Jim’s Wild Adventure
Written by Santiago R. Lopez
“Hello ladies and gentlemen, my name is Pierre, and I’m a French street musician. I am here to tell you the story of a widowed fisherman. His creativity took him on an unforgettable adventure to the heart of Mexico, where he found a secret treasure! Raise the curtain as I tell you the story of Jim.”
Once upon a time, there was a poor old fisherman. His name was Jiminy Chum Bucket (Jim for short). It is quite obvious that he was considered a “solitary bum”. Without a doubt! Jim was the poorest, and loneliest man in the world. He lived alone on his rusty old fishing boat. There were no shipmates with him at all. He worked alone on his boat doing nothing but chores as a janitor to keep his boat shipshape, working as an inventor, engineer and fishing to make chum. On Sundays, he read the newspapers or magazines and smoked his pipe. A soft, gentle breeze and the cold, clear splash of the ocean made Jim a bit enthusiastic and less lonely. Even the creatures of the sea and the seagulls and pelicans soaring in the blue sky made him happy. However, his days became a little downhearted when gray clouds filled the sky, but he was happy thinking that there would be a silver lining. During stormy nights, Jim had felt courageous despite the lightning and thunder. He wasn’t even afraid of rain and puddles, thanks to his umbrella and black rubber rain boots. Jim was very successful at fishing and using a camera, especially at fishing season. Once, he had caught an octopus instead of a fish, photographed it, and let it go. Another time, he took photos of sea turtles, a dolphin, a whale, a stingray, jellyfish, and other sea creatures. Once, to his surprise, Jim caught a mermaid, photographed it, and of course set it free. He added these pictures to his collection, which were cherished inside a leather-bound book. Often, during weekends, the sun shone bright and beautiful, and Jim felt happy like a child, forgetting that he was a poor. Jim loved children. He was always kind to them, wishing he could afford gifts for them, such as sweets, toys, or balloons, the way circus clowns fuss over kids. Jim’s cargo held many barrels and bottles of ale. Jim got hooked on the stuff, but when he became drunk, he felt horrible both physically and emotionally, remembering that he was poor. Only a raindrop or the splash from a wave made him less dizzy. When he was sober, his mind was dreamy, thinking of jokes, riddles, using sarcasm to play with others who were not there, and enjoying the sunshine. Jim was tall, skinny, and pale with grayish brown hair and a beard the same color. People avoided going near him, because he smelled of chum. He wore a black Nike cap, a tattered up blue jean jacket, a T-shirt with an anchor logo, gray khaki pants and those old rubber rain boots. There was no bathtub or shower and no sink where Jim could brush his teeth on the boat. There was only a musty old smelling porter potty. Many times, Jim’s boat was engulfed in storms, and Jim had to steer through the crashing waves and rain.
One day Jim saw some fishing boats heading out to sea. Jim was curious and decided to follow them South towards Mexico. Days turned into nights, nights turned into weeks and before you know it he anchored his ship in a remote area off the Baja peninsula. Wild parrots flew overhead and black abalone drifted up on the shore. A giant school of stingrays surrounded the boat on all sides. Jim gasped at the amazing sight and smiled. Just then, a rainbow light blinded Jim. Jim shaded his eyes with his hand, but slowly peaked. The light was coming from a cave. Jim steered his boat to the shore and dropped anchor. Then stepped down the gangplank after hauling it through the water. He marched up to the entrance of what appeared to be a dark cave. Jim reached into his pocket and pulled out a helmet with a headlight and flashlight that he liked to use during night fishing. Then CLICK! He turned on his headlight and switched on his flashlight. He was down in a mine. The rainbow light he thought he saw over a corner in the cave must have been in his imagination. He decided to trust his instincts and began to dig with his clam shovel. Deeper and deeper when suddenly he discovered something hard. It was emeralds, turquoise and gold. Jim looked around in amazement. He photographed them and took out one of his inventions. It was like a combination of metal detector and magnet. This invention created a magnetic force so every single jewel would stick to his invention. Then he placed them in a sack he used to collect mussels. The sack was not easy to carry, so Jim placed them in a mine handcar. Then Jim shined his flashlight on a giant dark silhouette. Frightened, Jim screamed and lost his footing. His flashlight and headlight flickered out as they crashed to the ground. Luckily, Jim was not hurt. He struck a match and lit a lantern so he could see in the dark. The huge dark silhouette happened to be the shadow of something. Jim followed the trail of the shadow, ‘till he came to a bat that hissed in his face. Jim screamed again and ducked. Then the bat swooped past him. Jim accidentaly dropped his lantern as the bat swooshed by him, then disappeared. The lantern cracked when it hit the ground as flames raged throughout the mine. Jim hopped aboard the handcar and pumped himself away down the track as timbers fell from the cave ceiling and the flames transformed the cavern from blue and yellow to orange and red. Jim pumped faster and faster with all his might and his face started to sweat with the heat of the fire and the exercise he put into pumping away from the scorching heat. Wooden rafters broke off the ceiling and crumbled to the ground due to the fire. Smoke and ashes filled the air, but Jim reached for his scuba diving mask and used it as a gas mask. The orange light was rapidly approaching with shades of red. Jim noticed what looked like a rickety old railroad bridge and pumped towards it. Before he could reach it, the flames of the fire sneakily crept up towards the beams holding up the bridge and started burning them down. Even worse, there was a barrel full of gunpowder and TNT placed on the tracks, so when the fire ignited the barrel full of bombing supplies, the tracks blew up with a “KABABOOM!” “Oh no!” Jim screamed in fear. There was good news and bad news. The good news was the explosion created colorful fireworks blasting a hole in the ceiling like on 4th of July. The bad news was there was no turning back or a way for Jim to cross! If only it weren’t for that pesky bat, this wouldn’t have happened. But it was too late. Before long, the rickety old bridge had turned to ashes. But Jim wasn’t going to quit. He reached for his fishing rod, swung it up to a nearby rafter where it stuck, grabbed another fishing rod which he attacked to his bag of jewels and supplies, hopped of the mine cars and swung to the other side. Safe at last from the wild inferno, Jim grabbed a shovel from his bag, and dug his way out of the mine before it collapsed to flaming debris. As Jim removed his mask and headed up a short tunnel, he was blinded by another bright light. Was it daylight? No! This color shined like a rainbow kaleidoscope or the dozens of emeralds he found in the mine. Suddenly, the light blinded Jim completely.
