The Circle of the Scribe

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic


After the death of her parents, Alex Guest is thrown into a world even she wouldn't dare write about.

Submitted: April 02, 2017

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Submitted: April 02, 2017

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The Circle of the Scribe

 

“Reality is dull. It’s limited, which means we’re confined to what we know and what we see. It means we can hope to find things beyond our current limits, but we never will. That’s what fiction exists for. Just a way for us to live our dreams without leaving our chairs. Or at least that’s what the circle told me…”

 Dr Alesbrook looked up from his notes to study the person sitting before him. Alex had originally come to him for grief counselling, three weeks back. Now they were discussing some sort of circle? This could be very dangerous. Or, she could simply be losing her mental stability whilst coping with the loss of her parents. She was only sixteen, after all, and it is said that young people are often quite impressionable. There was only one way to tell.

 “Okay Alex” Dr Alesbrook looked at the girl once more. “Tell me everything, from the start.”  Alex drew a breath. Telling this story would be difficult. Not because the circle would be against it, but because it meant digging up memories she would like to forget. It had all started on her last day of school…

Alex Guest attended the local comprehensive school. Even though she had only been there for her final year, it had been a source of friendship and comfort from the start. During her first day Alex had managed to make a small group of friends, who may not have shared as many interests with her as she’d have liked, but were the only ones nice enough to sit with her and guide her around the school those first few weeks. Alex had also made herself known and welcome in the library, which had later become her favourite place to go when she needed to be alone, or get away from the general noise of the other students.

 On the last day of term, Alex looked back at the school gates, and felt a wave of nostalgia encompass her. It was the same feeling she would usually give the characters in her books, right before tragedy struck them, and the plot would begin. Alex laughed to herself, and began walking home, whilst daydreaming about the horrors she would inflict upon her make believe puppets tonight.

 The rest of the walk, however, wasn’t quite as pleasant. As soon as she turned the corner into her street, Alex could feel that something wasn’t right. She didn’t know if it was the chills the wind gave her, or clouds that had begun to gather. All she knew was that she had to get home right away. Breaking into a run, Alex made her way down the street towards the house at the end, and found the front door slightly ajar. Upon entering the house, she discovered her parents lying on the living room floor, blood leaking from their chests and onto the white carpet. Alex screamed, and ran to her neighbour’s house, desperate for someone to help her.

 

~Three Weeks Later~

 

 A few weeks later, Alex was walking home along an empty street, contemplating her parent’s death, like she often did. Not long after the police had arrived, they discovered that her parents had died from a gunshot to the chest each. Alex was then taken to her aunt’s, where she was to live until she was 18. However she had never gotten along with the family, they were all too boring and unimaginative for her. Because of this, Alex spent most of her time in the town library, surrounded by books. They kept her calm, and helped to distract herself from her own problems. As well as reading, Alex took the time to concentrate on her writing, although most of her stories now tended to focus on murder, and all of the devastating details involved. She had always been a fan of murder mysteries, but her parent’s story was one she wished she’d never read, but could not seem to forget.

 All of a sudden, something hit Alex on the back of her head, causing her to collapse. Before passing out, she saw two men in hoods place what looked like a bag over her face, and mumble something about a circle.

When she came to, Alex found herself in a room with a large table, and more men in hoods filling each chair. At the head of the table stood three men, also wearing hoods, and whispering to each other, as if they were schoolchildren sharing secrets. When they noticed that she had woken up, the man in the middle stood up, walked over to Alex, who was sitting in a chair off to the side, and began addressing the rest of the men sitting at the table.

 “Evening, my brothers. I have called you here tonight because we have a new scribbler among us” The man in the hood gestured towards Alex, whose concern was growing more and more. “Welcome, Alex of Guest. You have been brought here because you are the one who shall publish our dream and make it a reality!” It was at this point Alex’s concern turned to fear, and the rope around her wrists seemed to tighten themselves.

 “What’s going on? What dream? Who are you people?!” Alex had become very flustered, and decided asking questions may prevent or at least delay the death these people had planned for her.

 “Allow me to explain. I am William, named after Shakespeare. Beside me is George, named after Orwell, and Mark after Twain. We are the biographers that reside over the circle, and ensure everything it stands for is upheld. We take care of our members, and incorporate their dreams into ours. What is our dream, I hear you ask? Well it’s quite simple. You see, reality is dull. It’s limited, which means we’re confined to what we know and what we see. It means we can hope to find things beyond our current limits, but we never will. That’s what fiction exists for. Just a way for us to live our dreams without leaving our chairs. Which is why, in the late nineteenth century, our founder, a man named Poe, formed the alliance you see today. He gathered some of the best names in literature, christened it “The Circle of the Scribe”, and together they set about changing the world with their work. Even back then, people relied on fiction. It served as their only escape from the dark, damp world they lived in, and offered hope for the future. So the founders thought, what if there was a book, a novel, or even a simple newspaper that could not only entertain, but influence the way they think? Maybe even control them?”

 As he said this, a darkness fell upon William’s face, and Alex realised she was in more danger than she first thought. Was she another one of their victims? Come to think of it, people had been “mysteriously disappearing” in different parts of the country lately. What if they were all because of this circle? What if they killed her family too?! Well, it couldn’t hurt to ask, could it?

“So are there more of you?” Alex said, in a voice a few octaves higher than her usual tone. She expected William to answer the question, but this time it was Mark who spoke up.

“Good things come to those who wait.” He said with a smirk. At that point the bag was once again thrown over Alex’s head, and she began to scream, until something hit her over the back of her head.

 When she came to, Alex heard the sound of men, all speaking at once. No, not speaking. Chanting! They were all voicing the same phrase in unison, “Absolutum Dominium”, repeatedly, whilst holding what looked like fire torches. William emerged from the crowd, his eyes filled with a mixture of happiness and bloodlust. He was carrying a black bag, which he then proceeded to place on a table next to Alex. “Now don’t you worry, Alex of Guest” He said with an eerily calming tone in his voice, “This won’t last long, and then you’ll be one of us”. The crowd of men began repeating the words “one of us”, in the same monotone they used for the first chant. Alex began to wriggle around, only to find that she was being restrained by some sort of material. Then, as if out of nowhere, she blacked out once again…

 “And then what happened?” Dr Alesbrook was on the edge of his seat, fascinated by the tale this ordinary teenager was telling him. He had never heard anything like it, and so was desperate to hear how it ended.

“Well that was it. When I woke up again, William told me I was now part of the circle, they all congratulated me, I was given a uniform and then sent on my way. A few days later I came here to see you.” Alex said with a polite smile. Dr Alesbrook simply sat there and stared, puzzled as to how she was unfazed by all of this, and concerned about what the circle had done to her exactly. In all his years of studying the human mind, the doctor had never seen anything like this. He didn’t want to worry the girl, however, so instead of asking further questions, he simply smiled and stated, “I’m afraid our time is up, Alex. Would you like to continue this next week?” The girl nodded, and stood to leave, so the doctor guided her to the door, just like he did with the rest of his patients.

 That night, when Dr Alesbrook got home, he still had Alex’s story on his mind. What was this circle, and were they as dangerous as they sounded? What had they done to the teenager they seemingly picked up off the streets? Was Alex Guest safe? As he walked through his front door, the doctor kicked his shoes off, hung his coat up on the rack on the wall, and made his way towards the living room. He sat down in his favourite armchair, and began reading the notes he had made during his session with Alex. All of a sudden, a hand clamped over the doctor’s mouth…

 


© Copyright 2017 June Ravenscroft. All rights reserved.

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