A Journey to Die For

March 6, 2017
By , Lyons, MI

That was all I could think about. How did this treasure hunt go so horribly wrong? I woke up on the hard stone shoreline, jagged by the ocean waves. I had to get to Cam before they found me.
My crimson stained jeans, stiff from the drying blood when I hit the submerged coral. I was on the island of Captain John Frederick's treasure, said to be the largest amount of gold ever hidden, this would help Cam cover his debt our brother Jacob left him with, by framing Cam with murder.
Above all, had to move, the tiny boats in the ocean growing larger every second, how to get off the bay?
There! The vines on the mountainside, stretching all the way up. Step after step, the top of the mountain, I looked out upon the ocean, there the  boats parked, men all over the bay searching for Cam and Brian Simmon.
“Wait, Cam! I knew it, you just had to be alive!”
The muddy footprint, the faded 11.5 engraved into the brown soil right at the arch of the boot, it had to be Cam, who else would it be. The mountainside, jutting out around the path with many very jagged, small circling caves that seemed to always go nowhere but where you were thirty seconds ago. Flash… Flash… Flash.
“Morse Code, Cam you're a genius, now what does it say?”
Of course, I looked over my journal __. . . B, .__. R, . . I, .__ A, and finally __. N. Cam was in the forest, at the foot of the mountain. Then the cold, wet, rain came, the nearest cave was only yards away. The cave was big with a small stream of fresh water, I haven't drank anything in hours. From here on, I cleaned my injured leg to slow any further infections, the vines drooping from the cave top would act as great bandages, there was a strange vine stuck under a boulder that went out the bottom of the cave drawing out into the darkened depths of the forest, it must have been Cam, The vine seemed to be sturdy and it was the only way to get down to Cam.
“Three, two, one.,”
Snap! Sliding down the mountainside rapid speed towards the ground, with nothing to catch me… Bang!
I woke on the mucky brown earth, the dazzling stars lighting the way. The forest grew so dark the stars could no longer show me the way to Cam, I pulled out the flashlight Cam gave to me after we got stuck in the cave that led us to this dreadful island.
“No Cam no, no, oh my…”
There was a hunched over pirate skeleton, his royal purple robes, stained from the bloodbath he was part of, the long, dull pirate sword, stuck in his jacket, had a note that read, “Captain John Frederick a cowardly THIEF!!!” Next, I pulled the sword from the bony corpse.
Gathering wood for my shelter, I found more and more skeletons deceased the same way, using the blade as an axe I chopped wood into pieces for the walls and roof. Building a shelter in the middle of a deserted island is not as hard as it seems, lots of supplies from the flourishing forestation offers a lot of the wooden walls and jungle leaved roof.
The wind, picked up instantly, the sudden creaking and cracking of the trees, giving off an eerie feel along with all the skeletons dancing in my mind. Birds flying out of trees, I quickly pulled out my pistol attempting to get my first meal in days! Bang, out of the smoky air I could see the tree falling right at me, I must have missed and shot my spiralling bullet, at the dead tree.
My leg, I can’t run… The heavy log, crashing onto my chest, and the shelter.
“One, two, three,” the log budged. “One, two, three,” now on my deltoid. “One, two, three,” I was out.
Without checking my thigh in a few days, I didn't see the growing infection, oozing its nastiness onto my worn, muddy jeans. If I don’t get to Cam soon… I will die.
