And it begins with a scribe …
The Master Mechanism – PROLOGUE
Ghosts craned over his shoulder, he was certain of it.
He felt the cold of dead breath upon the fine hairs in his neck; he heard the whispers of cloth against denuded bones, a sound much like chitinous scratching. On the edge of perception, he was aware of swaying shadows.
When he looked, there was nothing to see.
When he listened, utter silence pressed upon him.
When he held his breath, no mouldy sighs stirred the tiny antennae upon his skin.
Yet he was beyond certain ghosts watched him as he carefully created new words from old ink upon ancient parchment. He hoped the watchers were his ancestors. Benevolent witnesses to his task, perhaps present to aid him in finding the perfect verses.
The words needed to record not only events, but also the emotional state inherent in the timing. He stared into the distance beyond a candle flickering in the night breeze, to see other miniscule amber flames, some far, some near. It helped him not at all, serving merely to underscore how swiftly stanzas eluded him.
Gazing down, older words reached out to him, recorded by the many scribes of his bloodline before him, the verses calling to him, whispering insights, revealing to him an answer. Perhaps the ethereal watchers visited this night simply to draw his attention to the words he now viewed.
Maybe they were present to tell him it was not yet an auspicious time to add his thoughts as lyrical images to the mighty legend contained within parchment pages older than time itself.
Something remained undone in the wideness of Time, and it needed doing before he would be permitted to complete his marks upon the ancient material.
He sensed his guests depart. A sense of satisfaction wafted around him, validating his insights.
Sighing and shifting in his scratchy homespun robe upon an unforgiving wooden bench, he gazed into distance once more, wondering when Torrullin Valla would act in such a manner as to finish what he started the moment he drew his first breath.
My Lord Torrullin, I await you. My words are for you.