1981 – March 7
What an exciting week this has been! I took a trip to Aeneas, Greece, and boy did I enjoy it! Gorgeous lights beaming from each building on the block as I strolled down the marble streets. a fluffy, pastel pink sky filled with a parade of clouds led by none other than Helios himself, whose radiant heat was counteracted by the gentle breeze of the Mediterranean. The sweet, briny air filled me with great joy every time it entered my nostrils, reminding me of the great taste of the Grand Sea’s succulent salt crystals. In speaking of taste, the food is especially divine; Marvelous moussaka, tasty tzatziki, fabulous fattoush, and to top it all off, one of the most renowned Greek desserts – Galaktoboureko! I totally didn’t need to use one of the menus to find out how to spell that word.
It was the early morning of March 3rd. Like a vampire, I slowly rose from my cushioned coffin, adorned with pearly white blankets, which in turn were dazzled with intricate, azure patterns. With a large yawn, I brushed my candy apple hair out of my face and slowly rotated my feet over the gentle carpeting. I adjusted the straps of my aqua nightgown as I slowly rose from the beautiful bed, ending my derriere’s long kiss with the sheets. Walls as green as the gentle foam which the Mediterranean drools guarded me as I strode over to the large window, and forced open the curtains’ jaws, allowing shimmering sunlight to finally enter and garnish my already gorgeous hotel room. I gazed down at the bustling town below me – Lots of miniature cars could be seen sauntering down the concrete roads, toddlers among the sidewalks waving them by as they cling onto their parent’s vigilant hand. A blueberry colored sky, slowly fading away as lighter hues of blue come to take it’s place among the stars and moon. The faint cry of seagulls could be heard in the direction of the great sea, which I could see from my high hotel room window. Ah, the sea is such a great sight to see, you see.
After accomplishing the goal made possible morning routine – presentable looks and feels – I threw on some casual clothing and strolled down to a small frozen yogurt parlor on an elevated section of the land. I went to meet with a close friend of mine, Kristoff Odette, a prominent jeweler in Greece. We were going to discuss a plan to secure a fantastic artifact to add to the gorgeous family of museums around the world. I walked along the cobblestone road surrounding the parlor, which was an adorable little building with a cotton candy color scheme and striped, lavender awnings. In front of it, several small tables, protected by long parasols which extended their giraffe-like necks high into the sky, reaching for the clouds.
At one of these tables was a small man, looked like he was in his early twenties. He had brilliant chestnut hair, placed into a 1950s style updo. His eyes were a fierce jade marble, glowing amongst his powder blue suit and pink, polka-dotted bowtie. His jacket was neatly buttoned at his abdomen, and his right leg was gently crossed over his left. He seemed quite young for a jeweler, but that’s only if you believe every stereotype you see.
A soft smile appeared on my face as I waved my hand calling out, “Hey Kris!” Well that got his attention alright.
“Χαίρετε, Ari! Come along!” he chuckled softly as I sat myself on a circular seat which surrounded the table. I gently folded my fingers into each other like a small gate as I beamed at him. “Sooo… where is it?” He gently chuckled as he pulled out a small map of Greece. A perfect, red mark was dotted smack in the Mediterranean Sea, on a remote island called Paichnìdi. I’ve heard of this island – it was quite ignored compared to it’s far more tourist-friendly cousins. Especially considering the highly territorial natives.
“Here.” he said. “Somewhere on this island marks the final resting place of Mancala the Intuitive!”
If his name sounds familiar, that’s because he’s the reason for one of the most famous games of all time! According to several records dug up from the Mediterranean area, King Mancala was the 7th monarch of the lost city of Atlantis. He was quite a quiet and humble king, who absolutely adored children. He’d invent many games for the sweet children to play. Unfortunately, some members of his Royal Staff believed that these actions were in blatant defiance of Poseidon, the creator of Atlantis. As these games were quite new, they were very unfamiliar to the Staff. They believed that only things that Poseidon created himself were pure, and free of malice intent. Following a coup d’eat led by the captain of his Royal Guard, Mancala fled with his family to an unknown island on the Mediterranean Sea. There, he continued to share his games with some of the local natives. Apparently a traveler soon came by to the island, and found one of his games to be extremely enjoyable. When the traveler went back home, they shared the game with their friends, who also shared the game, and so on. The nameless wanderer had called the game “Mancala” after the king who invented it. He was the king of a city which sunk to the ocean mattress many millenia ago, and finding the tomb of one of their residents, much less a ruler, on land was an incredible feat.
