Friday, October 14, 2005

Post Number Forty-Eight: Fiction

Dear friends and readers, I can't believe it's been a month already since I've last updated my blog. I didn't realize how fast time passes by. I have been busy and distracted, and so it happened that nothing was added to this long list of thoughts of mine.
I suppose that I should apologize for the lack of updates. After all, a number of readers were interested in my musings...

Today, for everyone's delight (so to say), I am willing to post the Prologue of a novel I started writing and that most likely I won't continue. Though the original text is in Italian, I made an awkward translation in English for the charming eyes of my Russian mate; yet I wonder if someone else here is interested in reading the beginning of a fantasy novel, so here you are. I hope you will enjoy it. And if you don't, I can understand you. Personally I didn' t like the outcome myself.

I would like to add, this is for all my readers, but for one in particular, a Singaporean Chinese girl called Iris. I don't know her, but I have read a few entries of her blog. She likes fantasy for sure, and she seems often depressed. I usually feel compelled to help people out of depression because I was depressed myself and know how it feels. There is very little I can do for someone I don't know and who lives on the other side of the planet, but if she likes fantasy, then I presume she might enjoy reading the Prologue I am about to post. If a trace of pleasure is stirred up in her mind as well as in any other reader's of mine, then I'll take it my goal is fulfilled.

To everyone, and to Iris the Chinese Singaporean, have fun.



The young guy would hardly find the courage to break into the large hall hadn't it been for the incredible urgency of the message he carried with him. His short, curly dark hair stuck to his sweaty forehead, more due to anxiety than for the run to climb the many stairs; the youngster halted when he entered the hall and looked around, anxiously.
The man he looked for, an elder with a flowing white beard, was sitting at the reading table, deep into one of the many books of his richest library. He was giving him his back, and showed no sign of having noticed the young man’s arrival. Drawing from the little courage he possessed, the youngster spoke: "Sir, I beg you to forgive my intrusion, I wouldn't disturb you but I believe this news deserves your… immediate attention, Sir". He conceded himself a pause before concluding the sentence: he knew all too well what the old man thought of haste and "immediacy". Evidently, his opinion hadn't changed, since the elder didn't reply, nor he lifted his head from his reading, to the point that the young guy wondered whether he had spoken too softly.
"Sir…!", he repeated, louder.
Without lifting his eyes, the elder answered with a persuasive voice, one that years appeared not to have affected if not barely. It didn't sound authoritarian, nonetheless it commanded respect in those who heard it.
"I am old, my child, but I am not deaf. Not yet, at least."
Blushing, the youngster was stunned. The elder raised his back but didn't turn around. Again, he spoke.
"Well? What have you come to tell me?"
"Sir, I believe it is better if you read this message yourself. It was delivered a moment ago."
"Then give it to me, child!", said the elder, yet not with disappointment, rather, almost amused by the youngster's embarrassment. He seemed to turn around to watch him on purpose, as if he meant to enjoy the scene of another confused guy in his presence.
"Sure! Here you are!", the youngster quickly answered, and handed him a rolled up scroll, tied by a narrow red stripe.
The elder took the parchment and untied the knot that held it in position, giving the impression of having read many messages without ever being struck by any in particular.
He started reading, mumbling some words, when he suddenly opened his sky-blue eyes wide. The wrinkles on his forehead corrugated in the expression of surprise that pervaded his face.
Expecting this reaction, the youngster wasn't taken aback by it. He had been told the contents of the message some minutes before and had reacted similarly.
"Is it authentic?", asked the elder, apparently he himself confused by the incredible news he had learnt.
"Yes, Sir. The signature is…"
"… Is the one we expected…. Yes… but this means that…"
"… We found her, Sir."
"But this letter says she is…"
"On the other side. I know Sir, I read it too."
"We must induce her to come here."
"What is it, child?", asked the elder, raising his eyes towards his interlocutor.
"The Enemy too knows we found her."
The elder stood up suddenly. One who hadn't known him for long would be surprised to see him so full of energies at his obviously not young age.
"How can it be?"
"One of our envoys was a spy, Sir. Our men stopped him but it was too late, he had forwarded his message already."
"Then we are in danger! So many years to reach this point and suddenly we lack time! We must act quickly. If she fell in the hands of the Enemy, it would be the end."
The elder turned around and opened a drawer. He took out a parchment, on which he quickly wrote a message using a goose feather he found on the table. He didn't even sit down to write. He rolled the parchment and turned towards the youngster.
"Here you are, take this. Those are instructions that you must forward to our envoys. Tell the guys downstairs to hurry, we don't have time. We must be quick."
The guy found it incredible, that even considering the circumstances the elder was using the word "hurry". He didn't remember him uttering that word aloud if not together with criticism about the foolishness of youngsters.
"Sir? Please forgive me… what are the plans? How…?". The elder didn't give him the time to complete his sentence: "There only is one way and it doesn't depend upon us, as you perfectly know. You are too young to remember it, but there has been another case when it was necessary to take something to the other side… although in that occasion that was the destination, not the starting point. Anyway, if the guys downstairs will follow my instructions literally, we do have good chances to succeed… otherwise… well, otherwise there won't be any place into which taking someone. "The youngster was caught by a thrill at the perspective he was being suggested, no matter how unlikely. He couldn't but trust the bearded man. Anyway, knowing him, and knowing how wise he was, he had no problems trusting his word.
"I'll be quick, Sir!", he declared, glad for an instant to be able to utter that word without being criticized.
"Good… and may Fate assist us. I only hope it's not too late already."
The youngster rushed to the stairs, while the elder scratched for a moment his bearded chin, thinking. He looked at the large book with leather covers, lying on the table. He didn't have the necessary concentration to keep reading it anymore. He closed it and mumbled: "This is our only hope… It is time to do my part". Therefore, he exited the large hall passing through a richly decorated side door made of white wood, leaving the book he was reading closed, on the table.Most likely for a long time.