Santa Helena: The Blessing of the Curse - Chapter 3

Santa Helena: the Blessing of the Curse

Chapter 3: Secret of Myth?

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Mateo Dineo's Account

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The sun fought to stay above the horizon to get one last peek at us as Simile led us to a pinkish purple house near the coast; we asked him if this was the Library, but he said this was the house of a high school rival. “And, what are we doing at a rival’s house? You’d better have a good explanation!” Satoko screamed, about to squeeze Simile’s throat.

“Sorry, my lady, but I don’t know exactly where the Library is, but I know it’s around here somewhere. I’m sure my rival will help us, like a black cat swimming in the ocean!” Monica and I glanced at each other in bewilderment.

Satoko looked away from him in disgust and rang the door bell—I mean that literally… “Who the hell can that be?!” a Scottish voice said, getting closer to the door. To our surprise, the man at the door looked very similar to Simile!—but a little more rugged.

“Simile, you dastard! What the hell do you—” (We couldn’t believe he called Sherlock “Simile,” too! I guess we’re not the only ones with simile issues…) The young man glanced at Satoko and gasped, “No way in bloody hell; that woman is NOT your girlfriend! Admit it! You can’t amount up to anything—just like Dad said!”

“Aw, you’re just jealous, eh, Metaphor?” Sim said, putting his arm around Satoko’s shoulders. She implied in a stern tone, “Simile, I’m gonna warn you only once—”

Sim whispered, “Please, my lady, could you play along? This is my moment of ‘triumph’!” Satoko found it hard to put on a smile; Sim’s cologne was quite strong. She tried a sweet voice; it sounded so insincere that even you and I could do better in a karaoke bar (she must’ve been pissed-off): “So, Simile honey, what are we here for, hmmnn?” She then pinched his check like a sweet grandmother, but she pinched it so hard that Sim had to shriek like a little girl before he said, “Metaphor, you promised that once I amount up to something, you’ll take me to the Library of Ancient Myths and Secrets!”

“Please, Metaphor; he means ‘something’ to me,” said Satoko, hugging Sim so tightly that Monica and I could’ve sworn by heaven and hell that we heard some ribs break!

“Metaphor looked down while kicking at the rocky terrain and said, “I don’t know where it is.”

“You what!!??”

“Dad never told me either.”

Satoko then jumped on Simile—like a tigress pouncing upon her prey (how about that simile, huh, Simile?!)—and pummeled him for using her “feminine” charm in vain. He seemed to enjoy it…

“No, my money! Matthew, this—this can’t be!” Monica sobbed as if she lost a loved one. “Don’t worry, Monica; we’ll find that Tree of Wealth in no time!” I cheered, ever so optimistic.

I then stared into the ocean and saw something…I guess Simile’s simile—ah, I’ll let you see it for yourself: a black cat was floating in the Mediterranean Sea, practicing its swimming techniques, I suppose. It was getting dark; so, I shouted: “You, Sun, get up that horizon one more time!” A great voice responded, “My muscles are getting cramped! Make it quick!”

My eyes deceived me not—it was a black cat swimming in the water! I yelled, “Hey, you! Yeah, you! Who else is black around here!? You know where the Library of Ancient Myths and Secrets is?” Its meowing voice replied, “It’s on the northeast side of this island. You’ll need a key—”

“Thanks, kitty!” said I. Suddenly, a shark fin came riding around the poor cat, which submerged for a long, long time…

“Metaphor, you aren’t gonna let us walk there, are ya?”

“I’m not doing this for you, Simile; I’m doing this for that yellow fellow over there; now, get in the mini-van, all of you!”

It didn’t take us long to get to the Library. Simile and Monica hopped out of the hovering van in no time. Metaphor gave Satoko a keycard, saying, “This one’s the real key; Sim’s is a fake, but he doesn’t know it!”

“Thanks, Metaphor!” She looked lively again, “He’s not my boyfriend.” With a smile, she slipped a piece of paper into his shirt pocket. “Satoko, what the bloody hell was that!?” Sim said, racing back to the van, “Did you give him your phone number?—like a wasp and a meadow lark?”

“Shut up, Sim; it’s none of your business! Whadya looking at, Matty Mack? Let’s go!!!!!!!”

While Metaphor drove home, and while the crescent moon gave the sun a break, we stared in awe at the neon lights that read “Welcome to the Library of Ancient Myths and Secrets! This area is off-limits; for more information, call the Sigmund family!”—however you say that in French; though Sim didn’t know much French, we took his word for it. Sim started swearing once his keycard didn’t work; he tried again and again, but the swiping machine couldn’t read his card. Satoko pushed him forcibly to the side and opened sliding doors in no time. “S—Satoko, where did you get that key, for heaven’s sake?” “Sim, I’m not in the mood for this; let’s go!”

