"Small" writing challenges for my small writing talent. Hotel note pads are the only space allowed. Let's see if I can strip it down and tighten it up to learn something. Improving my skill of weird fiction.
Every bit of gear in the M-class Mei Nü is war surplus. Clive, an ex-army quartermaster, drove around in a leftover jeep at war’s end picking up abandoned things left and right. Most of it now packed the sub’s hull. He brought up the rear with a Remington M12 trench shotgun. Vincent up front has one just like it. The idea is to pack light and be gone only a few hours or a day at the very worst-returning with packs full of the pirate booty. A submarine tower in broad daylight would gather interest from passing ships in the distance, so, submerged, Fitz and the minimum crew are monitoring every hour by periscope for the pickup.
Six men hopped out of the rubber boat onto a steep gravel shore. It quickly became the foothills of jagged and moss-covered mountains. Trees tried desperately to grow up the sides. Bakelite headlamps switched on and machetes came out on finding a dark and slimy staircase. The three maps would have pointed anyone to anywhere, but the staircase leading down early, the key, made the combined route clear. It was underground, following a stream through caves, water eroded tunnels, and across floors of a deep crevice with walls steep enough to cause dusk at two o’clock. Otherwise, the only way in would have been from a new helicopter machine or equipped mountain climbers. Not conveniently on the roadside.
Shrubs and roots grew stubborn. Wet and muddy decayed foliage smelled all over everyone by the end of the trail. Birds squawked high above and beetles crunched below jungle boots. The six stood in shadows where the riddles of the map confirmed a monster should be found. They walked around the area, eating rations, looking for anything they missed. They only viewed bulging cliff sides and rolling ground-swells. Choko saw it first from far away. His vision made him an easy selection to the Teishin Shudan division.
“Sir, eye above. Nose between.”
It was darkly stained from rainwater runoff but the protruding rock face shaped into the eyes and nose re-drawn on the map. Covered in ferns. Tracing in the air, Lionel’s finger pointed to a hillside. He folded the map, “Over there Gentlemen!”
They hustled and found both soft and hard ground. Lionel’s wave of fingers to Choko and Vincent were late, they had already broken out the infantry shovels to probe the turf, finding the edges of a large stony square. Crowbars of two more men worked underneath edges of old style concrete. Lionel unwound his hooked ropes, throwing them around thick and sturdy tree branches. The hooks gripped underneath the slab and it took four of them to heave it up far enough to roll a large dead tree-trunk section under to prop it up. Lionel approved.
“Well, someone look at what we discovered?”
Clive peered his headlamp in, then slid underneath the slab.
The men also saw large dog sized bumpy creatures crawling out from the nooks of the walls around them. They appeared oddly familiar.
Vincent, a short sergeant from Philadelphia, leaned over, “Monkeez or Lizzudz?”
Lionel chuckled lightly, “They look like…tiny dinosaurs?”
“They can stand up. They’re like mini-Tyranosorusses or somethin.”
Choko grinned, poking Vincent in the shoulder, “Dragon! Ha!”
Lionel thought. He watched the bumpy creatures as they gathered in a circle a distance away, favoring the hind legs, watching his group. Behavior like this awoke tales of Africa his Father spoke of. “Dangerous. I say, are they planning?”
Clive low-whistled from inside the hole.
“It’s here! Lots of coins!”
Lionel turned to everyone, “Open your packs and pass them down, Clive, load up! Those things are about to come after us I fear. We should leave soon!”
Continued in Part-3.
(Author’s Notes) September 7th, 2015: Cincinnati. (600 words.)
The story cubes can develop huge stories if you let your mind go interpreting the images. Connecting one cube to the next can yield very large plots. This is my problem. I have to create a three-part story to make this work and I’m glad I have been in hotels with note pads on the larg-ish side. Part one was getting to the island. Part two was getting to the treasure. Part three of course is the end and that is pretty much done. I’ll post it beffore I go to sleep tonight and we can have a nice short classic buried treasure story. The crew, person-by-person, is becoming personable. Over time with other stories with this gang the rest of the crew should come to life. Special people everywhere. Other thought? My work on tense needs to improve.
Well, I’ll finish the story and then reflect on the cubes’s impact on this blog.