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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Minute(s) (as in time) (03/03/11)

TITLE: Treasure in Eldorado
By Anita van der Elst


The drawstring bag lodged on Stormie’s back vibrated. A package of pita bread and a tub of hummus tumbled out of one of her three cloth grocery bags as she opened the apartment door and plopped them down. She slipped the canvas tote from her back and let her fingers explore.

“Just a minute, just a minute,” she muttered to the buzzing BlackBerry hidden in the tote’s nether regions. She gave a little squeal when she pulled it out and viewed the display screen. It was the call Caleb and she had been waiting for all week.

Punching the talk button, she pushed a long purple-streaked dreadlock away from her ear and lifted the phone. “Hey there, Reid! What’s the latest?”

“I’m so excited to tell you, I’ll have the key for you on Tuesday,” the real estate agent replied.

“Tuesday? A-a-a-aw, Caleb and I figured we’d have this holiday weekend to get a head start on the renovation. You sure we can’t pick it up from you today?”

“Sorry, Stormie,” the woman replied. “I’m actually calling you from the airport as I’m on my way out of town myself. I won’t be back into the office until Tuesday.”

“Bummer,” Stormie sighed. “Well, okay, Reid. Thanks. Have a good trip and see you in four days then.”

Stormie stuck out her pierced lower lip as she picked up the scattered groceries. There was so much work to be done on the house they’d just become successful in purchasing. Located at the end of Eldorado Canyon, just yards from a wilderness entrance, the abandoned structure sat like an exclamation mark on a sweet piece of land. Eldorado Creek bordered it on one side and trees filled the margin on the other. A foreclosure, it was a deal they couldn’t turn down. Wood rot and negligence begged for the couple’s plans for restoration. They’d already selected a spot for Caleb’s tattoo equipment and a perfect cupola awaited Stormie’s stained glass art studio.

Stormie and Caleb had bitten their nails in two previous bidding attempts for other properties in the canyon’s back-to-nature community, with torn cuticles the only thing to show for it. Ten years of saving up and now they had to wait four more days. The Fourth of July holiday had never looked so boring.

Stormie shelved her groceries. “Guess there’s plenty to do here this weekend too,” she grumbled, grabbing a trash bag for the kitchen waste can.

“Wait. Just. A. Minute!” She stood stock still in the middle of the room. Her mind pictured the yard out in Eldorado…several years’ worth of fallen leaves and branches, rusted tools and debris… fence posts leaning every which way…mud encrusted patio…in one corner a Jacuzzi tub housing an entire amphibious orchestra…. “Yeah! We don’t need a key to launch an attack on the outside!”

She didn’t waste another minute, calling Caleb to outline the weekend’s celebration she had in mind. He was just as excited as she.

With rakes, shovels, a lawn-edger, clippers and brooms poking up from the truck bed, their dinged up ’98 Toyoto resembled a porcupine. As they drove the twenty miles Saturday morning, Stormie’s bouncing was not due to the potholed twisty lane running through the canyon.

“Good thing you’re belted in,” Caleb observed. “Or there’d be a hole in the roof and we’d have to untangle your dreadlocks from the tools back there.”

“I just can’t wait another minute, Caleb! Our very own house, and we get to do whatever we want to it.”

“Well, we’re here now and you don’t have to wait one more minute, sweetie!”

After lugging their gardening equipment across their very own footbridge, Stormie’s energy discovered its outlet.

Several hours into the battle, sweat sticky and soil streaked, Stormie tugged at a rock lodged in a crack of the crumbling sidewalk. Bugs scattered as their cover lifted and a glint of bronze caught Stormie’s eye. With a work gloved finger Stormie poked at the object half-buried in the dirt. She gasped and then jumped up squealing.

“Caleb! Come look at what I found!”

Grinning like the Cheshire cat, she held up her treasure. “Think it fits the front door?” she asked.

“We better not waste another minute to find out,” he teased. Almost reverently Caleb inserted the key in the lock, and turned it. They heard the unmistakable click. Stormie’s laughter filled the yard as Caleb picked her up and carried his treasure over the threshold.

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This article has been read 559 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Robyn Burke03/10/11
(clapping my hands) Vivid descriptions made this a fun read. Love the closing line. Priceless!
Virgil Youngblood 03/11/11
A delightful MC and story line. Well done.
Bonnie Bowden 03/15/11
I really loved reading this story. The MCs seemed so alive and vibrant. So many fun descriptions, such as, Toyota resembled a porquipine and "Or there'd be a hole in the roof and we'd have to untangle your dreadlocks from the tools.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/17/11
Congratulations on placing 22 overall!