500 Word Short Story
The Sultan's Lamp 
Scott A. Gese

500 Word Short Story

Jared was visiting his parents ranch in Arizona for the Holidays. He had grown up here and knew the property well. He recalled an entrance to a small cave he had found as a kid. Being an adult now, he wanted to satisfy his curiosity and had come prepared to explore it.

It took him a couple of hours to relocate the entrance. It was small and he had to dig it out in order to squeeze in. Not sure as to what the cave might be like inside, he came prepared with lights and rope. To his surprise and disappointment, it wasn't a grand cavern. In fact it wasn't much larger than a good sized room. There was clear evidence of animals having used it. As he looked closer he found where a fire had once been made.

Jared searched for Native American artifacts. He knew if he found any he would have to report them to the proper authorities. There was nothing Native American, but what he did find surprised him. It was an old lantern. Someone had already been here. The lantern was old. Probably a couple hundred years.

Jared also found a small wood box hidden in a crevice. It was ornate with leather straps. He took it outside to get a good look at it in the light of day. When he opened it, he was shocked. Inside was a small oil lamp and a few foreign looking gold coins. The lamp looked to be solid gold with small jewels adorning it. There was also some writing on it that he couldn't read.

He took the lamp back to his parents house and showed them what he had found. They kindly let Jared keep it. He was tempted to rub it to see if a genie would appear, but resisted.

He took it home and tucked it in a closet for safekeeping. After some deep research he found it to be from Morocco. It was very old and worth a small fortune...unless it was a particular lamp he had read about called the Sultan's Lamp. A lamp that once belonged to a rich Sultan from Arabia. It had mysteriously disappeared along with other treasures. Everything had been found and returned except for the lamp.

If this was it, he would be obligated to return it.

Jared sent an image of the writing to a friend of his. A university professor who would be able to translate it.

The professor got back to him immediately. “Do you know what you have?” he asked.

“No, that's why I contacted you.”

“I'll be at your house in one hour.”

The professor confirmed his suspicions. The Sultan's Lamp had indeed been found. Now the question was what to do with it.

After careful consideration, the decision was made to not return it, but to sell it on the black market. The lamp once again disappeared.

Jared and the Professor retired and lived out their lives like kings.

© Copyright 2019 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.

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