The Letter

The Letter

A Chapter by Megan F.
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In which Jakob Gahill receives a letter.

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On the 25th of December one cold, snowy year, a strange and baffling invitation from one very mysterious nobleman of sorts was sent all through the town of Englefield and to every person of its affluent class and to those who held the grand name. All received the exact same letter.


Greetings!’ it said. ‘It is a show of impossible rudeness that I have sent this note on a holiday that is sure to all be one of vast occupation. I apologize. I very much doubt that you have the slightest clue on who I could possibly be, and, one again, I do with all my heart would like to apologize.  My friends, as much as I yearn to confide in you my true nature and intentions, it is with pure reluctance that I am incapable to do is through this one simple message. A letter of invitation, an invitation to a ball that is to be held on the night of 13th of January, at the exquisite For’Je Hall that resides nearby the town of Englefield. It is no longer my place to assume that any one of you would for a second consider gracing us with your presence, but I can with all conviction assure you that not a day would have even passed without you cursing your decision.


With all respect and hopes of attendance,


A Man of the Worlds


As mentioned, this letter was sent to all those of that certain class. But the news ran far, and the phantom's title, “A Man of the Worlds” was a common source of mystery for all. The intellects argued whether it was meant in a more figurative manner, and the idiots wondered whether the man was a sort of supernatural being, either out to claim those whose powers had very much exceeded their will, or seeking to further gift and bless them. One very poor idiot in particular was adamant in exposing this being, going so far as to hiring a private investigator to track him down. Unfortunately, it didn’t end very well. The investigator returned and promptly tossed back the idiot’s hard-earned money in his face. The Man had caught him and paid him off. Triply.


So the poor idiot named Jakob tried again. The next time the postman came around his neighbourhood, he hounded him, wrestled him right in the middle of street, and set forth a series of questions that would have been impossible for any postman to answer, in both the sense of law, and plain awkwardness. What is his name? Where does he live? Is he married? Does he have children? What is his work? What is the color of his skin? Can you say that he has a good-looking face? How tall is he and how much does he weigh? It took four of the local force to pry him off the tiny, battered postman, and a fortnight’s worth of profit to bribe them away.


His daughter, Amelia, firmly explained to those who asked her that her father was only acting in such a disturbing way since receiving that letter. You see, before he had gotten the invitation, the family and all their neighbourhood had already been hearing of this mysterious “Man of the Worlds”, but felt no lasting curiosities themselves because none of them had for a moment ever expected to be sent one. It was said that only those who held a grand name and ran through the privileged circles could hope to receive one. There were none those in their neighbourhood. The largest trade in their parts was a fishing company that, in those days, so seldom ever fished and had resorted to renting out their ships and captains to independent voyages. The idiot had owned this company once, before giving it up to a wealthier man. When the letter arrived he was nothing more than another fisherman. He didn’t work everyday, since he still had some of the payments of his company’s procurement, although he did start going in everyday after he gave some of it up to pay for the private investigator. A mixed blessing, he supposed, that he managed to gain them once more.


You can only just imagine his shock upon receiving the invitation


It was Christmas day. He and his family were all seated about the dining table having their tea. His dear wife, Bethany, had put down a whizzing pot on the center, and laid out four green, ceramic cups around. The smell of freshly baked cakes wandered throughout the tiny, compressed room, enveloping them in warm, sweet air. He basked in it; the entire day he’d been out in the cold. They were all very, and unusually, quiet; his daughter sat to his right with a book on her lap, hidden from her mother’s view, and his son David, who sat to the left, was staring in silence right past his sister’s head and out the window.


“What’re you staring at, Davey?” Bethany, who herself was bit feverish that day, asked as she took a sip.


“Nothin’,” David said.


“You hardly look like you’re looking at nothing,” said Amelia.


“Its better than what you’re doing. She has a book on her lap, Mum.”


And just like, the silence was broken.


“I do not.”


“She does!”


“Oh, go sip your tea, David.”


“Take it out!”


“Fine. I do have a book with me. Ethics, by Aristotle. Its much easier to 

admit that, than saying that I so detest reading. Like you do, you imbecile.”


“Did you hear what she called me, Mum?”


“Quiet, the both of you!”