My eyes lit up brightly when I saw the map. “OH YES, FINALLY! After 3 years, Krissy… we’ll finally be able to locate the chest. It will be an excellent addition to the museum!” During the exodus to the island, Mancala is said to have taken several artifacts from the city – from his treasure room, I believe – so that his family would still have a piece of their city’s culture with them. These are some of the last known artifacts of Atlantis, and they deserve to be uncovered.
“NAI, ARI! Just think of it – ancient Atlantean artifacts, found completely dry! Never once touched by the frigid sea below! Oh my goodness I’m geeking out already!”
“Do you mean, “Greeking out?” I joked, smiling. I was feeling quite jolly today, so I didn’t mind my (terrible) pun.
“Oh, shut up!” he retorted playfully as we smiled. “This may be a perilous mission, so I’ve taken the liberty of calling a few friends of mine who know islandic terrain pretty well. They shall assist you on your journey, where I cannot.” He explained. “They’re professionals in their field.”
I let out a soft giggle as I smiled towards the young jeweler, with teeth as bright as the pearls he sells. “Thank you so much, Kris. I owe you one!”
“Ανοησίες! Just the satisfaction of finding the lost chest is enough for me. Besides, you’ll be doing all of the physical work!” We shared a chuckle of jollity before he spoke again.
“We’ll meet at the docks at say.. around 10:30?”
“Perfect! Ευχαριστώ, Krissy!” I beamed, using one of the only Greek words I know, right as our frozen yogurts were delightfully brought to us and sat down in the midst of our grinning faces.
“Here you are, sir and madam. Απολαμβάνω.” The kind waiter said, bowing. I looked down, and saw a field of creamy, frozen pink, neatly arranged in a smooth, white bowl. STRAWBERRY! My favorite!
“Hope you don’t mind that I ordered for you.” Kristoff smiled, seeing I was already digging into my frozen treat. Through muffled lips, I let out a small “Thank you” to both him and the waiter as Kris sat in his chair, giggling like a hatter. Oh what would I do without him?
The docks were actually more beautiful than I imagined. Perfect planks of powdered wood placed together to form small piers on the seaside. A navy of small fishing boats and casual cruisers were lined up against the edge, all bobbing nonchalantly upon the sweet ocean waves. They seemed so jolly and cheerful – probably because of the new poop-proof paint job they got 2 days ago. A bright (shade of blue) had finally pushed the morning blueberry out of the sky, taking full control for the majority of the day, bringing many fluffy clouds with it. Seagulls soared by the shore, raining down from th sky, each one trying to outdo the other. Dive, splash, nom! The patterned parabola of these seagulls fascinated me, always swooping down, catching fish in their beaks, and flying away, only to be unsatisfied due to their bretheren’s accomplishments. Suddenly, I heard someone’s voice. Male, soft. I believe they said “Hey look, there she is!” only in Greek, of course.
“Ari! Over here!” It was good ol’ Kristoff, smiling as bright as ever, waving towards me. Three men were at his side. Could these be the professionals he was talking about? Well by the look of their archaeological outfits, it’s hard to say that they weren’t. I walked on over to them smiling, brushing my scarlet hair out of my eyes.
“Ari, here are the experts I told you about; Mr. Icarus Hatzi, their inventive genius, Sir Niles Oikonomopoulos, skilled hunter, and Mr. Calix Alexandris, the scout leader. Each of them have been doing their jobs for decades!”
“Decade, Kristoff!” Hatzi corrected. “We’re not even 30 yet! Well.. two of us aren’t.”
He actually looked more like a hunter to me – Pocketed taupe shirt with a pith helmet to match. A fluffy, orange centipede curling around his head, under his round ears, slinking over his mouth, right under the nose. Olive green pants shrouded his legs in protection, fierce bearskin boots acting as the personal guardians of his soles. In addition, he was a little muscular – not so much that they suffocated him and smothered his body, but enough so that he appeared quite threatening.
