeared to be a tattered newspaper in the other. His eyes darted away for moment and then back into mine.

      “Aye! ‘Eello ‘der little girl!”

      “Who are you?”

      “My name’s Tim!”

      His body swayed from side-to-side impatiently as he smiled. He was missing a few teeth and the ones he did have appeared to have been decayed as they were blackened.

      “What do you want?”

      “I have a treasure map and I need help. Are you in?”’

      “Why do you need my help? And what’s my cut? What’s in it for me?”

      “I’ll give ya ten percent!”

      “No. Fifty!”

      “Fifteen!”

      “Forty-Five.”

      “Twenty-five and that’s final! Are you in?”

      I thought about it for a moment and imagined what kind of money we would stumble upon. Would it be enough for me to retire? I gazed into his emerald green, money-lusting eyes as the treasure map flapped in the wind. He started to teeter totter back in forth once again as his eyes trembled. The spell was broken.

      “Well?” He snapped. “Are you in?”

      “I don’t know you! Get away before I call the police!”

      “How are you going to call the police?” He laughed. “You’re dreaming!”

      I woke up to the world spinning like a merry-go-round as people were hovering over me. They stood back as I sat upright like I was evil. It was then I discovered that I was no longer wearing my bathing suit. Instead I was the one wearing the pirate costume as the map thrashed about in the wind.

      “This is still a dream” The map said.

    41. swatchcat says:

      Laura had been resting under the moss-draped Cypress tree just a bit back from the sand, a little area hidden back from where the beaches lead to the mouth of the river. She sat staring at the buoy swaying in the distance as the tide shifted. “Treasure Island” the binding stretched over one thigh picked from an abandon child’s room was all but a secondary thought.

      The fishermen were heading back to the marina. Some waving as they passed the property. She was blind to their kindness as her gaze shifted from the buoy to the indigo sunset. Suddenly she jolted to the sound of the yard lights switching on around her. She looked back at the house, the sun glaring on the glass. She’ll have to go in eventually she thought, but turned away and pulled the blanket over her legs and settled in.

      She was a prisoner to depression and denial, pain too much to almost bare. Their beautiful Georgian home, the one she and her husband had picked out. It was the place where they had found each other, and fell in love. It was also the place two fugitives had sought refuge one night when she had worked a late shift at the hospital. They had killed her husband and little girl. Now she was alone with the memories, and the loneliness.

      “Treasure Island” was her daughter’s favorite book, and this was the umpteenth time she was reading it sense that night she came home to the carnage. She dozed off on the lounge chair, out by the beach, remembering the day her family played out their daughter’s favorite tale.

      The coracle approached the beaches edge and a scruffy looking pirate with a pegged leg, stepped from within. Tate and her mother look from one to the other in excitement. The pirate continued closer, and handed the girl a piece of parchment. She carefully unrolled the cloth to find, the Black Spot. With the pirates summons, they started their adventure.

      Laura awoke with a start, “Tate?”

      “No Mrs. Laura, it’s dark out. Please come on in, it’s getting mighty chilly.” Tate’s nanny had stayed on to take care of the house and to help Laura in her time of need.

      “Thanks Nana, I’ll be in, in a minute.” Laura lied.

      Nana looked at her sideways, “Well, alright then. You best put that book up though, you’ve gone and got a black spot on it.”

      Laura looked down at her lap startled. Sure enough, a black spot had appeared on the cover. She ran her fingers over it and looked out toward the buoy lantern on the water.
      She had been summoned.

      • slayerdan says:

        Descriptions are good. Story lost me a bit with the summoning thing. Always the draw back of the 500 word limit. :)

        • swatchcat says:

          yah, can see that to. but, if some have read their “treasure island” by stevenson they’d get the reference. Billy Bones and Long John Silver both recieve “the black spot” which is the pirates notification to basically get back to work…they are summoned to gather for the treasure hunt or whatever. going with a different twist on the prompt the parents started play acting treasure island for their kid in the past by presenting the black spot, now the mother in her anguish is summoned via the black spot to find the treasurer whatever the reader may think that would be for her. Yes about 100 more words would have done it. Thank you

    42. iRoswell says:

      I don’t understand why my comments aren’t coming up. If I’m doing something wrong, please let me know.

    43. Also Ran says:

      “Depends…Show me the map.”

      Pirate Guy hands me the map. I study it for a few minutes and hand it back to him.

      “Kay, I’m in, but I need to get some stuff from the house.” I turn and run toward my house. Crap, Pirate Guy has actually hopped out of the boat and is following me to the house. I stagger like a drunk running through the sand because, hey, it’s sand. Pirate Guy is staggering, too, but he smells like he is actually drunk.

      We clamber on to the porch and we are greeted by a snarl. The screen door bows out from the assault of a small ball of fur and teeth. “Look, Pirate Guy, you might want to wait outside. Logo here is small but he bites.”

      Pirate Guy nods and flops down on an Adirondack chair. “Yeah, I get that a lot in this outfit.”

      I grab a milk bone out of the bucket by the door, open the door and toss it in. Pirate Guy raises his eyebrow. I offer a one word explanation, “Distraction,” then run in like a swat team member.

      Inside I grab a tote out of the closet and make a beeline to the bathroom, where I grab sunscreen, first aid kit, and a box of towelettes. I double back and grab a stick of deodorant for Pirate Guy.

      Rounding the corner into the bedroom, I try to stop but slip on the tile floor and fall flat on my back. Pirate Guy is standing in my bedroom, with Logo tucked under his arm, milk bones in his hand. He is staring at my ceiling fan… with the red silk noose hanging from it. For about five seconds, time stops. Then I spring into action. Nothing deflects from an embarrassing moment like righteous indignation.

      “What the..! Pirate Guy, I told you to wait on the porch! And you, Logo, you traitorous spawn of the devil.” I scramble up off the floor, bounce on the bed, and grab the noose. It rips loose, the momentum pitching me into the flat screen TV mounted on the wall above the dresser. I fall back on the bed, ripping the TV and its mount from the wall. I lay there for a few minutes, tightly gripping the flat screen. Pirate Guy quietly sets Logo down, then lifts the flat screen off my chest and leans it against the dresser.

