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The Golden Torch – Part I

02/03/2012

Entering the mausoleum, I noticed several torches as being unlit. As I was in the process of lighting the torches, I realised there was a strange pattern to them – all the extinguished torches were near portraits of the exact same character, namely John Linkvist, a well-known adventurer/criminal in the 1600’s. I knew little of the man, despite being groundskeeper for his family’s property for over a decade, now. Said family always encouraged me to not look into their history all too much – they were ashamed of their ancestors, they said – and I agreed to not do as such, for I thought it wasn’t any of my business in the first place. But, in the end, curiosity is what shapes a man, what makes him strive to learn, and here, too, it got the better of me (many times in the past had I stuck my nose where a nose doesn’t go, one of the main reasons why I value privacy so highly nowadays.)

So, it was only a matter of time before I found myself in my master’s library, when he was out on an errand, skimming through books about their apparently shameful family history. The library wasn’t all that big, but packed with books, regardless. Beautifully decorated, as well, with a great sense of lighting and its effect on atmosphere. A magnificent red, almost crimson rug covered the floor, and only one grand chair was set in the middle, with a small foot bench in front and a round table beside it. Beautiful old paintings, all landscapes, adorned the few empty spaces that were left. Looking around this room, you really got a sense that you’re walking into the past, amidst all this nearly ancient furniture and art. I was half hoping that pulling on one of the books here would reveal to me a hidden chamber of sorts, or at least that there would be something hidden in one of the books themselves – no such luck, if luck you can call that at all. Which is not to say that I found nothing of worth in my stay in the library. One book in particular was devoted entirely to a man, whose name I don’t think I have to repeat for the observant reader. The pitch black cover was ragged at the edges, almost sharp, and the front was covered with a drawing of a skull, one that might put even other skulls at shame when it came to being frightening images. This was my first chance to just put down the book and make myself scarce, but you’ll find it no surprise I didn’t take that chance, or any of those that would still follow. My inner voice took over completely when I opened the book, turning what would have normally been simply reading, into a narrated motion picture, that’s how immersed I became in the history of this famous man.

In 1612, a boy was born in the town of Deathport, a world all of its own, where crime was glorified beyond reason. A smuggler would be portrayed an honest man, a pirate a hero. It’s barely surprising that my master’s ancestor entered into the criminal circuit at a very young age. Even worse, if anyone there showed the slightest aversion to robbing, plundering, killing and murdering, this person would be ousted from the community (which I considered odd, as the book stated residents of Deathport had no trouble ending a life when it came to mere coin – you’d think they would just kill off anyone who wasn’t one of them, but as it turns out, even the most wicked have yet some mercy in their hearts.) At the age of nine, he had already successfully built up a reputation for himself, as the ‘lil’ pick pocket’. His speed and small hands obviously were a great advantage.

It was not until the age of seventeen, however, that he acquired something with worth beyond being a means of putting food on the table. The book stated he stole a torch consisting of pure gold beneath the oil-drenched wooden head, which obviously revealed itself only when the torch was fully burnt out. Nobody actually knew this, and the lil’ pickpocket only took it because the torch he already carried with him wouldn’t last long enough to light the path on his way back to Deathport. I had already completely forgotten about the weird pattern of unlit torches in the mausoleum at this point, and was caught up in the story too much to make the rather obvious connection between this golden torch and the pattern seen before. Again, the observant readers have probably picked up on this connection themselves. I myself would be reminded of this soon enough, but for now, looking at my pocket watch, I decided the hour as being too late for me to finish the book in its entirety, and so I closed it and put it back in the bookcase. I was so excited with what else the book might hold that sleep came with difficulty, that night…

 

(If you want to know what happens next, then you’ll definitely want to click here!)

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From → Mystery

One Comment
  1. betsie permalink

    This thrilling story requires absolutely continuation. I wanna know what happens next! Or I’ll be losing sleep either. A new young compelling author has stood up.

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