“There’s a good thing about being in your 30s.” said the civil hunter. “You get more respect by default.”
He was right, actually. He did seem quite civilised for a hunter. He looked more as if he’d never hunted an animal for sport, which I’d hoped he hadn’t. A neatly combed mustache, showing slight hints of grey. A gentle, blonde comb-over to pose as his natural headpiece, and sharp orbs of jade which would cause any creature to freeze in it’s tracks. The way he spoke was so sophisticated, it made me think he was absolutely rich! You can tell by the long deerstalker that was draped upon his body, his neatly arranged tie folded under his cookie-colored vest. From his side pocket, I could see a small sliver of a crossbow’s butt, seemingly unloaded.
“That is quite true, Niles. However as we know, the person with the most experience always gets the most respect. Unless of course there’s some animosity of the discriminatory manner involved.” the scout leader chimed in. He wore a similar outfit to Mr. Hatzi, almost in uniform. However, his shirt was a light beige instead of the slightly darker greyish-brown sported by the latter. His dark brown hair was gently matted upon his head, arranged in such a way that he lived in a deep sea vessel which was slathered with the color of the sun, of sweet bananas in the trees, the name of Green’s gentle mother that never ceased in her grip on on Cerulean’s tongue.
“In speaking of respect,” began he, turning to me. “It is a great pleasure to finally meet you, Dr. Blaze. Your companion has told us a great deal about you.”
“Did he now?” A soft tint made its way onto my cheeks, hearing that Kristoff actually talked about me. However, I did my best to remain professional, and hide my indications of flush with a smile.
“Nothing but good things.” Niles added. “It was truly remarkable hearing that you were the one that secured that bejeweled Egyptian feline that I had admired for so long. Direct from Cleopatra’s tomb… who knew she had an idol of Bast in her possession until you discovered it. So young yet so accomplished. It will be an honor working with you.”
My my, what a gentleman! I simply couldn’t believe my ears. Kris has a wonderful taste in friends. After conversing a bit with the men, we turned our attention over to a small excursion boat which was waiting patiently at our side. A beautiful coat of snowy white, with two great navy bars running along it’s sides, racing each other to the end. It looked quite family friendly, and seemed it could hold no more than about 7 people comfortably. It was such a cute little boat, and I couldn’t wait to ride it.
“This is the S.S Narwhal. She’s a pretty modern vessel. Quite fast, too. One of the fastest models on this planet. We should arrive on the island in just a few short hours.” explained the gentlemanly scout. A bright, childish grin appeared onto my face, flashing my vampiric teeth at him. I can’t believe I was finally about to locate the relics of the 7th ruler of the lost city of Atlantis! Oh my goodness I was getting goosebumps!
“When we arrive on the island, we shall find a suitable place to set up camp.” he continued. Niles politely chimed in afterwards.
“I must warn you that I shall be asleep on the entire trip, so that I can stay on watch duty while you sleep.” The commander then turned to me, gazing straight into my thoughts with orbs of shimmering gold.
“Dr. Blaze, are you ready?” Of course, by the time he finished his statement, I had already made my way onto the boat. He didn’t notice until he heard my youthful snickers from atop the starboard. It was so entertaining watching his head swerve back and forth like a periscope. One that was being operated during wartime, in the middle of an intense duel. When he noticed how swiftly, how energetically I scampered onto the boat, he let out a hearty laugh, which prompted the other men to laugh along with him. I, of course, joined in on the fun as well.
In just a few minutes, the entire team was onboard, standing along the deck happily. All except for Mr. Icarus – he was our sailor, and therefore was in the pilot’s cockpit. Turns out he has highly impressive credentials in the nautical department! We all looked down towards the dock, waving to Kristoff for one more time, the breeze trying to carry his hair along the board with it.
“Good luck to you all!” He announced, full of pride, in both tongues of Victoria and Perseus. He lifted off the rope which restricted the boat’s movement greatly, even when the Anchor wasn’t planted in the sandy ocean. Narwhal slowly began to float away. She bobbed back and forth a bit, slowly gaining foot, and steadying herself upon the ocean waves, which gently lifted her up and down every second. Slowly and steadily. Easing on into the undertow. Before Kristoff faded completely out of view, overshadowed by the thick ocean mist, I put up a small pinkie salute to him, which he softly returned. It was part of this little code we invented when we were kids. Anyone can invent a secret handshake – we wanted to be those friends special enough to have their own way of communication, something simple, something we’d always remember. Something we could use… when we couldn’t get close enough to each other to touch… or to hear. We sailed off, into the unknown. On a quest for a treasure which could help us gain insight into legend – a speck of definite proof to guide us through an ocean of possibility.
