Lightening Strike   Leave a comment

Pauline rushed into the Glennonside Shopping Mall to escape the sudden thunderstorm

which had unexpectedly blown up outside. She pushed her son Marty’s buggy, swiftly through the

automatic doors.  When she paused inside to catch her breath, Marty started screaming under his

plastic protective cover. Pauline unzipped the cover and released two year old Marty. Immediately

he started to run off, clutching his favourite teddy, known as Eddie.  Pauline set chase after him,

pulling the buggy behind her. A few minutes later Marty stopped abruptly and stood staring at

something.  At first Pauline couldn’t see what he was looking at, due to the big crowd of shoppers

milling around. As she got closer she saw what looked like a mini film-set. There was a big chest of

gold coins, a toy parrot, a pirates’ ship in the background, and some children dressed up in pirates’

clothes. A man was photographing the children. He encouraged the boy and girl to make different

faces and poses.

Marty was fascinated.  He pointed to the children, and then the photographer. Then he spied the

gold coins and made a bee-line for them.

“Money.  Me want money!” he exclaimed.

“No Marty, No!” Pauline yelled.

But Marty didn’t listen. He pushed his two little hands down into the gold coins, pushing Eddie teddy

too. Pauline ran up and pulled Marty’s hands out of the chest of coins.

“Eddie! Eddie!” Marty screamed. His face started turning puce, and Pauline prepared herself for the

onslaught of emotion. An almighty roar emanated from the small body, and then the furious tears

came. Pauline automatically withdrew back from the flying hands and feet. Then Marty was on the

floor, rolling around and hollering. The two pirates looked on in amazement, old ladies tut-tutted

and shook their heads and young mums looked on sympathetically. Pauline desperately pushed her

hand down through the gold coins, but couldn’t feel Eddie at all. She started gathering handfuls of

coins and putting them on the ground; but the coins were like water, just flooding into the dip she

had just made in the pile.

“Oi! What do you think you’re doing?” shouted the photographer.  “You’re ruining my business!”

He started trying to pull her back to stop her. Marty saw this, and stopped mid wail.

“My mummy! Go away!”

Marty threw himself at the man, grabbed hold of his leg, and dug his teeth in.

There was an almighty crash of thunder, and a flash of lightening lit up the whole mall. Pauline found

that she was lying on sand. The light was glaring and hot. She didn’t really know what had happened.

 Then she heard Marty sobbing, “Mummy………Mummy…. where you  Mummy?” He was sitting on

the sand, under a palm tree.  Pauline ran over and scooped him up. She held him to her tightly, and

hugged him. As she hugged him she looked around. They were on a beach leading up to palm trees.

A turquoise blue sea sent waves skipping over the white sands. The sun was blazing in the azure blue


“Ahoy ye scurvy dogs!”

Pauline turned quickly, and Marty looked up from his mother’s arms.  There was the photographer

dressed up as a pirate with a wooden leg, and sporting a black beard, a tricorn hat, and gold

earring. He was brandishing a cutlass.

“ I’m sorry for my son’s behaviour. How can I make it up to you Mr……..?”

“Captain Lightening t’you. You can help me find t’pieces o’eight.”

“Okay, where will we start looking?”

He reached into his jacket and pulled out a treasure map. Pauline put Marty down and took the map.

She knelt down and stretched the crumpled map out on the sand.

“Get some stones Marty,” she whispered to her frightened son. Marty slowly gathered some big

stones, and brought them back to his mother. Pauline put some on each corner of the map.

“ X marks t’spot,” the pirate declared pointing to a large X on the map. Pauline studied the map. The

treasure was buried in the middle of a ring of palm trees which were a hundred paces from a picture

of a unicorn. “ Where will we find the unicorn?” wondered Pauline out loud. She looked around in

desperation, and saw a large rock at the end of the bay. Just above the rock, she saw what looked

like a long spirally horn pointing upwards. Captain Lightening followed her gaze, and grinned a goofy

smile.  “Let’s go and find t’treasure maties! Arrrgh!”

He started hobbling across the sand to the rock, with Pauline and Marty in his wake. Pauline had

already thrown off her coat, and taken Marty’s off him too, due to the searing heat. She now draped

her cardigan over Marty’s head, and tied a scarf around her own. They trekked to the rock. The rock

stood high above them, when they reached it. It was jutting into the sea one side, and emerging

from thick jungle on the other.

“We’ll have to get through those trees and undergrowth. How are we going to do that?” Pauline

sighed with her hands on her hips.

“With this!” chortled Captain Lightening, swishing his cutlass. “Come here! I’ll lean on you, while I’m


“Stay behind me all the time Marty,” Pauline warned her son.

They made slow progress, because of the thickness of the plants, the stifling heat, and being bitten

by buzzing insects. Eventually they came to a clearing leading to the rock. There in all its glory, was a

huge unicorn figurehead from the beak head of a sailing ship, lying face up against the rock. Marty

who had been very quiet up to now, ran up to touch the unicorn. He looked in amazement at the

golden horn and mane glinting in the sun. “Horsey, horsey,” he said turning to his mother.

Pauline and the Captain collapsed to the ground exhausted. After a few minutes, Pauline asked to

look at the map. She knew she had to find water to keep her and Marty from being dehydrated. She

looked around to get her bearings. There was a pathway of sorts leading from the clearing to the

trees beyond the rock. She looked back at the map, and saw that this led to the treasure spot; but

more importantly there was waterfall nearby. Pauline dragged herself up. “Come on,” she

commanded to the Captain, and grasped Marty’s hand. This time she led, and Captain Lightening

dutifully followed her.

They carefully counted a hundred paces, starting from the unicorn and carrying on down the path.

Pauline stopped when she got to a hundred, and excitedly pointed to the ring of palm trees in front

of them and the waterfall cascading down rocks behind them. “Water!” she gasped.” She ran to the

pool below the waterfall pulling Marty behind her. Kneeling down, she cupped her hands into the

water and held the welcome liquid out to Marty. Marty lapped it up like a kitten. She did this a few

times, until his thirst was quenched, and then slaked her own thirst.

“Get over here and start diggin’ for gold, or I’ll cut your throats!

Pauline turned around to see the irate Captain shaking his cutlass at them. “And what are we going

to dig with?” she asked, holding up her hands. Captain Lightening looked around frantically. He cut

down some branches. “Break the ground up with them.” Then he took off his tricorn hat,

and revealed his bald head. “Put the earth in that and then throw it in a pile over there.”

Pauline set to work with Marty trying to help her. They dug for what seemed like hours. Then

Pauline’s stick hit something hard. The Captain heard it too, and came over from his resting place,

and started scraping at the earth like a dog. They came upon the big wooden treasure chest. It took

a while to loosen it and heave it up. Captain Lightening carefully lifted the lid, hardly containing his

excitement. Pauline and Marty peeked over his shoulder, holding their breath.

“Eddie Teddy!” yelled Marty, ducking under Captain Lightening’s arm, and grabbing the contents of

the chest. The Captain lurched forward to grab the boy, but fell into the hole. Pauline picked up

Marty and ran. It darkened suddenly, and flashes of forked lightening darted across the black sky.

Pauline fell over the root of a tree. She woke up to the flashing lights of the ambulance, as she was

carried outside the mall on a stretcher.  “Don’t worry, your little boy is fine,” said one of the

paramedics. They passed the photographer on the way, sitting in a wheel-chair having his leg

checked.  He looked up at Pauline and glared. Marty was sitting in the ambulance, cuddling Eddie

Teddy and sucking a lollipop.




Posted January 14, 2014 by eileenmoynihan in Uncategorized

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