This is the 14th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing from 2nd December 2012 until the 1st December 2013. It’s intent is to keep me writing throughout the year, and not just in November. you can find out more about the challenge here.
For Her, Anything, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 15th December 2012
Word count: 728
Theme: action, adventure, treasure hunt, clues, mystery
“Fucking Wales,” Leron Ruiz swore in Spanish.
“It cud be wuss, it cud be france,” his guide on this leg of his quest pointed out. Nathan Smith was, what he affectionately described, a Brummie, he’d been helping Leron get around this country to some pretty unusual spots. As far as Leron was concerned all of it was unusual. A week earlier he’d been in his offices in Texas, he was a private investigator there, a pretty low rent one at that. Then a huge fish walks in the door, and offers him a boat load of money to track down some secret map.
Of course he’d refused, the guy wanted him to go to Egypt. There were professionals for that kind of thing, and if they weren’t taking the job then clearly it was for a good reason. Then the old man had been shot outside the doors of his office. Sniper shot the police said, at least five hundred feet. The guy had left the folder with the job details, and Leron may have forgotten to mention it to the police.
After carefully reading through the file, Leron was struck by how reasonable it all seemed. It wasn’t ancient treasure, it was hidden just over a century ago, the guy who did it was a bit of a loon so left pieces of a map all around the globe, well in three locations specificaly. The first was Egypt, no word on the second. Leron hopped on a plane, at considerable cost to his bank balance.
It didn’t take long to track down the hiding spot, the old man had already worked it out. Leron recovered the first script and it sent him all the way back to the states, to an Apache reserve.
After terse negotiations, he’d managed to gain access to a sacred artifact, and inside rolled up was the second piece. He put the two together, but they made no sense. However the next clue said Brittania, Phew, and some words in a language he didn’t recognise. So Leron hopped on a plane to London, after borrowing it from a friend.
In London he’d gone to the British Library and asked to speak to an expert on languages and the local areas. That’s where he’d met Nathan, he immediately recognised the language as Welsh, and suggested a place called Pwllheli. Leron offered the guy two hundred pounds he didn’t have, but would get to him later, if he would help him get there and search.
And now here they were, after going to a library in Pwllheli to see if any of the local experts in the city would recognise a small symbol on the clue, they’d been directed to a promenade. They found the symbol in some brick work to near the entrance.
“That looks loike it’s that woy, foiv’ miles,” Nathan said happily pointing North West. It took Leron a second to decipher than man’s own strange form of English, but he agreed to go on.
Now Leron was out in the pouring rain, tired, hungry, not entirely sure what they were looking for.
“Fucking Wales,” he repeated this time in English.
“Over there,” Nathan pointed at some stones. Leron hurried over, wondering at what point this was all not worth it anymore, then he saw the scratched in symbol on the pile of stones. Nathan helped him pull the stones down, and they found an very old metal tin beneath. Opening it, with a sense of reverence, since it probably hadn’t been open in a century, he found inside the last piece wrapped in a wax paper.
“Tienes que estar bromeando!” Leron exclaimed as he gathered all three pieces together, just off centre had been a symbol, before it had had the hair of someone, now he realised it was Benjamin Franklin. Around it was a ragged and uneven line. Across the left part where it met the bottom was written Maced, in the top part, the one he had just gathered, there was a series of lines, marked Ben Franklin, Front, and Union Springs. He’d been there recently on a job, he knew the town, he’d seen it’s shape on a map.
He’d travelled thousands of miles to find something on a his doorstep, back in Corrigan Texas, in the town hall or near it he reckoned.