How peaceful it was to ride on the everlasting sea. Like one big mother cradling it’s child, the boat was swayed from side to side as it zoomed across the waves. I was just laying along along her gorgeous, firm deck, lined with sweet juniper wood. I allowed my body to be bathed in the sweet sunlight shower, my eyes engaged in a staring contest with the clouds. Watching them race Naomi was also quite entertaining for me. Who’s Naomi you may ask? The S.S Narwhal of course! I’ve always wanted to be able to name a girl Naomi, and what better candidate than this very ship? Naomi the Narwhal was just the most enthusiastic boat I’ve ever seen or ridden! Skimming across the aquatic road, unregulated by neigbors and obstacles. Just a wide open range for her to be free as a bird. Or a flying fish haha.
As for the others, well Alexandris and Hatzi had been conversing with each other along the bow. Can you believe this boat has autopilot? They seemed to be very quiet, even taking the song of the sea into account. They must’ve been discussing something very secret. Sir Niles, as promised, was stationed in a small berth within the interior of the ship. I’ve seen the area, and it was quite homely. Embellished with lovely striped wallpaper which reminded me of a child’s bedroom, a gorgeous hardwood floor, and even a lamp! So comfortable. It was only about 4 hours into the trip, and everything seemed to be going quite swimmingly. Of course, the peace didn’t last very long.
Drip. One little dot of heavenly water sat upon my nose.
Drop. Another lands on the bridge between my eyes.
Droop. Two little friends come to join the fun.
Splish. The news of the party quickly spread.
Splash. Hundreds of them. Parachuting down to the Earth below.
It was quite peaceful at first. Just a little spring shower is all! Alexandris and Hatzi both went inside to stay dry, but I just stayed along the deck, my mouth gaped wide open, catching the small raindrops that leaped from the sky. It tickled feeling them slide down into my throat, and they were quite delicious too. Being wet didn’t bother me very much. It felt quite lovely actually, especially when the water was clean. The only thing I regretted was wearing a white buttoned shirt in the rain with a bunch of men on the boat, but that was only due to the Mary Quigley incident. These guys were professionals, and I’m sure they wouldn’t try anything.
Then the winds came. They weren’t too troublesome at first, sprinkling my face with a flurry of rain, emptying more of Nature’s sweet juices into my anxious mouth. They got a little stronger, almost blowing my hat straight into the ocean below for the fish to hide in! I simply held my hat onto my stomach and paid no mind. However Auntie Gale absolutely refused to be ignored. She clapped once. Then twice. I got a little unnerved, but nothing too serious. After a while, her brother Tempest decided to join in, flinging the ocean up and down like a carpet. Naomi tossed and turned wildly, trying her best to stay upright. I stumbled upon the boat, holding onto the open window of the boat’s cockpit. Luckily, Alexandris was right by the window to help pull me inside.
“YOU TWO, GET IN THE LOWER DECK, NOW!” Hatzi commanded, and we eagerly followed his orders. We crouched down close to the bed in the interior of the ship, hearing the sea crash upon our walls, beat upon our doors. The waves screamed,
“Dr. Blaze, Dr. Blaze! Let us come in!”
