I am in the woods, searching hopelessly for an ancient object called the Omila Stone. It is said that whoever possesses it will be showered with riches forever. As I walk, I scan the ground around me with my metal detector. Every once in awhile, I stop to dig for a moment, thinking that I see the gleaming golden object.
A rich, suited man is approaching the space where I am walking on a one way path. At the moment, I am unsure which way I am supposed to be going, but nobody listens to these useless “safety” regulations anyway.
As he nears me, I expect him to sidestep me, but his expectations do not appear to differ. We both continue walking, until, at the last moment, I step to my right. Unfortunately, he goes in the same direction, and we collide head on, both falling to the dirt ground. I pop up immediately, ready to scream at him about the rules of the road. He, though, stays down for a moment longer. He’s clearly unused to the woods, for if he were his knees would be as calloused and scabbed as mine.
When he finally gets to his feet, I noticed something gleaming in his pocket. Now, I am neither rich, nor greedy, but I could not resist the temptation. I walk a little closer to him to get a better look, and immediately recognize it as the Omila, Treasure of Riches. My eyes widen, but he doesn’t notice.
“So sorry, Sir”, he apologizes. I want to be angry at him. I really do. It’s hard, though, when his face displays such sincerity and the key to my eternal happiness lies in his pocket, directly in front of me. I can barely contain myself, but I attempt to nevertheless.
As he begins to walk away in the opposite direction, I can feel my opportunity slowly dwindling away. I have no choice. “Sir?, I call out. “Are you sure you’ll be okay out here in these woods, all alone? I could help you if you want. You know, keep you safe from those that want to steal the Omila Stone from you.”
“I don’t even have the Omila Stone.”
I was astounded! He has no idea that he has a long lost legend sitting in his pocket. To be sure, though, I had to test him. “I have larger pockets than you”, I said. “Is there anything you would like me to hold?”
He looks at me for a moment, his face a mask of confusion. I don’t understand for a moment, until my wandering eyes fall upon his pockets once more. They’re halfway down to his knee, but he isn’t looking at them at all. Instead, he’s staring at my thighs. After we stand in awkward silence for a moment I realize what’s so odd. I have no pockets at all.
I chuckle nervously. “Uh… erm… Just kidding”. His forehead was still crinkled, but otherwise he seemed to have eased up.
“Oh, and by the way, I accept your offer”, says the man. “Oh, and if we’re going to be traveling together, you should know. My name’s John. John Yellow.”
“I’m Tim”, I say to him. “Time Circus.”
We’ve been walking for only about ten minutes, but I notice that he’s out of breath. “I see a nice log over there. Do you want to stop and rest a minute?”, I say to him. Without answering, he walks over to the area where I had pointed, and flops down on the log.
“So”, I say, attempting to start a conversation. “What brings you here?”
“I’m here on a quest to find something called the ‘Omila stone’ to be displayed in some museum. You see, I’m archaeologist. The problem is, I’m not even sure what I’m looking for. The description they gave was very lacking. Silver, small, and shiny.”
I fought back my urge to cry out with happiness. He thinks the artifact is silver, and had absolutely no idea that it was now less than three inches from where his hand was resting.
“Funny thing, I’m looking for that too. Oh, and just out of curiosity, what is that thing in your pocket? You see, I am a collector of all things shiny, so I was just wondering if maybe I could take that off your hands for a few bucks or so.”
“Sure”, he answers quickly, handing the stone to me without hesitation. “But I can’t take your money after all you’ve done for me.”
For the first time all day, I feel my conscience beginning to surface. Is wealth really worth tricking this man out of rightfully his?
His phone rings so suddenly that it scares me. He, though, picks it up, unfazed.
“Hello there. You’re sure? Yes. uh-huh. Of course. See you then.”
He turns to me. “They said that they’re abandoning the search, and they want me back at work tomorrow. Want to camp here for the night?”
My heart leapt in anticipation. So close. “Sure”, I replied.
As we lay out our packs for the night, I feel my eyelids beginning to droop. The sky was dimming, and I’ve been up since before the sun rose. Just a few hours of sleep separates me from eternal riches. I can leave now, if I want, but I’m too scared of him waking.
John stays up awhile longer to cook dinner, but I tell him that I’m not hungry. Before long, he has cooked, eaten, and drifted off. Still, I am awake. I toss and turn in my sleeping bag. I know that stealing from him, along with the museum, is wrong, but I can’t help it. I’m sure that anybody else in my position would do what I’m about to do, and yet… I just feels so incorrect. I’m not a thief. I’ve always prided myself on staying clean despite working in an industry that can get pretty dirty. I try to bring myself to sleep, but sleep refuses to come. Eventually, it strikes me. A fancy house isn’t worth buying if my conscience keeps me from sleeping in it.
Without another thought, I get slowly to my feet, and creep quietly towards the man, careful not to wake him. Then I deposit the stone next to him, and find a nearby stick with which I write “This it the Omila Stone”. I stand and walk away, and the next time I see this man’s face it’s on the front page of the newspaper.