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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Achievement (03/08/12)

TITLE: The Quest for Abundant Treasure
By Catrina Bradley


Scurvy Sue scurried up the gangplank clutching her leather satchel to her bosom. "Pete! Joe-Joe!" Her boot-falls echoed through the Merry Marauder as she ran pell-mell across the scarred wooden deck.

A burly man crashed through the door from the hold, sword drawn and eyes on fire. "What scallywags be on yer tail, me girl? I'll take their sorry heads off."

"Ye like t'take me own head off, ye oaf. Watch where ye be swingin' that saber. Ye surely be dubbed correctly, Perilous Pete."

Sue started at a barking laugh. She peered around Pete's massive bulk to see Joe-Joe hitching up his britches.

"There ye be Jolly Joe. Not everythin's a laughin' matter."

"We all be carryin' monikers t'fit us, Scurvy Sue." Joe-Joe sniffed the air and chuckled. "Now, what be causin' this ruckus if yer not bein' hounded by no-good landlubbers?"

"Treasure," Sue whispered, eyes darting left and right. She leaned closer, patting her worn satchel. "I found a map."

"Shiver me timbers!" Pete roared. "Up anchor, hoist the sails. Let's be heavin' ho!"

"Quiet yer trap," Sue hissed. "We got some decodin' t'do first."

Safely behind closed doors, Sue laid her satchel on the wobbling table. "I might o'been misleadin' ye a wee bit. 'Tis not a picture map. More like a word map. But I snatched the decodin' book, too."

Pete's eyes flared, but Joe-Joe stopped him with a smirk.

Sue pulled a yellowed page from her bag. "This be the map. See that at the top? The Road to Abundant Treasure."

Pete scowled. "Don't be lookin' like no road t'me. It' be lookin' like a lot o'words. An' we don't travel by road, we sail the seas. What be the meanin' o'these letters an' numbers?"

"Secret code. But look here." Sue drew a thick, leather-bound book from her satchel.

Joe-Joe's eyes widened. "Holy Bible. That missionary ship we looted had some o'em. Where'd ye pilfer this?"

"Big fancy church. Thought t'find some doubloons lyin' 'round."

"Looky here, twas written by the late King himself. Thar's his moniker on the cover." A giggle burbled from Joe-Joe's throat. "Kings surely know where treasure's hidden, arrr?"

"Arrr, Joe-Joe. Me thoughts ezactly. That be why I took it. The map was inside." Sue crossed her arms and stood her full 5'2". "So let's be crackin' the code."

The three sat and put their dirty heads together over the documents.

"Gadzooks, Sue. Can ye back off a bit? Yer stench be stingin' me nostrils." Pete rubbed his nose. "Here, ye take the book, an' Joe-Joe the map. I'll do the thinkin'."

Sue snorted, but chose not to mention he never learned to read. "Right then. Joe-Joe, what be the first clue?"

"Romans 3 23. They all be startin' with Romans."

Sue gasped. "Blimey! This frontish page holds a list o'names an' suches. One o'em be Romans. There be a number aside o'it, but it don't match that'n. I think it be a page number." She flipped through the thick book and found the right place. "Arrrr, there be numbers all through this writin'. I think I cracked the code! What be the rest o'that clue?"

"3 an' 23."

Sue bent closer, scanning the lines with her finger. "Aha! 'For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.'"

Pete smacked the table. "Arrrr. We be pirates. 'Course we be sinnin'."

"But it said "ALL have sinned." Joe-Joe's puzzled face didn't erase his steady smile. "That'd include priests an' the good king hisself. Let's gander at the next one. Romans 5 an' 8"

Sue searched the pages, and found the right place.

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.' Well, that don't be makin' much sense."

Pete scowled. "I be thinkin' we ain't close t'no treasure yet."

On and on they deciphered clues. With each code, Sue's eyes grew softer, her face brighter, and her smile wider.

"Scurvy Sue, ye be grinnin' like Jolly Joe. If ye've figured where 'bouts t'set our compass, attest an' let's heave off. Thar be treasure awaitin'!"

"Me thinks I was mistaken."

Pete sprang up, sending his chair crashing over. "Arrrr! Ya mean t'say thar's no treasure?"

"Oh, thar be treasure alrighty. But it's not out thar. The treasure's in here." She thumped her fist against her chest.

Joe-Joe nodded. "Ye might be right, me curvy wench. Back t'the church?"

"Aye. Back t'the church. T'find someone t'explain this abundant treasure we've discovered."

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This article has been read 842 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 03/15/12
Oh this was so cute and yet held significant meaning. It told a story in a powerful yet entertaining way. Nice job.

God Bless~
Sherry Castelluccio 03/16/12
Aaaarg! Methinks tis a nice bit o writin ye have here! Here's ta hopin ye be placin at the top o th' pile with this n'. :)
Joanne Sher 03/16/12
This one was WAY too fun - with a great message! Love the humor.
Allison Egley 03/16/12
Oh my goodness. This is SO fun! I love it.
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/17/12
Fun story--I don't believe I've seen this kind of message in "pirate language" before.
Glynis Becker03/17/12
Delightful! And obviously it has a wonderful message hidden in plain sight. Fantastic!
Amanda Brogan03/17/12
"Grab yer root beer, hold it high
Whack yer shipmate in the eye
Yank his hair and break his nose
Watch yer back, it's Jolly Joe's!"
~ The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything, A Veggietales Movie

(Sorry, I couldn't resist. :) )

I adored this entry! It had me smilin' the whole way through. So glad that Sue and her maties discovered the greatest treasure of all! (Reminded me of some "treasure hunts" that I've made for my younger siblings. Having them look up verses and stuff for clues. :) )
Sarah Elisabeth 03/20/12
LOVED this! Such a creative journey with perfect characters!
Kathleen Langridge03/20/12
I'm no expert but your pirate dialect ran true all the way through, matey. Amazing not a parrot in sight, he he he. So creative and well done.
Laura Manley03/21/12
I'm speechless over this entry! The ingenuity of your writing was well-received by this reader! Excellent!
Sarah Elisabeth 03/22/12
YAY CAT!!!!! Congrats on your well deserved EC!!
Joanne Sher 03/22/12
Soooo well-deserved, girlie. LOVED it! (You're back, Ms Cat!!)
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/22/12
Yea Cat! Happy dancin' with you for recognition for this delightful piece.
Yvonne Blake 03/22/12
So creative! Congratulations on your EC!
Amanda Brogan03/22/12
Arr! Congrats on the the scorin' of a mighty fine Editor's Choice treasure for this adventure, me matey! ;)

Loved this entry so much! It was definitely among my top favorites this week! So glad you won! :D
Laury Hubrich 03/22/12
oH! What fun, Cat! I've never read the salvation message in this way before! Excellent! Congratulations!!!
Beth LaBuff 03/22/12
Love, love, love your creativity here! Wow! And what a message! Super congrats, Cat, on your Editor's Choice!!
Linda Goergen03/22/12
Congratulations & applause! Wonderful tale it was there Matey!
Nancy Bucca03/22/12
Oh my, I be love-in' this; ain't no land lubber at 'eart neither. Arrgh! Well deserved 7th place EC. Quite a road map, that.
Donna Wilcher03/23/12
"Shiver me timbers!"

This was so much fun to read. I could see em and smell em..Haha!

Great job!
Sherrie Coronas03/23/12
Wow. Fantastic writing. Loved the message and the read. Congratulations!