Of course, I wouldn’t let them. I simply hung on to the ground, no matter how many times it threw me off in anger. How Sir Niles managed to sleep through all of this was far beyond my comprehension. Like a dolphin, Naomi dipped down, crashing into the icy waters below, and then bobbed herself up again to regain some air. Leaping up and diving down, over and over. She was trapped in Tempest’s cruel dance, and we had been dragged along for the ride. Tumbling around like a little bug, I looked around frantically to find a safe spot. But then…
I groggily pulled my eyes open and began to take in my surroundings. They were… strangely normal. The nostalgic wallpaper, the gorgeous mermaid lamp, surprisingly unbroken, the doors, everything was perfectly fine! I felt something fluffy resting upon my cheek. I slowly raised my aching head and discovered that I was laying safely in the bed. Alone. That was quite surprising to me. Like a crane, I gently positioned my legs over the ground, and then immediately freezing up. My mouth had suddenly had a strange feeling. The tang of Friday’s pizza still lingered within my mouth. With that, I had then realized that I must’ve left a little gift for the juniper wood last night. Despite the fact that the floor was spotless, I decided to crawl along the bed in order to reach the door, and thus the top of the ship. We must’ve landed by now, and hopefully we weren’t stranded. When I got up, I was met with the view of a vast palm forest. A sandy peninsula had suddenly existed around the ship, and a star-spangled blanket was draped over the heavily forested mountains. Along the sandy plain, my eyes swerved over to what looked like two yellow orbs submerged in their own bubbling white bogs, positioned evenly over a barren volcanic plain, sizzling and crackling as the orbs jiggled around. The entire ecosystem was ensnared within a circular valley from which there was no straight exit, binded to a large peach-colored hand by a clean, silver bridge.
“Oh hey, you’re up!” said a calm male voice. I slowly craned my head upwards to see it’s owner, and saw the young scout leader, flashing a kind smile towards me. His face was softly illuminated by the flickers of the dancing flame which frolicked underneath the silver valley.
“We had a very rough landing. However the Narwhal made it through!” At this remark, I quickly arched my back over the sides of the boat, discovering that Naomi had sustained a few scratches, but otherwise was in perfect sailing condition. I was in absolute shock. Hatzi really knew what he was doing.
“After Icarus landed the ship, we took to mind that the sea had gotten the best of your stomach, so we cleaned you up, laid you in the bed, and mopped up the mess.” he continued to say. “Your jacket is drying out in the closet, by the way. Don’t worry, we used proper cleaning solution.”
I released a soft sigh of relief, knowing that my jacket was safe in their hands. Sir Niles then spoke to me.
“It’s about 11:47 PM. A little late. You may return to the sleeping quarters if you wish, but we are fixing ourselves dinner – technically breakfast, but at least once it’s bright enough to move, we’ll have digested all of the nutrients we need.” he told me, handing me a paper plate, with a soft, fluffy yellow and white blob on it, accompanied with a minature 4 tined spear. It sent out a very attractive scent, which made my tastebuds dance wildly.
I knew he had a point – it was far too dark to travel within the depths of the forest now. I smiled softly and thanked him for the plate of food, plopping myself right next to him. It was so ironic how the hunter was the one I felt the most comfortable around. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but he seemed the most noble. Not just because he didn’t criticize me due to my body’s loud and proud announcement of satisfaction through my mouth’s ambassadation. Oh well, those eggs were delicious!
Finally after many boring hours of doing absolutely nothing, Dawn had decided to reveal her kindness and spread her light across the land, just enough so that we could lift our behinds from despair and onwards into the everlasting woodland. We salvaged what we needed from Naomi, such as the satchel I brought along on the trip, a machete, and several other useful tools. Along with that, I decided to give the guys a little pep talk, even if they didn’t need it. A girl giving men a pep talk? How unbelievable, right? (totally wasn’t being sarcastic-)
“Alright guys, as you know, this is gonna be very dangerous. We’ll be striding into territory none of us know about. We need to stick together at all costs, no matter what the situation. Especially considering the hostile natives which will do anything to defend their territory. Nevertheless, we’ve come this far, and we are not backing down now!”
The men gave off some small applause as I softly curtseyed with my Emperess dress as Sir Niles took out a small map of the island.
“It’s obvious that Mancala the Intuitive had lived in a humble village, otherwise the many children that played his games would never have known about his existnce. We will have to check for any signs of life by ear, as there is no detailed map yet availiable of this place. Be advised to tread cautiously.” We all nodded in agreement and stared into the everlasting father of groves within. We let off a soft nod and strode on into the woodland, knowing that our mission was about to be complete.
