She huffed and grunted as she tried to keep the line from sliding back into the murky, polluted waterway.
This wasn’t how she expected to spend her day – covered in who-knows-what and smelling like a barn animal. But as the grungy object finally surfaced, she knew it was worth it.
Emma scrunched her nose, shook her head, and refused her friend’s persistent invitation.
Yes, she loved the outdoors, but it was more in the jogging or biking wheelhouse. She would rather have a root canal than try his disgusting hobby. But her friend knew her far too well and had a trick up his sleeve.
“Come magnet fishing with me. If you don’t like it … I’ll clean your house for a month.” She glared at his knowing smile.
It wasn’t fair. He knew how much she hated housework. “Fine. When?” she grumbled. He lifted his bag. “Now.” If only she knew what they were about to “catch”.
Emma stared into the muddy waters of the canal with a deep frown. She was going to spend the afternoon pulling up garbage. Gross.
She slipped on a pair of stained gloves, gripped the grubby rope, and tossed in the large magnet. It only took a couple of seconds to get a “bite” … a big one.
They pulled together. Slime hung from the rope and an unpleasant smell bust out of the water as the hefty object rose from the depths.
The weight made her mind race with possibilities. But when she finally saw what it was, her friend burst out laughing. She, however, was ready to push him into the river.
“Congratulations. The first bike of the day,” he said. Emma glared and flicked a hunk of muck towards him.
The next few tosses were equally disappointing … and icky – an old buckle, plenty of rusted metal, and enough coins to buy one coffee. Just when she was about to give up, the next find made her jaw drop.
The sleek case was in nearly perfect condition. The logo also told her it was waterproof.
All she had to do was let it dry for a few days and she would have a new, high-end smartphone! Emma felt a deep wave of excitement. Little did she know an even bigger find was waiting for her only a few meters away.
Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted her friend’s smug grin.
Okay, okay. He was right. It was fun. And it looked like she wasn’t going to get free maid service for a month. Her pile of “finds” started to grow as did her enjoyment. The next cast snagged something heavy … very, heavy.
Her friend rushed over to help. Each heave brought up lumps of sludge, but it also pulled up memories.
Emma’s mind flashed to when she was a kid digging up the beach for something shiny. It was kind of like that. And when the metal object finally tumbled out onto the sidewalk, she stared in amazement.
“I can’t believe it!” her friend said, “That’s some INSANE beginner’s luck!” Emma poked at the rusted safe in awe.
Was the dumped lockbox there by accident or on purpose? What was inside? She was about to ask how they would get in, but he handed over a crowbar.
It was a rush of adrenaline – like pulling the lever at a slot machine or waiting for lottery numbers on television.
Her curiosity also seemed to be contagious, because the scene had now attracted a number of curious onlookers. Emma jammed in the crowbar, held her breath, and pried the door open.
Everyone gasped as coins, jewelry, and gold tumbled out with a burst of brown water. She had struck the motherlode!
It had to be worth thousands – especially one intricate diamond necklace. The big question was … could she keep it? Her friend, the fishing veteran, had a very interesting answer.
As long as it wasn’t anything dangerous and without identification, she could! It was the same as any metal detecting laws.
As Emma stood there, gaping at her astounding discovery, she felt something new. It was an interesting “itch” she would have never in a million years thought possible.
The very next day, she bought her own fishing magnet.
There was still biking and jogging, but now she had another new, and addictive, hobby that would make her some new and interesting friends. There was also one more thing she had to do before she cast her next line…
Her friend had given her the push to give it a try, so it was only fair that he got half of her discovery.
It was truly an unforgettable experience. Yes, the water was still dirty and the smells were still vile, but treasure hunting was never meant to be clean.