Treasure hunt

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Children Stories  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a short story I wrote on request of a friend.
He asked it to be about two boys that were walking in the woods and found something odd. There had to be shrubs and railway tracks in them. I admit not using the train tracks much but it would have been dangerous to make them walk too close. :)
English is not my mother tongue. Comments on how to improve are welcome. Please keep it civilized.

Submitted: June 29, 2019

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Submitted: June 29, 2019

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Summer had started, the sun shone tentatively through Matt's window, waking him up and blinding him momentarily while he rubbed his eyes. 
After glancing at his alarm clock, he snuck out of bed as quietly as a mouse. 
"Hey, Joey, wake up," he whispered in his little brother's ear. 
Together they tiptoed through the kitchen. 
Just when Matt grabbed some bread and a bottle of water, Joey gave a shriek.
"Matt! Look at this!"
A yellowish and slightly crumpled piece of paper lay on the side of the table. 
It appeared to have instructions of some kind. 
Both boys peered over it, nearly tearing the paper apart in their excitement of getting to it first.
"That has to be the lake in the woods!" Matt pointed out.
"And this is where the train track runs now."
"Why is it not on the map?"
"Maybe the map is older," Joey offered.
"Maybe it's some kind of treasure map."
Their fantasy went wild with possibilities, and it was not before long or they had grabbed a bag with foot, a shovel and an axe, and off they went. 

Matt and Joey were the youngest additions to the Peters family, now being eight and ten. They had a much older sister Jolene, but she wouldn't be home for some time yet because she went camping with her boyfriend. 
Their parents lived on the end of the road in the middle of nowhere. The train tracks went through the nearby woods and only twice a day two trains would pass over them, one in each direction. 
For kids their age, it was a wonderful environment to grow up in. Nature as far as the eye reached in one direction and a small village where everyone knew everyone and all necessities and comfort their parents needed. 
The village didn't have a school, there were not enough kids, so both boys were home schooled: if they missed a day, it was only their mother that would be angry with them, and the kids took advantage of that freedom quite often. 
Just like today, where they made themselves a lunch pack and snuck out to the woods for playing. 
Only this time, unbeknownst to them, adventure awaited.

The day had now really started, and the early bird songs had given way to the normal silence of the woods. The boys walked on the familiar paths, watching out for snakes or other disturbances they were accustomed to. 
During their walk the treasure on the map had grown to a cave full of gold and jewelry. Each of them had picked out a long branch and they were the knights that would slay the dragon and conquer its nest. 
Finally, a bit tired of play, they arrived at the lake. 
"I'll be there first, you are my servant, " Matt yelled, but Joey didn't give in to his brother and pushed him in the water. 
Laughing, Matt came out, and a bit later both of them were splashing in the water, enjoying some refreshment for the heat of the day. 

The sun stood in its zenith when Matt and Joey finished their play in the lake. Water dripped down their hairs and made their shorts stick to their body. 
A little awkward they walked towards the mossy spot on the plateau nearby and lay down to get dried up a bit. 
As by some miracle the map had stayed safe with the rest of their pack. 
Joey fumbled a bit to open their rucksack. "Let's get something to eat."
"Great idea," his brother replied. 
They ate in silence, an unusual thing for two boys their age. When they were done, they took out the map again and started looking for pointers as to where the treasure would be hidden. 
Matt was the first to recognize a rock formation near the lake. From there, they started counting steps to the north and the east. 
"This doesn't seem right," Matt said, "we should have found some cave."
The boys looked from the map to the environment, puzzled as to why they were wrong. 
Suddenly Joey cried out: "I know! We're much smaller than the person who made that map. We take smaller steps so we should take some more."
"Of course, that must be it!"

With renewed energy they started counting some additional steps, making sure to take three steps north for each step east so that they would not mess up the rate. 
Finally they found the cave, hidden behind some shrubbery. 
Matt remarked: "It's dark in there and we didn't bring a flashlight."
"Are you scared?" Joey teased him.
"Of course not, I'm not a baby, you're the baby."
For a second it looked like their teasing would end up in a fight, but the excitement about the treasure won. 
They went inside, slowly, taking care to not stumble over loose stones or other obstacles. 
After a short while their eyes adjusted to the darkness and they could move faster towards their destination.
"It should be here," Matt pointed. 
"Looks like someone recently dug here."
"I hope the treasure is still there." Matt sounded a little disappointed now.
They got out their shovel and started digging. It went easy, because the earth in the cave had been disturbed recently, so it didn't take them long to hit the lid of a wooden chest. 
"It's here!" Joey yelled. 
The boys started to dance around excitedly. 

With all the noise they made, they hadn't noticed the figures now right behind Matt, until all of a sudden two arms grabbed him from behind and an unknown voice said: "What are you doing here?"
Matt tried to get away, but the man holding him was stronger. Joey tried to help, but a boy their age was holding him too. 
When they stopped struggling, the man and boy started to laugh. 
"Congratulations, you have aced your exams on navigating and directions." 
Matt and Joey looked at each other, puzzled. 
"Your parents set this up. I'm Patrick, your new neighbour," the man explained. 
"And I'm Jeffrey," the boy added.
"And that there is your reward for succeeding the test," pointed Patrick at the chest. 
Matt and Joey didn't wait no more and opened it. 
"Lego!" They yelled.
"Wow, look at this!"
"And that one."
The boys couldn't wait to start playing with it, happy with their toys, and with a new friend.


© Copyright 2019 Silinde. All rights reserved.

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