The first two days were really all about walking. One foot after the other. A few annoying bugs here and there, but nothing too threatening. Then the third day came, and what was unleashed upon us was more than we had prepared for. As the rest of us relaxed in our tents, sleeping off the once vicious vixen in our stomachs, Sir Niles was out scouting ahead to look for possible dangers within the first few minutes of the trip. We had just finished breakfast, and he was kind enough to let us go back to sleep for a while before we set off. Unfortunately, our last-minute slumber didn’t last very long.
A cry for help, almost immediately stifled. I immediately perked up with a determined look on my face. Sir Niles has been the kindest to me on this trip, and I’ll be condemned if I was going to let him alone in the dangerous island ahead. I decided to press on after Sir Niles, following the heavy prints his boots implanted in the tropical soil. I left the other two men to pick up our campsite as I looked around. I dashed through the forest, picking up a few leafy hitchhikers with the wind behind my body as I yelled Sir Niles’ name. Minutes under the guise of hours passed, with no sign of the amiable hunter in sight. Slashing away at the greenery with my machete, I wasn’t gonna stop until I found him, or a clue that would lead to his finding.
Then… my heart began to grow cold. Not because I felt like I was never going to find him, but because I was closer than I thought. Eventually, more footprints were seen around Sir Niles’s – barefoot. Could he have been captured? Or worse? Unfortunately I found out the hard way – an arrowhead, staring me directly in the eyes. The strange, bare chested warrior squinted his eyes at me harshly as he swiftly shook his weapon to his side. He was prodding me to move myself. I slowly picked myself up, being shoved forward by his brutish acolytes. I can’t say I blame them though, they haven’t had visitors for thousands, maybe millions of years! I ignored the unfriendly treatment I recieved, knowing that they must be taking me to the same place Sir Niles lies.
After a few minutes, my eyes were met by a large clearing, rimmed by large bamboo huts wearing hats of palm fronds, as well as long stemmed torches with no fire – obviously it was because it was daytime. Indigenous women and children, along with the few men that were not a member of their militaristic force watched in surprise and I believe horror as their guardians intrepidly forced me into their village. Why they would do that, I’ve no idea. Most of the time, they would’ve forced me directly into raging rapids, or a den of dangerous beasts, or at least a primitive yet working jailhouse away from the village. It only made sense as they were simply protecting their people – they had no reason to trust me, nor I them, so it was only natural that they’d want to destroy me or keep me away from the others. I believe it’s due to their better knowledge of humanity, thanks to the ever so brave Mancala. One of the warriors was kind enough to open a door for me, only for another to butt his spear against my back, causing me to stumble inside as they slammed the door shut behind me. I prepared myself to kick the door open, but a calm, senior voice immediately warned my anxious boots.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”
I quickly turned around, and my eyes quickly widened, not only due to the dimmer lighting due to the few entrances of sunlight, but in absolute surprise, and joy.
“Sir Niles! You’re alright!”
“Of course I am, miss Blaze, I do appreciate your concern. However these tribesmen could be very helpful to us, and thus I do not wish you attempt to escape.” As he spoke, he slipped out a small red notebook from his jacket pouch, and quickly opened it, flipping to a precise page, and then showing me.
“We are located in the southeastern part of the island, where the Intuitive was said to have landed. The one challenge which opposes us is the language barrier – they still speak ancient Greek, not the modern distinction we know. However I have studied ancient Greek at the university, and hopefully my skills may actually lead us to the lost king.”
I was overjoyed, absolutely overjoyed. Yes, I was captured by hostile natives which see us as a threat, but they may be the chest to finally locating Mancala’s grave, and the key was sitting calmly in front of me. All we had to do was wait. Of course, we didn’t have to wait very long – as I was ready to recapture my zed’s, the bamboo door flung open, allowing more of the morning light to swarm the small hut. I quickly squinted my eyes, trying to shield myself from the brightness. I could barely make out a strapping shadow, with hair that came down to shoulder-length. It uttered a single word, and with that one statement, I could sense some femininity in it’s voice.
