Sunday, March 24, 2013


So a while ago my brother Graham and I were talking. We were bored, and each of us wanted to draw something. So I asked him for a topic. He said,

 "A guy trying the awful pie his girlfriend made desperately doesn't want to hurt her feelings".

So that's what I drew.

Yes, it is that easy to get me to draw something sometimes. Always looking for suggestions or requests.



Thursday, March 7, 2013

"Lost & Found"

Been a while since I posted a short story. This was inspired when my brother sent me
this story about a real-life treasure hunter. He buried a pile of treasure that he collected after a lifetime of globetrotting in search of rare artifacts.

Think about that. Real buried treasure, complete with clues hidden in the cryptic lines of a poem. Now that kind of adventure is something that we need more of in this world. 

These two guys thought so too. Some day this may turn into a larger project, but for now, enjoy! 

“Lost & Found”
Aaron M. Smith – 4 March 2013

“And you’re sure about this Conner?” Cody asked as he buckled his seatbelt.

“Dude, yes. Yes, for the hundredth time, yes, I’m sure this is legitimate. I read about it on Huffington Post. They wouldn’t put it on there if it wasn’t true.” Conner passed his brother the manila folder as he slid behind the driver’s seat of his pickup truck. “There’s a printout of the story in there. Read it again.” The engine turned over with a rumble.

“’California Man Burys His Legacy, Invites Treasure Hunters To Find It’,” Cody read from the top page of the dossier as his brother pulled the truck onto the street. “’Yes, I’m serious, says seventy-eight year old actor, amateur anthropologist and treasure hunter Malcolm Gregory Steelgrave,’ Okay, first of all, that can’t be this guy’s real name. It’s too perfect.”

“He’s an actor, it’s probably not his real name,” Conner said. “Keep reading.”

“’After a lifetime of philanthropy and adventure, Steelgrave says that it’s time for him to pass his legacy on to the next generation. “I’ve buried six lockboxes, each with a different cache from my journeys around the world throughout the American west, and I invite anyone with a taste for adventure and fortune to look for them”, says Steelgrave. “If you can solve my puzzles, then you deserve my treasure”’.”

“You see?” Conner said.

“And this crazy old weirdo is serious?” Cody said. “He’s not just trying to drum up publicity for his next movie or sell compasses or something? Because I am not in the mood to play along with an augmented reality campaign.”

“Would you just shut up?” Conner said. “If you’re going to do this all week, then just get out of the truck right now.”

“I can’t get out, we’re already on US-89.”

“Oh well, looks like you’ll just have to shut the hell up then.”

You shut up.”

You shut up.”

They rode in silence for a few minutes.

“Read the first clue again,” Conner said.

“ ‘When the nation was split, the old man in blue stood to defend. Four miles high, ever facing East, white hair and green shoes, one of my caches is in his back pocket. Follow the raven’s shadow’. That makes no damn sense.”

“Oh come on, were you even reading it?” Cody said. “He’s talking about Humphrey’s peak!”

Conner re-read the clue, then looked out the windshield. In the distance he could see the snow-topped Humphrey’s peak, the highest point in Arizona. He let the clue roll around in his brain for a moment longer.

“Andrew Humphrey was a Union general,” he recited, recalling as best he could from his eighth grade history class, “The peak isn’t quite four miles high. Okay, white hair and green shoes I get, the snow and the tree line. Facing east?”

“If Humphrey is looking east,” Cody said, filling in the blanks, “Then his back is West. And if the treasure is in his back pocket, it’s somewhere halfway up the West side of the peak.”

“But the peak is freakin’ huge, Conner. How the hell are we supposed to know where on the West side to look?”

“It’ll have something to do with that raven’s shadow line. I haven’t figured that one out yet. But I figure by the time we get there we’ll have it solved, or else we’ll figure it out when we get there. No big deal.”

For the first time since his brother came to him with the idea two weeks earlier, Cody started to get excited. What if Conner was right? Was there actually a treasure out there, just waiting for someone to stumble across it?

“You’d really have to know the mountain to understand that clue,” Cody said, mostly to himself. “Not a lot of people would get that.”

“And you’ve got to figure that most of the people capable of solving the clue are just going to be like ‘That’s too much work, it’s not worth the effort. Someone else will get there first’, et cetera.” Conner said, seizing the opportunity to reinforce his brother’s optimism.

“A lot of people are going to give up before they even start,” Cody agreed. He flipped through more of the pages in the folder. “You really did your research on this didn’t you?”


They rode in silence for another minute.

“This is going to be awesome,” Cody said quietly.

“I know, right?” Conner exploded, excited to see his brother finally getting into the expedition. He drove for another few miles, unable to shake the grin from his face.

“Thanks,” Cody said a few minutes later.

“For what?”

“For dragging me on this. For getting me out of the house and making me do something.”

“You’d do the same for me.”

“…yeah, probably,” Cody agreed.

“It’s been a rough year.”

“I guess I needed this,” Cody said.

“I think so too.”

They were quiet for another minute.

“If we find the treasure, do you think I’d have to give her half?” Cody said.

“I don’t know,” Conner said. “I guess if you declare it, you would.”

“Probably have to pay taxes on it all,” Cody said.

“Oh yeah, definitely.”

The sound of tires on the road dominated the cab.

“Okay, I have an idea,” Cody said. “If we find anything, it’s all yours.”

“I’m listening,” Conner said, cracking a smile.

“Not permanently, douche. Just until the divorce is final. Then you give me my half.”

Conner thought about it. “I guess it could work.”

“Sure it would. Ownership is nine-tenths of the law,” Cody said.

“I’ll ask Brit about it. She’d know for sure.”

“You marrying a CPA was a pretty smooth move,” Cody said.

“I didn’t just marry her to get my taxes done for free,” Conner said, but then he noticed the tiny twinge of hurt that had colored his brother’s words. He reached over and turned on the radio to break the silence. A wailing electric guitar solo poured from the speakers.

“Oh man, Peter Frampton is the man!” Cody said.

“Hang on, hang on, I love this part,” Conner said. He took his hands off of the wheel and mimed the guitar solo. “Do yooooooouuuuu, YOU!” He shouted along with the radio, and his brother joined in on the rest of the lyric.

“Feeeeeeeeel like I do!!”