Tuesday, March 20, 2018
The first thing he did was crumble the treasure map and toss it away. Rory was positively sick of them. He pushed the bandana away from his eyes and peered into the chest. Its contents were glistening. He'd traveled far to reach this point, across oceans in a submarine, deserts with a shield blocking the glare from his eyes, and into the heart of China, with its pagodas hiding what he sought. A crow followed him much of the way. He took the treasure and dumped it into a cauldron, and set the contents boiling. Flakes bubbled to the surface. Fool's gold, naturally.
Monday, March 19, 2018
The hatch opened up, suddenly, and he could see stairs headed into the darkness below. Rory hesitated for a moment, but then began the descent. The dim light from above revealed a skull and crossbones painted underneath the hatch. Somehow he hadn't already, but Rory quickly retrieved from his knapsack his raygun. He didn't want to be caught unprepared. His foot crumbled something on the steps, and he could see that it was the skeletal remains of a lizard, a tiny one. He wondered how many live ones scurried about. When he reached the bottom of the steps, Rory realized that there was no ground there. With relief, his foot caught the rung of a ladder. He continued downward. When the rungs ran out, he was happy to discover that he'd reached the bottom at last. The last rung his hand touched, and he'd hoped, revealed with just a little probing the final puzzle piece. He'd been right. Rory reached into his knapsack once more and took out his camera. He hoped the flash would reveal enough, so he'd have an idea what lay ahead. And it did. An enormous octopus....! But it was trapped in the pool, right? Rory slowly plotted his next move, and clutched the raygun tighter.
Friday, March 16, 2018
A kid was running down the street wearing a bandana on his head. Rory scratched his head, wondered what was going on. The kid tripped and went sprawling. His glasses flew off and skittered across the pavement. Rory watched as the kid got back up, retrieved his glasses, but instead of continuing on, pulling something out of his pocket. It was an egg, one of those plastic ones mass-produced for Easter, green, and it wouldn't clasp shut anymore. A piece of paper fluttered out. It was folded, and as the kid unfolded it, Rory saw that it just got bigger and bigger. When its corners flopped, he could see that it was some kind of map. The kid's eyes grew larger. A treasure map? He trotted off with such enthusiasm, Rory had to assume as much. He finally turned away. He'd been working on painting a nursery. He climbed back up a ladder, where a brush and bucket were waiting, and he filled in more of the spires and atoms he'd decided to decorate on the walls, symbols of potential. When he was done, Rory sat down to watch the evening news. He watched a reporter breathlessly interviewing...the kid. As it turned out, the map really had led to a treasure, a chalice buried on a beach. For some reason, Rory swelled with pride, and he felt hopeful about the future.
Thursday, March 15, 2018
Rory was taking his niece on a walk. They sang silly songs as they went. His niece had a plush dinosaur with her, and at her insistence he was wearing a toy helmet. He didn't mind. They found puzzle pieces and gears on the sidewalk, and picked them up. Someone had planted a cactus in their yard, and there was a giant plastic elephant in another. Rory pretended his fingers were a ray gun, and he shot at it, and his niece copied him. They giggled and continued walking. It was a fine afternoon.
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Rory looked at the pile of dinosaur bones. It was like a puzzle. He cleaned his glasses. Music was playing in the background (She blinded me with science!), and the whiff of an untouched bowl of oatmeal lingered. The bones haunted him. He got in his car and drove slowly, clutching the ray gun he'd snatched from the time traveler who'd brought him the bones. A crab scuttled across the road. He easily avoided it.
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Music was playing in the background. Rory held a puzzle piece in his hand. He always did. He drove his car down the narrow road, slowly, scanning the landscape for landmarks from the map, particularly for the telltale spires of the lost "Sultan's Palace," the product of an eccentric 19th century personality he'd discovered in a paleontology book buried deep in a box of his father's things. When at last he reached it, Rory took with him a cauldron and a beaker filled with poisonous chemicals. But if everything turned out as expected, he would soon resurrect the dinosaur whose remains had been preserved there...
Monday, March 12, 2018
Rory had been working in his lab mixing various chemicals. It was raining. He looked outside, and saw his reflection. He had somehow transformed himself into a raven. He became frantic. What had he been working with? It was like a puzzle. He tried a few combinations. He next became a monkey, then an octopus, then a snake. Then he remembered he had been working on a cure-all antidote in the off chance something like this happened. He found the bottle of pills and swallowed one. Bad luck! He became a pile of inanimate dinosaur fossils...