Polly Python's Riddle Map - Rough First Chapters

Polly Python’s Riddle Map

**By: David Serra

Chapter 1

I wanted to straighten up the house for Jill that night; instead I came across something unusual. She was having one of her days at the animal hospital and I was going to surprise her by cleaning the house and maybe hit the diner with her. I ventured into the basement to get the vacuum from the closet when I noticed something sticking out of a crease in the wall. It was inside the closet, when I moved the vacuum to the side I could see that it looked like some sort of flattened cardboard that was laminated. I tugged at it and it slid right out in my hands. Wiping away the dust and grime that stuck to it I stared at the picture.

“Are you kidding me?” I said out loud.

It was a laminated and flattened cereal box to a product called Snake Charms. On the front was a bowl of S-shaped cereal with five different marshmallows in it. They were an hourglass, a sun, a flute, a vase, and a tree. What grabbed my attention was a purple-scaled and cartoon-styled python. She was long and had big yellow eyes who spoke on the box in a bubble: “They’re succulent and scrumptious!!”

I flipped the box over to see the back; it was a treasure map to what looked like a colorful drawing of the town Jill and I lived in. It had a snake-track leading to somewhere deep in the forest with an X mark near the park. I read the instructions to myself.

They read:

Hey kids!

Polly Python here with some great news for you all!

If you wish to achieve the treasure, find the five objects my marshmallows are representing on your quest and you will win the riches of a lifetime. Good luck kids!

Snake Charms are part of a complete breakfast.

“Yeah, this must be when sugar was thought to be healthy.” I quipped.

I felt a forked tongue flick the back of my neck with a wispy and feminine voice whisper, “I’ll be waiting for you.”

I whipped around and saw nothing.

“Jill?” I called out, no one answered.

I hurried back up stairs and shut the door behind me. Placing the cereal box next to my laptop I went to the kitchen where I washed my hands and was about to prepare coffee when I heard the front door open.

Chapter 2

“I see you cleaned half the house tonight.”

I could tell by Jill’s tone that she was overall unimpressed.

“I was going to clean the rest of the house tonight.”

“I see, what’s that?”

She was eyeing the laminated cereal box next to my laptop.

“Something I found in the basement.”

“Snake Charms, huh? Never heard of that, I’m starving you want to go to the diner?”

“Are they open?”

“It’s a diner, Ben.”

“Right, I’ll get my stuff.”

I headed upstairs when Jill called up, “Have you worked more on that new mystery novel your writing?”

“No, why do you ask?”

“Just want to see you trying again.”

“Ah, right.”

I gathered my stuff and we drove to the local diner, the cereal box was on my mind the whole time.

Chapter 3

“I know your last book bombed. But that was because you wrote for all the wrong reasons.” Jill said.

I sighed and toyed with the lemon in my iced tea.

“I know, that’s why I’m starting something new.”

“Good…” she hesitated for a moment and plopped a few ice cubes in her hot tea. She guzzled down her beverage before saying, “So, what are you going to do with that cereal box?”

“I’ll probably research it.”

Who’s keeps their vacuum in a basement, it ruins the the suspension of disbelief