Oriana arrived at the doorstep of a house just a couple of blocks from her father’s factory. She ran up to the door huffing and wheezing from the exertion. She rapped the large wooden door soundly until she heard the sound of the door’s bolt sliding. In the doorway a red haired young woman with bright blue eyes and big teeth popped into view.
“Ahna!” she cried, “What are you doing here? Have you lost your phone? I didn’t get a text from you to say you were coming over.”
Oriana shook her head as she was fighting to get the breath to speak.
“Golly, Ahna, did you run here?”
Oriana nodded exasperatedly. This was her best friend Kelly whom she shared all her adventures with. They’d been friends since primary school and considered each other’s home to be their own. Kelly was the athletic adventurous one while Oriana had been the brainy nerdy one.
“What’s wrong?” Continue reading “The Monk – Part 6”
Oriana was caught unprepared by detective Peterson’s question. Although he had not said Kent’s name yet, she assumed they had to have been referring to him. Who else fitted the description of being a suspicious person? The two men were waiting for her answer, but she maintained the appearance of being surprised into silence longer than she needed to be so as to give herself enough time wonder: had Kent actually done something so wrong that it warranted a police investigation? True, he was an eccentric man, but he seemed gentle and harmless enough, in fact he had said he helped to catch some criminals. If he had helped the police to catch a gang of thieves courageously in the past, surely he can’t truly be a bad person?
Peterson grew impatient with Oriana’s deliberate silence which she had played out a little too long. He repeated the question, “Have you been in contact with anyone suspicious?”
Oriana slowly nodded, “Yes, I think I might have.”
“Well, I met a strange man, called Kent, yesterday, but…” she trailed off. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 5”
Oriana put her empty cup on the table smiling broadly, “and that’s it? You found this place and built it?”
Kent nodded proudly.
“That’s brilliant. How do you get electricity? Is it just from all those car batteries?”
“I installed some solar panels on the roof of the factory. They keep those batteries over there charged. I set up the electrics with mostly spare parts that I found.”
“are you an electrician?”
“No, I bought an electrician’s textbook and read it cover to cover.”
“But you don’t have a certificate? What if you made a mistake?”
“Actually, I got a certificate for ping pong when I was twelve; so I couldn’t possibly make a mistake after that,” joked Kent, “but in all seriousness, how would an electrician’s certificate stop me from making a mistake? It’s just a piece of paper. Having a piece of paper doesn’t mean a person knows what they’re doing. Also, just because someone doesn’t have a piece of paper it doesn’t mean they don’t know what they’re doing.” Continue reading “The Monk – Part 4”
Kent produced a flashlight and guided Oriana about fifty metres up the pipe. Here it opened up to a small chamber. Kent passed the flashlight to her and then climbed up a ladder opening to a manhole at the top. Oriana followed him up and found herself in a stone chamber about 5 by 10 metres in size. There was a small rectangular sky light in the roof providing some natural light. Kent touched a switch on the wall and a series of LED lights came on fully illuminating the room. He offered Oriana his hand and helped her to her feet inside the chamber.
The chamber had four stone pillars that created two arches across the narrow section of chamber, with the skylight in between. The space was thus divided into six sections of roughly equal size. Starting from one corner and working clockwise was a queen sized mattress lying on pallets. The next segment held a fridge, an electrical switchboard, inverter, and a bank of car batteries. Next to this was a kitchen and pantry area consisting of a work bench, sink, and gas burner with a methane cylinder. Opposite this was a shower and a toilet. Then next to this was what looked like some kind pyramid of sculptures set up on ascendingly narrower shelves. There was some kind of decorative gym mat on the floor here. In the final segment was the manhole they entered into. There was a pulley on the roof for raising heavy loads, and a book shelf stuffed with books on one wall. In the center of the room was a small work table with a stool and an armchair. This table was directly below the skylight. Several paintings of buildings, landscapes, and scenes of people hung on the walls. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 3”
Oriana ran back to her father’s factory just around the corner from the street where Kent lived. She hurried up into an office, shut the door, and sat at her table in front of the window. The same window from which she had observed Kent walking by multiple times each day for months on end. This office was not actually hers. It belonged to Maggie, a part time accountant at her father’s factory. Since Maggie only used the office three days a week, Oriana had set up her own space inside it. Oriana had first started coming to the factory with her father when she was just seven years old. Although she had no interest in the manufacturing of paper, its processing, and packaging, nonetheless staying at the factory had always been a desirable place to escape to when she was a little girl. She had her desk for reading and writing, Maggie was grandmother aged and often doted on her, and she also liked walking around the industrial estate observing all the different things that went on in each factory.
Oriana took a loose leaf of paper and started jotting down a few notes about what had just happened. First, Kent did indeed live down Cutters Court. However, this cul-de-sac had some kind of building underneath it. Something big enough for a man like Kent to live in. Some questions started flowing out onto the page from her pen:
Why did Kent live underground? Maybe so he could be in hiding? Was he a fugitive? Could he be a terrorist or a criminal? Continue reading “The Monk – Part 2”
Oriana perched on the seat of the bus shelter like a cat ready to pounce. Soon enough the object of her interest appeared almost precisely on schedule: A tall skinny man with red hair over burdened with a hiking backpack that was obviously well loaded with goods, and carrying a case of a dozen tins of beans. The man’s clothing was simple, it was also well worn, and his hair looked tangled. It was a rather warm day and the man was clearly suffering from the heat of the day, but still he pushed on with determination. He came to the road he always turned down at this time of day. This was the point Oriana had chosen to intervene. She skipped across the road and brought herself up alongside the man dragging the heavy load.
“Hi!” she chirped
The man looked up at her and blinked before allowing a friendly smile to grace his lips. He returned her greeting politely, but pushed on without asking her any questions. Oriana, who wasn’t used to not being paid attention to, was not sure what she should do next. She found herself just walking uncomfortable next to him. They had walked about a hundred metres in silence before she decided that she hadn’t made this bold move to learn nothing. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 1”