I know I shouldn’t have killed him. Something in the smell of his blood that night was so tempting. I know I should have been quiet but I needed to be seen, somehow. Bad luck, was the police that was around, and I finished my night in prison. Now I’m waiting. I don’t really know for what. Food or death?
Later in the darkness of the night, between the howling of a wolf and the crackling of tree branches, I thought I heard something. A light noise. Maybe the wind. Or death. But then a shadow, that stopped net in front of my cell.
I looked up. Despite the dark, the reflection of the moon helped me distinguish the shape of my brother and his blond, wild hair. Madness took hold of me for a few seconds. I couldn’t help it. It was as if I had just discovered that he harmed someone I loved. I couldn’t find who or what, so I started to come down to let him help me. He didn’t see my strange behavior. He was in his own world…
He had the key. I don’t know how come… I didn’t ask. He opened the cell silently to let me out. We walked slowly and carefully to the parking lot where his car was parked. Once we got in, we started talking.
“Thanks” I said, calmly. “Why though? I haven’t seen you for at least 10 years! Since…”
“I know, You’ll see…”
We drove on in silence. I was too tired to ask more questions.
After ten minutes, the road became unfamiliar. I usually know every road, every intersection…
“Where are we going?” I asked
I learned, with time, that my brother could be surprisingly unpredictable.
“To my new apartment. We’ll be safe there. It’s close to the lake. We’re going to have to take a break before getting there. I’m tired…”
We stopped in front of the lake fifteen minutes later, the view was beautiful.
The half moon was as white as fresh snow and was reflecting on the calm, dark water of the lake. He was still in the car when I got out to sit at the edge of the water. I was still angry at him, but I still didn’t know why. At that moment the madness became worse … my hands were shaking, wanting to grab something really tight. Then I heard my brother coming up behind me. The madness was boiling in each and every one of my muscles.
Then I heard his voice, softly talking to me:
“I’m sorry, I know what you know and I can’t risk that…”
I wanted to turn around to ask him why but he wouldn’t let me.
Then, as if my life had turned into slow motion, I saw the edge of a familiar knife coming closer and closer to me. I couldn’t think of anything before that knife was deep into my throat, blood leaking on my white prison shirt.
That knife in my throat didn’t surprise me that much…as if I knew that my life would finish like that. Strange images came back into my mind; forgotten images of my childhood, always with a blond little boy with that same knife that is in my throat right now, in his left hand. On one image, the boy’s parents’, terrified, were trying to calm him down. As the images became clearer, I could see another one, more like a movie with two characters: that same little boy and his mom, my mom. He was stabbing that same knife into her chest and our mom was crying silently; not in pain, but in sadness.
All at once, all images disappeared from my mind and everything became so clear for an instant, then I took my last breath and, as a small tear ran down my translucid cheek, darkness slowly started invading me.
Sitting on his throne, not tall enough to reach the top of it, an open book on his lap, was an angry little man, who was called king.
This strange tiny man was seen, during the novel, at two stages of his life, behind David’s eyes. At these two stages, he was an angry and naive and selfish boy, but still an essential character to the novel. This king, with the real name of Jonathan Tulvey, was a little boy from the real world, sent to the world where he would become king by the Crooked man, taking away with him his adopted sister.
Jonathan Tulvey grew up in the same world as David and was brought into the other world by the Crooked man. He was a naive, angry and selfish boy. He trusted the Crooked man and brought Anna, his adopted little sister, into this other world because the Crooked man told him that he could get rid of her. He accepted this bargain because he was angry at his sister because she took his place in his parent’s heart.He was selfish because he didn’t care about what could occur to Anna, who had her heart eaten by the Crooked man and spent the time that Jonathan spent on the throne in a jar. “I was a child,” said the king. “I was angry”. I did not understand the harm that I was doing.”(p.280, paper edition).
David’s journey would never have happened if he wasn’t looking for something. Something that would make him go back to his world. In most of the tales that he heard during his journey, a book belonging to the king was mentioned; a book that contained all the knowledge of the kingdom, that would help him go home, the Book of Lost Things.
In the end, it turns out this book was only the king’s own life diary, but it was essential to the story, for David to have a reason to go on this journey. “The book has value to me” said the king (p.277, paper edition). Thanks to that book, we can say that the king is an essential character to the novel.
I think that the character of Jonathan Tulvey was essential to the novel and that his moral trait influenced the way the story started and ended.
The rain was pouring.
It simulated driving through a curtain of water. The thwack-thwack of the windscreen wipers
was hypnotic. He was reminded of the opening scenes of a Hitchcock ﬁlm.
Through the rain he spotted a person with their thumb out. Why on earth would anyone be hitchhiking tonight? He signalled and pulled over. The hitchhiker climbed in and shut the door quickly.
‘Awful night.’ said the driver.
‘Yes. Yes it is.’
Drops of water trickled down the hitchhiker’s face .The stranger glanced over his shoulder into the darkness behind them.
‘What’s your name?’ asked the driver.
‘Friends call me Si.’
They drove on. The BBC radio blared out.
‘Where are you heading?’ asked the driver.
‘North.’ The hitchhiker replied.
It has been three days since I have written a word, but it feels like an eternity ! I don’t know what happened during those three days... Most people, after reading this story will say that I’m crazy; that a part of my brain was destroyed in the accident. I don’t think that’s true even though I will never know what really happened…
Everything started one week ago…