Treasure of a Lifetime
The salty waters were crashing against the shores of the ever buzzing Krawk Island. Boats were forever docking and floating away off to the vast sea.
A White Draik was gazing out the window of the Golden Dubloon. She sighed as she looked at the passing Islanders. Oh, how she wished she could be free of this horrid place. This was her third year working here.
“Avi! Your break’s over. Table three needs a refill.”
The Draik sighed and tied her gold apron back around her waist, and she reluctantly pried her eyes away from the window.
She pushed open the kitchen doors and entered the seating area. Walking across the hard wooden floor, she approached table three.
“About time, miss. I was about to have to drink the sea water,” said the Pirate Krawk at the table.
“Sorry, sir,” mumbled Avi. She picked up his empty glass and walked to the drink fountain. She placed the glass under the nozzle and filled it to the brim. Then she returned to the grouchy Krawk’s table.
He eyed her as she placed his drink back on the table.
“That diet?” he asked as he gave a jerk of his head towards his drink.
“Excellent. Trying to watch those calories, ya know.”
Avi gave him a feeble smile before turning around to pick up an order.
“Oh sure, like your triple cheeseburger is completely calorie free,” she muttered under her breath as she approached the pickup window.
“I heard that, Avi,” said the cook who handed her the plate of jalapeno poppers.
She sighed and said to the Green Draik, “Sorry, Uncle Craig.”
He gave her a small sympathetic smile. “Table one.”
Avi made her way to table one and gave the Red Yurble his meal.
The rest of the afternoon went by in one boring blur until he came walking through the door.
A tall Green Ogrin dressed in navy blue limped in and went to a small table in the very back of the restaurant.
Thinking it was just another sulking customer, Avi went over and asked nicely, “What will you have to drink, sir?”
Without looking up, he replied coldly, “Black coffee.”
Avi walked away to get his order, but as she got to the coffee pot at the counter and was pouring his preferred beverage, Uncle Craig was staring wide-eyed at the peculiar Ogrin.
Avi noticed her Uncle’s strange behavior and asked him the obvious question, “What?”
“Do you know who that is?”
She looked over her shoulder and gave the stranger another look over. Then she turned back and shook her head.
Craig gasped and then whispered, “That’s Captain Rourke!”
Her jaw dropped. “The Captain Rourke?!”
He nodded madly.
She finished filling his cup of coffee and walked as calmly as she could back to Captain Rourke.
He now had a map spread out on the table and was scratching illegible things on a scrap of yellowed paper.
“Here’s your coffee, sir,” Avi said as she placed the mug on a patch of table that wasn’t covered up by the map.
“Hmm,” he grumbled without looking up at her.
Avi started to walk away, but then she turned back and whispered to him, “You’re Captain Rourke, aren’t you?”
He stopped writing and raised his eyes in her direction and said, “Yes, I am. Don’t mean to be rude, miss, but I’ve got load of work to do and need to finish it as soon as I possibly can.”
“Oh, of course,” Avi said, “I wouldn’t want to bother you.”
Avi glanced at him once more before she walked away from the sailing legend. Her uncle caught her eye and motioned for her to come over. She looked around at the tables; everything was in order. Then she casually strolled over to her uncle.
“It is him!” she whispered excitedly.
Craig gave her a toothy smile and quietly hissed, “I knew it.”
Then suddenly the cranky Blue Lupe who was the manager of the Golden Dubloon burst through his office doors and stormed out.
“Uh oh,” said Avi.
She gave her uncle a frightened look and he quickly went back to cooking. Avi then went over and gave the Yurble at table one his check. He paid her and gave her a tip of one dubloon. She put it in her apron pocket and thought to herself, “One dubloon closer to leaving this place.”
Two hours had passed and numerous customers had come and gone, and Avi and Uncle Craig had, somehow, put up with all of them. Running back and forth from tables to the kitchen, and to the counter, Avi had worked up a sweat. Grilling burgers and tossing salads, Craig also had his fair share of work to do too.
But even throughout all the chaos, Captain Rourke remained at his small table, seemingly undisturbed.
Avi had kept one eye on the famous Captain all day. Then she went over to his table and reclaimed his empty coffee cup.
“I’ll take another,” he mumbled as he moved a finger along a line on the map.
