Welcome Guest [Log In] [Register]
Welcome to Secrets Of Life.
Here you may learn, contribute, and discuss - but not debate - the Mystical Nature of Life.

As a guest, you're limited to certain areas and features. If you would like to become a member, please go to:
http://the-many-secrets-of-life.blogspot.ca/ and leave a comment.

Otherwise you may click below, and maybe get a result...
--->Click to register.<---


If you're already a member please log in:

Username:   Password:
Locked Topic
The Merlin Factor. Chapter Six.
Topic Started: Dec 17 2015, 12:02 AM (81 Views)
crow
Member Avatar
One
The Merlin Factor. Chapter Six.

The Quest for Knowledge.


The North Pacific High, 1990.


Over a cup of luxuriously sweet Red Zinger tea, we came to know a little more about each other. The fish had been as good as only fresh-caught deep-sea fish can be, and we had made a series of appreciative noises to send its memory happily on its way.

"So tell me, Jacques," I resumed. "Where are you really from?"
He studied me good-naturedly, his teeth gleaming white in the half-light of the cabin.
"Zaire are many reponses to zis kestion, Monsieur Dave. It depend on many thing. We shall say, non, zat I am naturally French, an zat zis ees whaire I leeve today."

Every word wriggled and twisted its way to my ears, while I did my best to decipher his weird pronunciation. I hung on his every phrase, wanting to know everything about this unlikely stranger met in the strangest of places.

"I am born, one time, in a leetle veelage who call 'imself `Douarnenez'. Is small place on ze board of ze sea, in Bretagne. Vous le savez? I am, ah, un pecheur, 'ow you say it?"
"Fisherman," I prompted, "Go on..."
"Alors - I am taken in ze war to pilot ze `Cassiopee', myself an' ozair pecheurs. We go west, to La Martinique, an' we try to treek your beeg amiral to follow us." He chuckled a strangely sad chuckle, "Eet not work so good, 'owevair..."

"What war?" I broke in, confused. "The second world war?" He didn't look that old...

"Zis name I 'ave not 'eard. Alors. Our flotte, she attract a leetle too much of ze Engleesh, an' zey attack us. Zut! Quelle bataille! Ze Cassiopee, she is chase all ze way around ze Cap Horn, an' into ze Pacifique 'ere. We run, zey follow. Eet was not ze fun, as you say. Always zey follow, until ze grand tempete come an' sink us all!"

He shook his head slowly, wistfully. "Suddenly we forget 'ow we are such beeg enemies. Now we fight only ze wezair. But no-one beat ze wezair." He thought for a moment, and then smiled brightly, "An' me, I find zis beautiful dory, as you 'ave seen. She wait for me, an 'ere I am..."

I felt like applauding. It was not easy for him to speak English, and he had given it his best shot. But what in the world was he talking about? It sounded as ludicrous a tale as could be heard anywhere. But it wasn't, somehow. In some mysterious, impossible way, I understood that, incredibly, all this was true, while at the same time knowing that it couldn't possibly be. His whole manner was suffused with personal honesty; don't ask me how I might know that, but I knew. I would finally dig out the meaning; I was completely intrigued with this nautical impossibility. I badly needed some comprehensible answers.

"So you see, Dave, mon vieux," he smiled, "I cannot accept your grand offair of ze aide. Since we are ze enemies mortels, zat make me traitre - traitor?" He held his hands above his shaggy head and laughed. "I surrendair!"

I smiled uncertainly, more than a little dazed at this outlandish tale. Maybe he was in worse shape than either of us had realized. Perhaps a little touched? I decided to give it one last try...
"Ah - like - listen Jacques. I'm having a little trouble following this. Ah - this `Cassiopee' - what kind of ship was she? Why would the English attack her?"
He delicately swilled the last of his Red Zinger around his mouth before answering, matter-of-factly:
"She was une fregate of quarante-quatre of the guns. A fine sheep, but no match for ze Engleesh an' zaire sheeps-of-ze-line. An' now evair-one zey are dead. But not me. Jacques Merlin at your sairvice!"

