Image by TommyClicks @ Flickr
I was kneeling on the beach. My fingers dug deeper into the sand. My nails were brimming with grit, but it didn’t matter because I hardly felt it. My brother- Ian, who was a few meters away from me, was digging even more ferociously than I was. Gold. Jewels. Treasure. What could it be? The old man’s was voice kept ringing in my ears. See for yourself he had said. See for yourself.
My family and I are in the Caribbeans for the summer to let the steam off from the suburbans. Simply moments ago, an old man convincingly claiming to be the ex-pirate, Jack Sparrow had said that there was something valuable, something important in a chest buried on this island, but he couldn’t recall what was inside- I don’t blame the poor old fellow for not remembering, considering his age. Like any other curious-minded simpleton, me and my brother went off looking for this mysteriously buried chest simply to kill time on this incredulously boring island. Yes, I know- it’s absolutely absurd doing so because this chest could be anywhere on this island. We started from the most obvious location of where any chest, really, could have been buried- the beach.
“Ian, find anything?” I hollered at him, lifting my shoulders to wipe away the heavy sweat pooling across my forehead. The Caribbean sun sure is rewarding, I thought to myself sarcastically.
“Naw, jus’ dirt and sand and dirt all over again!” Frustrated, Ian collapsed onto his back and started murmuring to himself. As for me, I kept digging with my bare hands. I knew that there was at least something down there. The old man’s word sent chills down my spine.
“Treasure treasure treasure,” Ian sighed, “that man was probably way too old to know what it meant. Kids like us should have been allowed to relax, stay back at home, flop onto the couch and play video games, you know what I mean? I mean like, can’t believe mom talked dad into bringing us here. Jude? Jude, you listening man?”Nope, I wasn’t. Because right then, that’s when I felt it. The solid object that my fingers . And that was when I knew. I found it.
“God Jude, what are you pondering at?” It took Ian all he had to stand back up and drag himself all the way towards me.
“Ian, I think I found something.” Kneeling, I looked up at him and gave him a goofy smile. He crouched next to me and ran his fingers across the surface of the red rectangle that was barely visible on the sand. Our eyes met. We both smiled.
We started to use our hands to dig the chest out. Cool sand spilled between our fingers as we scoop them up aside. There were two black handles on each side. Each of us took one side and then lifted it up onto high grounds. Surprisingly, it was pretty light.
“So this is it,” I said, almost as a whisper. I was almost certain that I was dreaming. What a realistic dream it was.
“The honors are yours, since you found it. Go ahead, open it,” Ian nodded towards me. I was actually nervous. I didn’t know why. I was suppose to be excited, but I had a queasy feeling in my stomach. What if there isn’t anything inside? What if inside lies remains of someone’s body? What if, this is some sort of prank or a trap even? What if we did all this for nothing? I pushed all my questions away, and looked down at the chest. I felt a bit silly, really, because the chest looked exactly like the ones we’ve seen in pirate movies and cartoons- except it wasn’t locked. But the real question was, what’s inside? ‘
I took a deep breath, crouched down, undid the lock flap, and slowly pushed it back with my trembling hands.
“What the-” I heard Ian muttered.
Of all the things that could have been inside, it had to be a stupid oval-shaped stone. One that was carefully placed in the center.
“Oh. my. god.” Ian uttered disappointingly, his hands roughly going through his hair. He started walking away when I called out after him,
“Wait! There’s something else!” The stone was polished before for sure, however, one part that I missed earlier was the words that were engraved onto it. It had said,
A S G A R D
Ian grunted, “Urgh, what now?”
“Look,” I said, picking up the stone and showing it to him.
“A..s..g..a..r..d,” he read, “isn’t this the place from one of the Norse myths? Like the one about Thor and stuff?”
“Yea, I think so,” I replied, turning the stone over in my hand to feel its weight- but there was something else written on the back. This time, it wasn’t in English.
þ é t t r
“What does it say?” Ian asked.
“Not sure,” I started examining it more closely when Ian snatched the it right out from my hand.
“This is all rubbish. Someone put this here to mess with us- or anyone else that might have found it. Yeah, some kinda prank,” he spat. He lifted the stone over his head and tossed it out into the sea. It was gone. I didn’t argue. He was right. I sat back down onto the sand and stared absently at waves washing ashore. It was getting late; indigo spilled across the cloudless sky and the moon was barely visible up there. I was thinking about going back to the resort when all of a sudden, a coil of lightning struck down into the sea. I jumped to my feet Instantaneously, not even bothering to brush the sand off my pants. Ian was caught off guard by this too. I stared closely, and odd enough, the waves were moving in an irregular pattern- as a matter of fact, it was moving in a circular pattern. I knew instantly what it was- a whirlpool. But- those never form near the shores. Ian noticed it too.
“Oh chirst, run Jude!” he started running towards the opposite direction of the beach- as well did I. But as we started to run, we noticed that the sand was being sucked into the direction of the whirlpool- the whole beach was! It was out of control. We couldn’t keep our balance, so we fell and also started slipping into the direction of the whirlpool. Petrified, I closed my eyes, wishing all this nonsense would go away. But it didn’t. And we were slipping faster.
The word that was on the other side of the stone - þ é t t r - had been a word in Old Norse. It had meant Water Activation.
I fluttered my eyes open, and found Ian bending over me, calling my name over and over again. Water dripped from his hair onto my face, and then I realized- I was wet too. And then reality suddenly hit me- the treasure chest, the stone, the whirlpool. It had all been real. I started to sit up and found myself coughing up water; Ian was slapping my back continuously to make sure it had gone out- as if that would help. We were in a cave with torches lighted along the wall, but there wasn’t a single entrance to be sighted.
“Thank god, I thought I had lost you,” Ian sighed in relief.
“What happened?” I asked.
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” he started ranting on and on about a ‘multi-colored’ portal tube that had brought us here and a bunch of other nonsense that I didn’t catch, because my main attention was set on a miserable figure that was sitting against the the cave a few meters away from where we were. He was wearing some kind of ancient emerald green suit, and he had long wavy hair that came up to his shoulders which were covering his face.
“Who’s that?” I asked, pointing to the figure.
“Him? I tried calling out to him while you were knocked out, but he wouldn’t answer. You reckon he might be dead?” Instead of answering, I pulled myself up to my feet and slowly, carefully, walked over to him. Oh, believe me, I was definitely terrified on the inside, but there was something familiar about this man that struck me.
“Who are you?” I asked in a loud and bold voice- or at least, I tried sounding bold. Through his hair, I could see a smile creeping over his face. That totally freaked me out. Slowly, and quietly, he answered:
“I am Loki…of Asgard…And I am burdened….with glorious purpose.”