March 30, 2010

I had been 15 for 4 months now. My life had taken a turn for the worse. I spent everyday in daydream, lusting for adventure, thrills, exploration anything to take my mind off Local Research Tasks for Geography. I would still think back to my trip when I was thirteen. Finland, my first time out of Australia, and what an adventure it was! Sure there was museums and restaurants, but my finally few days I can never forget. Exploring the unknown, adventuring into the wild, overcoming my fears, the sense of self achievement. The plate… if ever I was depressed thinking back over it’s words gave me hope. I would complain to my parents constantly. They said we could go elsewhere when I finished year 10. Great, I only have to wait 2 years.
I spent my days reading adventure novels and watching classics such as: Indiana Jones, The Goonies, The African Queen and Stand by Me.
None of these even resembled my adventure, but they were what I longed for.
“I was talking to Mr. Humboldt yesterday,” My mother states while washing the dishes. “He says he needs some help moving some things, I told him you’d help him.”
I groan. Mr. Humboldt lives down the street from me. He’s one of those eccentric neighbours you try to avoid ever talking to, the kind who constantly tells grand tales which make your eyes roll and stomach rumble.
“Great.” I say to my mum, pulling a cheesy fake smile, before locking myself in my room to continue reading my Tintin comics.

I knock on the front door of a old wooden house. I don’t knock too hard for fear it may crumple into a thousand pieces. While waiting for a answer I inspect the door. The wood making it is thick and ancient. Thick moss grows over it. Curiosity takes over and I peel pieces off, strange symbols cover the wood. There is a creak, and the door opens.
“Is that you?” Says the deep frail voice.
“Yes Mr. Humboldt. My mother told you I was coming?”
“Yes, yes, of course, come on in.”
He moves away, not opening the door any wider I slide on in. The house looks no different on the inside, ancient wood fills the house, the floor covered in exotic and foreign carpets. Grand paintings cover the walls, gold frames and mystical drawings.
“You like these paintings, yes?” He asks.
“Very much so,” I whisper not wanting the house to collapse from my breath. “Where are they from?”
“All over the place. That one there,” He points to a photo of a boy on a hill. “Is Soria Moria by Theodor Kittelsen. One of my most modern paintings. I have many traditional cave paintings from cultures all over the globe.” He insists.
“Cool.” I say, not sure what quite to say to the frail old man standing before me.
“You’re mother tells me you’re quite the adventure seeker. Is this true?”
“Yeah, it’s what I love.”
He raises an eyebrow at me. “So what adventuring have you done?” He probes.
Hesitant I answer. “Well 2 years ago we went to Finland, I got to see lots of historical stuff and try all these new things.”
“So you’re a tourist?” He insists, somehow finding humour in it.
“Well kinda, but no.” I don’t like the way he says it, like putting me down. “There was this cave in this village, and-”
He cuts me off. “Ah yes. I have been there. So you read the plate I assume?”
“Yes I have.” I try to sound brave.
“How old were you?”
Is he interrogating me?
“I was 13.”
He nods his head and continues walking down the long windy hall of his house. His house looked smaller on the outsider, but I get the feeling we’re going down ever slightly and that his house expands under the ground. We come to a room filled with books, like a library of an ancient castle. My eyes leaps to certain book titles: The Pit and the Pendulum, The Winterheart, Aesop’s Fables-
“A reader are you?”
He breaks my concentration.
“There are so many books here.” I say in awe.
“Yes there are, ones from all over the centuries. I like to think of myself as a bit of a collector.” He chuckles. “Tell me, have you ever went Sky Diving?”
I shake my head.
“Bungee Jumping? Paint ball?-”
His list goes on as I shake my head feeling very out of place.
“These are little adventures you should experience,” He insists. “Things to do while you wait for your next journey. Fulfil you life.” He grins.
“Ok?” I reply, wishing I had stayed at home and played Zelda.
“Now your mother said you could help me with some moving?”
“Yes,” I say, thankful to have the conversation progress. “What would you like me to move.”
“This.” He says, handing me a box.
“What’s in it?” I ask again curiosity grinding against my soul.
“Some relics I need you to deliver for me.”
“Deliver to where?” I prompt, not wanting to have to go far.
“To the museum.” He says.
My posture shrinks. That’s an hours train ride.
“Can I see what’s inside?” I plead.
“Go ahead.” He shrugs, not caring in the slightest.
I open the box. Inside is a large piece of stone with foreign writing on it. I can tell it is ancient.
“What is it?”
“A language. You may have heard of it, it’s called Rongorongo.”
“From Easter Island?”
“Well it’s supposed to be.” He says eerily.
I stand in silence. Alright, he has my interest. I wait for him to continue.
“I found this script in a half buried Temple in the Congo. So far as we could tell the Temple was simply made of stone, it was half sunk on the side of a muddy river, we excavated the site over 20 years ago, this was the only thing we found before it collapsed. The locals dared not speak about it, and avoided the Temple if at all possible.”
“And it can’t be translated?” I question.
“No.” He whispers. “But the bigger question is how did it get there, why it was there, and who put it there.”
“And you hope to find this out at the museum?”
I stood puzzled, already today I have 5 thousand questions running through my head.
“This might not be your most thrilling adventure, but it’ll be the most important of them.” He says glancing up at me. “This artefact is part of history. You will deliver history. The adventure is not great, but look upon it as a lesson, and by entrusting you with it, you have become part of it’s mythology. Enjoy your travels young man.”
He walks off up the long windy hall, as I stand, book in hand, with a puzzled look on my face.
I grin, and begin my ‘adventure’ to the museum and back home to start my real adventure. Life.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: