The Mysterious Chest

It had been a journey that took the better part of two years. At first, it didn’t seem that dreadful. With the map at the ready, I boarded a ship to take me to an island off the western coast of Africa. Once I disembarked, prearranged transportation took me to the campsite. Since they had employed most of that town, it shouldn’t be an issue to find it. Right?

Wrong. I got to the ship and got to the port. OK. No trouble. The instructions I received didn’t mention which village or town, and because there was more than one, it took the better part of three days to find it. At last, yes, the town lay right ahead of me. “Yay ha!” Went out when I saw it. The happiest declaration I ever had in my twenty-five years of life.

Anyway, I wasn’t expecting a McDonald’s or Kentucky Fried Chicken. I’m not that naive. The preparation for a meal that comprised of insects I couldn’t…bleck. I never ate so much fish as I did during that time.

My stomach did the topsy-turvy thing for the rest of the journey, but was able to survive on bits of food here and there. No relief existed so I had to grit my teeth and bare it. It reminded me every time the thought of food entered my brain.

Exhaustion won out though as we located the Soul of Greed. A remarkable treasure chest filled with precious metals and jewels. No key would open it. Instead, a chant and a series of pushes and pulls had to be done in the right order before the lid would open. It needed to be chanted in the original language and done by a woman.

The woman part wasn’t the bad part, because hello, I am a woman. The original language part was the difficult one. A complete set of interpretations for the language didn’t exist. What we had, none of us were sure was correct. We couldn’t find an expert on the language either. The best we could do was sit there and stare at it.

If any hardware tool was used to break the chest that would’ve been a catastrophe. Burning it would’ve been worse. The lock was such that nothing could get between the lid and latch to open it either.

So there it sat in the main room of the lab. Waiting to be opened, and yes, we tried to do the magic genie thing out of desperation. No, that didn’t work.

It’s a pretty chest to look at though.

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