The dim, florescent lights sprayed their light throughout the room. There were rows of shelves containing eBook-readers; we took our time and read a few for some clues. One eBook-reader had the following excerpt:

“White Arithmagics is effective on vile spirits, whereas Black Arithmagics slays humans with ease. The forces of nature are bond in the magical gestures of Green Arithmagics, and Red Arithmagics destroys a vile new kingdom of animals—commonly referred to as ‘monsters’; healing/immunity properties are contained in Blue Arithmagics, but degenerative/autoimmune qualities are sealed in Purple Arithmagics. It has been said that Gray Arithmagics are used by great evil spirits to bring forth the monsters, but more research is needed to confirm it. One soul can learn only three Arithmagics per adventure, but she/he can easily uninstall one from her/his being and reinstall another in these quick, simple steps….” --Nemesis

Only three per adventure!!?!! How cruel can this story get!?” I thought as a tear rolled down my check.

“Matthew, what was that? Are you crying?” Satoko asked in disdain.

“No, just—just something in my eye—” I couldn’t hide my sorrow well enough. Satoko snatched the eBook-reader from me; after reading it, she shouted, “Only three Arithmagics per adventure!? What kind of script…Who’s this Nemesis-guy anyways!?”

To “install” some more Arithmagics, we did some funny exercise moves (84 Hindu squats; 54 push-ups; 18 sit-ups; saying “Hail, Mary” four times in French, “Glory be” in Latin ten times, “Back to the grave, living dead!” in Italian six times, and “What the bloody hell has Satan wrought?!” with a Scottish accent; and emitting onomatopoeias such as hiss, pop, bang, growl, clang, and shut up!); Monica had Red, Purple, and Green; Simile—Blue, Green, and Purple; Satoko—White, Red, and Green; I had Green, Blue, and White. It was quite coincidental that we all had Green Arithmagics; I guess we all wanted to have elemental powers…Sadly, Nemesis—whoever the hell that freak was—didn’t write down the installation exercises for Gray and Black Arithmagics! I kept the eBook-reader in case we wanted to change our Arithmagics. We tried to “install” a four one, but the fourth was nullified…

We searched the library for more clues—in vain—until Monica pulled a pink eBook-reader off the shelf; the shelf moved like a sliding door, revealing a dark room that was lit by the ghastly screen saver of the computer monitor. We could now hear some scary music-box music from the ambient, hidden speakers!

Besides the mainframe computer, there were some “legendary” weapons on display in glass cases along the walls. Satoko got a dark, purple, highly oversized katana named Lunar Sun; though it was made out of metal, its blade was retractable like a lightsaber! Simile retrieved Gloomsnout, a battery-powered greenish sniper rifle about five feet long with a foot-long laser bayonet. Monica beheld her two pink, spiky, serrated chain whips called Rabid Vines. And, I had two, eight-barreled revolvers resembling dragon heads; the silver one was named Engraver, and the gold—Inscriber (they are powered by DD batteries, not bullets! I thought we passed the age of bullets…)

“Hmn, I wonder who put these in here!” said Simile as if he were a detective, like Satoko (kidding).

I answered, “Your ancestors, right?”

“Yeah, y’could be right—”

“Guys, look at this!” Monica seemingly hacked into the mainframe, only to find a single, DOCX word document. “All that memory space just to hold THIS?” Sim yelled, “At least they could’ve made it a bloody PDF! Well, what does it say?”

The word document contained an unintelligible computer lingo that not even Monica J-Walker could interpret. I heard Satoko emit a vile word that started with an s, but she kept denying it, saying that she said “Shh…!” because she heard something in this noiseless room. Anyways, Monica had an idea: She sent the document to her fake-ruby cell phone and sent the document to Lord Wyatt’s email account and called him on her cell phone: “Hey, Wyatt! Check your email; we have something for you to translate for us.”

We could hear his voice through the phone: “Is it French, Italian, German, or Korean?”

“Neither; this is worse than the language of ghosts and goblins (which is English; somehow, when folks die and come back to the physical realm, they fairly good English grammar; thus, the monsters they create know English—which is a good thing for us)!”

“Oh, God!!” Wyatt said; we guess he saw the word document, “It may take me a while to translate this; I’ll call you back later.”

“OK, thanks; bye, Lord Wyatt!”