“She says ‘Come’.” Niles told me, slowly rising, as I gently rose up after him. I steadily walked behind him, mimicking his movements. He knew what he was doing, and I know I sure wasn’t going to be the one to mess it up and get us killed. The woman led us straight through a line of tribespeople, spears poised to stab us at any moment. We could not make any sudden moves, lest we have strong suicidal feelings. Step by step, this barefooted woman sternly stomped, rattling the Earth, one foot after the other, a fierce snarl masking her emotions as rocks were being crunched underneath our jungle boots. At long last, we arrived at a hut much larger than the others. Not palace sized, but a bit grander and a bit more luxurious than the others. Edges were smoother, and the fronded hat was neatly combed, unlike the other huts. Small poles of bamboo guarded the door on each side, slightly carved to give the impression of miniature facial features. The hut was also fanned constantly by a few trees littered around the place.
The scariest moment was when the door slowly began to open. I felt myself being forced down to my knees by the female which escorted us, a male companion of hers doing the same to Sir Niles. I believe we were about to come face to face with the tribal leader. Stepping out from the doorway – draped in beautiful, pearly robes, adorned in colorful beads and jewelry, a small red cap placed firmly on his head. He had a face of absolute seniority, small wrinkles of cerebral knowledge seeping onto his face, surrounding his beautiful chestnut eyes, telling tales of nearly a century of tribal history seen through his own eyes, skirmishes, famines, other unwelcome instances that have fallen upon his tribe. I could tell he was wise, reasonable. Sir Niles shouldn’t have a hard time negotiating our purely noble presence.
He slowly nodded towards us both, and the conversation began. Slow words, wise words, spoken by two very noble men. I could not understand a word they were saying, however. It was quite interesting though, hearing an actual conversation in ancient Greek. My eyes sparkled with intense curiosity every second. The chief’s tone was slowly becoming more tranquil than formal when out of nowhere, bellicose shouts rang throughout the forest.
“LET ME GO YOU BRUTES!”
“I warn you, I possess weapons beyond your understanding! Release me and my companion and I will not be forced to use them.”
I quickly turned around to see Hatzi and Alexandris, held hostage by their shoulders as they wriggled like fish out of water. Niles quickly held up his hand, and spoke calmly to the chief, who in turn gently eased his soldiers’ hostilities towards our companions. He must’ve informed them that they were with us, and that they were friendly.
“W-What’s the meaning of this?!” Hatzi stormed, before I shot him a fierce glare.
“Sir Niles is speaking with the chief, in order to hopefully gain an insight on the location of Mancala’s tomb.” Hatzi scoffed silently, muttering what sounded like a racist remark about head shrinking before quieting himself down. At last, Sir Niles stood up proudly, and helped us to our feet.
“He says he knows of the great Mancala we search for, and that he knows of the hut where he took his last breath. He will send some of his own soldiers to escort us to the location, as he knows of our struggle to preserve the chest, and erosion has taken it’s toll far enough.” I nodded happily and turned to the others as a few warriors began to escort us out of the village.
“Finally, the chest is ours.”
It didn’t take long for us to reach the tomb. In fact, it was just a few miles in the northeast direction of where we set up camp, although we never would’ve found it if it weren’t for these natives. Apparently he did live in the village, but after he died they moved his body and his belongings into a mountain, for fear that he would be lost should the valley be flooded one day. It had just hit 10 am when we finally arrived, and our party was just about exhausted. Sir Niles and I were now bearing the camp equipment, for we switched positions with Hatzi and Alexandris after mile 3. Thank goodness we were close by to a fresh waterfall, as we had guzzled down the last of our bottled liquids.
“We’ve arrived.” Sir Niles said. “They will wait out here while we go inside and locate the chest. They see themselves as unworthy of being in the precense of this great wizard.” I sighed softly and went inside of the tomb. It was actually quite beautiful – Atlantean symbols beautifully carved into the rock surrounding the cave, smooth as can be – no stalactites or stalagmites in sight. The deep cave was gently illuminated by a soft turquoise glow emitted by a small natural pool in the center of the cave. A platform rose up from within the climax of that glorious pool, with no wildlife hidden within, connected to the hard ground below only by a primitive staircase with no rails. The platform held up a small box of weathered stone upon its back. It looked like… a coffin! A coffin. The final resting place of Mancala the Intuitive. Tip, Tap, Tip, Tap. One leg after another. Leaping up the flintstone steps slowly and steadily until they met a rectangular boulder. My eyes shared my boots’ sentiment. Every inch of my body oodled with excitement and joy. I was standing right in front of the sarcophagus which contained the remains of the 7th king of Atlantis. I began lost in the elegant crafting, each notch in the dense stone, left there since before Mary’s virgin liquid ruptured and released the son of the Lord in that farmhouse over 2,000 years ago. I may have been stuck there forever if Sir Niles hadn’t tapped me on the shoulder.