Continuing through the woods, blackening by the minute, I could start to make out a small blazing sun on the forest ground. It was either Cam or Jacob’s crewmen, every angle I looked at my situation was telling me to go towards the fire, I'll either die, or I will see Jacob or… Cam.
Between the butterflies in my stomach, and the throbbing pain in my thigh, I was just happy to see another human.
A little ways off the camp I called,“Cam, Cam is that you?”
The clicking of a shotgun, made me duck under a bush, seeing his greasy face for the first time in days. Made my eyes start to blur.
“Cam, it’s Brian,” I called as I stood up.
He had set up a large camp that seemed to cross the forest itself. The tent we packed was luckily in Cam’s backpack or we would be sleeping on the cold, hard ground.
“Hey, Cam you still have that first aid box with you?”
“Yea, why?”
Without any words, I pulled up my worn jeans, to show him the ever growing infection. There was now a red line growing up my leg, and into my lower stomach.
“Brian, that's really bad, without any drugs to numb your leg… umm let’s just say you're gonna feel it.”
Watching my brother perform surgery on my leg with an iodized pocket knife and an extra t-shirt made me wail out in pain. My left thigh sticking out with a half roll of gauze and tape, made me a lot less mobile.
Hearing a nearby explosion, I jumped off the cot, attempted to walk and dropped right to the ground.
“Cam, what is it? I can’t go anywhere.”
“I can’t tell, you still have the binoculars?” Cam exclaimed to me
“No, my bag fell off when I passed out in the ocean.”
Jacob had to be at the top of that mountain, just waiting to get his shot at putting Cam out for good. Cam had never done anything to Jacob, that part enthralled me. Why would a brother attempt to put another brother in jail, then try to kill him, for no reason at all!
“Brian you have to get up,-” Cam yelled.
“I can’t I can barely walk,” I replied, “Get me some sticks or something for crutches.”
Cam returned not five seconds later with two long sticks. We got off at a fast pace, feeling the threat of being caught, I dropped the sticks and willed myself to keep going with the quote “I can do all things” from the bible on my mind. On the right was a large cave. We dropped into the cave, and watched the large 4x4’s axelerate by, Jacobs blurred face, full of the ambition of the end of Cam’s life. We had escaped death yet again.
We lay there petrified with fear that the zooming 4x4’s would come back and take us away. Buzz… buzz… buzz… buzz...
“Cam pick up your phone! Who is it!” Exclaiming with curiosity. “And put it on speaker.”
“Hey Mark,” Cam paused and looked at me full with joy. “I thought you were dead, the rpg hit your plane right off the coast.”
“Yes off the coast, I landed on the island. I'm in some sort of town in the middle of the place, there are a few tunnels that lead right to the village.”
“Ok, Brian and I will start looking for more caves, but I think we're in one. See you then… bye.”
As it was, we travelled down the man made cave and reached a gigantic city, there was a mossy wooden sign the words “SpearsVille, Home of John Frederick.” posted in a precisely crafted fashion.
“Cam call Mark, see if he is in the same area.”
“Cam, Brian, did you make it to a city?”
“Yes, there is a sign that says we are in SpearsVille, which I guess is the birthplace of Frederick, see if any sign says that for you?” Cam spoke worriedly, with the thought of  us being separated again on his mind.
“Uhhh… Ummmm…It says, I can’t make it out just a few letters here and there.” Murray said in a depressed voice.
“Name off the letters and amount of spaces and i'll compare them in my journal.” I butted into Cam’s conversation.
“Blank, blank, E, blank, R, S, Blank, ILLE.”


