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Treasure Box

by Patrick Parker 11 months ago in Short Story · updated 11 months ago
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A mysterious brown paper wrapped package from a deceased grandfather leads his granddaughter on one final adventure together.

Treasure Box
Photo by Daniel Gonzalez on Unsplash

Dear Diary,

This is the story of how my dead grandpa sent me a treasure map in a brown paper wrapped package that led me on the greatest adventure.

The doorbell rang followed by a loud thud on the porch that caught my attention from the computer room. I did not want to leave my online friends, but the sound of the thud kept me looking in the direction of the door.

I opened the door to find a normal looking brown paper package. No mailman in sight, just the sound of the neighbor’s dog barking and the wind tossing the trees of the woods across from my house. I was home alone and picked up the package to find it had been addressed to me from my dead grandpa!

As you already know Diary, Grandpa died a month ago and I miss him a lot. You know how grandpa was a treasure hunter right?

He found many treasures that no one else could find and I loved always hearing his tales of adventures that took him all over the world. I always wanted to go with him, but my parents never let me. Now that I am back home I can tell you all about it and how grandpa led me to my very own treasure!

I ripped open the package to find a letter, a compass and a map!

“Dear Jenny,

I love you and I know this package is going to surprise you, but I wanted it sent to you after I went to heaven. I told you many stories about my own treasure hunting adventures and I think it’s time you go on your own. Enclosed is a treasure map and a compass. I taught you how to use the compass, remember? Get your heading of where you are going, take a few steps and about face to know for sure what direction you came from in order to return safely. Grab your shovel and hiking gear like I taught you on our adventures in the woods across from your house. That’s where your treasure hunt begins. Remember I always love you and you’ll hear my voice in the wind.

Love Always,

Grandpa”

I ran up upstairs and grabbed my hiking gear, foldable shovel, boots and put it all in my backpack. I tossed in a banana, a water bottle and a protein bar. I have never put on my boots that fast ever! I ran down the steps and across the street to the woods. I totally forgot to close the front door!

I stood at the edge of the woods with grandpa’s letter, the compass and the treasure map. I opened up the treasure map to see grandpa had drawn out a winding trail up to the top of Turning Point where you could see the entire valley below. The woods had no trails, but grandpa and I went on walks in it enough that I was confident in my ability to find this treasure!

I set my heading and took a few steps into the woods then turned around to double check what direction I started from. I marked it down on the map and headed off into the woods.

Diary, I had no idea there was a treasure in the woods by my house and I wondered why grandpa never told me about it! Maybe he was saving it for me to find after he was in heaven. At this point in my adventure it did not matter.

The trees were beginning to change as fall was right around the corner. The trees were all bright oranges and yellows with a little brown leaves mixed in on the ground. They had begun to fall and there was a little chill in the air. I climbed over fallen trees and jumped across my favorite stream when I came upon the first indicator grandpa marked on the map. It was the lightning tree that got fried in a lightning storm a year earlier. It was split in two and in the center a new sapling was growing.

Grandpa’s instructions were to look inside the lightning tree for a small box. I looked around and could see nothing in sight so I kicked around the leaves inside the base of the tree and felt the odd shape of a little box! I picked it up and nearly dropped it trying to pry it open! Inside it was a gold claddagh ring with a small note that said, “To Jenny, Love Grandpa.” I slid the ring on my finger and it fit perfectly!

I pulled out the map again and the instructions said head northwest from the lightning tree to the big boulder uphill. Climbing up a hill was always difficult for me but I was determined to find the next treasure!

As I began my upward climb I was grabbing into small saplings to steady myself. Everything was fine until I felt a cold drop of rain hit the top of my head. The one thing I forgot to pack was my raincoat!

Diary, the sky literally opened up and poured buckets of water all over me. The dark clouds rolled in and let gallons of water rain down upon me. I was soaked within minutes as I navigated northwest to the big boulder. Luckily I had an old ziploc bag in my backpack that I put all letters and treasure map in for safe keeping.

I slipped and fell a few times which eventually led to a scrape on my knee and a lot of cursing. Grandpa knew I liked to curse and he always laughed when I did it so I felt it was okay to let a few out of my mouth! Haha!

