Expecting the worst of days, I rolled over slowly.  My feet found their ways to the cold wood floor.  Energy began to coarse through my body.

I stumbled my way down the wall.  My head spinning.  Images flashed through my brain.  Images that meant nothing.  An endless string of pictures – friends, strangers, lights, glasses.  Mostly faces laughing and talking.  Words that meant nothing.

I knew I’d had a few too many the night before, but it was St. Patty’s and I’m Irish.

As I patted the wall in the bathroom searching for the light, a new sensation picked at my brain.  My forearm felt raw and itchy.  I recognized the nerve signals, but they made no sense to my brain.

Rolling up my sleeve in the harsh white light, I glimpsed through eye slits not fully awake the outline of color.

My eyes registered the unmistakable image.  The lids flew open.  I stared at what can only be described as a treasure map.

Clearly, my brain decided it must be a pirates treasure map.  The tattoo etched into my arm had all the telltale indicators – the circle start, the palm trees, the mask, the obelisk, the temple, the dotted line, and the big iron cross end.

Without much pondering as to why the tattoo had been rendered on my arm, I began to consider the possibilities.  A treasure.  A buried treasure.  A long lost treasure.  A cursed treasure.

No.

I wouldn’t have permanently had a map of a cursed treasure onto my arm.  There was unexplored potential here.  There was something meaningful in the imagery.  There was course needing to be explored.

I set forth to discover the potential meaning behind the images.  Looking at all the symbols I hoped the temple, the mask, and the obelisk would be my triad of adjoining clues.

My phone couldn’t search fast enough.  I couldn’t get myself ready for the day fast enough.  Between the various searches running through the search engine, I washed, primped, and dressed.

I walked my puppies in a manner I silently cursed others.  My head down.  My eyes clued to my phone.

Scrolling through image after image.  I found nothing of significance.  Not one mask looked even remotely similar.  The mask I sought was oval.  A strange roundness to the features but with an exaggerated appearance that made them look long and narrow.  The eyes were draw not as staring circles but as closed lids.

The idea struck me that this might be leading to an undiscovered lost civilization.

An anthropologists dream.  An unexplored culture.

I choose instead to focus on the temple.  Each society that had built temples did so in honor of the Gods they worshipped.  I learned that each style was different based not only on cultural difference and materials available but the tribal elders who drew halucination-induced sketches.  Presumably, the temples were built in the most appealing designs for the Gods.

Still, few showed the detail of design or the intricacy of brick.  The pattern was so different from the rustic stone blocks of ancestral populations.  The temple on my arm seemed to suggest a small pattern of brick-laying.  An uneven, but structurally sound, pattern like so many of our structures today.

I turned to the final image on my arm hoping for the best.  The obelisk might just hold the key to deciphering the path.  On the face of the stone where three images.  Carvings like the Egyptian stones.  The warrior.  The bird.  The eye.

What could these three symbols possibly mean?  I wasn’t sure if I was becoming dejected with the idea of never finding the treasure or furrious with myself for putting such a vague map on my arm.

Reluctantly, I drove to work.  Anxious for traffic to move on.  I felt sure once at work in the comfort of my office with a large computer screen I could undoubtly explore the meanings of these symbols.

I certainly would never have expected what I found.

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Treasure Unlike any Other (orig. May 16/15)

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