      “What’s your name?” Pirate Guy asks quietly.

      “Huh?”

      “What’s your name?” he asks again, picking a piece of sheetrock out of my hair.

      “Lyle,” I answer, wondering why he isn’t running out of here like a man on fire. Oh wait, HE’S dressed like a PIRATE.

      “What kind of name is that for a girl?” he asks.

      “Long story.”

      “I bet,” he says, “One of many I’m guessing.”

      “You have no idea.”

      “Well, Lyle, my name is actually Pete and you and I have treasure to find.”

    44. Icabu says:

      Ellie had just passed the halfway point in Cooper’s ‘The Red Rover’. To enhance the reading experience, she’d taken the ferry out to Block Island and sat in a beach chair with the ocean at her feet and a high bluff behind her in a perfect pirate’s cove. She’d rested her eyes by watching sail boats gliding along with the breezes, their colorful sails taut with speed. She laughed at a small, hardly-seaworthy Boston Whaler rowboat struggling in the slack tide just offshore.

      After reading a few more pages, Ellie looked out at the ocean again, seeing the rowboat drifting toward her cove. Frowning because she didn’t want company, she knew there was nothing she could do to keep the unwanted visitor from landing. She thought it would be wise for the boater to come ashore before the tide rose anyway.

      “I have a treasure map and I need help. Are you in?”

      She marked her place and closed her book. Looking up she saw the rowboat wobbling in the low surf, the occupant, dressed in outrageous pirate gear – including what looked like a stuffed parrot on his shoulder, stood with one leg hitched on the gunwale like a Captain Morgan parody. With his red hair shining in the low sun, she instantly recognized him … and doubled over in laughter.

      “What?” the pirate said.

      “Jeremy, what are you doing?” Ellie said, between fits of laughter.

      “I have but one item more to complete the Investigators Club Treasure Hunt,” Jeremy-the-Pirate announced in a poor mimic of pirate voice. “I’ve come to claim you as my wench.”

      “Wench?” Ellie stopped laughing.

      “Oh, come on, El. It’s all just for fun. We meet up at Split Rock Cove to see who found the most treasure.” Jeremy stumbled, nearly falling out of the boat as a small wave rolled ashore. “I’ve got everything if you’ll come with me. It’ll be fun, I promise.”

      With the light fading for reading, Ellie considered Jeremy’s proposal – so to speak. They had come together many times through three years at Salve Regina University; she’d even dated Jeremy off-and-on. She figured she could spin this into a nice dinner out – sans the pirate getup, especially the parrot.

      “I’ll go with you,” Ellie said, “but only as the Fair Maiden, not a wench.”

      “Alas, Fair Maiden,” Jeremy crowed, “board my vessel and we’ll be off.”

      Their destination wasn’t far, so Ellie boarded, against her better judgment.

      Jeremy did win the competition, but as Ellie scrambled up the narrow path to the top of the bluff behind the cove, she wasn’t sure it was worth winning. Until she reached the top where a beautiful gazebo, with a candle-lit, cloth-covered dining table for two, awaited them. Jeremy discarded his pirate tunic and they sat in t-shirts and shorts before a gorgeous setting of lobster bisque and Newburg.

      After the amazing dinner, they lay on a blanket under the starlight listening to the waves and found treasure not on any map.

      *** I do recommend James Fenimore Cooper’s ‘The Red Rover’ – available for free download at: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/11409 ***

      • slayerdan says:

        I am a big fan of less is more writing—-give great descriptions, but keep them to a minimum but I admit I have liked reading your submissions since last year as you always do a great job. I think my partial dislike of the total description was Tolkien—God love his world creating self but sometimes he described just a tad too much. Glad you stayed w the prompt but took it someplace else–that always ranks high with me.

      • Amy says:

        Very well-rounded. That is hard to do in 500 words!

    45. slayerdan says:

      “This boat seems a tad small for treasure hunting my good captain,” Layla chirped loudly, her voice drowned out somewhat by the boats motor and the wind. Sitting on the backrest of the captains’ chair, she kept her foot on the wheel as the boat cut a small path through the mostly calm waters. Her blonde hair tussling with the wind for control as her tan, lean frame demanded attention from the sun and ocean simultaneously. No reply came from the good captain.

      Not that she had expected any.

      She had fought the urge for weeks.

      There was always a passable reason, although none she liked. There were too many people around. The wrong person came by. Location. The reasons never placated the urge, but it did help keep it in check.

      Delayed gratification she called it. The right time. The right person. The right place. She knew to just be patient and enjoy life. When it was right, all of those things would come together. She could pop that cork and feed the urge.

      She often laughed and compared herself to a vampire. The only difference: a vampire had to kill to survive.

      Layla Masters did it simply for the thrill.

      Layla looked down at the slumped body of the man she had dubbed “my good captain”. His Party City pirate outfit had been a little snug she had thought when she first saw him. It looked somewhat looser now. His lifeless eyes still staring, alive with those last moments of fear and horror. Layla could not see the back of his head, where she had bludgeoned him with the extinguisher. She could see the blood though. It excited her.

      She was just lucky he fell back after being hit, so she could see his face. She did so enjoy seeing the face. She had pushed his hair to the side after he fell so she could see his eyes.

      Sliding down all the way into the captains’ seat, she pulled the map out that her benefactor had been droning on about moments before his life had ended. It was done in marker on a piece of cloth. There were no island markers. There was no key or legend. Just a few dotted lines and a big X. There wasn’t even an indication if it were meant to be a land or water map.

      Layla laughed loudly into the wind as she throttled the boat faster, tossing the supposed map to the wind. “Great way to pick up women, my good captain,” she said as she blew a kiss to the lifeless husk to her left, his lifeless, hazel eyes staring blindly.

      “The right time, right person, right place,” she mused to herself.

      A feeling of calm overcame her as the rush began to subside. She recalled the face and cold, dark eyes of the first person she had killed. She tingled with excitement and squirmed a bit in her seat.

      The wind kissed her face as an old lover as she headed to deeper waters to help the good captain find his treasure.

      Close to 500. Waaaay closer than others this week it seems.