"But Jacques! The English! Why would the English attack a French frigate?"
"To keel us! What else?"
"But why?" I was becoming more and more uncomfortable.

"Mon ami, whaire 'ave you been? Do you not know of ze beeg bag of wind who call 'imself Buonaparte? Ze one who would rule ze world? You 'ave 'eard, no doubt, of your amiral Nelson? We are at war, mon ami, like always. Salete de guerre!"

I couldn't help myself. I laughed like a hyena. It was about the funniest, most unlikely thing I had ever heard. Napoleon! Nelson! What a story!
"My God, Jacques! You tell a great story, man! No shit! Straight-faced damn fine stuff. You ought to be on the screen!" I giggled some more, but Jacques was silent, wistful. Then:
"I 'ave tell you, Dave, zat all zese people die. Do ze Engleesh find such a theeng funny?"
He was dead serious. My mirth faded rapidly away, to be replaced by goose-flesh. I felt a cold chill ripple through me, and for a moment felt close to panic. I had to get to the bottom of this. Now!

"Okay, Jacques. Enough of this shit. What year were you born?" I was getting strong feelings of paranoia. This character might be a madman.
"I am born - zis time - in ze year mille, sept-cent quatre-vingt-cinq."
My eyes went out of focus as I calculated. My body reacted faster than my mind, knotting up my stomach and injecting adrenaline into my bloodstream. Fight or flight. I didn't like this. It didn't sound good.
"Er - wait a minute, ah - that's - ah - that would be - um - seventeen eighty-five..." I wrote it on the back of my superfluous sight reduction tables. "That right, Jacques?"
"Mais oui. C'est ca." Still nonchalant.
"So how old are you Jacques?"
"Vingt-et-un. Twenty and one years."

I stared at him, forcing myself to remain calm in the face of the unknown. In the face of the utterly impossible. Minutes passed. I finally cleared my throat, took a deep breath, and said:
"Wrong, Jacques Merlin. You are, according to my calculations, exactly two hundred and one years of age. And may I congratulate you on looking so good in such an advanced state of decomposition. If you were not just a figment of my imagination, you would be pushing up the daisies!"

Jacques was silent, dreamy eyed, immobile. He might as well have been cast in naval bronze for the next few seconds. Finally his eyes moved, then his forehead creased and uncreased as I waited for him to admit that his story was maybe a little far-fetched. A joke carried a little too far. His grin returned and:
"I 'ave thought zat zis strange boat is not of my time. You are per'aps from ze future, Dave?"

Damn! This just got more and more weird. "Hell, no! I'm from today! So are you! This IS today. Are you some weird ghost from the past?"
He picked up the sight reduction tables and stared at the date-of-issue that settled all arguments.

"A ghost? Non. Je ne crois pas. But 'ow would I know? I am also from today, mon vieux. But zis book, ze boat, you; you are from anozair time. C'est incroyable, non?"

No kidding. The understatement of the millenium. Could any of this be true? Was this character really from the Napoleonic wars? A part of me wanted him to burst into laughter and admit to telling the world's tallest tale. Another part wanted desperately for this to be real. I had always imagined that there might be more to the world than merely what my conditioned senses were able to perceive, and if this were really true...

"I still feel as if I 'ave twenty and one years." He shrugged a careless shrug. " 'ow do you know I 'ave two 'undred and one? I am as I was yesterday. 'ow can zis be?" He still grinned and grinned.
Poor Jacques. If this was real, he must be having a hard time adjusting to suddenly being so old. Even if he didn't show it. Or put another way, I wasn't going to be born for another hundred and seventy-odd years. But I was here, wasn't I?
I felt suddenly very insecure, as if I might suddenly just de-materialize without warning. Simply blink out of existence. Not a pleasant feeling at all. I studied Jacques some more while he grinned back endlessly. He really didn't seem at all disturbed by any of this. In fact it was almost as if he knew some big secret that I didn't, and it amused him greatly.