“Lord Wyatt? Is he some nobleman of Great Britain by chance, like a pauper in a star brigade?” We ignored his simile, and Monica stated, “Y’know, he never told us; ‘twas Matthew who first started calling him that!”

My companions looked at me in suspicion, but I just said, “Don’t worry about it; it’s a rather long story. Gotta make the old man feel special, right?”

We all then began to explore the room, as if there was something we couldn’t see in this near-empty room… Later, Simile was pathetically pushing against the heavy, light-blue-and-black mainframe. “Hrrrr,hhrrrm,” he grinned like a bodybuilder-wannabe, “Could somebody give me a bloody hand with this? There’s something behind the mainframe!” Satoko literally tossed poor Simile out of the way and pushed the mainframe to the side all by herself. We spotted a doorknob shaped like Hello Kitty; before we could say “Aw, isn’t that cute,” Monica twisted the knob, making us fall through the rather large trap-door!

“Aaarrgghhh!”

“No! I don’t wanna go to hell!!!!”

“Whoa! Satoko, hold me!!!!!”

“Get the hell off me, Simile!”

Fortunately, the pile of abandoned eBook-readers made quite a cushion for us. We couldn’t see very well in this pitch-black chamber; conjuring glowing orbs in our hands, we could see scores of shelves with eBook-readers; besides a few wooden tables/chairs, the shelves were about it, until we thought of an idea: “Seducing” gravity with some funny, feminine gestures, we tilted scores of eBooks out of alignment; after trying that technique on a few shelves, we heard a door open…somewhere. A bookshelf moved in the children’s section, unveiling a long tunnel. Suddenly, bullets soared from holes in the walls of the hall, and I, unfortunately leading the pack, had to parry the bullets with Inscriber and Engraver. Later, we encountered a cylindrical room with a winding staircase and an eBook-reader sitting in the mist of the ground, which read: “Nah, nah, nah-nah, nah! Beware of traps in the days to come….”

“What the bloody hell was that!!!!?” we shouted in unison. We hiked up the stairs, to open a door with a Hello Kitty doorknob, and what do you know, we were back in the mainframe room, and the trap-door was sealed again! We went back to the first room of the library and heard some voices.

“Hey, looks like somebody beat us here!” said a male voice that sounded like a New Yorker.

A womanly French voice then uttered, “Zat’s good; we needed ze key, wheech we don’t have!”

“Whatever, we need some clues to find that bloody French Hawaiian Bank thingy,” an Australian male voice said, “C’mon, mates, let’s get some cash!”

A rough, womanly ghetto voice agreed: “Can’t wait ‘til we find somethin’ good; y’all be careful; I sense danger in there!”

Simile whispered, “Mack, what do we do?” I asked Monica, and she asked Satoko the same question; Satoko then inquired of Simile, who tossed the same question back at me. I ended this useless game by whispering, “Let’s just walk outta here in peace; if they ask us anything, just tell ‘em we didn’t see anything special.”

We followed the plan, which lasted only four seconds.

“Hold it, mates!” hollered the Australian with brown, short hair, an orange jacket, and brown jeans. He threw his cigar to the ground and took out his revolvers, “What’er you guys and gals doing down here?”

Satoko answered, “We can ask you the same thing—”

“Girl, you’d better answer the doggone question or else—” the long, wavy-haired ebon ghetto woman in a pink trench coat and a black sweat pants cried.

Satoko vexed, “Or else what?!”

I broke the tension with, “We were just strollin’ by ‘n’ saw those neon lights, and we went inside; didn’t see anything interesting; so, we’re leaving—”

“Y’expect me to believe that hogwash?” the northerner questioned.

Monica answered, “Does it matter? We’re leaving in peace; we’re not in the mood to fend off some thugs right now.”

“How dare you call us ‘zugs’!” the French woman ranted, “We are Team Alpha, ze elite treasure-hunting group!” She then started introducing her comrades: “Zis eez Bobby (the northerener), Icabod (the Australian), Crafty (the ghetto woman), and I’m Joan Poirot (pronounced “Zhon Pwa-row,” if I remember correctly…)!”

I thought the honorable thing to do was to introduce ourselves also: “Well, then, madame, this is Monica, that guy is Simile, she’s Satoko, and I’m Matty Mack; as for our team—could you excuse us for a moment? We need to decide a name.”

I gathered my companions nigh me, saying, “We need a flashy name that stands out!”

Sim: “Team Beta!”

Me: “Nah, that sounds second-rate.”

Monica: “Team Gamma!”

Me: “No, that’s third-rate.”

Satoko: “Team Zeta!”

Me: “C’mon, guys! We need something—creative!”

I could hear Team Alpha tapping its feet impatiently as it mumbled something while checking its iPods.