    46. Sitting at Bradenton beach during the summer months is a favorite past time of mine.
      Toting my Nicholas Sparks novel, I sat to read near a palm tree.
      A tear was trickling down my cheek when I looked up and saw what appeared to be a Pirates ship.
      “Ahoy there.” I heard him say.
      Rubbing my eyes I strained to see the man.
      He was dressed in what looked like full pirate garb.
      “Ahoy there,” he yelled out waving his hand.

      “Are you speaking to me?” I asked.
      “I don’t see any other damsel but you.” He snarled. “I have a treasure map, are you willing to help?”
      “Me? You want me to help?”
      “Listen you little whipper snapper. I need you to help me find this treasure. Are you in or not?”

      Looking around I was sure this has to be some kind of joke.
      Not seeing anyone I said, “Sure, why not.”

      Walking toward the ship the pirate jumped down to greet me.
      “Come on Missy, we don’t have all day.”
      He gave me a hand and before I knew it, we were taking sail.

      It wasn’t long before we reached our destination a few miles from where I’d been reading.
      “My book. I left my book back at the beach.”
      “Book? You’re worried about a silly book when we have a treasure to discover?”
      “Nicholas Sparks does not write silly books.” I scoffed.
      “I have a good mind to have you walk the plank right now.”
      “You’ll do no such thing. You need me.” I said.
      “Need you? Hardly Missy. I need no one.”

      Just as the words spewed from his mouth, we both saw two mean carrying a treasure
      chest out of the woods.
      “That’s my treasure.” The Pirate bellowed.

      The two men looked in our direction and hurried off.
      Searching we didn’t find them anywhere.
      “I’ve had about enough of this. I want to go back to where you found me.” I said.
      “You’re still worried about a silly book?”
      Before i could answer, the pirate took his eye patch off and the wig that was atop his head.

      “You are my most loyal reader and this was my way to meet you.”
      “Why you’re — You’re Nicholas Sparks.” .

    47. MCKEVIN says:

      I’d just read the line “the best things in life happen serendipitously” and I’m still trying to figure out if this was one of those moments. I looked at the pirate costumed woman holding parchment paper in one hand and a bottle of island rum in the other. She took a swig, stared through me and moved in closer.
      “So, what kind of treasure?”
      “Gold, silver and diamonds.”
      “You’re drunk.”
      “No, I’m Kali.”
      “Who?”
      “May I sit here?”
      “It’s a free country.”
      The short, skirted blood shot eyed woman sat too close as she placed the liquor between her colorless legs. She looked full circle I guessed, to see if we were alone. Satisfied we were, she explained how she’d gotten the map. She’d travelled from upstate New York, the common cold killed her crew and she won the map from Captain Rita Pettigrew of the SS Soft Peter in an arm wrestling match.
      “So, what makes it real?”
      “Why would a woman carry a fake map?”
      I silently questioned, why a pantieless paranoid pirate, would ask a stranger for help locating a treasure.
      “In an emergency, she could give it up with nothing to lose!” I said.
      “You’ve been reading too much!”
      “And you drink too much.”
      “Maybe! But, wouldn’t you like to be part of an adventure bigger than yourself?”
      I was intrigued, and suddenly, I saw myself on Oprah, CNN and signing books with my picture and bio on the inside jackets. I imagined finding diamonds packed in conch shells, gold coins hidden in crow’s nests and objects of silver buried under my feet. I envisioned cameras filming us, excavating buckets of sand and retrieving precious gems. My heart raced from potential excitement.
      “What do we need to prepare for sea?”
      “Already done!”
      “How?”
      “Care to come aboard?”
      I was giddy with possibilities.
      “Don’t mind if I do.”
      We laughed as we boarded the ship, but not before she grabbed that bottle packed in gravel. The green-gray ship with whitish sails, appeared eerily clean throughout and was stocked with enough supplies for over forty days and nights.
      The skies were clear with peaceful waters, so it was a perfect day for hunting, treasures.
      “Shall we go?”
      My heart said…
      ”Go for it” but my mind argued “proceed with caution.”
      “Yeah, let’s do this!”
      Kali pulled up anchor and in no time we were in the middle of nowhere.
      “Where’s your family Kali?”
      “No family.”
      “Where’s your home?”
      “No home.“
      “Friends?”
      “All dead!”
      “Kali…“
      “Yes…”
      “Why choose me?”
      “Because, someone chose me.”
      I heard her but it didn’t make sense.
      “Where is Capt’n Rita’s ship now?”
      “Who?”
      “Capt’n Rita, the one you won the map from?’
      “Oh, I just made that up.”
      Clouds blocked the sun and my skin crawled from lost heat.
      “Why? Let me see the damn map!”
      “You mean this?” (laughing)
      She reached in her bosoms, pulled out the parchment paper that read…
      “How to charm the panties off someone.”
      “Oh Dear God!” I prayed.

    48. STORMY NIGHT – PART SEVEN

      Waking up wasn’t an option. I knew I was dreaming. I knew my mind was slipping gears.

      Click. Fast-forward.

      The scene changed. The rejection of that night long was forgotten, replaced with the fleeting peace of a honeymoon in the Caribbean.

      My new bride was trying to talk a handsome server in to taking some fruit up to her daughter. Things were getting bad. Time was short. I let them have their playful moments.

      I put down The Big Book – a vintage copy – and got up from my cabana chair. I had been working on my one-year chip and took a weird interest in the seminal work.

      It was still quite early. I had staked out our chairs while no one was around.

      What roused me from my book was a glint on the shoreline of a small craft approaching shore. It was barely afloat and only had one passenger.

      She was of a local hue but with a shock of unruly curled copper hair that framed a comely face on an athletic frame. Clad in brown leather boots, britches and a belted tunic over a laced bodice, she was fetching. I couldn’t help but smirk at the absurd anachronism of such a costume aboard such a diminutive (and rickety) conveyance.

      I also couldn’t deny my guilty imaginings as to how she got those laces so perfectly snug.

      She called to me in perfect, albeit locally accented, English She said she had a treasure map and needed my brawny assistance at a cove around the corner of the beach head.