Minutes passed. My emotions washed around inside me like flotsam on a wave-washed beach. Confusion, awe, fear, resentment, and finally excitement. I felt like we needed help. I reached under my seat cushion and pulled out a half-full bottle of dark navy rum, removed the cork and offered it to Jacques.
"You could probably use a drink, you old duffer! Here. This is what the Royal Navy swears by. If it's good enough for them, it's good enough for La Marine Francaise! What do you make of all this, anyway?"

Jacques took a deep pull at the sweet nectar and boiled over, like a radiator on a too-hot summer's day.
"Aaaaaaargh! I am not so young as I 'ave use' to be!" We both erupted into laughter, the tension dissipating, at this all-too-true statement. He wheezed and gagged, scarlet faced at the strong liquor. He mopped his forehead with the ruffled sleeve of his period costume and held forth:

"I theenk it is now good to drink with an Engleesh. We are not the enemies, after two 'undred years, non?"
I shook my head. No.
"Bon! Zen we can be ze good amis. Let us drink zis poisonous liquide, an' you can tell me of your world, an' me, I tell you of mine."

So we stuck ourselves into the bottle, able to accept, at least temporarily, whatever this strange situation might mean, since we were all alone in the middle of nowhere in a rotting plywood trimaran, telling each other tales of the unlikely.
"You call ze cat what?" I blinked at this non-sequitur, to see Kilo sitting on Jacques' lap, washing her face after having messily disposed of the fish-head. "Oh - Kilo. Her name is Kilo."
"Kilo?"
"Kilo. The two-point-two pound cat. Used to call her Cleo. Silly name really. Silly cat! We're all silly!"
"An' me? Am I ze silly one, also?" He was smiling again. Everything was all right.
"But of course," I said. "With a story like that, you are undoubtedly very silly indeed. No offense. Maybe this is all just a remarkably silly dream. Things like this don't usually happen to me, you know. Wouldn't surprise me to find it wasn't really happening now either..."

By now, the rum was just a thin film on the bottom of the bottle, and the missing contents, solvent-like, were un-glueing my words from each other and everything was slurred and foggy. Jacques was red-faced, but otherwise perfectly normal, or at least as normal as someone like him would ever really be. Indeed, the world was a warm and happy place, bobbing aimlessly around in space with its several inhabitants and its highly improbable secrets.

We climbed out on deck and lay around, talking, deep into the night: a soft, benevolent night, with the stars a priceless-jewelled vault over our besotted heads, the sea a molten velvet expanse.
I tried to bring Jacques up to date with as much history as I could remember, amazed at how very little I actually knew, introducing him to chocolate bars and red licorice.
He entertained me with detailed accounts of his life in the days of Napoleon, the latest gossip on the love-life of Admiral Villeneuve, and how it was to be a pilot on a french Man-o'-war in the days of naval sail.

Before retiring to our berths, we stood to lower the uselessly slatting mainsail for the night and Jacques lifted his tatty straw-hat in what I took to be some typically French salute, but instead of play-acting some drunken part, he scooped a flying-fish out of the air with it. It was done so smoothly that it looked rehearsed, or merest accident. I was quite sure though, that it wasn't.

"Et voila…! Un poisson volant for the leetle breakfast, per'aps?"
I gaped at this whole magical performance. "You weren't kidding, Jacques, about being a pecheur!"
"To `kid' is what? It mean to make ze joke?"
I nodded, swaying to the roll of my stomach.
"It is my custom, mon ami!" He laughed his special laugh.

We hid the flying fish from Kilo, and made our separate ways to bed, Jacques taking some books at random from the bookshelf after asking permission.
"A demain, mon vieux!" He retired into the forepeak to sleep on top of the sails, while I sank into the soft foam in the aft cabin.
"Mon vieux", I thought. He can talk. He's about as old as it's possible to get! Or not possible to get. Or possible not to get, or... My dreams were a jumble of men-o'-war, ships of the line, and shot-shredded tricolors and jacks.

