Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Once in a Blue Moon (01/06/11)
TITLE: Minnesota Johns and the Hidden Temple of Colgate
By Joshua Janoski
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Confident he had found the hidden location; archaeologist and university professor Minnesota Johns hopped off the hump of his camel and unfolded the withered map in his hands.
“Yep, my calculations are correct. The temple is right in front of us.”
Minnesota’s protégé Marianna Rivenholt leapt off her camel and tumbled onto the dry desert bed. She stood up and wiped sand particles off her lacy white sundress.
“I still don’t understand why you wore that to a treasure hunt.” Minnesota shook his head back and forth. His head remained tilted downwards and his eyes fixated on the faded parchment. His tan fedora hat shielded his scalp from the sun’s intense rays.
“We’re in the desert so I wanted to try and stay cool, and I also wanted to look pretty in case we run into any handsome ancient gods.” Whether Marianna was joking or not was hard to tell. Sometimes she liked to be sarcastic, but other times she could be a total ditz. Either way, Minnesota paid her no mind.
“Today is an extremely rare day. Only once every 10,000 years can a person speak the secret incantation which makes the temple of Chief Colgate, the ancient deity of personal hygiene, appear to the north of this very spot. Let’s do this right or else we’ll go home empty handed. Read this phrase
Minnesota turned over the map and the two began to read the ancient text scribbled on the back.
“Milk! Eggs! Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes!”
Both paused and looked at each other with puzzled expressions. Minnesota blushed.
“Whoops! That’s my grocery list. Read the text below that.”
They started the chant again.
“We arrived at your temple on camel’s back,
hoping to fight against the plaque.
Without Colgate’s wisdom we would be lost!
We are your people who brush and floss!”
The ground trembled and the temple entrance appeared. Its door was adorned with an open-mouthed smiling Colgate. Minnesota and Marianna shielded their eyes from the whiteness of the image’s teeth as they proceeded up the temple steps. The temple door rose, revealing a small room with a single podium. Magically floating in the air above the podium was a golden toothbrush.
“Be careful.” Minnesota warned.
They slowly approached the toothbrush staying alert for any traps that might spring out, but nothing happened.
“That was easy.” Minnesota said relieved. He reached for the golden relic.
“WAIT!” Marianna batted the archaeologist’s hand down. “Aren’t you supposed to put something in its place? Like a rock or something?”
Minnesota laughed. “You watch too many action flicks. What, you think a big boulders gonna drop into this tiny room and start rolling towards us? Let’s just take this brush and get outta here! Saleem is prepping the jet and waiting for us to get back.”
Minnesota snatched the toothbrush. He paused for a moment and then snickered.
“See? No big boulder. Besides, the rocks never worked in the movies anyway! Let’s go.”
The golden glow of the ancient toothbrush brightened in Minnesota’s tightly clenched hand as he left the temple. Marianna’s eyes widened as she followed behind her mentor. She froze in place and screamed.
“MINNESOTA! WATCH OUT!”
Minnesota’s hand uncontrollably jerked upwards and into his mouth as the brush began to scrub away his teeth. His molars, incisors, bicuspids, and canines all brushed away into dust particles. The toothbrush zipped away from Minnesota’s hand and flew out of the temple. Minnesota looked back at Marianna, and with exposed gums yelled a return warning…
Marianna heard the flood of dentist drills buzzing up behind her. Marianna sprinted out of the temple, tripping on the last step and falling in the sand. The drills surrounded her! She tried to scream but couldn’t!
“We’re all done here, Dana. Your parents are waiting out front.”
The voice was that of Dana’s dentist – Dr. Johns. He helped her out of the chair. She had just came to after being put under for impacted wisdom teeth extraction.
“I’m glad you finally made an appointment. It seems like it’s only every 10,000 years that I see you. I’ve been praying to the tooth gods that you would get in here for surgery.”
Dr. Johns chuckled. Dana half consciously shook her head.
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