Finally! I’d found the treasure I’d been searching for all day. As I opened the lid, the warm setting sun glinted upon the golden adornation of the chest…
At my feet were; blankets, a map (that my granny O’Brien had told me led to a treasure), and a picnic with enough sausage rolls and ham sandwiches to feed the island for a month!
When we arrived on Inis Óirr, I asked my mam for the map, so Sean and I could go searching for the treasure.
“Where do we start Alex?” Sean enquired. “The first clue is,
Of these clues there are three, if you solve them then joyous, you’ll be, I used to be classy, now I’m a wreck
Now go scrub the deck’
“A wreck, that could be a shipwreck, and classy rhymes with Plassey. That means that the next clue is at the Plassey Wreck!” I exclaimed. “I saw a bike rental place down at the pier, we can get ourselves bikes and be there in no time!”
As we raced each-other to the wreck we watched the beautiful landscape of the island flash past.
When we finally reached the rusted wreck, Sean asked, “What do we do now?” “I think we should split up and search the wreck for anything out of place.” I suggested.
Eventually we entered the ship through a hole in the hull and found the clue in the centre of the ship, where there was a map of the world painted on the wall. As with the last map, there was a note in the corner with a cryptic rhyme…
“If you’ve made it this far, you’ll have no hassle,
The next clue you’ll find at a castle,
This clue doesn’t want to be found,
so, you’ll find it underground!
Sean said “Since it is a castle there might be a dungeon, that would be underground!” “Let’s go” I proclaimed.
Soon we reached our destination! We raced each other to the dungeon, then quickly searched for the clue. Sean was the one to find it,
The clue read:
“Climb into the sunken church
And then over will be your search”
I think it’s St. Caomhán’s Church!” I said “It’s near here” “I can’t believe we’re so close to the end!” “Neither can I!” Sean laughed. And off we went! Soon we arrived at the church and walked through the doorway. We searched the whole church, but found nothing anywhere. We were just about to give up when Sean leaned against the ruined shrine. The large stone slab on top slid off revealing a hideaway, containing a chest ornately designed with gold swirls! Together we heaved the chest out of the hideaway, and placed it upon the ground.
When we opened it, I found a beautiful locket with the O’Brien coat of arms on it, and a portrait of my Granny O’Brien inside, along with a quote, “Love loves to love love.”
This is such a carefully crafted and original story. The title’s allusion to Ulysses is a wonderful touch. Using the treasure hunt as a structuring device is an inspired choice because it lends the story a certain fluidity and a real sense of excitement. The temporal shifts and movements between first-person narration and snappy dialogue demonstrate a real sophistication – I look forward to reading more of this author’s work!