Secrets and Knowledge
be a historian, put twenty-five-year-old Darren in the library between classes,
most days. That’s why he’d seen the mysterious man. Dressed in a grey viscose
suit adorned with a gold all-seeing eye on the pocket, he’d come from the
stacks, where nobody had been, or from outside and disappear into the sciences
section as if he’d never been.
This afternoon Darren was ready, he’d put himself in position to watch. Dressed in a black hoody, to cover his white blonde hair, and jeans, he was well hidden. The man came, his long silver hair, flowing behind him. Darren kept to the shadows created by the tall oak bookcases. The man looked about him, pressed his all-seeing eye, and watched the bookcase swing open. Darren sped forward on his tiptoes, reaching the closing bookshelf a second after the man disappeared inside. A trainer stopped it shutting, Darren was in. Now to find out what was going on in, or rather below the library.
Inside the walls were made of fine white limestone, lit by glowing orb lights. Alabaster steps descended for quite a distance. Hearing no footsteps, below, Darren realised the old man must have moved fast, and headed down. The switchback steps twisted and turned ever downward. A dozen levels down hieroglyphs filled the walls with golden inlays. Touching the eagle of Horus, he heard footsteps above, descending fast. Darren fled down the remaining steps, finding himself at a curving wall of stone. This was like the outer wall of a London tube trainline, he knew that from watching documentaries. There was no door, he was trapped, his adrenaline spiked and breathing rated rocketed, for the person was upon him.
“It’s about time you came down here, boy,” he said in an aged voice edged with a Welsh accent.
“I-I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have come…”
“Nonsense, we’ve been waiting for you.”
“Waiting, really?” Darren was taken-aback by those words, he fought to control his emotions, he needed to be calm now.
“Really. Come with me.” the man approached the curved wall. Pushing a section open, he beckoned and stepped inside.
Darren followed and gasped. This was a great tube tunnel alright but not for trains. It had a polished black tiled floor and walls of stunning shelves that curved right up to the ceiling, stretching as far as the eye could see in both directions. Each glowing shelf lined with books, some seemed of solid gold, others of gemstones. The man was now stood by a circular counter of golden wood several feet away. At its centre was large, stone all-seeing eye. Darren longed to pull some of the books and read them but his feet took him to the man.
“Who are you, what is this place?” he asked.
“I’m Gladwell, Welcome to the Hall of Records. Every piece of knowledge in the universe resides here in this hall.”
“The eye- the hieroglyphs- you mean the Hall of records from beneath the Sphynx in Egypt?” Darren had read the conspiracy theories on that, alright.
“The very same. Couldn’t leave it there when it was found. The bloody terrorists would destroy it like they’re doing to everything in Syria.”
“That’s sadly true. Why were you waiting for me?” Darren locked eyes with Gladwell, who was smiling at him. He pressed a button set into countertop. A hovering carriage shaped like a sphynx raced into view, stopping at the counter.
“Go on, head through the door when it stops.” Gladwell beckoned.
The carriage worked like the MAGLEV superconductor rail. The bookshelves blurred as it raced Darren along the expansive Hall of Record. The stop was gentle, Darren hopped off and saw a hieroglyph etched door. Taking a breath, he entered at once. Greeted by walls of stone tablets and flame torchlight, he realised this was an office. A middle-aged man sat there. He looked up from a stack of paperwork, removed his glasses, and smiled. Darren’s mouth dropped open in shock.
“Good afternoon, my boy.”
“Good afternoon, you better have more than that to say. What the hell are you doing down here!” Darren had gone from surprised to angry at never being told about this place. His dad, he thought, was a mechanic.
“Calm down. Your grandfather Terrance found the records and spirited them here for safety. He made me the first Guardian and now you will join me.”
“I will?” Darren managed.
“Yes, my boy you are the next Guardian of the Halls.”
Have a great day!