      I suspected my playful partner of finding me something to do while she sought some one-on-one girl-time, mother and daughter.

      My fair pirate lady said it’d take no more than a half hour there, an hour to dig and load, and another forty-five minutes back. My reward? A booty of local gems for my princesses and the chance to spend the morning with a local beauty.

      I was kinda feeling an itch and ponying up to the stools was not in the plan So, I put my book down on my chair with the pile of towels, counting on no one looking to borrow my tomb when the drinks were all-in.

      I climbed in to her surprisingly sturdy little boat and it settled solidly in to the warm green sea. I grabbed the oars, happy for the exertion after a week of sloth. My svelte “la capitana” ruddered us out of sight of the resort.

      On the way, she spun me the yarn of her father’s shipwreck discovery a few years ago. He was too timid to do anything about it, but this fiery crowned chiquita had ambitions of her own and inherited the quest once he’d passed.

      The pirate garb was for the benefit of the themed resort adjacent. It was getting warm and she cast off the tunic. The bodice was indeed laced and well-fitted. I mused if my wife would have arranged such an adventure knowing the aesthetic caliber of my accompaniment.

      We ventured to a small inlet and stone-anchored a few meters off shore. We waded in, a shovel in my hand and the neatly folded parchment in hers.

      She directed my in to the cool shade of a vanilla grove’s canopy. It wasn’t long before we were out of site and alone. It felt intimate, but she remained professionally playful and determined to enjoy uncovering her inheritance.

      I had my back to her when I started digging.

      Click.

    49. emoore17 says:

      I loved the internal monologue in this. Especially, ‘I had a pirate. That had to count for something.’ Made me laugh. :)

    50. emoore17 says:

      *Caution – Moderate Language*

      I’d been brushing the menacing thoughts off my shoulders as I saw the boat creep toward the shore, but now it had become quite apparent I wasn’t hallucinating.
      Not fifty feet from my bare toes was a pirate ship commanded by a waving maniac who, from far away, looked like someone with Alec Baldwin’s head on Shea LeBouf’s shoulders.
      “Ahoy!” came the classic call from aboard.
      “Oh. My. God.” I spoke aloud from my reclining beach chair.
      “Check this!” he yelled, shaking a worn scroll in his left hand and pointing to it with his right. “I have a treasure map and I need help! Are you in?”
      I let out an exaggerated snicker and a goofy smile emerged on my face.
      This is so fucked up, but yes, yes. I’m in.
      I opened my mouth to respond, but quickly reneged.
      Am I? Am I really in? That’s a pira- yeah. I mean, hell. Yeah, I’m in.
      “Yeah, okay!” I said as I creased my beach read at the binding and left it on my chair.
      As I skittered toward the end of the sand, I quickly realized it was going to be difficult to board the ship. I looked up to Alec LeBouf for guidance.
      “Come aboard, matey!” he said.
      “Yes! Yes, I’m coming,”I responded as I searched the side of the boat for a way up.
      Clearly, I wasn’t going to receive any help from him. And if I asked, he might think I’m not worthy of treasure hunting.
      And I need a new Porsche. Badly.
      I found a few slatted indents near the prow of the ship and started to slosh my way over.
      “Have ye ever hunted the wild for a speck of gold, Me Lady?”
      “I-,” I choked out as I struggled against the tide. “I haven’t- hunted for some specks, no.”
      “Oh, it’s a beauty!” he said as he opened his arms up to the sky. “The wide open seas! The dragon ridden caves! The hunt of lifetimes!”
      I had just gotten a solid footing in the first pocket when I heard ‘dragons’ and ‘caves’ and tensed up.
      I closed my eyes.
      Since when do dragons and pirates go together? Dragons and pirates don’t go together. Maybe this guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
      I opened my eyes and looked up to the deck to meet the pirate’s bright green eye and dark brown eye patch hovering above me.
      But- but eye patches are black! Can I really trust him?
      But… Porsche. Right.
      Just as I moved my hand to grab the rail of the ship and hoist myself up, I slipped.
      I hit the water with a resounding ‘wsshhh’ and felt the waves jump up over my chest.
      “What are you doing?”
      I heard the muffled shout as I floundered, trying to right myself in the ocean waters.
      “I’m- ugh!”
      It was all I managed to get out as I smacked the waves like a sea turtle.
      “No, seriously! Cindy, what are you doing?”
      Someone grabbed my arm and helped me- stand. I could stand!
      I opened my arms in delight and looked up at the ship to show the captain I was alright, but he wasn’t there.
      “Cindy! Jesus! What is wrong with you?”
      Ella Bongiorno, my beach buddy, was standing next to me holding fast to my arm and slaying me with a wide-eyed gaze.
      “What? Where is-“
      “How many of those have you had?” she asked.
      I stared in dismay at the empty waters before me.
      “How many of what?”
      “Those margaritas! Or should I say, tequila splashed with sea water.”
      My face must have given away my confusion.
      “Hello,” she said and pointed to a floating solo cup. “You started shouting and then dumped your drink on your chest. And then I swore you were going to drown. I thought you were just being funny and then you started to freak me out!”
      “I’m sorry,” I lamented.
      “It’s fine…” she responded as she pulled me by my arm back to shore. “I just want you to hang with me and be functional.”
      I bowed my head and pouted over my lost Porsche.
      “Plus,” she added, “I think I just saw Shea LeBouf running on the beach.”

      • emoore17 says:

        Aww. Sorry if the internal dialogue reads a bit weird. I forgot to fix the italics. :/

      • Amy says:

        Made me chuckle… Nice job.

      • slayerdan says:

        I appreciate the warning for moderate language but as a master of the F bomb, it was fine. The problem is, I didnt the think the Fbomb fit here. Of course it didnt fit at my ex mother in laws fucking funeral either, but thats another story…..I have to point out the length—over 700+….thats quite a bit. I do like the story quite a bit–its quite funny and written well. But allowing an extra page and a half of words does make a stroy better.

        • emoore17 says:

          Thank you for the feedback!
          I seem to swear more the more I drink, so I guess I was trying to play off my own faults in this one. :) And, I’m sorry about the length. I’ve only recently started completing prompts (after writing nothing but novel scenes) and am finding it very difficult to execute a nice ‘punch’ in 500 words or less. It’s quite an art in itself!