She got him a fresh cup of coffee and placed it on his table.
She started to walk away but she was stopped by a voice.
“Hey, um, Miss-?” Captain Rourke asked her.
“I’m Avi. Just Avi.”
He nodded and pointed at a spot on the map, “What you make of this?”
Slightly shocked, she stumbled back over to him and peered down at the old piece of parchment. It was a map of Krawk Island and its surrounding shores. Bur there was something odd about it. The anchor-shaped compass rose wasn’t in the corner like usual; it was near the housing on the north part of the island.
“Well, not to sound too cliché, but ‘X’ marks the spot,” said Avi.
The Captain looked up at her, puzzled, and asked, “What ‘X’?”
“There.” She pointed to the compass rose; the anchor made a perfect ‘X’.
Captain Rourke squinted at the paper and then muttered, “Could it really be that obvious?”
“It just might be,” said Avi with an encouraging smile.
“Alight then,” the Captain said as he moved the piece of yellowed paper in front of him. “What about this?” He pointed to a small paragraph that Avi could barely read.
Avi squinted at the writing and read:
When the low tides arrive, and the rocks are in view,
Hold your breath and dive, for the treasure will be too.
“That’s where the treasure is,” said Avi simply.
Captain Rourke slapped his forehead and grumbled, “Of course!”
* * * * *
The sun setting and the Golden Dubloon was empty except for Avi and Craig. It was closing time and they were locking up when Avi went over to her Uncle.
“You remember when Captain Rourke was here?”
He looked at her and nodded.
“Well, I helped him find a treasure, and he asked for us to help him dig it up,” she said, smiling.
The Green Draik’s jaw was almost on the floor. “Let’s go!”
Craig locked the restaurant’s door and they headed out to meet Captain Rourke.
It was dark when they arrived at the exact spot on the map that the compass rose had been. Captain Rourke was leaning against a lamp post and the pale light was shining down upon him. He looked up when he saw the two Draiks approaching.
Avi went over and introduced her uncle to the Captain.
Captain Rourke tipped his hat at Craig.
“Ready for some treasure hunting?” he asked the Draiks.
They both nodded.
“Okay, the map said to wait for low tide.” The Captain looked out at the sea; nearly the whole beach was visible.
“All right, next it said to wait until the rocks are in view.”
“Over there!” shouted Avi as she pointed to the tip of a sharp rock that was poking out of the sea.
“Excellent. We need to get over there and jump in, and then get the treasure. There’s probably a small cave down there that can only be accessed at low tide,” finished Captain Rourke.
The three got into a small row boat that he had waiting and they rowed over the rock. They got to the rock and the Captain lit a lantern.
“I’ll go,” volunteered Avi.
The Captain tossed her a pair of goggles from a box in the rowboat. She dived into the water and swam deep into the water. Underwater, the rock had seaweed growing on it thickly. She saw a small cubby carved into the rock; it was just big enough for a Neopet to fit through. Avi felt a rush of excitement, and she swam through the hole. She got through and noticed that there was an air pocket at the top. She broke the surface and refilled her lungs with fresh air.
She caught her breath and looked around, and then she saw a small wooden box setting on a flat rock. She grabbed it and dove back under. Squeezing through the hold, Avi made it back to the boat.
She chunked the box over the side of the boat, and Craig and Captain Rourke helped Avi back into the boat.
They all gathered around the box as Captain Rourke pried open the lid. It gave away, and he lifted the top open. They all gasped; it was filled with blue and orange coins.
“They’re one thousand and five hundred dubloon coins,” stuttered Avi.
They rowed back to shore, and as they were getting out of the boat, Captain Rourke said to Avi, “You know, I never said thank you for helping me out with that map. I had a major senior moment. And that coffee was very good. So, I’d like to give you and your uncle a share of this money.” He tossed her three blue dubloons and two orange ones. He gave the same amount to Craig.
They gave the Captain a big smile.
“Now, I must be off. I’m due in Shenkuu tomorrow. It was nice meeting you, Avi and Craig,” he said before he turned away and walked to the wooden dock. He then sailed away in his ship, the SS Primella.
The Draiks waved him off, and looked at each other, then grinned broadly.
“We are so quitting our jobs.”