*****

When I awoke, Jacques had gone.
Rushing out on deck, or rather: moving carefully, as one must at sea on a small craft, but rapidly, I saw that the dory painter was no longer cleated to the trimaran. The horizon was empty as always, in every direction, and my skin crawled in paranoid puzzlement. Kilo turned briefly to watch me, before returning her attention to something beneath the port wing-deck - the space between the main hull and the outrigger. My mind felt ragged. Why had he left? Where could he possibly have gone in a row-boat? Was he crazy? A moment of stark panic - was I?

Kilo reached under the boat and came back upright holding a small, wildly squirming fish in her mouth, before streaking away to hide in the privacy of the upturned tender, stowed lashed to the wing-deck. How the Devil had she done that? I moved over to the edge of the deck and with an almost painful stab of relief, recognized the stern of the dory nestled in between the hulls, rocking gently in the dark tunnel they formed. There was Jacques, crouched low over the gunwales, one arm under the water and four bright fish kicking around in the bottom of his craft.

"Damn-it Jacques! For heaven's sake, man! You scared the living daylights out of me!"
Jacques swivelled his perpetually grinning face towards me:
"Ah, bonjour mon capitaine! I trust you 'ave 'ad ze good sleep? Per'aps some fresh feesh for ze leetle breakfast?"
"What do you think you're doing, for God's sake?" I felt stunned. Disoriented all over again. Damn him!
"Oh. Nossing. I amuse myself." Grinning, grinning.

I shook my head, relief giving way to anger.
"Damn-it all! Don't ever do that again! Jesus, man! This is the middle of the bloody ocean..."
I stopped. Scratched my head, uncomfortable. This character had been floating around out here for - what - a hundred and eighty-odd years, displaying a truly remarkable resistance to harm. Not to mention ageing. And all without any kind of assistance from the likes of me. This whole situation was obviously going to take a whole lot of getting used to. Besides, I told myself, he was a fisherman. Fisherman fish. No matter where they happen to be. Nor however old they become. In spite of myself, I began to giggle, and together we cackled our foolish way into the new day.

Breakfast was magnificent, and what fish was left over, Jacques took and hung in the rigging to dry. After coffee - guzzled with a relish out of all proportion to its quality, by Jacques - and a roll-it-yourself smoke apiece, we discussed the absence of our plans.

"So where shall we go, Jacques? Have any place particular in mind, do you? Cape Horn? Tibet?"
Jacques scratched his head, considering.

"Hmmm. Thees I sink we must discute - discuss - togezair, Dave. You 'ave ask me ouaire we are, an' this ees not so easy to say. Now me, I 'ave been 'ere, or someouaire near 'ere during many days. You say 'undred eighty year, but me I don' sink so. I 'ave notice certain sings. By example, (the word `example' sounded like `eggzompl') zaire is nevaire any of ze wind. Ze sea, she is all ze time flat. As you can see, zaire is much oueed on ze watair, so no mouvement, no?"

He paused to collect his almost incomprehensible thoughts.
"Zere are, 'owevaire, many feesh, an' so one can 'ave ze little breakfast, but whizz-out ze wind, whizz only ze oars, zaire is no escape from 'ere. Me, I 'ave come to accept zis place as my 'ome, an' I welcome you to eet. But whizz-out ze wind, ouaire can we go?"

I laughed. Partly because of his weird pronunciation, partly because now I understood why he was so unimpressed with the offer of rescue. He didn't see how we could possibly leave. There couldn't have been too many outboard engines around in 18O5.

"Come on Jacques, old buddy. Got something here that'll knock your socks off!"
"It mean ouat, zis 'knock ze soquesoff?'"
"Never mind," I said, making a grand flourish in the general direction of the outboard.

