This is a regular column featuring original fiction by and for high school students, provided by Figment.com, an online community writing site for young people.
It's a deserted island.
ANOTHER deserted island.
Just once I wish I could get stuck somewhere nice, warm, tropical, maybe some bikini babes.
No such luck; in my line of work it's always places like treacherous mountain trails or specks of sand in the middle of nowhere which really makes sense. You don't hide objects of immeasurable power in a nice rose garden (man-eating rose gardens are a different story though. Could I tell you a story about that).
The way my week's been going this place looks pretty tame.
I'm immediately suspicious.
"Micah. Scan for anything dangerous."
Micah is a magical automaton of an owl (for you people at home who don't have the coolest job ever, a magic robot bird). I found him on a trip to Greece to find some magic scrolls in a shrine to Athena. Her people do really nice work, for the record. The only issue I have with him is something must have messed up in his programming or the Alivening spell when I switched him from Greek to English.
"Honored Master you should know.
From the ground that we now stand
I have scanned around for miles
I sense naught but sun and sand."
He speaks in rhyme now.
Not even good rhymes. It has to be a glitch; I don't know why someone would make him do that on purpose. I've been working on getting him fixed but tampering with ancient tech is iffy at best.
We're here looking for buried treasure naturally. Fabled to be buried here by a mysterious old sea captain and for me, "Fabled" is as good as fact.
I pull out a compass from my pocket and let the needle guide me to my destination. It was a giant pain getting this but the stuff in the chest will more than make up for it. We're talking magic items, specialized weapons, the works.
And then I step down and there's a click.
When you're treasure hunting, click is almost never a good sound. Occasionally it means something good like, "Congratulations! You just solved this ancient puzzle and opened this door! Major riches this way!" but usually it's something along the lines of, "You just triggered a trap sukkah!"
Like clockwork, 4 coffins rise out of the sand and open with soft pops.
Treasure hunters should also stay away from pops.
Zombie pirates. Of course there are zombie pirates. Still in their rotting old rags with oozing skin and missing a few limbs and appendages here and there. The captain still has his little hat on.
"Micah! Evasive maneuvers!"
He's a pretty tough little owl but I'd rather not risk him on a couple of zombie pirates. Instead I draw my sword. It's specialized to deal with malevolence. It won't work too well on a rampaging dragon for instance (which are classified neutral. God knows why) but demons, goblins, zombies? Perfect.
I take out the first mate first, one clean slice at his neck and he's out. The two crew members try to double team me (showing impressive teamwork skills for a bunch of undead, brainless zombies) but they're too slow to be effective. I just side step them and take them out from behind one after the other. That only leaves the captain.
The captain. Where did he go?
I drop to the floor immediately. The rhyming may be annoying but I know one thing. Micah only breaks out the couplets when he means serious business.
I can hear the whistling of rusted steel passing where my neck would have been. Micah dives down and knocks the zombie captain to the floor (not so hard to do. Zombies aren't exactly known for their balance) where I finish him off.
"Whoa, nice save there Micah."
Instead of shooting back another rhyme he begins to beep. Of course NOW his sensors are going off.
"Yes Micah. I see the dead-uh-re-dead zombies. You don't need to tell me."
"The zombies that we just now bested
Are not what I am now sensing."
"Come on that one didn't even rhyme!"
He continues to beep (and hey, couplets) so I go to check out the coffins. Everything looks normal but further inspection shows that the captain's box sounds hollow when I tap on it. I use my sword to bust through it and-look at that- a false bottom.
We look down: dark, mysterious, with just a hint of a glow emanating from the hole.
In real life, normal situations you'd probably want to stay away from stuff like this but in this line of work, ominous equals good.
"Micah. Scout mode."
His eyes widen (even more than they already are) and twin headlights flood from them.
We drop into the hole.
Destiny, 16, Naples, Florida.
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