Sim: “The CIA!”

Satoko: “Sim, that’s ‘top secret’! I told you about that!”

Monica: “The Ghostbusters!”

Me: “Monica, that’s too low-class; we’re higher than that!”

Sim: “The Defenders of Peace!”

Me: “Simile, that’s too high-class; we’re lower than that!”

Satoko: “The Vagabonds of Fortune!”

Me: “That’s not middle-class enough; we need something more in the center!”

Monica: “The Eyes of the Storm!”

Me: “That sounds too peaceful; we need more chaos!”

Satoko: “Chevrolet Blanc!”

Me: “That’s too much chaos; you don’t even know what that means, do you?”

Satoko: “No, but it sounds good.”

Sim, Monica: “Well, Mack, why don’t you think of something?”

I thought for another hour—kidding! “I can’t think of anything good right now; so, how ‘bout a temporary one, Crimson Avalanchers?”

My companions: “OK!”

I turned back to face Team Alpha and said, “We have only a temporary one: Crimson Avalanchers!”

The foes murmured to themselves, “Man, that sounds better than ours!”

“Yeah, why didn’t we think of that?!?”

Crafty then told me, “I know y’all’er hidin’ somethin’; they don’t call me ‘Crafty’ for nothing, y’know!”

“I thought crafty folks don’t carry a big laser axe like that!”

“Hush it, lil’ Matty; I’m the only one who makes those sly comments, you hear me, boy?”

“Who’re you callin’ ‘little,’ fool!” I was outraged; even my mamma doesn’t call me “little” and gets away with it.

“Whew, Lord have mercy on this little freak before I send him to heaven!” yelled Crafty, “NOBODY calls me ‘fool,’ you hear me!? Not even my mamma can call me that! Not even Obama!”

Icabod and Monica then spoke, “Are we gonna settle this (fight), or are we just gonna call each other names all night?”

With that, we went on rampage; the males and I knitted bullets through the air as the females kicked/slashed at each other—like mad women doing some kind of “tango of pain”—and occasionally fenced with the wind to deflect straying bullets. My special, battery-powered revolvers shot out eight bullets at a time (sixteen in total), yet Bobby rolled out of the way and forced gravity to slide a shelf toward me, but I gathered some ions in the air with some funny hand gestures and unleashed two lightning octuple-helixes from my guns, shaving off a portion of the moving shelf. Crafty and Satoko held their oversized, cumbersome weapons in one hand as they danced away from each other’s multi-strikes; to them, it seemed like a battle of pride than anything else. Everyone—even Crimson Avalanchers-tried to evade Monica’s serrated chain whips; they looked unforgiving, even when she didn’t summon purple poisonous cirrus clouds. Simile didn’t seem very proficient at bullet-blocking as the rest of us were; I had to shine my healing blue rays on his wounds every now and then. We were hopping/gliding/flipping all around this room, wrecking the place while we blasted/rammed opposite team members like enraged gymnasts and tossed shelves, eBook-readers, and some weird-looking quanta.

I fired relentlessly at Joan, who ripped the photon bullets out of the air with her two double-sided lightsabers. She was still charging after me; so, by gravitational forces, I tripped her by tossing some eBook-readers at her feet and mustered another electric octuple-helix, but she rolled away, got up, and threw some purple cancerous arcs at me, who knocked them away with my bullets and barrels. I was then forced to parry more of Joan’s dynamic short-ranged attacks, yet she managed to cut my side, kick me backwards, and spray me with some baneful helixes; after healing myself, I raced back to Joan and spun up-side-down like a tornado (we’ll call this the “funnel kick”), attempting to kick her hands out of the way while I stitched photons through her shoes. Monica drew some thermal energy to her palms so she could launch it out as a fiery, bubbly corona (Green Arigthmagics), forcing Icabod and Bobby to duck low; Bob (Bobby) and Bod (Icabod) opened fire on Monica and Sim; Monica was doin OK, but Simile was getting his shoulders/thighs a bit charred. (Bob and Bod seemingly didn’t have their guns in stun mode, but I could be wrong…) Ergo, Satoko jumped in front of him and whacked away the vile bullets and even reflected some back at the gunners. Joan was back on her feet—again! I thought I just shot that woman’s feet! Blue Arithmagics can be annoying at times. Joan and Satoko began to sword-tango with each other like vicious, unlicensed, freelancing fire dancers! Grabbing Crafty’s right leg with her Rabid Vine, Monica took the ghetto woman to the floor while I, like a first-rate psychopath, flipped/rolled/dashed/cart-wheeled my way through the swarm of laser shells in the crossfire and pulled Crafty up by the neck at point blank.

