The buzz of the alarm clock was like torture to his ears. He smeared his eyelids open, groaned, then sat upright and slammed his bedside radio to quiet.

6:00 AM

He walked sulkily over to his small refrigerator and popped it open. He took out a carrot and a coke, and ate the two together. Breakfast.

Picking up his metal detector, treasure-hunter-guy walked out the front door of his straw covered hut, and fifty paces later found himself on the sandy shores of the beach. He smiled.

Treasure-Hunter-Guy had formerly been a student at UCLA medical school. He was on his way to becoming a neurosurgeon, and beyond that he had received offers to teach at the collegiate level. But he didn’t want that. No no no. Treasure-Hunter-Guy opted instead to move to Mexico, taking only his beloved metal-detector stick with him. Everyday he searched, up and down the seashore, hoping to find actual buried treasure.

Usually, a day’s work brought him some washed up belt buckles, or a flashlight, or lost keys. He would go into town and sell the goods for a peso or two. And that was on a good day.

He sighed and smiled as he looked out at the morning waves. “Today we’re gonna prove everyone wrong, little lady. I know I made the right decision. Those friends of mine who are now millionaires won’t be laughing anymore. I just know it.”

He continued on, smiling as he went. He waved to the regular fishermen, who waved back. He greeted the early morning beach goers with a friendly, “Hola,”  who responded with an upbeat, “Chupa mi pito.”

Some went to the beach early to surf the waves, others to read books, and some of the girls just to tan. He always smiled sheepishly when he passed the good-looking ones, tipping his straw sombrero as he passed.

Treasure-Hunter-Guy knew they found him interesting. He had been told more than a few times that he was like one of those sexy star-wars jedi knights, the way he brandished his metal detector stick so fluidly, so confidently. He liked the tanning girls. He especially liked it when they were lying face-down and turned the other way, so he could check out there butt-crack with a quick peak as he walked by.

He sighed. He couldn’t have a relationship though, no-sir-ee. The treasure wasn’t about to catch itself. It was a full time gig.

He continued on walking, rolling his corduroys up as the water faintly splashed his ankles. It wasn’t unusual for the beach-goers to watch him. He knew how cool he looked, and he tried to behave modestly from all the attention he received. He was nothing like treasure-hunter Bob, who liked to gloat and show off that hundred-dollar pocket watch to any who would listen. Treasure-hunter-guy sneered. “One good catch.” He shook his head, smiling. “Pure luck.”

The detector began to buzz loudly, and he felt the vibration emanating up his forearm.

“Oh boy oh boy!” He said, swiping his hands together.

He quickly shoveled the dirt away, but found all too quickly it was buried very deep underground. The sand was mixed with rocks, but he continued to tear through it relentlessly, until, finally, he came upon a chest.

“Baby…” He said, tears filling his eyes. “Is it really you?”

He clasped the center of it, and tugged it out. It was coming easy, but he heaved and he pulled, until finally, he got the entire chest free. It was incredibly long, much longer than he had ever imagined a treasure chest would be.

“Oh boy oh boy!” He yelled, with a jump and a high-pitched squeal. There was a rusty lock on the front of it.

Thinking quickly, Treasure-hunter-guy began swinging his stick and pummeling the lock. The metal detector lost its shape, bending in multiple places, until, eventually, the lock broke free. He scrambled to his knees, threw the top of the treasure chest open, and looked excitedly at his long-awaited find.

It was a metal detector.

He pulled it out, staring confusedly at it, before finally  pulling it out. He shrugged his shoulders, then returned to his feet. He flipped the switch on, and sighed as he strolled casually along the beach once more.

– Thomas M. Watt

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