Taking things into their own hands Kalito and Ramona went through every room in the house. Kalito had the large bunch of keys, the lawyer had given him. But only a few of the rooms were locked. The ones that weren’t, he left to Ramona. Together they turned the house upside, being very careful to leave everything as it was. They didn’t want to alert the authorities to the treasure.

Never had they imagined things would take this long. Not that it would have changed much. They had fooled themselves into a false patience, by not phoning the lawyer once. They could wait until matters were cleared up and the house was theirs. To compensate, they visited the bank manager and arranged a series of consumer credits; modest, at first but growing in proportion to the hunger released by the first taste of fortune.

“Any luck?”

“No. I’ve searched the two double bedrooms and the study and I’ve found nothing.”

“Listen, maybe it’s in the outhouse.”

“What makes you think that?”

“These keys. I’ve checked them all out. The keys opened every door in the house, except the small wooden door at the end of the hall; the one that leads to the outhouse.”

“That was the studio wasn’t it? What on earth would uncle have hidden there?”

“We could find out, if we figure a way of getting in there.”

Never once, had it struck them, that what they were doing was illegal. After all, it would all belong to them one day, as soon as all the paper work was finished. But whereas one day was plodding along at a tortoise’s pace, their debts far outdid the speed of the fastest hare. Desperate measures were called for.

“I think I know how to get in. Remember, I used to spend most of my holidays here. Uncle never used this door. He used to get into the studio from outside. I’m sure he kept the key hidden away somewhere, so that Julio could get in too. That’s why this door was kept locked. Julio could get into the studio but not into the house.”

“So where did he hide it.”

They went outside and turned over every loose stone; a number of nails were hammered into a small board hidden away under the overhanging roof – but no sign of what they were looking for. Even the pot plants in the courtyard refused to yield up anything resembling a key.

“And if we went to see old Julio?”

Which all explains why some two hours later, key trembling in their fingers as they tried to find the lock, they were finally able to penetrate inside the one room in the house, where the treasure could be hidden. It was littered with outdated recording equipment, bookshelves full of partitions and saxophone methods; on the walls hung covers of some of uncle’s favourite recordings and the occasional poster for one of his concerts. And on the table under the window stood a rainbow-coloured saxophone case – their uncle’s trademark.

“We’ve been had,” stuttered Romana. There is no treasure.

Kalito looked at her aghast.

“Not a real one, anyway. Remember what uncle said… ‘To my niece and her fiancé I bequeath, in addition to a third share in the house, the greatest of my treasures.’ Well, there it is. The saxophone.”


I don't know whether to feel sorry for them that they didn't get any treasure, of feel that it's what they deserve for going to look for it early. How do you feel about them?

12 March 2010 at 17:44  

Yep, treasure isn't just measured in nickels and dimes (or pounds and pence). Great story!

12 March 2010 at 18:38  

I could get hooked on your story. You had better keep going with it! If I become addicted, I don't want to suddenly have to go cold turkey!

13 March 2010 at 01:09  

Saxamaphone! Such a good perspective on treasure. Being a musician, ok then, a drummer, I can appreciate the beauty and treasure that a fine instrument can bring. Even battered and worn, music is a priceless treasure.
Human greed at its most pathetic. The whole piece felt really solid and structured. A little tightening in some passages, but a good piece.

13 March 2010 at 01:35  

Maybe the treasure is the love for music? Even so, it's of no use to them. These two don't seem to be able to see value in anything beyond cash.

This is certainly a true to life piece.

13 March 2010 at 15:17  

Unlike a couple other readers, I am 100% happy they found their uncle's "treasure." Greed, it'll bite you in the butt every time :)

And it just burns my biscuits when so many people can't wait to get theirs as soon as a loved one passes away. Nice piece! It definitely hit a nerve with me.

13 March 2010 at 16:57  

Nice story! Funny - in my part of the world the outhouse is the outdoor toilet... I was laughing thinking of treasure in the outhouse.
Welcome to friday flash!

16 March 2010 at 11:52  

Heh, they certainly got what they deserved! Well, probably more than they deserved, a sax is a rather cool gift!

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