Bottle Caps, Treasure Maps, and the House No One Lived In

“What do you mean they’re magical?” I asked my best friend Phillip.Phillip lived next door and since there was nothing much to do in the summer we had taken to wandering aimlessly up and down the street, playing pretend games as we did. The only thing ever going on was at noon, and that was going to the park to eat the free handout lunches. Philip wasn’t playing pretend now, he looked serious.“They are and I found them, and they’re mine.”He added, knowing I’d probably take them if I could. In his hands was the little yellow basket that used to be attached to my bike. It had been broken off after a nearly murderous accident, and now it was filled to the brim with about a hundred plain old bottle caps. I wondered how he knew they were magical. He probably wouldn’t have even known what to do with them if they were.“So where did you find them?” I asked.He didn’t look like he was willing to let me even look at them. I would figure how to get them later so I could look at them more closely, but for now I had to pretend to believe him. Maybe there were more were he had got them. He hesitated and said,“In the old house.”I could feel my eyes grow wide. It was that house. The one just across the street that no one had lived in for years. The doors were always locked and the windows boarded up tightly. We once tried peering in through a broken vent into the garage, but only saw shadows and tall piles of somethings we couldn’t make out. There were defiantly somethings there, and not empty space, which is what we were expecting since no one lived there. It was creepy and thrilling because it was creepy, but I hadn’t dared go back. Philip had, and that made me angry. One, because he had been more courageous and two, because he had gone without me.I made him go with me back there. He refused to tell me how he got inside, and when he approached the house, it was the same, still and eerily quiet, with no evidence of broken windows or unlocked doors. I didn’t like getting near the house. Even cats avoided the place. But I had to know, and I didn’t want to look like a coward, especially since he had already been inside. I crouched down to look into the vent. It was dusty and a faded light was spilling in from under the garage door. Everything was deformed and blended with shades of brown and black. Then something caught my eye.Near the vent, just a breath away, was something white. The light was catching on it and I saw it was a folded piece of paper lying flatly on the ground. It didn’t have any dust on it, and I really didn’t consider this significant until much later. I ran across the street and into my own house. It was cool and refreshing, but I only stayed a moment. I had an idea how to get the mysterious sheet of paper. I returned, with a clever smile, to my baffled friend waiting a little distance from the house. He had moved back into the street, not wanting to stand there all alone until I came back. In my hand was my Dad’s grabber. I wasn’t sure what it was really called, but since his accident, the hospital had given him all sorts of strange fun instruments. My favorite was the grabber.I carefully inserted the grabber and after a few frustrating tries, finally got a grip on the paper. I slowly reeled it in, not realizing that I had been holding my breath until it was in my hands. I sighed heavily. I could feel that this was important. Phillip looked almost jealous and like he wanted to rip it out of my hands, but was more curious now, and would wait until he knew more. I unfolded it slowly and in a way so he could see. We looked at each other with bright wide grins. It was a treasure map.

Bottle Caps, Treasure Maps, and the House No One Lived In

TheWugglyUmp

Austin, United States

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Artist's Description

I’m still quite the novice writer. This was a quick submission for the Institute of Children’s Literature’s aptitude test. It’s not finished, but if you (the reader) like it, then perhaps I’ll finish it? I really just want some feed back. Thank you! :D

Artwork Comments

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