I actually wasn’t going to do a story today, but I know David at least looks forward to them. So I wrote a quick one kind of up his alley.

Demon Tree

Searching for Treasure

We rowed deeper into the swamp, the water green and murky. Logs floated by us, or perhaps alligators. We chose to ignore the rumors of other, more dangerous creatures living here. Snakes thirty-feet long, reptiles whose teeth could rip through our heavy wooden boat like it was paper, birds capable of swooping down and picking  a man up in their talons, flying off with him. Folktales, we had assured ourselves before beginning the trip upriver, designed to keep out visitors. But here in this oppressive sticky air, out of sight of the last village, anything felt possible. We didn’t speak and tried not to listen to the rustlings along the banks.

The locals had thought we were crazy and maybe we are, but we know it’s here. The treasure, buried for centuries, gold, jewels, swords, and, more importantly, relics of that very pirate who over the years has grown into a larger than life figure. Powerful, daring, undaunted, irresistible. According to legend, Captain McGinnis buried his last treasure on an island about ten miles from here. We believe the traditional story is a decoy, though. Our research, the diaries and letters we’ve read, folk songs we’ve listened to, natives we’ve talked to, have led us here. Our hope is that the infamous Sancy Diamond is buried here, the real one, given by Queen Henrietta Maria herself to McGinnis.

Then we see it, the huge oak, dead now, the trunk split, the wood beginning to rot, but exactly where we had believed it would be. We pull the boat to the side and tie it up. One of us carries a gun, to deal with any curious animals. The other two begin to dig five paces from the tree. The ground here is surprisingly solid. Five feet down we hit a rotting oak log platform. It takes a while but we get through them and keep going. Another five feet, a crunching sound as our shovels his a skeleton laying on another platform. Surely we were on the right trail, but the light is growing dim. We can’t do much more tonight. We’ll head the few miles back to town, gather more workers, bring a photographer. We’ll be famous, the years in dusty libraries, primitive villages paying off.

Then we see it slicing through the water, a giant crocodile, it’s mouth wide open.  Thank heavens for the rifle.

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Dottie at Tink’s Place has a Monday Morning Flash Fiction challenge that I’m enjoying. Each Monday a new picture prompt will be posted and if you choose to participate you post your story on Friday – 350 words, give or take.