    51. Dud says:

      “Ah, Mr. King, Stevie-boy,” I exclaimed as I stuck my legs into the ocean and reached for my third beer, “I love how you pay due tribute to my Boston Red Sox baseball team. In every book. Even one with Joe Pesci-like clowns.” As I looked forward, thankful for the blue sky above and the sandy terrain below me, as well as the solitude, I spotted quite a character floating my way. “Ahoy, my good man. How are you today?” he bellowed. Bye-bye solitude. “Really, sport? ‘Ahoy’ is what you’re saying,” I guffawed. “No need to be that way, mate.” I stared at him for a minute. I let ‘mate’ slide. Finishing and placing the bottle to my right, I popped lucky number four. “C’mon,” I chuckled this time, “my day is going well and I’m enjoying the sun, suds and sights of lovely women; not necessarily in that order, you know.” Swigging the bottle fiercely I continued, “I have nothing against you; I’m not anti-pirate; I love everybody. But for today, please leave me be.” Paddling slowly past me, he smirked and said, “You blew it, pal. I promised my dyin’ grandfather, not a pirate but a freakin’ saint, nonetheless, that I would pay it forward to the first person I saw in my journey. This piece of paper I wave in front of you is worth a bundle. Not too bright.” Calmly, while wiping sand off of page two hundred and something, I said, “Pick someone else! I’m content reading my favorite author here. I’m sure some sucker on this beach will fall for your ‘generosity’ today. Heck, I heard that fellow over there spent ten bucks on french fries. Go bother him! He can be your mate today, okay?” The pirate left but not before shaking his head seven times and spitting a wad as big as a baseball, clouding a circle of the beautiful water brown. “Could I have just lost a fortune?” I thought. Nah, I’m no count and this beach is no Monte Cristo; but I now know what classic I’ll be rereading next time I’m here. What a masterpiece! Thanks for the reminder, you Johnny Depp wannabee. I guess our conversation wasn’t the most unproductive seven minutes of my life after all. Final question: Was it me or did he go from pirate-like to Joe Pesci-like when I refused his offer?

    52. casmick72 says:

      The sun reflecting off the clear cerulean sea was nearly blinding. The roar of the waves crashing on the white, sandy beach created a hypnotic effect. An occasional cry of a seagull interrupted my attention to my favorite book Swiss Family Robinson.
      Sitting under a tall, thick palm tree for shade protected me from the heat of the sun and the glare of the water. The private island off the Eastern coast of Australia belonged to my good friend Rebecca and her husband. It wasn’t a big island, but it had the essentials; shelter, water, food and solitude.
      Admit reflections of the past few months I spot something floating in the ocean. At first I thought it was a dolphin as it appeared and disappeared among the waves. After a few minutes I notice it was bigger than a dolphin and shaped like a boat. Heading directly towards the island I could see it was a small sail boat without a sail. It looked as if it had been through a storm. The cracked mast hung at an odd angle, the boom was missing altogether and the boat seemed to tilt to the left. Curiosity nagged at me like a busy mosquito.
      Before the boat reached a few hundred yards from the beach I heard a call. “Ahoy there!” Ahoy there! I thought who the heck says ‘Ahoy there’? With the sun glinting off the water I could barely make out the shape of a person. I guessed it was a man by the deep timber of the voice.
      The man jumped off the boat and towed it the remaining distance to the beach. Walking out of the ocean I could see the person was most assuredly a male. A white silk shirt clung to his powerful chest. Deep blue, velvet breeches tucked into black bucket boots hugged muscular thighs. Large gold hoops adored his ears while long dark dreadlocks were pulled back and under a red silk scarf.
      Nervousness at being alone on an island with a stranger made me very cautious. All senses were on high alert. “Begging your pardon miss.” He bowed with a flourish and smiled. “I am in possession of a treasure map, and I need your help.” I looked at the crazy, handsome stranger dressed as a pirate and stuttered “W…w…what can I do?”
      His incredibly blue eyes twinkled with merriment. “I am out of provisions. If you supply me with food and water, I will share whatever I find 50/50. Come search for the treasure with me. I promise it will be worth your while.” A lifetime of conservative behavior seemed to be counterintuitive on this island, and I decided to go along with his plan. I agreed to help and gathered my things to walk back to the house. I checked my text messages on my cell phone. One was from my sister Liz “Hope you enjoy the pirate. He’s yours for the next 3 days.”

    53. iRoswell says:

      Is there something I’m doing wrong? None of my comments have been posted???

    54. Steve says:

      Not too hard to get it in that amount of words:

      “HECK NO!!!!!”

    55. mokingjay says:

      I’m back again, it’s been a while. This is a bit of fan-fiction (which I have never done before) I hope you enjoy!

      On the Jersey Shore, North America, on the planet Earth, In the Solar System, in the Galaxy the Milky Way.
      My name is Maria Gregory, and this is my story.

      I was sitting on the beach reading the Mysteries of Udolpho at around 7 in the morning. I always went to the beach early. Last year, I had been on some strong antibiotics and had been forced to go earlier to avoid the high sun. I had instantly fallen in love with the morning beach. It was cooler, and quiet. At the moment there was not another soul on the long beach, and I was left alone to enjoy the Udolpho-influenced fantasies that were flowing through my mind.

      So when I looked up to see a pirate ship sailing towards me, I took it for granted that it was only my silly Redcliffe-stuffed imagination. That is until the lone sailor pulled her up on shore and jumped off onto the sand. Seeing me he made his way towards me. I hastily put my book down and stood up utterly confused and a little nervous.

      “Hello,” He said once he had reached me. “I’m the Doctor.” He smiled at me as if that was enough.

      His voice took me aback. He sounded like he was from Northern England. Nothing like the pirates in movies. “Doctor who?” I said once I had found my voice.

      “Just the Doctor.” He said with a smile. “and…” he said reaching into his pockets as if looking for something. “somewhere in here…I have a treasure map.” He rummaged around the many folds of his cloths for a moment before taking out a small role of parchment with a cry. “Ah ha!”

