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Thick, dense clouds loomed over the wondrous beauty of Mother Earth. October wind whipped around me, howling, as it blew between the crevices of the towering trees.
I laughed in complete delight as I raced through the immense forest, losing myself. The element of air snaked through each lock of my ash-colored hair. The only thing visible in sight was forward. The clearing up ahead.
He tackled me to the ground. He, being much larger than I, made me squeal in surprise. The sun’s rays seemed to make his eyes have a mischievous glint.
“Arr! I do believe it’s time for some treasure huntin’!” His pirate accent made me giggle. “You’ll never find where it is this time!”
His challenge only made my eight-year-old ears perk up. “Oh yeah? You underestimate me too much!”
He ruffled my hair, telling me I was too smart for my own good. He proceeded to hand me a piece of parchment I have seen too many times to count. “‘X’ marks the spot.”
I threw him a toothy grin, grabbed the map, and quickly sprinted back to the playground, where it always starts. To me, this was much better than letting my mind be rotted away by the pastime known as ‘television.’
I arrived to the starting point and let my eyes travel back to the map. My face fell. It was much shorter than I thought it would be.
Each dash meant one pace. I carefully counted seven as I sauntered in the direction I was already facing.
The next steps were easy. Wind through the swing set of doom and climb across the bars, the only way to get past the lava dirt below.
The next one was difficult. It was ‘find the crisp, autumn leaf that matches your eyes.’ It took a while, but I found the golden leaf I was searching for. I did all but jump for joy when I found it. Took nearly thirty minutes.
The rest was as simple as can me; Crawl around the messenger’s box, jump over the rolling logs, and awaken the beast.
My dog, Sammy, greeted me with a slobbery kiss.
The next one was the last, ending my treasure hunting before sundown. I let out a sigh of disappointment and simply read the next step.
‘Enter your home ship, there shall be the treasure awaiting your arrival.’
I dragged my feet up to the steps and reluctantly turned the knob.
The noise of cheers and whistles met my ears before I registered what was happening. Whatever it was, a look of surprise was probably evident on my face.
I tried to do a headcount of how many people were here, but then, my father swooped me off my feet and let me rest upon his shoulders.
My eyes scanned the kitchen, stopping at the calendar as my father set me down in a chair. A goofy grinned graced my features. How could I have forgotten?
The grand cake sat majestically before me. It was a box of instant diabetes decorated with Pokémon.
My loved ones began to sing the traditional and well-known song for this special day. After it was finished, I exterminated the gentle flame that rested on top of my candle.
Everyone began to cheer again, nearly bursting my nine-year-old eardrums. There was only one voice that was distinct from the rest.
My brother, the mapmaker.