"This..." I declared, with the kind of solemnity the situation warranted, "...this is an outboard engine. It moves the boat when there is no wind." I paused dramatically to let the idea of that sink in. "The only problem is that it uses liquid fuel, and there is only enough for maybe a hundred miles of travelling. You think there will be wind before we get that far?"
He actually seemed impressed.

"Zis theeng move ze boat? Mais c'est magique?" Jacques seemed uncertain of just how to react, but the grin never faltered.
"Magic? No! Well, maybe a little. It'll be magic if the thing still goes after all the salt it's seen. Look out, Jacques, I'll see if I can get it to go."

I lowered the unit into the water, pulled out the choke, primed the carburetor and yanked on the starter-cord. Amazingly, after only six pulls, it gasped a cloud of blue smoke, and surged into oily, spasmodic life, before clearing its throat and settling into a steady fifteen-horsepower growl. Jacques backed purposefully away at the unexpected noise, before gaping in awestruck wonder as I flipped it into gear and the trimaran began to gather way.
"Nom de Dieu! C'est vrai!" Jacques rotated his eyeballs, dazzling white against his dark skin, from the engine, to me, to the gathering wake, back to me, continuing:
"Zis is powaire! Such powaire!"
"Not really," I shrugged modestly. "Only fifteen horsepower. Still, quite useful sometimes, I can assure you." I felt good. "Which way, Jacques? Where's the wind?"

*****


The wind, when we found it three and a half hours later, came in gentle cats-paws across a mirror smooth sea, from the west. We had resumed my previous south-westerly course under power, but now, as I raised the main and gingerly launched the red and blue acreage of my old and multi-patched spinnaker, we bore away onto a southerly reach at just under three knots.

I spent the rest of the morning explaining to Jacques the intricacies of modern sloop and cutter rigs, familiarizing him with such strange (to him) hardware as clutches, camcleats and geared winches.
He knew nothing of luff-telltales, but after I showed him the effect of the little hanks of wool attached to the leading edge of the staysail and spinnaker, he soon became quite expert at `sailing by the luff'.
He was a natural sailor - he had had to be - and in no time at all, proved to be a capable extra hand. He thrilled to the ease with which the trimaran converted the light two knot breeze into three knots of forward motion. Magic, he claimed, and who was I to argue?

As the day wore on, I noticed an uncommon incidence of whale activity, with always at least one blowing every few minutes. I had never heard of so many whales in so small a stretch of ocean, but Jacques remained curiously unimpressed. Until an enormous specimen made purposefully in our direction. I identified it as a sperm whale by the way it blew at an angle, all other whales blowing their exhalations straight up. Jacques came awake and took notice of this one, while I eyed the monster warily as it circled us twice before closing to less than thirty feet, viewing us through an enormous, cloudy eye.

"Oh shit," I breathed, careful not to make too much noise. "I've read about this kind of thing. It probably thinks the three hulls are a mother whale and two calves!" From beneath, I supposed, it might well look like that. At least to a whale.

Jacques continued to gaze at the whale while I slipped quickly below to consult my `Emergency Procedures For Yachtsmen'. As I riffled through the pages trying to learn what best to do in the event of whale attack, there was a gentle bump and the trimaran lurched sideways. I abandoned the book and scrambled back up through the hatchway to the unbelievable sight of this enormous whale right alongside, and stranger still, Jacques reaching out and touching the monstrous cloudy eye.
"Oh great," I thought. "Go ahead! Poke it in the eye! That's going to scare the monster away for sure!"
For nearly two minutes I stood rooted to the deck, unable to decide what I should be doing about this. It was weird. I was part terrified - in the sure knowledge that with a casual flick of its tail, this beast could bury us at sea - and part thrilled at the very idea.
The crazy antique Frenchman was amusing himself, somehow communing with it, and as a result, I had nothing whatsoever to fear. Any friend of Jacques was okay with this leviathan, or so I fervently hoped.
Finally, with a huge hissing sigh, the whale slipped, submarine-like, beneath the waves and was gone. Jacques stayed kneeling on the deck of the starboard outrigger for a moment longer, looking like a pilgrim deep in prayer before slowly getting to his feet and joining me in the cockpit. His eyes were a long way off, somehow sad, somehow satisfied...