      He looked at me with a questioning look on his face. “I’m sorry, but what’s your name?”

      “Maria Gregory.” I said after a moment of hesitation. There was something about his face, his voice and his manor that made me want to trust him.

      “Well, Maria Gregory. I have a treasure map, and I need help. Are you in?”

      I looked hard at his smiling face for a moment. He seemed completely unaware that his request could be taken as that of a pervert.

      “What do you mean?”

      “I’ll show you.” He took my hand in his and took me to his ship. Again that trusting feeling took over my instincts to resist. He took me on board and showed me around the ship, talking at 50 miles an hour about some old pirate from the 18th century. Finally he took me down under to a small blue police telephone box he called the Tardis. He opened the door and ran in. I followed

      It was bigger on the inside. I laughed and ran around. It was a space ship, and it was bigger on the inside. Later on I would learn that not only could it travel through space but time.

      “You ready?” He said with his hands on the central controls. I just nodded.

      Off we went. And we haven’t stopped since.

    56. Amy says:

      This one was really hard for me to keep under 500 words, so I apologize it is a bit longer!

      The sun glinted off the rim of my sunglasses, creating a bright blind spot on an otherwise unmarred panoramic view of the beach. It was the kind of pristine beach pictured on postcards, meant to make others left behind in the cold of reality jealous. This vacation had been such a welcome respite, rejuvenating not only my own mind, but also my relationship with Dan. I turned my head to peek at him behind my shades, hoping he would not catch me ogling him again. He did look absolutely amazing lying shirtless on a towel, soaking up everything this paradise had to offer like a sponge. After what I had put him through in the last year, it was amazing to me that he remained by my side; undeniable proof of his devotion.

      He looked up just as I tried to look away, and I sheepishly smiled. He returned my smile as he sat up.

      “I don’t think you’re going to finish this anytime soon if you keep re-reading the first page,” he chided as he grabbed Treasure Island from my hands. I had made it a point to read some of the classics again when we got here, wanting to rediscover their frivolous sense of adventure. As he shook it at me, a folded piece of paper fell from its pages.

      “What’s this?” he asked as he reached for the note. He unfolded it carefully and surveyed its contents. The piece of paper was transparent in the bright sun, and I could just barely make out the picture from the backside. It looked like some kind of map, with a dotted line going throughout in a crazed zig-zag. There was a large X drawn to the lower left of the page, where the line stopped. I recognized it from somewhere; a dream, perhaps. Dan’s smile quickly faded to a look of concern as he turned it over to face me.

      “Ellie,” he said expectantly. “How recent is this?”

      I felt the same look of shock mirrored on my face. “I swear it’s from before,” I answered. But I wasn’t really certain. I thought I had rid myself of everything that tied me to the insanity that had control of my life for so long. The shocks I underwent were awful at first, but over time they seemed to help. The people that weren’t really people still haunted my dreams, but that was where they stayed; no longer reaching out to me in the waking hours. I had no recollection of drawing the map, but was that enough proof that I hadn’t this time around?

      “You’ve been doing so well here. I thought we were past this,” he said, shaking his head.

      “Dan, look at me. I’m fine. It’s just you and me here, I swear.”

      As the words escaped my lips, a small vessel drifting toward the shore caught my eye. It was a tiny dingy, riding low in the water and manned by a lone person. As it got closer, I squinted to make out the man, frantically bailing out buckets full of water over the side. He was filthy and unshaven, wearing rags that draped off of him in strings. His black boots went high up his legs and had an ornate gold buckle on the side. A sword hung at his belt, suggesting he was not from around here. There was something oddly familiar about this strange man, but I couldn’t quite place it. He was close enough to hear now, and he spoke with a gruff voice as he waved.

      “Ellie, love, it’s been too long,” he said with a wink. “I thought ye had forgotten me. I see you’ve brought the map. We must hurry if we want to catch the tide.”

      “Who the hell are you?” I yelled to him.

      Dan looked from me to the spot on the shore I was staring at. “Ellie, are you alright?” he asked. “Who are you talking to?”

      “I need your help, love. Ye know I can’t do this without ya. Are ya in?” the man asked me.

      Suddenly I remembered this brigand from a dream I once had. We were adventurers together, long ago. That’s where the map had come from. I waved to him excitedly, trying to gather my things.

      “Dan, he’s found us!” I cried. “We have to hurry if we want to catch the tide!”

      Dan looked again from me to the beach and sighed. “Come on Ellie,” he said. “Let’s get you home.”

    57. Roshambo7 says:

      Toby was sitting on one of Ireland’s rocky beaches reading his favorite book, The Catcher in The Rye, for the umpteenth time. His life had taken a dramatic turn for the worse in recent months; on top of losing his job as a journalist for The Chicago Tribune his wife of six years divorced him and got most of their belongings in the settlement. Facing a mid-life crisis of epic proportions Toby had decided to return to Ireland where his father had lived until he was twenty and married Toby’s mother. Life was just as difficult here in Ireland where he worked on the docks loading and unloading cargo ships and fishing vessels.

      On one of his rare days off he would wonder down to McAllister’s Point by an old abandoned light house and read. Today was just like any other day off he’d had in the past, though few and far in between, it was overcast with a fairly choppy sea. The wind was gusty at times but was bearable. Toby was at the point in the book where Holden was saying his goodbyes to one of his professors when he noticed a small sailing vessel in the distance heading towards the shore, he dismissed it at first but when it anchored about a quarter mile from shore and a small dinghy rowed up to the beach and a man with a flattened, briny driving cap and side burns straight out of an 80’s movie propped his foot up on a rock in front of Toby and said, “You look yerself a learned man, no?” his Irish accent so thick Toby could almost feel it on his words. Toby was speechless at the strange man before him; he was dressed fairly well for how weathered his face was, with a white cotton shirt and gray wool vest, Toby also noticed he was very broad shoulders and muscular arms, a sailor if Toby ever saw one.

      The man was a little confused by Toby’s silence, “Ye aren’t deaf, are ya laddie?”

      “Uh, no sir, I’m not,” Toby barely was able to muster a stammering reply.

