The Golden Castle

“Get in there, English scum,” said the guard as he shoved John into the tiny stone cell of El Castillo de Oro, or as the inmates called it, The Place of Bones. “I don’t care how many prisons you’ve escaped from, you’re not leaving here until you’re rotted bones.”

John held out his hands. “My good man, you seem to have forgotten to remove my shackles.”

“You want them off so bad, start chewing.” The guard slammed the door shut and left.

Unfazed, John smiled at the man across the hall. “Greetings. To whom have I the pleasure of addressing?”

“Only the gentleman pirate, John Deane, talks like that. Paul’s me name. You done gotten in too deep this time, Mr. Deane. There’s no escapin’ this place.”

“Don’t be so sure, Paul.”

John knew the history of this prison and the English translation. There was far more to the Golden Castle’s name than the stones, which shimmered gold in the setting sun. He extracted a pencil sized cylinder from its hiding place and gave it a few twists. Off popped the shackles, then the door lock clicked open. Casually, he stepped into the hallway and walked deeper into the prison. At each cell he released prisoners by pointing the cylinder.

“You’re going the wrong way,” said Paul.

“You can continue to the traditional exit and die,” said John. “Or you may come with me and walk away with as much Spanish gold as you can carry.”

Paul glanced at the prisoners who ran for the exit, then back at John. “Gold?”

John knew the lure of gold would do its trick. He smiled as Paul and a few others followed him into the bowels of El Castillo de Oro. Escaping the prison and finding the gold was easy. Convincing his new crew to go through the portal would be the challenge.

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About A. L. Kaplan

I am a writer, artist, and parent.
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