"Friend of yours, Jacques?" I was ready to believe almost anything by now.
"Ah! 'E is good, zis one! Zis baleine - whale - 'e come to me before. 'E very, very old man. 'E have ze eye not so good. In zis eye zere are many bad thing. Me I take out. 'E go now. Feel better, non?"
I was stunned. And moved. Surely this was beauty?
"You knew this whale Jacques?" Could it be?
"Non. Oui. Per'aps." He was grinning his forever-grin. "Zey all look ze same to me!"

Magic. Had to be. There seemed to be a lot of it around.
That night, after reefing the main and changing from genoa to working jib, we retired early to bed. The spinnaker had been retired from service as soon as the wind picked up past ten knots, and now that it had freshened to eighteen, with us bowling along at nine ourselves, I had set the autohelm, explaining its function to a mystified Jacques before convincing him that it really was all right to sleep while underway.
Every hour or so though, I would awake to the sound of him climbing the steep companionway steps to take a look around outside. After this had happened a few times, I gave up trying to sleep and joined him in the cockpit. He had turned off the autohelm and was hand steering, feet up on the coaming, lying comfortably against the backrest, with a tattered orange life-jacket for a cushion.
He had taken to wearing a pair of my weathered blue-jeans, and now, in addition, was wearing a Willow Springs Motorcycle-Racing cap and yellow ski goggles. He made an absurd picture, what with his being a nineteenth century shipwrecked sailor and with that ever present, wide open grin plastered all over his face.
"You couldn't sleep, mon ami?" I sat down opposite him.
"Ah non. I am not fatigued. I am awake. And you? 'Ave I kept you from the sleep? From sleeping?" I looked at him, wondering what was different. Apart from his bizarre outfit.
"Ah! You 'ave noticed I wear your clothing. Do you mind?"
Good heavens!
"Jacques! Your English is twice as good as it was a few hours ago!"
"Ah, it is nothing". He deliberately stretched out the 'nothing' to sound like 'notheeeeng'. It suited his big grin.
"I 'ave talked with - to - you in your sleep. I wish to speak the better Engleesh. Also I 'ave read your books in order to learn."
"What? Which books?"
"Nearly all of them. I 'ave learn many - no - much English grammaire." He took a deep breath:
"An' now my vocabulaire is, as a result, singularly an' whizzout a doubt enormously expanded from zat which it was but a short time 'eretofore". He made a modest gesture.
I gaped at him. Stunned. "What? `Heretofore', is it? I can't believe this. When did you read these books?"
"Just now. I am reading presently ze `Webster's New English Dictionnaire'. It is 'ere." He prised the sizeable volume from beneath the life-jacket and brandished it about the cockpit. I had forgotten I even had it aboard.
"Not so much story, but very eenformative."
"How do you read it if you don't know the words?"
"Oh, with ze eyes of ze - ah - ze mind's eye? Is zis ze expression? I concentrate on ze book and it explain itself to me. Most absorbing."

I didn't know what to say. He continued:
"Based upon my observations, both visual and auditory, during ze period in which you operated ze outboard propulsion device today, according to your volume of `Small Boat Propulsion Systems', ze spark plugs are about to expire, and in fact, if we 'ad not need zem so much, zey would 'ave been pushing up ze daisies."
Imagine. All this delivered absolutely dead-pan from such as Jacques Merlin, while wearing bright yellow ski goggles in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night. I looked around me for some sign of reality, and finding none, sighed and stretched. It was all right. This wasn't the real world anyway. This too was probably possible...