      “Sir?” the man said with a snort, “Name’s Darkie O’Flannigan laddie,” came the reply.

      “Well, hello Mr. O’Flannigan nice to meet you,” Toby replied smiling, reaching out to shake Darkie’s hand.

      Darkie had a grip like a vice and laughed loudly, “Ha! I like you laddie, whats your name?”

      “O’Harris, Toby O’Harris.”

      “I knew me an O’Harris once, a shyster if there ever was one, but you don’t seem the type HA!”

      “Um, no I don’t think I am, I just work on the docks in the town just up the road,” Toby replied nervously.

      “Well tell ya what laddie, you seem a bit down on yer luck no?” Darkie inquired.

      “How could you tell?” Toby’s eyes widening at Darkie’s perceptiveness.

      “I can always tell when a fella kinsman has hit a run o’ bad luck haha!” Darkie’s smile seemed never fade, “Tell ya what laddie, I got a boat load o’ salty dogs out there itchin’ something fierce to find treasure and I got this map but none o’ them bloody fools can make heads or tails of it, so whaddaya say laddie?” his face grew serious at the mentioning of the map.

      Toby pondered the possibilities for a moment and thought to himself, It can’t get much worse for me now anyway can it? “Sure Darkie, I’ll take a look.”

    58. The Wired Journal says:

      “AHOY THARE! IARRR, AHOY THARE MATEE” The voice jumped from the page. I could actually hear the pirate calling. There are many great and talented writers but few who can really bring a story to life like Chowillian Slavekio. His skilful way in which he strings words, sentences and paragraphs together had always captivated and mesmerized me and this latest novel was no different. I was seduced, drawn deeper and deeper into his literary world with each new paragraph. I could not get enough. With every turn of a page a never felt before emotion welled up to the surface. I always felt every emotion a reader should feel when reading the work of a good writer. The excitement, anticipation, along with every emotion the characters felt, the fear, the joy, the love, the pain, I felt it all, every bit of it, with each and every book of his, from the first page of the first novel I read by Chowillian Slavekio, I was hooked.
      He was a master wordsmith and had that rare gift and skill few writers possess.
      Like being possessed I became oblivious to the world outside of the pages as if in a trance like state and kept me turning the pages. I couldn’t get enough, it was like trying to satisfy an unquenchable thirst. But this latest novel was by far the best yet.
      I could actually hear the voice and words of the character as if he were standing close by. Waving from the bow of the ship shouting to the drifting row boat full of half dead desperate shipwrecked survivors.
      I had been so enthralled by the reading, I was oblivious to my surroundings and hadn’t noticed the large skipjack so close to shore. Again I heard the voice calling but this time the words did not match the words on the page.
      “AHOY THARE, IARRR, YOU ON SHORE. IARR YOU DEAF MY LAD?”
      It was then I looked up from the page and became aware of the small dingy slowly working its way toward the rocks I sat on. A man in the dingy dressed like a pirate stood holding a rope in his hand.
      “IARR WHAT BE TAKING YOU SO LONG? FETCH ME ROPE THERE LADDIE AND PULL ME TIGHT”
      He then tossed me the rope and I pulled the dingy tight against the rocks so the incoming waves would not damage the small wooden vessel by repeatedly thrashing it against the rocks. He then climbed out of the raft and upon the rocks.
      We both stood still silently staring and sizing each other up for a moment before he finally broke the silence and spoke first.
      “Ive got me a treasure map lad. The one that thare book of yours is about to mention. The map I find thare among them thare poor shipwrecked souls I’m about to rescue in the next few pages. Ya See lad I’m Cap’n Blachie, and that thare book of yours is a telling of my high sea adventures. I’m a gonna be needing some help finding that thare treasure your gonna read about in the next chapter. Arr yea with me there lad? Can ya help an ole mattee?

    59. iRoswell says:

      Two pages in, I’m finally able to sit back, relax, and read. Reading has always been my first love. Adventure on every page, it’s always easy to get lost in a book for hours at a time. I always enjoy reading my favorite sea adventures as I bask in the sun, listening to the rolling waves crash on the shore. I like being close to the shoreline, but not too close, and have the tide tell me when it’s time to head back inside. Most of the other kids my age wouldn’t be caught dead reading a book if they didn’t have to. But I’m not like most kids and besides, I hate surfing and that seems to be the only thing anyone at school wants to do. No, I’d much rather read about my old friend One Eyed! They say he has two good eyes but no one was afraid of a pirate named Two Eyed. So he put on a patch and the rest is history.
      A loud smack and a “humf”, pulls me from my book and I look up to see a man picking himself up out of the sand. Behind him is a small boat. He’s dressed in tall black boots, dirty grey pants, and a tattered white shirt. Sand falling from his mangy beard, he readjusts a black patch over his right eye. I gasp! I look at the cover of my book and then the smelly guy in front of me.
      “It’s you,” I breath. “You’re, One Eyed!”
      I can’t believe my eyes.
      “Aye son,” he says shaking the sand off him. “That be my name boy. What’s it to ya’?”
      I drop the book and stare. “How is this possible… I mean, it’s not possible. Is it?”
      “Listen here boy, you can keep a yappin or you can give me a hand with me dingy.”
      I jump to my feet. No way am I going to pass this up. I grab one side of the old boat and One Eyed grabs the other. We pull it further up the beach and the old pirate sits down.
      “There’s no way I can handle this alone. If you’re up to it, I have a proposition for you.”
      “What is it,” I ask.
      “I have a treasure map that’s doin’ me no good as I can’t read it my self. I need someone who can read it for me. 50/50 split mind you. What do ya say, you in?”
      My eyes glisten at the thought of finding buried treasure. I can’t believe my luck. One Eyed, here, asking me to help him find buried treasure!
      “Yes,” I shout, not caring to hide my enthusiasm. I jump to my feet, eager with anticipation. He smiles and slowly rises to his feet. He reaches his hand out to me and I take it. We start walking along the beach and I giggle with delight. I look up, squeeze his hand and say, “thanks dad.”

