Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Bookends (01/30/14)
TITLE: On Aphorisms and Musings of the Upper-Crust Mr Trogium Pulsatorium.
By Danielle King
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Set in the heart of a National Park, in our small country, England, my home is the jewel in the crown of a most majestic setting.
And, I am a descendant of the Pulsatorium’s who have resided here, alongside the Pennington family since 1206AD
Furthermore, the Castle is built on Roman remains dated 79AD. Of course, as one would expect, we are safeguarded by the National Heritage Trust.
Would you care to look around?
We will take the path through the riot of Rhododendrons and Azaleas, along the terraces and past the 12th century church; please note the superb stained glass windows. We will proceed through the coach yard to the castle entrance. By choice, I always remain on the inside.
Oh, by the way – did I mention it’s haunted?
Not that I hold store in such matters, though it draws many strange visitors to the castle. They appear to dedicate themselves to seeking what they refer to as, ‘paranormal activity.’
Of course the overnight ghost vigils in the Tapestry Room, with its Flemish hangings and rich Georgian furniture are a great boost to our revenue, as is the full English breakfast served the following morning in ‘Creeping Kate’s Kitchen.’
The Tapestry Room is one I do not frequent, largely because of the introduction of bad taste by a younger member of the Pennington’s. Above the Edwardian fireplace stands a row of books, flanked at each end by a Gothic style, snarling werewolf. It does not add to the essence of the period, and is placed purely for effect.
There are many similar and ridiculous artefacts propping up books in rooms open to the public, including the Great Hall, the Bishop’s Room and the King’s Room.
I do not frequent those rooms. I do not care for crowds of tourists. They disturb my equilibrium even more than the tasteless Gothic replicas. I prefer to spend my time in the Library.
Ah, the Library. I am so at home in cool, dark and undisturbed areas of archives, museums and libraries. I savour the atmosphere. I romanticise stories from centuries past; lives lived; joys and heartaches, hopes and dreams. Human nature does not change. It just keeps turning.
This library is magnificent with its brass railing and elegant coved ceiling. It boasts 6,000 volumes! I have devoured many pages in my time here. But recently, I was lured by overwhelming curiosity to an unexplored shelf to the right of the mural of Sir John Pennington.
There is nothing duplicitous in this room. I have a keen nose for authenticity and it led me directly to a pair of magnificent bookends. These, I believe were hand carved from solid oak. The delicately hand painted pictures depict an opened Bible, lying on a carpet of meadow flowers and grasses.
The inscriptions read, ‘Thy Word is a Lamp unto My Feet.’ And the opposite end, ‘And a Light unto My Path. Psalm 119:105 KJV.’
Steadily, I began to worm my way through the pages of the books. I confess to falling prey to greed. Each book was a Holy Bible with the name of a Pennington emblazoned in fine ink inside the cover. Furthermore, I discovered holey evidence that my own ancestors had travelled a considerable distance this way, before me.
Now who could have guessed the wealth of insight and knowledge I would attain from digesting those words. I found real life drama and colourful characters; as well as words of comfort and hope, prediction and promises.
Yet strangely, human nature remains the same. It just keeps turning.
I understood the words were supernatural in origin. God claims Divine authorship, and prophesies with 100% accuracy.
I cast my thoughts back to our intrepid ghost hunters, seeking meaning where it will not be found. Their dubious joy rests in a second rate thrill. How strange, when the God of Creation has bestowed His very own Words of Life to lead them into All Truth.
Humans are an odd bunch. On offer is a future in Paradise, yet they choose to seek ghosts from the past.
Ah well, it’s not for me to judge. I am now on my 87th page of a fifteenth century vellum edition. I was greatly attracted by the pungent odour of the mould.
And I’m only a Trogium Pulsatorium. Call me Booklouse for short!
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