It was cold and I was soaking wet when I finally reached the big boulder and the instructions on the map told me to look under the big boulder which hung over the hillside. It’s where grandpa and I would take shelter from the hot summer sun during our hikes. It was all muddy, but I took shelter there and looked towards where the boulder met the soil in the hillside for the treasure.

Grandpa’s instructions hinted that what I was looking for was a torch to light my darkest days?

No fire torch could last in the downpour, I knew that much about fire. I was beginning to shiver as my hands felt along the makeshift wall until I came across a tube wedged under the cold boulder. I flipped it from end to end and felt something heavy sliding back and forth.

One end had a top. I popped it open, held it upside down until a blue flashlight came sliding into my hands! My favorite color! I felt something like writing on the handle and looked closer with little daylight left to find grandpa had it inscribed with a message!

“When you’re lost in the darkness, remember to follow the light.”

Diary, it’s the coolest flashlight I have ever owned! At this point I was soaked and not ready to leave the safety of the boulder. I knew my parents would be home soon and I felt like I jumped in a swimming pool with all my clothes on, but I knew grandpa had one last treasure for me to find! The best one of them all!

I looked at the map from inside the plastic bag and realized I had to climb higher at a due north heading from the boulder. It was the final part of my treasure hunt and I really wish I brought an umbrella too. Thunder began to bang and roll across the sky as I climbed higher on the hillside. I used my shovel as a walking stick to keep me from slipping again.

Diary, I know all of this sounds awful, but I really had the best time. This last part of the story is the best because the final piece of the treasure that grandpa left me. You know how grandpa told me to listen for his voice in the wind? Well, it was howling the entire time and I finally said, “Grandpa! Quit howling at me so I can climb this hill easier!” And suddenly the wind stopped and the sky opened up with sunshine! The rain stopped completely and I said, “Thank you Grandpa!” As I finished that sentence the wind picked up and I swear I heard his voice say you’re welcome Jenny! I know, I know it’s a little crazy, but I believe it was him.

I finally got to the top of Turning Point Hill that overlooks the valley below. It’s the spot grandpa and I would hike to every time he would visit. We each always left a stone and our pile of stones is still there! His instructions on the treasure map were to dig three paces in front of the stones.

I was exhausted at this point, but I began digging and digging. I was about a foot down and nothing in sight! The instructions said to listen for the sound of my shovel on metal. No sound, so I kept digging until I was able to stand in the hole. The top of the hole was up to my waist when I was ready to give up. I had recounted my steps twice and knew I was correct in where to dig.

Grandpa once told me when he was digging for a buried treasure in the Rocky Mountains that map and diary of the man who buried it off by a few feet because that old man figured if anyone got there they would give up! He always told me to never give up on digging once I knew I was on the right spot!

I was definitely right because I lifted my shovel high to strike harder at the hard ground and wham! I heard it! Metal on metal! I did it again! Definitely metal on metal and I began to scrape away the dirt around the metal box. I got the metal box out of the ground and sat it next to the hole. I took a deep breath and unlatched the top from the bottom, but I was afraid to open it.

Diary, I really didn’t want the adventure to end. It was the closest I felt to grandpa since he was alive and I don’t know I just didn’t want this treasure hunt to end. I felt like he was with me the whole time, especially when the wind ruffled my hair and blew past my face.

I know, I know you want to know what was in that metal treasure chest grandpa buried for me to find at the top of our favorite hill. Well Diary, I opened up the treasure chest slowly and the first thing I saw was Grandpa! He buried a photograph of him and I taken at that very spot from a few months earlier! I’m not going to lie, I cried when I saw it and even more when I read what he wrote on the back.

“Dear Jenny,

The real treasures of life are the memories we make with our loved ones. I love you Jenny and remember to listen for my voice in the wind.

Love Always,

Grandpa”

I do miss grandpa a little more after that adventure today. I know now more than ever that he lives on in the memories we made together and if I ever get sad I’ll go listen to his voice in the wind.

Goodnight Diary.

Short Story

About the author

Patrick Parker

Poet💙PaperBackWriter💙Artist

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