“Miss Blaze, aren’t we supposed to be looking for the chest?” I blushed a bit of embarassment and shook my head in approval.
“Yes, yes of course.” I hopped down the steps eagerly after taking a small memorandum with my Polaroid. The cave was quite vast, but empty. It shouldn’t be too hard to find the chest along these walls. Our group ambled aimlessly around the cave for just a few seconds, until my mouth sprang wide open, yelling.
“GUYS, I FOUND IT!” Before I even knew what I was doing, I clambored over to a large, rectangular object, ornamented with ancient Atlantean symbols, words guarded within swirly yet constantly horizontal insignias. The cover was forged in pure aquamarine – the stone of Poseidon. The ingenious crafting, worn down by time, still sturdy enough to support the contents inside, which if we were lucky, hadn’t crumbled completely to dust by now.
“That is a glorious chest.” Alexandris stated softly. “But how do you know it is Mancala’s chest?”
“Look at the inscription.” I stated, gently running my finger against the dust-ridden relic.
“An with the love of myself and the Lord of the Raging Sea, I bestow this chest onto thee, for thine posterity and reminiscience.”
The men softly nodded. This truly was the chest we’d been looking for. It had built a heavy resistance, and thus it took all four of us to lift it up off of the ground and get it out of the cave as carefully as we could. Even with the help of the natives, it took us the rest of the day just to get back to their village. We set up camp just inside of their village grounds, for they were so greatful to allow us to stay for a while. We decided to sit down and gather our strength, for we would begin the long trek back to the beach tomorrow.
It took us all day on March 7 (today! c: ) to reach the beach from where we were. The natives were kind enough to show us to the beach as well. I really liked them. If only I learned ancient Greek so I could talk to them! I wonder if classes even still teach ancient Greek. Alexandris and Hatzi began loading the chest onto Naomi as I bent down to the shore, examining the small, delicate rocks. It was almost nightfall, and I wanted to collect as many memories as I could. I had almost run out of film, and I wanted to save my last few snaps. I was getting up to stare at the sunset until I heard the gentle cock of a gun behind me. I gently titled my head backwards to come face to face with a nozzle not 3 feet away. A barrel and handle in which the nozzle was in cohorts was connected to a large yet nimble hand. That hand belonged to Mr. Alexandris, staring at me with cruel intentions in his eyes.
“Thank you so much for your help miss Blaze. Now the chest is ours, and I believe it would be more comfortable in my private collection instead of a stiff museum collecting dust. I believe you would not agree, so goodbye.”
I quickly rolled under his bullet and grasped the butt of my whip, ready to strike. He was ready too, but he was no Quick Draw McGraw. Before he could fire another shot, I flung my whip towards him, and like a frog catching it’s prey, the leathery tongue had wrapped itself around the nozzle of his revolver, and brought it into my hand.
“Now you get to be part of a collection Mr. Alexandris – the prison lineup.” While was inwardly criticizing myself for that terrible one liner, I saw another nozzle aimed right at me. Mr. Hatzi apparently had it out for me too.
“You are quite persistent miss Blaze, but it is time for your game to end.” Fortunately for me, Sir Niles came out from the boat, and aimed his professional crossbow directly at his head.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” Oh Sir Niles! He’s such a good friend! I would very much appreciate if he came along on my adventures more often. Without him, I literally never would’ve been able to obtain the chest!
Right now, we’re on the way back to the mainland. I’m sitting here with Alexandris and Hatzi tied up in the corner, making sure they never get free. Luckily Sir Niles knows a thing or two about naval piloting as well! Once we get home, we shall report these 2 to the authorities and meet up with Kristoff to discuss plans of display for the museum. Mankind has taken a huge step into finally uncovering the secrets of this lost city, swallowed by the ocean years ago. Until next time.
OMG after like several months I am finally done! Well.. a few weeks and some laziness on my part haha
I hope you enjoy this installment! It may not be as good as the first one… but hey, it’s KINDA interesting
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