The Carpet Weavers

Zari’s first impressions of the city left her imagination vastly disappointed. Her face was pressed hard against the window of the careening van and the fires and rubble passed by like blurs in the early dawn hour. Gangs of men wielding clubs and machine guns turned their suspicious eyes toward the sound of the honking transport. She still didn’t understand why she’d been summoned except that it had something to do with her expertise.

The driver eyed her disdainfully through the rear view mirror. He spoke to the man sitting next to him as if she wasn’t there.

“Are you sure she is the right one? Her name is Saborjhian, nothing but a lowly thread painter.”

“Her family has been making rugs for 2,000 years,” was the response, “they may have started out lowly but they’ve since come out of the desert. There is no mistake...”

The van made an abrupt turn down an alley. It screeched to a halt and the door flew open. She was grabbed by the arm and hustled into a dimly-lit warehouse. Inside were at least a dozen frightened women and several men, guns on their hips, and scattered across the floor were bags spilling over with long thin strips of paper.

“Zari,” the man still gripping her arm said, “you are to handle and recreate these bits as if they were priceless Persian rugs.”

He led her to a loom where a project had been started. Within a few minutes she’d already connected several strips: “SEP 19” formed before her eyes.

All the shredded documents recovered from the gutted Embassy were soon rewoven by the superbly skilled professionals, revealing to the new theocracy the tale of chaotic activity by American diplomats before they were taken hostage during the initial stages of the Iranian Revolution.


Three More Welcomes

Thanks for the new "follows" from Europa, Quachell, and TH2. A fresh story forthcoming!


Howdy Zach!

Thanks for another "follow" from the Cynical Optimist!


Beinecke MS 408

Wilfrid’s dedication had been unquestionable in striking at the threads of the Russian yoke and his subversive activities in the name of a free Poland eventually got him exiled to Siberia. His daring escape, after which he found his way to London, proved only to cement his convictions. He and a group of ex-patriot nationalists founded the Society of Friends for a Free Russia and sent both moral and financial support behind the lines.

With the passing of each of his fellow comrades though, he found his passions subtly growing weaker. He could never abandon his cause but it was time for younger blood to take his place. He slowly disassociated himself from the day to day plotting and scheming until eventually he found himself “settled down” and he looked forward to a quieter life. An acquaintance recommended he get into the book business.

So it was, fourteen years later, he found himself sitting in his shop looking over the thirty antiquated volumes he’d secretly purchased from the Jesuits of Villa Mondragone in Italy. There were some rare ones; some in French, most in Latin. He might make enough on them to open a second shop in New York.

But there was one he kept coming back to. It was hand-scripted on vellum, filled with lavish illustrations of... what, he couldn’t tell. Impossible plants. Cosmological charts. Parades of bathing women. What was most confounding though was the language. Despite having become an authority on old manuscripts, he could make no sense of it. Unexpectedly, he’d stumbled upon a new passion, and like the old one, it would dominate his every waking moment.

Experts today are no closer to unlocking the secrets of the mysterious 600 year old “Voynich Manuscript” than Wilfrid Voynich was when he died on March 19, 1930.


Hello Irwan!

Thanks for the "follow" and the link!


A Literary Voyage

The Bachelor Frigate set sail from the island of Guam on March 22, 1710, and in its wake were two smaller ships loaded with supplies. The Englishman in command of the little fleet had just pulled off a spectacular coup. On the run from the Spanish navy in a stolen ship sorely in need of repairs and his crew starving for rations and medical treatment, the Captain snuck right under their noses – not just for a brave moment but for eleven whole days. A simple letter explaining that he was a great friend to the Spanish despite his government’s position, capped with a not-so-subtle hint of the power of his cannons, had garnered him an open-armed welcome. He’d even dined at the Governor’s mansion while graciously accepting gifts of valuable cloth and slaves. It was this latter part that probably landed the Governor a four year jail term after the investigation was completed.

Privateers. Most nations at one time or another have employed them during times of hostility: men whose patriotism is kindled by personal profit. During peacetime they’re called pirates, and the captain of the fleet was one of the best at his job. Ordinarily, this might have been enough to land him a paragraph in the history books.

Upon his return to England though, the Captain added to his legacy with a book about his experiences sailing ‘round the world, making fools of the Spanish, and it sold like limes in a scurvy-ward. However, this literary jaunt of Woodes Rogers was just the tip of the iceberg. For among the crew that sailed out of Guam that day was a pair of men whose lives would inspire two of the classics of western literature: Alexander Selkirk and Simon Hatley, respectively remembered as Robinson Crusoe and the Ancient Mariner.


Welcome to Mandy!

...and thanks for "following!"