On the ground, not daring to move

For the moment the treasure hunt is off.

In another universe, our hero, or a fool, depending on what you think of him jumping out of a moving helicopter, is languishing in the sand.


Lying there, afraid to move, I honestly believed that was just the stupidest thing I’d ever done.

Aside from the fact I could see we were about to be blown to kingdom come by a rocket, I had that split second to decide if I wanted to be incinerated, or in possession of 206 broken bones.

I guess I was assuming I’d survive the landing. 

After all the helicopter was only about twenty to thirty feet above the ground and not moving very fast, in fact, it was slowing, and turning away, when the pilot saw the rocket launcher.

I could hear the crackling of fire not far from me, a result of the helicopter hitting the ground.  It wasn’t a large explosion, and certainly not accompanied by a hail of red-hot metal parts.

Not yet.

I moved and it hurt.  Understandable.  But there didn’t seem to be any broken bones, which was nothing short of a miracle.  I did try to affect a roll when landing as we were trained in parachute jumping, and maybe that had helped.

Enough time to recover, I rolled over and got to my knees.  Ok, that hurt, twinges in my lower back, a slight sprain in my right ankle.  No running then.

Then I heard the gears crunching, so sort an old Toyota pickup would make, followed by an over-revving engine.  A novice driver.  Or a man in a hurry.


The pickup was coming back to check the wreckage.

And if there were any survivors.

No gun, lost that in the jump.  But, as luck would have it, an AK47 was lying on the ground between me and the burning wreckage.

Only one problem.  The pickup would be on me before I could get to it.


Is this the very definition of being between a rock and a hard place?

Back on the treasure hunt

Here’s the thing.

Every time I close my eyes, I see something different.

I’d like to think the cinema of my dreams is playing a double feature but it’s a bit like a comedy cartoon night on Fox.

But these dreams are nothing to laugh about.


I never realized Boggs had this thing for treasure.  Seems a long time ago one of his relatives was a diver, found a wreck, and with it gold bullion.  He became rich, and the wealth in the family lasted till Boggs’ grandfather, who frittered away the last of the fortune on dodgy land schemes and supposed match tree forests in Ecuador.

It was up to him, Boggs told me, to restore the family fortune.

I couldn’t see how this was going to happen sitting in a bar that openly advertised treasure maps and an owner who was only too happy to tell the story of the Spaniard to anyone who’d listen.

The problem was, no two versions of the story were the same.

Whilst Boggs was taking in the fourth or fifth rendition of the story, I looked around at the clientele.  They were certainly more interesting than the treasure.

Mostly here for the sun and surf, there were two notable exceptions, and if I was to guess, they looked Spanish.

Or was it my imagination working overtime.

They seemed very interested in Boggs, from time to time looking over at him, and then muttering to each other.  Conveniently, they were along the path to the restroom, so I took a stroll, and lingering a moment near their table, I listened to the conversation.

In Spanish.

My Spanish was a little rusty but what I thought I heard, “Boy, map, find out what he knows, gold, and it’s in the hills somewhere.

The phrase, there’s gold in them thar hills came to mind.

But for the moment I think we had a problem.

When I came out of the restroom, the first thing I noticed was the two Spaniards had left.  When I looked over towards the bar, where I left Boggs, I noticed he too, was missing.

All of a sudden I had a very bad feeling.

I ran outside, just in time to see the two men bundling Boggs into the back of a car, and drive off.


That’s where I fell asleep

When I should be sleeping…

My mind will not rest.

Down here, it is summer, and the last few days have been rather hot, well, it is summer after all, but tonight it is particularly hot.

So, as I can’t sleep, I’m lying on the couch staring at the ceiling, otherwise known as the cinema of my dreams.

Where am I?

Well, it has to be someplace cool, of course.


I have no idea where or when I got sucked into this game of searching for treasure.  Boggs had been reading some newspaper article relating to a Spaniard who had survived a shipwreck off the coast and had supposedly come ashore dragging his treasure chest, all that he could save from the sinking ship.

I think my priorities may have been slightly different.

Standing on the beach where Boggs believed the man came ashore, we looked inland at the coastal plain now overbuilt with holiday houses and apartments, behind that, some parkland, under threat from the developers, and behind that, the mountains.

I could guess what Boggs was going to say next.

“It has to be somewhere in the mountains, a cave perhaps.”

My map told me there was a mountain face for about 25 miles in either direction and rising to two to three thousand feet up.  I didn’t calculate the area, I just considered it big.

“If he came ashore here, dragging a heavy chest, and barring all of this building, he would take the most direct route inland.”

He pointed in the direction he thought the Spaniard took.

My eyes followed his arm and stopped at a beacon halfway up the hillside. 

That was a long way, pulling a heavy chest.

“Not up the hill, maybe, but somewhere along the base.”