    60. DMelde says:

      It all started one day while I was on the beach reading my favorite book of all time, “Bad Potato, Sweet Potato” by Ida Ho, when I noticed a Russet galley ship slowly drifting towards me off shore. As it got closer to my spot on the beach I could clearly see a man standing onboard in the ship’s forecastle in full, multi-colored pirate clothing. His motley clothes were those of an ordinary seaman; ripped, tattered, and torn, in colors of bright crimson, violet, and deep blue. He hailed me from the ship.
      “Ahoy! I have a treasure map and I need help! Are you in?”
      The man held up a piece of faded, yellow parchment paper in his right hand. Its edges were curled and ragged with age.
      “No thanks!” I yelled back to him. His eyes had the look of a wild man, and his voice had a sense of urgency when he replied.
      “But this map is the Cherry Tree, the lost map of Captain Kidd! Legend has it he made two maps, one the Governor found shortly after his capture, and the other one is this map, long lost and forgotten, which shows the location of buried treasure on Gardiner’s Island! I searched for years in the musty library archives in New York, and I finally found it, neglected and rotting away in one of the maritime aisles!”
      “I’m still not interested, thanks anyway!” I yell. “But I’m curious, why are you dressed in pirate’s garb? Won’t you bring a lot of attention to yourself when you go to get the treasure?”
      “They’re having their annual Pirate Invasion festival. With these clothes I’ll fit right in and steal the treasure out from underneath their noses. A Mate was going to help me carry the treasure chest but the landlubber got seasick so I kicked his dungbie off my ship. I have extra clothes, his clothes to be exact. So I’ll ask you again Matey, are you in?”
      I stared into his crazy eyes and couldn’t believe that I was seriously considering his offer. I looked down at my book, now closed in my hand, and read its cover “Bad Potato, Sweet Potato”. I couldn’t help but wonder, was I the bad potato, or the sweet? “What harm could come from trying?” I finally admitted to myself.
      “Shiver me timbers Mate!” I bellowed. “I’ll join you in this business, and if we’re caught we can hang together!”
      Prologue:
      Avaste Ye! (Meaning– “Get a load of this!”) On the second night, when all of the other wannabe pirates were eating Salmagundi and drinking Grog around the center camp’s bonfire, we sauntered over to the Cherry tree spot and by the light of the moon we counted our steps. We stole the lost treasure of Captain Kidd and then fled for open water. Freebooters forever, we live our lives wild and free, until the day we are in Davy’s grip and see the inside of his locker.

    61. calicocat88 says:

      “What the hell?” My ravaged copy of City of Bones fell from my hands to my lap as I gawked at the man floating about ten feet out in the gulf. He was barely dressed, shirtless in tattered jeans and wearing those cheesy pirate boots that Johnny Depp sports in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Not that Johnny Depp isn’t my strawberry dipped in chocolate.

      The pirate was having a hard time balancing on his tiny wooden boat, but he somehow managed to sneak in a sexy wink in my direction.

      I waved back. “Not interested.”

      “I bet I can change your mind,” his voice was a subtle mixture of sand on hot silk. I wondered how much this guy had to drink and when the beach cops would come and jerk him out the water.

      “I doubt it,” I shouted back. As much as I didn’t want to admit it to myself, something in this pirate’s haughty gaze stirred me in places that had been quite still for some time. However sexy he looked in those damn ripped jeans and silly hat, I couldn’t suppress the urge to run—I wasn’t sure if was for the boat or for my life.

      “I’m warning you,” he said. “You don’t want to look back later and regret not coming. I can assure you that something is about to happen that you have you willing to cut out your own heart.”

      People were slowly piling in, littering the beach with their multicolored towels and whinny children. I cut my eyes left to right to see if anyone was watching our little scene play out. My heart did a weird lurch when I realized that no one seemed to be seeing him except me. “What do you want?” I asked and he did a flourish of his hat.

      “I have a treasure map and I need help,” he couldn’t help himself. He smirked and let his eyes run the length of my body. I knew I shouldn’t have worn that tiny string bikini. Screw tan lines. This wasn’t worth it. “Are you in?”

      Whoever the woman was who was suddenly taking over my body, she was clearly a little on the slutty side because all I could think about was being alone in the middle of the gulf with this half crazed, sun scorched sexy pirate.

      Ah…the things we could do…

      The half empty wine cooler at my elbow caught my eye and I shook my head. No way that small amount of alcohol could have done any damage. At least not enough for my brain to formulate this kind of fantasy.

      “I need to know,” he was serious this time. The smirk wiped from his face, he began to drift further out in the gulf. “Time may move slowly, but it does move and it always catches up with us.”

      Any other time I would have ran to the first security guard I could find and hid behind a man for cover from yet another creepy man. But there was just that damn something that kept nagging at me. My life sucked. I had no job, no sex life. My family was up in the condominium not bothering to come see if I was dead or alive. What did I have to lose?

      Somewhere in the dark recesses of my brain whispered a voice that made mention to my sanity and I mentally flipped it the bird. What did Clary do in the City of Bones? She didn’t hesitate. She ran after opportunity. She didn’t question her sanity or whether she would die running after adventure. She dove face first into it. No thinking. All doing. Of course she had that super sexy Jace Wayland character to fuel her motives, but whatever.

      I had a pirate. That had to count for something.

      “I’m coming,” I shouted, gathering up my things. I was pretty sure I’d need some form of covering and shoes wherever the hell we were going.

      I sploshed through the waves, glancing once at the balcony where my family would be left wondering what had become of me. I guess…

      He helped onto the boat, his hand slipping and brushing the side of my breast. He smiled wickedly.

      “Right decision,” he purred. “Not that you really had much of a choice, did you, love? They were going to find you anyway. Best that I got to you first.”

      The questions on my lips died as I looked him up and down, his bright green eyes and bleached out hair sending shocks of excitement through my body. When his hands lingered I didn’t bother to shove them away.

      “Are you sure this is what you want?” said the voice in my head. A slither of panic sliced through me as I caught sight of my book lying helplessly and abandoned on the empty beach chair where I had been sitting just a few minutes ago, my old life. Me. My pirate placed his finger under my chin and turned my face to meet his just close enough that our lips barely touched.

      Jace Wayland would have to wait.

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