   e rs ille


“They are the same, can you see that big circular building in the middle?” Cam suggested.
“Yes lets meet up in the entrance of the thing,” Mark replied.
The call was over so Cam and I made our way to the Pirate dome. The thought of happiness was all of a sudden stopped, Cam’s phone started beeping, it said “Jacob is tracking you.” on the center of the screen. In quick thinking I took the phone from Cam, called Mark and we both smashed our phones. Our communication bond… was broken.
The city was in pieces. There was an eerie feeling around every corner, through every window, and behind every door. Cam and I were just a few hundred yards away, when we heard the bang, I grabbed a spy glass from one of the ancient bedrooms on our way through. I saw smoke in the distance, Jacob was blowing his way through the nearby mountains to get to the point Cam’s phone was last.
In panic, Cam and I rushed to the meeting point, we could see Marka small ways off. He found something, as he got to the dome he opened his hand, he had found a doubloon. 
The center building in SpearsVille, was an emptied bank that would have held billions in pirate gold.
“Mark, Cam look around for clues to see where Frederick really hid his gold.” I asked after our depressing discovery.
I started opening every drawer in the building… nothing it was picked dry by Frederick, NOTHING! Out of rage I threw a ruined book, covered in mildew at the nearby wall, the paper ripping as the book zoomed threw.
“Well, through the door I guess” Cam said sarcastically.
Walking down the cold, damp stone hallway, there wasn't much to talk about. I started a conversation in awe about how many treasure hunters have made it this far, but we're clueless on where to go afterward.
“Do you guys see that light coming from behind us, or am I getting sun sick?” Mark wondered.
“That makes zero sense but, yea I see it weird,” Cam replied.
“Run, it's probably Jacob, Mark Cam will tell you the story later but get moving,” I whispered cautiously.
We were running through the tunnel when the bang went off, then again, the light behind us was gone. The three of us were heading back toward the bangs, with our flashlight dimmed so we wouldn't be discovered. There were burned sticks of dynamite on the ground and on the other side was the light.
“They blew a hole in the tunnel, what if they already closed off the other side?” I wondered.
“Well we come back and go through the caves down there,” Cam pointed to the gaping hole in the path.
As it turns out, the path was blocked off by an old rusty 4x4 Jacob probably found from other treasurehunters who never returned home. Mark was smart and brought water for the three of us.
Gulping down the water, we all headed to Jacob’s Grand Canyon. The drop from path to path was only about, five foot because of a bookshelf left by the pirates. Our journey was soon to be over but there was no way to get off the island other than surrendering to Jake, no way that was happening. We needed another plan soon.
Heading down the caves we finally reached a door that was encrusted with jewels and emeralds that seemed to scream, “I hold the treasure behind me, you three, come take it!”
“I can’t believe it, four inches that's it my debt is gone,” Cam exclaimed as he pulled on the locked handle.
“No! It can’t be, find the key, find the key!”
I ran back to the bookshelf in fear that Jacob was on his way, there was a ring of keys, I snatched the whole ring and was off.
“Cam, I have like forty keys this could take a while.”
I looked at the top of the lock, it read “7a2ba” ring in my hand flipping the keys fast as I could. Nope... no... no... no... wait yes.
“Hey I got the key, probably should have known it was the only golden key on the ring, Cam you put the key in.” I said giving the key to Cam.
The golden door opened into a cave full of water and a small amount of light coming from a gaping hole in the wall, almost like a door or something.
“Cam, Brian, open your eyes, there's a boat in here.” Mark said while pointing to a giant pirate ship, and our way off the island
Bang! There was now a skylight on the cavern roof.
“Ahoy mates, how is your brother play time going? Why wasn't I invited?” Jacob asked as he swung from a vine on the roof to Fredericks boat.
  The three of us bolted to our escape boat and Jacob, ready for a potential bloodbath. Jacob was on the captain's deck, looking surprisingly depressed.
“This has been bugging me from a while Cam but, there is no way I can let you off this island… unless, youre dead of course!”
Jacob pulled out a sword, but for some reason, didn't have a gun, I threw Cam my blade and went with Mark to see if we can get the boat going.
Mark and I ran into the treasury, there was a dead body, it was, Frederick. It seemed that somebody killed him, but the boat was still in the cave.
“Who would kill this guy and not steal his riches along with him, it makes no sense, unless he is still on the boat somewhere else.” I wondered as thoughts tossing back it forth like a baseball in my head.
“We need to move quickly, Cam might die up there. Find the anchor and let's get going!” said a worried Mark.
The massive ship had  four decks, the next even more beautiful than the last. Mark and I traveled up to the Captain's quarters, sure enough It had a large anchor spool, and a pile of bones. Fredericks killer had attempted to lift the seemingly massive anchor, once he got the weight up, it came down, along with the pirate.
“Mark help me with this, I don’t want to be this poor little fella right here.”
“Haha, that's ok with me, one less person to split the rest of the gold with. But I’m feeling nice today, so I’ll help you,” Mark chuckled.
The anchor wasn't that heavy, the man must have slipped. Mark and I locked the anchor in place and looked.
Cam and Jacob were on the ground just outside the window surrounded in a red paint, except it wasn't… They were dead. I looked away instantly there was no reason everything looked like I needed glasses badly.
“Mark,” the room faded “help me-,” I gasped as I was stumbling. Then I was out… dark.
I found myself in the “office” chair, Mark was on the deck above me, we were almost to the bay just off Miami. Our life was about to change, and it was about to change drastically. Life would be rich, no longer have to work, if I wasnt fired by now, but mostly life without Cam.

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