Jim blinked his eyes a couple times before his vision came back. As he took off his helmet, he realized that he was no longer in a damp tunnel. Instead he was in an elegant palace. The shining rainbow kaleidoscope-like light was a giant glowing crystal chandelier reflecting its light on a colorful tiled roof⎯like magic! Shining mirror windows gleamed and sparkled with gorgeous frames. The temple walls were designed with ancient paintings and in the center of the room sat a shining throne made of gold, encrusted with emeralds and the colorful plumage of feathers. Carpets with colors of rich beauty covered the marble floor. The floor had a huge design that looked like a kaleidoscope sun with a face sticking its tongue out. The throne belonged to King Quetzal, although King Quetzal himself was not sitting on it since he had passed away long ago. On his throne sat his own crown next to his orb, and his marvelous scepter rested beside the throne. Brightly colored tapestries hung on walls and below them stood a large table made of gold and jewels covered with a giant feast on a magnificent tablecloth. Jim gasped at the dazzling sights in amazement, and his tummy rumbled when he saw the banquet spread before him. It had been years since he had a meal like that. The chairs were just as beautiful as the throne and the plates, forks, spoons and knives were gleaming too with napkins made of shining gold silk with designs that glistened like jewels. But where were the drinks? Jim scanned the palace, then he noticed a nearby wooden lever. He curiously walked over to learn more. After he pulled it, a hidden trapdoor underneath his feet opened as he fell on something soft, but slightly rough and very shiny. It was a mountain of gold. This chamber was called The Royal Treasure of King Quetzal. Jim looked around in amazement. This palace could definitely be made into a museum he thought to himself. Jim found gold chalices in the treasure and used it to pour himself a drink of luscious cocoa. After finishing his splendid feast, Jim’s eye caught another shining object, this time coming from the trapdoor. This light was a giant glistening gem carved into the shape of a stingray god. He heard a faint voice coming from the gem. The voice said, “Bow to me Jim”, so Jim bowed as he was ordered. The voice continued, “Oh my dear old Jim, you’ve been so warmhearted. You’ve dreamed of making children happy rather than living alone, so you shall be rewarded with this palace!” “Thank you, oh thank you” Jim told the voice, “you’re very kind, but there must be some mistake. You’re not really going to give me this place, are you?” “I mean it Jim!” the voice replied, “I am giving you this place because your creativity has guided you on the path to your dreams”. I can make it into a museum where people can learn about sea creatures and build a water park nearby where children can play he thought. I will make a carnival and children can play games-I’ll call it Jim’s Wild Adventure.
“Let me show you the wonders of this island.” Instantly, the gem magically cracked in half revealing a puff of red smoke. The smell of the smoke was overwhelming, so Jim reached for his diving mask again. But before he could place it over his head, he coughed in the smoke and passed out.
Everything spun for a while. Jim felt as if he were in a tornado. In fact he was in a swirl of red smoke. After the smoke had cleared, Jim awoke back on the beach feeling dizzy. His fishing boat was gone and so was the palace as if it were invisible on the outside. A little yellow light flickered in the cave he had entered. It was a flame just beginning to burn out. A mysterious wind blew ashes and sparks up in the air. Jim watched as the sparks drifted up like wondering stars. As the sparks and ashes floated by, Jim found his flashlight in the rubble of the mine. He picked it up, dusted off the ash and changed its batteries. Suddenly, darkness fell. The sun had set, and clouds darkened the sky. Lightning crashed and thunder rumbled. A sorcerous beam of light shone down on the surface of the water. A mighty whirlpool rose out of the water. It seemed to obey the commands of the sky. As the vortex spun round and round like a twirling fast carousel, Jim noticed sleek black objects gliding out of the swirling vortex. These were not bats like the one Jim had found in the cave. They were giant “bat” rays. The same stingrays that Jim had once caught on film, so he pulled out his camera and shot more pictures. No one was going to believe this magical whirlpool shooting up in the air. All of a sudden, POOF! The whirlpool exploded and shot water at Jim. The sky brightened again as the clouds disappeared and the sun rose where the whirlpool had once been. Jim slowly opened his eyes and saw his boat sitting peacefully just off shore. He watched amazed as the bat rays soared out of the water. He had never seen flying rays before and he shot dozens of photos to post in his leather-bound book. Skipping and jumping merrily he realized that his pockets and heart were suddenly quite full.