"Well," I said, "there's a bloody great book in there called `Chapman's Piloting'. Along with the `Sight Reduction Tables' and the `Nautical Almanac'. When your minds-eye has digested that little lot, perhaps you would care to enlighten me as to the secrets of celestial navigation. I tire of our position of being in the middle of `nowhaire' and I would like to find us a nice little island. With palm trees and buried treasure and the like. And a little high-adventure thrown in for good measure. Don't be afraid to wake me when you've worked it all out, Monsieur bloody Einstein. I bid you a good night!"

With that I arose, tripped on a jib sheet and crashed down the companionway steps. Oh the pain! "Bloody Frenchmen..." I muttered, massaging my dented skull, "...give them an inch and..." Jacques' voice carried down to me one last time as I stumbled back to bed: "I 'ave especially enjoyed ze magazine in which all ze ladies wear ze leather boots and expose their bosoms in full color, mon ami. Zere was noss-ing like eet in Douarnenez!"
I cringed in embarrassment and made my way back to bed. I'd never imagined I would have to hide away my men's magazines...

*****

Camelot: Au meme temps...

I had found a crystal ball sitting on a table in a high tower of the great castle, and now gazed intently into it.
It was just the kind of thing one might expect to find lying around in a place like Camelot...

At first, all I could see was a distorted reflection of myself looking back at me, but as I stared, allowing my vision to drift in and out of focus, I realized that it was - in fact - Merlin, grinning widely:

"Salut, mon ami! Qu'est-ce que c'est? Ca-va?" the vision enquired.
"Sorry, my french isn't that good. How can I hear you, anyway? Where are you?" I merely thought it. No words.
"One question at a time, please," the vision chided. "You can not hear me. What made you think you could? And I am sailing around in circles on your bizarre boat."
"My boat? Do I have a boat?"
"But of course. I am on it."
"What makes it bizarre?"
"It is not one boat, but three."
"I have THREE boats?"
"That is exactly what I thought."
"Why in circles?"
"Because you can not navigate."
"Why should I be able to? I didn't even know I had a boat."
"This is fairly obvious. But now you know. Would you be offended if I took over as navigator?"
"Should I be?"
"You are the captain."
"May I remind you that I am Merlin the Enchanter. No mere captain."
"So you are," said Merlin. "So you are."
"Feel free to navigate where you will."
"Thank you, mon capitaine..."
"Wait! How long before I get my life back?"
"Oh, not long now. Read a book, or something. Have you seen my library?"
"No. Where is it?"
"Behind you. 'Bye..."
The ball cleared and I turned to find the tiny tower had become a vast hall, its high walls packed with row upon row of books. I wandered over and picked one at random. I read the title. "Morgan. Morganne. Morgana. Enchantress. Her existence." I opened the thick book, noting its apparent great age. Not all the books looked old. This one was older-looking than any of the others I saw around me. I began to read...

I had no way of measuring the time that elapsed between the moment I began to read and the moment I came upon blank pages, but in terms of earthly existence, some nine-hundred years had been spanned.
A lot of things had become clear to me while reading. A lot of things...

As I gazed down at the last sentence, new words appeared, forming from nothing, out of nowhere. A library of books that wrote themselves...
"...she grieves the loss of the hawk who is her only hope. Her fate, and the fate of all, shall hinge upon the hawk's return or upon his final vanishment. His love shall be the factor..."

Heavy stuff! I closed the book. Placed it back on the shelf. Hawk? I had imagined it might say "Falcon" or "Merlin", but "Hawk"? Surely the book-that-wrote-itself would say what it meant? But what did it mean? I decided I really did not want to know, anyway, and chose another book at random...

*****
Edited by crow, Dec 17 2015, 12:20 AM.
"Squawk!" said the crow, and then made space.
Offline Profile Goto Top
 
1 user reading this topic (1 Guest and 0 Anonymous)
DealsFor.me - The best sales, coupons, and discounts for you
« Previous Topic · Merlin Factor · Next Topic »
Locked Topic

Visitor Counter
Visitor Counter
Basic! theme created by g0b0ts of ZetaBoards Theme Zone