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The Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Captain John Crusciante and his crew of swashbuckling pirates sailed the waters of the oceans, approaching the Cave of Forgotten Dreams. John, a young man, was a master of the seas for his entire life. Him and his always changing had traveled many years, fought many wars, journeyed on many islands, lost many men, gained many more, got into many fights just to get to this cave. It was the cave of all ages, the one everyone tried to reach.
They had searched and fought valiantly for treasured items and other mystical items just to get a lead to this cave. They had found the Map of Secrets, passed the Triangle of Death, and fought through the most wicked storms of all time just to get here. It was said that inside the cave lay a treasure, an ancient secret, a secret greater than the entire world, the secret of incredible power.
Usually, all the pirates cared about were there share of boot, but now, as they approached the perfect brown cave, they were all hoping for the same thing: to find the secret they had been searching their entire lives. Fights and arguments were usually roaring across the ship, but as they were about to enter the cave, the
boat was much quieter than usual, with very few conversations on board. This threshold, this barrier, was precious, and this moment was prodigious. All John could taste was silence.
“Sail ahead,” Mark yelled; Mark was the captain in second; he usually made sure everyone on board did the right thing. “We’re going for the gold.”
On a usual day, someone would snap back a witty remark, and a trivial argument would arise. But this time, this time it was different. No one made a fuss, and the air definitely had an effect on the pirates. As the ship moved through the mouth of the cave, a majestic wind blew over if they had crossed a threshold into another world, a better world, a warmer world, a feel good world. The crew looked over the edge and saw the crystal pure blue water, purer than anything they had ever seen before, and when they looked up, the cave was perfect with clear white stalagmites hanging aesthetically of the roof with periodic crystals, frozen in space. John moved down to the main deck of the ship to see how everyone was doing.
“Let’s hope this isn’t some stupid legend,” someone muttered.
“No… there’s definitely something in the air. You can feel it… I just don’t know what it is though,” another crew member repled.
Captain John walked over to Cedric Montgomery, the oldest man on board, who was searching for this legendary cave for most of his damned life. His hair was balding, wrinkles were forming on his face, but anyone could tell by his strong deep grey eyes that he had heart, determination.
“So… how goes it,” John asked.
“Just waiting.” Cedric looked over the edge. “Smell the air. It’s the smell of the ancients. There’s something ancient lurking here; if we’re lucky, it will behold the secret that we all wanted.”
John then moved over to the edge and stood looking over at the perfect blue water with the old man. The water was placid and calm but at the same time irrevocably intricate and blue, framed like a picture frozen in time. Some faint glow lurked over the water, as if the sun from the outside was slightly illuminating the cave. As the ship slowly lurched further into the cave, the light slowly dimmed and the glow diminished. Everyone looked overboard in confusion. They sailed on for what felt like ages, but was actually a few minutes.
“Lets hope that this is actually real…” one buccaneer muttered.
Then after some time, a change came, an irregularity. The walls of the cave suddenly turned lighter, more golden instead of hazel brown, and the water turned a deeper blue, deeper than John thought possible. It was as if they were nearing something, something big.
“I smell the gold,” one pirate hissed.
As they neared, an image came into view. It was an island, a perfect island, with perfect white sand and lush green palm trees, the greenest that John had ever seen. The entire crew was in awe except for Cedric, who remained calm, but had a wide grin.
“I knew it, I knew it,” Cedric gleamed.
“Anchors down,” Mark, the captain in second yelled.
The ship stooped at the shore and the plank was released as the pirates walked down; this first one who stepped on the land was Cedric, who fell down on his knees and picked up the sand and watched it sift through his fingers back to the ground like time itself. John followed and felt the sand. It wasn’t like the sand on most islands; it was purer and softer.
“Ahoy, lets search men. We have reached the final destination,” John exclaimed.
John looked around for Cedric for some information as the pirates boarded, but even after he pushed through what felt like a thousand pirates in awe as if they had reached their loot but could not find Cedric. Cedric was missing. The island was pretty small; they could almost see around it; Cedric was probably just venturing through the green palm trees, looking for the gold.
