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Sunday, May 29, 2005

The Book

Oak Island, Nova Scotia. April, 1901

The Oak Island Money pit. It lies on one of two islands at the mouth of the Gold and Gapreau rivers, the only place in Nova Scotia where oak trees grow. Some say pirate treasure is buried here; others, the secrets of the Knights Templar and the myth of the Holy Grail, the legendary chalice used by Christ at the Last Supper from which the nectar of everlasting life flows. On April 1, 1397, a Scottish Lord named Henry St. Clair, or Sinclair, of Rosslyn, landed his boat near this place, beating Christopher Columbus to North America by almost 100 years. The Miq’Maq Indians have his legend incorporated into their history; he is known as Glooscap.

"Glooscap was the first,
First and greatest,
To come to our land -
Into Nova Scotia...
When the Master left Ukakumkuk,
Called by the English Newfoundland,
He went to Pictook or Pictou,
Which means the rising of bubbles,
Because at that place the water is
Ever strangely moving,
There he found an Indian Village
A town of a hundred wigwams."

- Frederick Pohl, Prince Henry Sinclair

The men sat in their sweat lodge underneath the Oak trees this evening, pounding on drums and wailing to the Great Spirit in search of a sign. Their Chief, who had taken ill, lay near the heated rocks to the left of the small shelter, which now sheltered the stout Chief and six of the tribal leaders for this evening’s rituals. The moon, full, was obscured by clouds and a dense, chilled fog. Although the sweat lodge contained seven of them, they felt a sudden blast of cold move up and down their bodies as a black bear walked through the door of the makeshift hut. As the bear entered the wigwam, none of the elders felt the remotest sense of alarm. The bear was tremendous; as the light of the fire was glimmerring off of his black coat, the Chief heard these words:

“The child”.

The bear sniffed the dirt below its feet and snorted loudly. Its eyes welled up with rage. Then, without warning, the bear took on a human form.

North Vancouver, that same evening:

The bloodline. Few people, save for the Inner Sanctum of the Brotherhood knew about it, and the spring festival of Walpurgisnacht, which fell on April 30 was fast approaching. This night, far away from the events in Oak Island, they gathered in the grotto, a small clearing amongst the old-growth cedars, just a few hundred yards from what is now known as Lynn Canyon. The site was ancient; the trees harnessed the energy of the wind and sea currents and flung it upwards to the stars. A fire roared amongst the stones in the middle of the grotto and thirteen hooded figures surrounded it, each clutching a cedar bough as they hummed in unison. One hooded figure read from a heavy book and then broke into a chant. The rest followed.

Regina, caeli, laetare, alleluia:
Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia,
Resurrexit sicut dixit, alleluia.
Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.

Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, alleluia,
Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.

When they had finished, they had a moment of silence.

The hooded figure who read from the book began to read; this time in English.

“Let us pray.

O God, who gave joy to the world through the resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ; grant, we beseech Thee, that through His Mother, the Virgin Mary, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.”

Regina Caeli. The song was Gregorian, but to the Inner Sanctum it had a dual meaning; that of the Great Queen of the Sky, Isis. The monks were there to dedicate an altar unto the Queen mother and celebrate the birth of their resurrected Savior, the child.

“The woman travails” spoke the figure with the book. “Bring her”.

Two thuggish-looking men who did not care about their anonymity enough to wear their hoods dragged the young girl, sixteen perhaps, towards a stone slab on the North side of the grotto. She would have birthed hours earlier, but the two men had bound her thighs together with leather straps and she groaned in agony, concerned more for the survival of the child than her own life. The men had failed to remember that, during the Inquisition, the binding of a birthing female’s legs together was seen as an excellent form of torture by their order's enemy; the Jesuits.

Back in France, she was of the nobility, and had come to Canada to escape persecution by the Church. She married a man from Montreal in a marriage arranged by her father. The man’s name was Pascal Falcon, who was himself French. Their persecutors had caught up with them in Montreal two years ago and he had moved her to Vancouver to safety.

After they untied the leather lashes binding her legs together the birth was swift; the fact that the child did not cry after being born meant only one thing. After burying the child in the Church graveyard, the Brotherhood disbanded; the book passed hands several times amongst would-be Bretheren who could never understand its secrets and for almost one hundred years lay in a wooden crate somewhere in the back of an elderly woman's attic, mistaken for a hymn book.

Until she found it, two years ago to this day.


  • So yeah, a little Da Vinci Code-esque mystery for you.

    Who was the bear-man?

    What's the book about?

    Does Falcon have any decendants? Leo seems like a secret society-type.

    Now you have an explanation for the child.

    By Blogger Aaron, at 5/29/2005 03:51:00 a.m.  

  • Whoa. Awesome, Aaron. Love it.

    By Blogger Lowly Scribe, at 5/29/2005 09:24:00 a.m.  

  • I think "she" could be anyone. Jacosta, the barista or the mystery woman from the graveyard. Also, I wonder whatever became of the girl who gave birth. She would be dead by now for sure.

    By Blogger Aaron, at 5/30/2005 12:27:00 a.m.  

  • Wow. Seriously cool. I would like to see you - or someone else brave enough - develop this line further. I don't have any thoughts related to it just yet, but I like how it adds a bit of the mystical ...

    By Blogger Briana, at 5/30/2005 12:34:00 a.m.  

  • Someone has to discover this book, and I can't just figure out who. Maybe the girl in the graveyard. Maybe Edith cuz she's running from someone.

    If anyone has any ideas, go for it. I'm done with this for a while and will be working on this dog character.

    By Blogger Aaron, at 5/30/2005 12:40:00 a.m.  

  • Haven't read any Michael Slade in the past, have you?

    By Blogger stodmyk, at 6/02/2005 09:49:00 p.m.  

  • I like your say on bookbinding machine! May you prosper Aaron!

    By Blogger Belinda Gwen, at 3/01/2006 08:39:00 p.m.  

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