Board :Story Contest
Author :Archon Iyagi
Subject :HM by ICUP
Date :9/10
<b>                 A Night in the Wilderness

I awoke to a terrifying howl that was nearbye. I began rubbing my eyes unaware of what had happened. Where am I? How did I get here? In fact, I can't even remember what I did last before this moment. The only thing I do know is that the wind is cold and the beasts in the wild can smell me. I need to find shelter. I need to find it fast.

 The moon was bright tonight, it allowed me to find a cavern not too far from where I awoke. Thankfully I had a few ginko woods and some bear's liver I had gathered previously. A fire and some food will be nice right now. While I began cooking my livers I tried to gather my thoughts again. It was as if my memory was erased, I had no luck. Right before giving up I noticed something strange in my bags, a strange looking map that I didn't have before. I pulled it out of my bag and my mouth dropped wide open.

It was a map to a cave that not many dared to enter. I knew this because I had heard the rumors beforehand, but not many people believed it were true, and for those who did believe it sure in the hell stayed away from it. Inscribed in terrible handwritting at the bottom of the map it read, "Treazures awaites thosse..." Treasures? Do I dare trust this map, how do I know it's reliable? Oh yea, I forgot to tell you that I'm in a financial dilema. I owe some merchants more than I can afford. To be quite honest, I'm known as the town joke. I have a lot of enemies, that probably explains how I got here in the first placae. Regardless, this treasure is my chance to get rid of my problems. It has to be...

I extinguished the fire and grabbed the map. It wasn't too far from here, maybe five miles or so. During my hike I prepared my gear and gathered all the courage I had. After an hour of walking I saw the cave straight ahead. It was pitch black, it was completely quiet, and I could have sworn I saw two red beady eyes looking at me. I managed to march on inside the cave. The layout was quite simple, and the treasure was not far from my reach. I grabbed my lucky lantern and shined it where the chest was suppose to be, and there it was. I reached out to grab it when suddenly I heard a screeching roar.

The darkness had faded and light began to shine as bright as the sun. Three enraged lobsters began to crawl demonicly at me. I unsheathed my sword and took all three of them at once. I was however scatched up quite the bit. I felt my stamina drop drastically after defeating the lobsters. I grabbed the chest and was on my way out. Before even taking ten steps I felt something grab my legs and hang me upside down. It was the golden lobster, it was nearly triple in size to the others. With one swift blow I went unconcious and felt my spirit float to Majhum. With some magic I was revived, with no treasure to bring home. I headed outside of Majhum's and noticed the map was still in my pocket.

I reached to throw it away but realized the corner was still folded. I didn't notice this when I had first read it. I unfolded the map and realized it had read
<b>"Treazures awaites thosse... who can survive
<b>                             a night in the wilderness."
I managed to let out a giggle knowing I was a failure. That's when suddenly two merchants grinned at me and asked,
"So... you didn't gather our treasures eh? Get him!"

<b>- Bhavana ICUP -