“Pedro, Paul, George, Buck, stay here and guard the ship. The rest of us, into the woods. Treasure awaits us.”
Heaven or hell awaited them. But they split up into four teams, one led by John.
“Guys, if you see or hear anything suspicious call for Cedric,” John told his team. “He went off on his own.”
They moved through the pristine palm trees, stealthily locating something. Then they heard a sudden bustle in the bushes.
“Cedric,” someone called.
They stood still for a few moments, there was not reply.
“Probably just some movement,” someone muttered, but John was not no sure.
They continued for a few minutes, and they saw an entrance to cave, which looked similar to the one they entered, except this one had land inside instead of water, and this cave’s bottom looked a little rocky and dirty, unusual from the perfection around them during their journey inside the cave thus far.
The crew stood there, unsure of what to do next.
“What the hell are we waiting for? Lets enter!” Bart, the man with too many tattoos and scars said. He had an eye patch over his left eye that he had lost in battle.
“Alright, but I’m in front,” John said, proving his leadership and emitting a false confidence.
The crew entered the cave. The reason John seemed so confident was because he had seen a piece of Cedric’s plaid shirt on the ground near the tree just outside. Cedric had gone this way, marking his spot to lead back.
They slowly descended into the depths of the cave, and it seemed as if the light was dimming with every step. They went down in silence, with occasional whispers between pirates, not the raucous talk. They were observing their surroundings carefully, mindful of every step. Good thing they had brought a torch with them. They lit it up and raised it, illuminating their surroundings. They just saw the plain rough edges that surrounded them. After they traveled further and further down the cave, a golden glow grew stronger and stronger. The crew around John whispered about coming closer to this secret and about what riches and power it would bring. But John had a strange feeling that this secret was different from what they all hoped for.
The gold light got brighter and brighter as they neared, and a small doorway led to a room where the gold shone the brightest; John knew that the secret lay behind these doors.
“So who’s going first,” Bart grunted.
John stepped up. “I’ll go.”
When John entered the room, he saw a golden scroll with some black writing on it, and guess who he saw with the scroll in his hand? Cedric. John knew that Cedric would be there. Cedric glanced up and John and the rest of the pirates, who now entered the room. As they entered the room, the glow of the scroll seemed to diminish as it lay in Cedric’s hands.
“Cedric, what’s going on mate,” John asked.
“The secret… It’s been with us the whole time. Just look into yourself for your inner strength, or greed will consume you, destroy you. That’s the message of this place.”
“That’s some bullshit,” Bart claimed.
And then guess what happened to him? He turned into dust, scattered into a billion pieces. The power of this thing was real. The rest of the pirates gasped in wonder.
One yelled, “What is this? Is this what we came all the way for?”
All of a sudden, the cave started rumbling, and the rocks came tumbling down, and their world went black.
The next thing John knew, he was on board of the ship, with the rest of the crew. He looked ahead: the Cave of Forgotten Dreams lay in front of their eyes. How did they get back on the ship? What happened to the tumbling rocks? He looked around on board the ship. Everyone was confused and in disarray, wondering what had happened, besides Cedric who was looking out at the sea with wise eyes. Somehow they had teleported back out here. Suddenly, a brown rock wall began to form in front of the cave, concealing it from the world. Everyone on board exchanged weird looks. What had just happened? Did they just find the biggest ancient secret of all time? Was the all-powerful secret that everyone had been searching for simply knowledge? But John felt this knowledge in his mind. It was powerful. It was as if something ancient entered his mind. And from what it looked like, everyone else on board felt the same way.
John went up to his cabin and wrote in his diary,
On the outside, this mission may seem like a failed one. But all we know is that it worked; we found the Cave of Forgotten Dreams. We found the power of the ancients and survived to tell the tale. On the next page is the map to the cave, if anyone else wants to try and find it.
***NOTE TO READER
Captain John and his crew never reached the mainland again, and their ship was never found. The map he made continues to live on to this day. I have found this page of his diary on the side of the road while walking on Bermuda islands and that is how I know his story. May his message live on, and if you dare, try and find the map to the Cave of Forgotten Dreams.