“And don’t you think every man and his dog would have made the same assumption, and covered the ground already.”  The treasure hunt was beginning to bore me.

His expression changed, the sort that told me he might not have considered that possibility.  Boggs was like that, always thinking he had the original idea.

“Perhaps, then, a drink and more thought on the matter.”

We trudged through the soft sand to the bar just off the sand, a small place called The Spaniard.  A sign on the window said ‘Treasure Maps for sale’.


Well, the bar was air-conditioned, and the beer was cold.  I have one myself and see where this cinematic experience goes



Was it a dream, or reincarnation?

I don’t believe we live many lives and are reincarnated over and over.


I have had this dream a few times now and it is, to say the least, disconcerting.

I’m in a room, it looks to be a one-room log cabin, and down on wall a stove and beside it a bed.  It’s cozy, so I suspect it might be cold outside.

The wood stove is burning and is the source of warmth.

This all sounds very homely, perhaps a dream inspired by inner happiness with my lot in life.  I know that around the first time had the dream I was living in a house with a wood stove in the kitchen.

Why then is the woman,  as a matter of interest, the woman who is my wife in this dream, not my current wife?

Are you as confused as I am?

Let me add this, I first had this dream the day before I married in this life.  Could it be construed that I was foretelling a long and contented life with the woman I was about to marry or was it a memory triggered from a previous married life?

I’m sure Freud would have a field day with this one.




Betwixt metaphorical houses

It’s like working in two offices, one uptown, and one downtown.

I have two blogs, this one, and another which is purely for writing, and generally, a lot of starts and not a lot of finishes.  I get ideas, and it’s a place to store them, and give a few people some amusement at my, sometimes, improbable situations and far-fetched stories.

Here I try to be more serious.

I have the ceiling, the cinema of my dreams.  Here anything is possible, like jumping from a helicopter about to explode, and survive, and get out of a sinking ship, like Houdini.  Of course, there is always one time when it doesn’t work, and Houdini knows that all too well.

Over there, I have a series which I started here, long ago, where I take a photograph and write a story inspired by it.  The interesting thing about that is I could probably use the same photograph over and over, and it would inspire a different tale.

I know, if I was running a writing class, everyone would see that photograph differently.

But what amazes me sometimes is the fact the story is not directly related to the theme.  It got me thinking about how we view our experiences, and what triggers memories.  I’ve discovered that it doesn’t necessarily happen by correlation, say, for instance, a memory of being in New York might be triggered by a visit to a cafe in Cloncurry.

I try to do one of these every day, but sometimes it’s hard work.  Writing itself can be some days, particularly when the words are lurking there, behind that invisible, impenetrable, rock wall.

OK, so I’m stuck in the middle of writing a piece over there, and I’ve come over here to whinge.

But, enough.  I’ll let you know what the cinema of my dreams is showing, later.

The cases of PI Walthenson – a story written page by page

How thrilled Harry had been to see

Harry Walthenson
Private Detective

painted on the translucent glass window in the door to his office.

Located in Gramercy Park, in an old building full of atmosphere, he had the small space renovated to resemble that of Spade and Archer in a scene right out of the Maltese Falcon.

His desk had an antique phone like those used in the 1930s, and a lamp that cast eerie shadows at night.

Along one wall was a couch, his bed for more nights than he cared to remember, and on the other a filing cabinet, waiting for the big case files.

Up till now it had been missing cats and dogs.  Then, everything changed…


The adventure begins with Episode 1
– The Wrong Place, The Wrong Time

The most recent, Episode 25
– The Girl in the Red Dress


These dreams are killing me, figuratively

After escaping the sinking ship, those that read yesterday’s post will know what I’m talking about,  I started thinking about the helicopter episode.

I think it had to do with the aches and pains I acquired spending an hour out in the garden trying to defeat the weeds and failing.

How did I get in that helicopter?

It’s like watching an episode of some series or other where you see the main character trapped in an exploding car, and right after the starting credits, it says ‘two days earlier’.

So, two days earlier,


Someone once told me it was not a good idea to ask your commander out to dinner.  Not a date, just the fact you’d like to get to know her better.

Yes, my commanding officer was a woman.

I thought the dinner went well, we found some common ground, ice hockey, and baseball, albeit barracking for different teams.  

Then, the next day when I went into ‘the office’, the operations officer called me aside.

“Who’d did you piss off?”

Good question, had I, and who?

And asked, “Who?”

“The Commanding Officer.  She asked me to put you on patrol, nothing ever happens, and it’s as boring as shit.”

Usually, I was in the front line, what they called in the army, cannon fodder.  Some said I had a death wish.

I shrugged.  “No doubt she has her reasons.  I could think of worse assignments.”

“Well, till then you’re on standby.  Make the most of it.”


This will no doubt change when I think about it some more.

Stay tuned.


© Charles Heath 2018