By Benji Elkins:
A man came up to me with a hook for a hand. I thought he was a pirate. “I’m not a pirate.” he said to me, “I’m just homeless.” I got away from him quickly. The homeless are much more dangerous than pirates. I know this because I was robbed by homeless men on the high seas once and it was a terrible experience. “Wait!” he called out to me. “Don’t you want to see my treasure?”
“Are you sure you’re not a pirate?” I asked rather suspiciously.
“Quite sure. I think I would know what I would be.”
I glared at him. “Then what about your treasure? What is the meaning of that?” I continued.
“A homeless man can’t have some treasure?”
He had me stumped. Then, a thought crept across my mind. “Well, if you have a treasure. And I assume it is a lot of money. Why are you homeless? Is it because you live on the high seas instead and bask in the ocean air?” I asked.
“No. I just like being homeless. It’s a conversation starter.”
“Anyways, follow me,” he said.
We walked down the street and into an alleyway at the corner. I thought about all the possibilities his treasure could be: gold, silver, bills, vintage dolls, or maybe even something sentimental and dumb. I really hoped it wasn't something sentimental.
As we turned the corner we entered a large enclosure under the highway. There sat hundreds of tents and fire pits and before me was a vibrant and thriving homeless metropolis. I looked to my left and saw homeless people bartering over goods, to my right I even saw a homeless dentist. He even had the little goody bag to give out to his patients when they were done.
“This is amazing!” I yelled. I looked to my new homeless friend. “I didn’t know homeless people were so organized!” He frowned.
“These people aren't homeless, they’re just millennials; we’re walking through a music festival.”
That got me worried. I held my wallet a little tighter than usual. Everyone knows you can never trust people who enjoy the current music.
We exited the festival and continued to walk down the street. We passed by store after store, car after car, until we came across a line of train tracks. As we continued on, the city landscape turned to one of forest and car after car turned to tree after tree. The sounds of people talking and engines whirring morphed to birds singing and the wind blowing. For a long time we walked silently, and then we reached the shore.
“Behold,” the man said. “My treasure!”
There beyond the shoreline sat a 1753 three mast schooner anchored offshore.
“You are a pirate!” I yelled.