He was just about to include himself when David rose to his feet, pointed a tiny finger to the window behind Ameila, and said, “That’s what I was looking at.” In an instance, they were all on their feet as well, huddled before the window and crowding beside each other for a glimpse. What they were looking at was a man dressed in a plush, golden-brown uniform descending from a stark white stallion. In one hand, he held a blue, embossed envelope which seemed to shimmer in the fading sunlight. With his other hand, he tapped on the bell attached on the split-rail fence. The family began then to grapple with one another as scurried out for the front door. “All right, all right, that’s enough.” He sputtered as he yank his two children off each other. Another ring of the bell, and with a calmness forced upon them, they all strode to him.


“Can we help you, sir?” he asked.


“Indeed you can,” the man’s accent came as bit of surprise to him. It was of a French variety that seemed jarring with his appearance. Or maybe it was only something in him. “See, I am in search of this family, Gahill. I’m told this is the home I’m looking for. Can you tell me I am correct?”


 “You are correct,” he smiled, and offered his hand. The man shook it. “Is there anything you need from us, my friend? Anything at all you’re looking for?”


“Oh, nothing at all. Actually,” he said. “I am to deliver something to you and your family. A letter.”


“But you’re not our postman,” said Amelia, glancing at him with a frown.


Amelia,” hissed her mother.


The man chuckled. “Its all right. It is a special delivery, you see, darling, what it is I hold. It can only be trusted with certain people, and I am one of those few.” He sported the envelope around like a fan, grinned, and handed it to her father, who seized it with great excitement. “Now I’ll be on my way, sir. I imagine you’d prefer to read it with your family in the warm. Good day.” He took a bow and turned for his horse.


Back in their home, gathered around the sitting room with a furious fire burning, they each took a position around their father’s seat as he proceeded to slit open this blue envelope.


“This can’t be true,” whispered David.


“It can’t,” said a wide-eyed Amelia, who had taken a seat on one of the armrests.


Bethany was shocked into silence for about two seconds, when she exclaimed in a large and heavy voice, “And why can’t it be true, huh? No reason for you not to have got it. We’re just as bloody grand as those others who’s got it! Don’t you dare think yourselves so down, Amelia, David.”


“I haven’t said a thing,” said David accusingly.


“I know what you’re thinking there, little boy.”


“Mother, Father,” Amelia said. “surely they’ve mistaken.”


“Don’t say that, Amelia,” Bethany then stood up, winked at her, and put together a proud and stately expression which clashed with her clown-like dress and wild, unwashed hair. “This ought to tell you something, Ja. Whoever this Man is, he’s got to have heard of you. He knows you exist, darling! Its something for a start, my love. Say something, Ja. Who knows what he’s got on you! We’ll know when the ball comes. You don’t think, Ja, that maybe he’s some old pallie of yours from when we still owned the company? What do you think?”


The three of them watched him in increasing worry as Ja ceased to move, or seemingly breathe. He simply sat in the position with both hands gripping tightly on the letter. His eyes, glazed, were fixed upon the words, as though he simply, simply could not believe it. He would tighten his grip more and more, wrinkling it, as if to prove that he truly was holding on to a piece of paper, and that he was truly reading the words. Without warning he jumped to his feet, crumbled the letter and stored it in his pockets, when he then began pacing before the fireplace, his fingers running through his hair, and against the light his children could discern a look of mad panic. Bethany sent them up right away, before the jumbled, unrecognizable words began to force their way out of his lips.


“Ja?”


“I�"I�"I can’t. . .” He reached into his pockets and extracted the balled-up letter. He gazed at it. “I have to�"I have to burn this… burn this. ..”


“Ja! Don’t you dare!”


“It's none of your business, Bethany.”


“It very well is! It’s not only in your name, Ja. If you don’t want to go then you needn’t come! What is it that’s bothering you? Tell me!”


A cool breeze gust from the window, and he came to halt, and for seconds when he stared at her, there seemed to be a dangerous light coming from him. His eyes, his body. “I don’t�"I don’t know who this man is.”


“And that bothers you? Not knowing?”


After a moment, “Yes.”


“Well then,” She let out a long, impatient sigh. “You make it your business to know, if that’s want you want, Ja. You leave us out of it, though. We’d still like to go to the ball, too, you know!”


“Of course, Beth.”



© 2012 Megan F.


Author's Note

Megan F.
I'll post the next chater soon. I hope you can leave a comment! Thanks for reading :)

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Added on June 29, 2012
Last Updated on June 29, 2012
Tags: tarzan, count of monet cristo, mystery, romance


Author

Megan F.
Megan F.

Sta. Rosa, Laguna, Philippines



About
I am fourteen years old. I wear glasses, and I am a bookworm, and proud of it. I absolutely love writing fantasies, and sometimes drama and dystopian stories. The Harry Potter series is my hands-d.. more..

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