“I’m gonna blow this woman to heaven or hell!” I shouted; I then whispered to Crafty, “Not as crafty as you thought you were, heh?” If she had enough saliva in her mouth, she would have spat on me!

Satoko then shouted: “Drop your weapons and scram!”

“Forget ‘bout me!” screamed Crafty, “Kill them freaks ‘n’ get that money!”

Team Alpha, deeming Crafty as an indispensable asset, dropped its weapons and slowly walked back to its hover van.

“Now, you all get some sleep, you hear me?” said I. Then, Satoko added, “And, don’t forget to floss! Someone’s breath doesn’t smell so good!” She gave Crafty a breath mint…

“You may have won this battle,” said Bobby, “but you ain’t gonna get that money!” With that, they drove off…I had a rather sad look on my face.

“Matty, are you all right?” Sim asked caringly.

“We shouldn’t be fighting like this; I mean, we’re eight of a kind—we’re treasure hunters; we should act more civilized toward each other—”

“Like a rat and an anteater?”

“No, Simile—like a rat and a rat, or an anteater and an anteater.”

Monica commented somewhat philosophically, “Well, money corrupts, but I still want it! I still think we should’ve killed those guys/gals. I’m sure they’ll be back with a vengeance!”

“Amen!” Satoko agreed, “This world’s not big enough for eight treasure hunters; maybe six, but seven is a stretch! But, ‘twas fun fighting a human for a change…”

We then spent the night at Metaphor’s lovely abode and told him what happened. “Wow! That was quite exciting!” he exclaimed.

“Wanna come with us?”

“No, sorry—”

“Why not?”

“I can’t; I wasted all my leave just to help Simile find a good job; I’ll be put in prison if I take a vacation now! So, how’s your job, Sim?”

Sim glanced anxiously at Monica and said, “Well, I—got laid off—”

“Oh, Sim, don’t give me that hogwash again!”

“But, but, this time, it’s true, Metaphor! The company manager said he had more French maids that the whole population of Orleans; so, I—ended up on welfare…”

Metaphor slammed his mug on the coffee table, yelling, “You useless swine of a beggar! You are a disgrace to the family! The Steiner family never went on welfare before—until YOU broke the record for the worse…!”

“Well, you were supposed to help me!”

“How am I supposed to help you all the time when I’m working hard here in Corsica while you’re up there in Orleans!?”

Simile then said, “Well, uh, don’t worry; I’ll make it up to you—I’ll find the treasure!”

We’ll find the treasure,” Monica corrected; Satoko added, “And, we didn’t include you in our plan to share the spoils.”

“Well, then, include me!!! I’m helping you find the treasure!”

Satoko answered, “No, you aren’t! I had to save your butt tonight! You couldn’t even provide us a key card that works! You’re nothing but dead weight I have to lug around!”

Simile then wept like a pathetic group of swine, “Hhhh—whahahahahahahah! How could you CIA guys be so mean to me!—”

“CI-what???” Metaphor questioned in amazement. Satoko was about to chop Sim’s head off, but instead she told Metaphor, “Yeah, we’re the Common Folk Investigators of Legendary Alms!”

“Whaahahahaha—heeheeheewhee!” cried our “useless swine”; I handed out a yellow handkerchief from by black short pants pocket, and he blew his nose on it and handed it back to me; I let him keep it, uttering, “Aw, c’mon, Satoko; at least he tried to be a hero; he just needs a little more training. This is his chance to prove his father wrong!” Monica agreed with me, yet Satoko was hardly moved by Sim’s cry and said, “Well, if he wants to die early, let ‘im do it!”

His tears dried in an instant, like rubbing alcohol. “You—you mean I get to come with you, like a helicopter on a rooftop?”

“Yep, whatever the hell that means,” said I, “Welcome to the Common Folk Investigators of Legendary Alms!”

Monica: “Well, I guess we can give him 15% of the spoils.”

Sim: “Isn’t it supposed to be 25%?”

Monica: “Don’t push it, Sim; you’re not a full member yet!”



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Highsmyth
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writing Highsmyth
"The mountain only seems so high from the valley; if you're at the end of your rope, tie a knot on it and hang on!" --John Hagee.

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Synopsis
Our protagonists venture into the Library of Myths and Secrets and encounter a third-party group in this hilarious chapter. Tell me what you hate or love 'bout this story! Have a nice read, honey!
A Word from the Writer
If you like funny acrobatic martial arts imbued with a touch of funky magic and a funny/unique plot in a futuristic world, this is your story, honey!
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