Jack Forte: The Jaguar's Treasure

Christopher Slaughter, II

Jack Forte: The Jaguar's Treasure

There Jack was, riding in the back of the hospital van with his dying dad on the stretch-bed. His dad gestured him to come closer, he whispered in his ear “The honey jar is hidden the the cave where the jaguar sleeps.” Jack heard this frequently growing up --- still, he wondered what this could mean. His dad handed him a blood-stained gold envelope with Jack’s name on it.

“ I love you, son.” Mike mumbled to his son.

“I love you too, dad.” Jack whimpered.

Jack’s dad laid there, lifeless in the back of the hospital van as it flew through the freeway.

EARLIER THAT DAY

Jack’s phone rang as he sat at his office finishing up some work.

“Hey dad!” Jack exclaimed.

“Jack!” Mike startled.

“What’s wrong?”

“I — I need your help."

“Dad, what do you need? Are you hurt?”

The connection failed. Jack rushed to his dad’s estate. Jack walked in to find his dad furiously packing his bags.

“Dad, what’s going on?" Jack stuttered.

“Everything I’ve worked for..." Mike mumbled.

Jack proceeded to give his dad a puzzling look.

“Is being stolen from me..."

“What!?” Jack shrieked.

“We have to go.” Mike said firmly.

They both drove to Mike's underground layer up North. As they were driving, Mike told his son, “We’re going to the cave.” Jack had no idea what his dad was talking about.

Once they arrived to the underground layer, Mike told Jack to change his clothes. While Jack changed his clothes, Mike grabbed a gold envelop from his right desk drawer and put a flash drive in it along with a Will for Jack’s inheritance. Mike knew he was going to die.

They both headed back to Mike's estate. Once they arrived, they found 5 black vans parked in the middle of the street in front of their estate. “Oh no.” Mike breathed. Mike rushed out of the car. “Stay here.” Mike commanded Jack. Jack watched as his dad walked toward the house.

“Find it! Look everywhere! Tear this entire house down if you have to!” Norton shouted. As Mike busted the door open, Norton’s team drew their guns at Mike’s head. Mike paused and lifted his hands.

“Mike! What a pleasant surprise!” Norton sarcastically exclaimed.

“It’s good to see you Norton." Mike played along.

“I’m not going to waste anytime here. You know what I want.”

Norton and Mike started a science and research corporation decades ago. They decided on its name: M&N Corp renamed to M.R. Corp (Mike’s Research Corporation) after Norton was voted out. Mike and Norton were the best of friends, they trusted each other with everything. They were like brothers. Norton had the idea of hosting a conference to reveal their plans to discover a diamond-mine up North. Mike loved the idea. So that’s what they did. It was a multi-billion dollar success! Both Mike and Norton split their shares equally and became twice as rich as they were before.

Mike started a family trust fund with his shares and a family savings account and made a few investments. One day Norton called Mike and told him that they should go into a partnership with Alastico Industries, a weapon supply company. Norton was very ambitious with his approach to this partnership opportunity. Mike wasn’t too fond of the idea.

“Well you’re not getting it.” Mike snarled.

“Is that so?” Norton smiled. "You know how simple it would’ve been to jump on board. And yet, you wanted to stay safe. We could have changed to world, Mike!” Norton speeched.

Jack wondered what was going on inside. He quietly exited to car and watched through the window from outside. “Who are those guys?” Jack thought to himself. He saw guns pointed at his dad, Mike. Jack swiftly prepared his firearm for use.

“You’re talking about potential chemical warfare here, Norton!” Mike yelled.

“Yeah!” Norton chuckled, "You could’ve been a part of that and our territory would have expanded.”

“No!” Mike snapped.

“No?” Norton asked, simultaneously agitated and calm.

Jack aimed at Norton’s hand and fired. Norton and Jack made eye contact before he ducked down. Mike darted toward the car where he hoped to find his son, only to discover he wasn’t there. Norton’s team ---- startled and angry --- began to duck for cover and shoot toward the window. Jack went back to the car. “Go! Get him!” Norton commanded.

“I told you to stay inside!" Mike yelled to his son.

“Who were those guys?" Jack asked.

“That’s not important right now.” said Mike.

Mike sped throughout the avenue in attempt to lose Norton and his team. Norton’s team gained on them. One the men from Norton’s team shot Mike’s back left wheel to his car. Norton’s entire team was shocked. Bulletproof wheels! Eventually, they all ended up on the freeway. Norton himself took out a chemical grenade and threw it a few cars ahead. Mike and Jack braced themselves. As the grenade exploded Norton’s van driver slowed his speed. Every vehicle in proximity of the grenade became airborne. Mike’s car now upside down and airborne took shots from Norton’s silver bullets to its windshield weakening the glass. A silver bullet surpassed the windshield hitting Mike in the right side of the chest. The force from the explosion caused the bridge they were under the crumble. Soon enough, Norton’s team van went airborne as Mike escaped.

“Oooh my —" Jack stuttered.

“I’ll be fine” trying to convince himself, Mike knew he wasn’t.

“Stop the car!” Jack respectfully demanded.

Jack called the police. An ambulance soon arrived. The paramedics rushed out of the ambulance and took out the stretch-bed. “Hurry! Please!” Jack exclaimed. Jack pondered. Could this be how he sees his dad go? Could this be the ending of his training to take over M.R. Corp? Could it be that Jack now has to fill the shoes his dad once walked in?

There Jack was, riding in the back of the hospital van with his dying dad on the stretch-bed. His dad gestured him to come closer, he whispered in his ear “The honey jar is hidden the the cave where the jaguar sleeps.” Jack heard this frequently growing up --- still, he wondered what this could mean. His dad handed him a blood-stained gold envelope with Jack’s name on it.

“ I love you, son.” Mike mumbled to his son.

“I love you too, dad.” Jack whimpered.

Jack’s dad laid there, lifeless in the back of the hospital van as it flew through the freeway. Once they arrived at the hospital, the doctors rushed to attempted to revive Mike. They were unsuccessful. Jack felt so alone. His mother died giving birth to him and now Norton took his dad. Mike’s phone rang in the pocket of the clothes the doctors cut him out of. Jack reached in and answered the phone.

“I’m coming for you.”

“You will regret this. You have my word.” Jack snarled.

Norton deviously chuckled. "That’s cute. You don’t have what it takes to come after me. I will find you!”

Jack hung up the phone. Leaving the hospital with everything his dad had that day. Weeks later he buried his dad and went to Mike’s underground layer. He opened the gold envelope, inside it was the riddle and a flash drive. Jack inserted the flash drive into the computer. It was a video of his dad holding him in his lap when Jack was just three.

“Son, if you’re watching this now, it’s because everything that was once mine is now yours. I wrote you this book. ‘The Jaguar and his treasure.’ Now, you’re going to need this when you get older and it will serve you well. “

Jack teared up as he watched his dad hold three-year-old Jack. As he listening to his dad read the book to him, he realized something. The “honey jar” is his full inheritance! “The cave” was the underground layer. Jack still wondered about one thing: where does the jaguar sleep? What does that even mean?!

The phone rang again, and Jack answered.

“Tell me what you know."

“Who are you?” Jack questioned.

“You’re worst childhood nightmare.”

PART TWO COMING SOON

Thanks for reading!

- Christopher Slaughter, II

fiction
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