“What’s that in there?” was the question which drove my life.
It carried me halfway across the galaxy opening tombs and crypts, secret passageways and closed boxes. It led to so much more mystery and inquisition. Why was it in there? When was it put there? Who put it there?
That question had led me to hidden cities older than the human race, hordes of jewels that would shame an Egyptian pharaoh, secret writings better hidden than any government file. It had also led me to danger, to fame, to fortune, to life spent millions of miles away from home.
Eventually, the only place left to look at was myself. “What’s in there?” Nothing. So long spent looking, had I found anything worthwhile? There was always something to be found. But not this time. I had to put something there. I travelled millions of miles just to end up back where I started.
But I found something. I always did. I found the greatest mystery of them all: I found my wife. Soon we had a son and I found that when I asked of myself “what’s in there?” that I had found a truly great treasure.
One day I was walking along a beach, an unremarkable stretch of coast that years ago would have held no interest to me. My son was running along lifting every stone he could looking for crabs, he examined every rock pool for pockets of fish. “What’s that in there?” he called to me, pointing to a cave opening out of a cliff face. “I don’t know,” I replied. “Let’s go and found out.” And we went in together to unravel the great mystery of the cave.
She was just a girl then, maybe eight or nine years old. I was drunk as usual, and barely alive. The world was passing me by and leaving me behind. But she wouldn’t. She saw through all the anger, and self-pity, and pain I coated myself in and saw the person beneath it all. She made your grandfather take me to the hospital. I don’t think that there was a force on earth that could have made her leave me there. He certainly didn’t want to take me, but she made him. What’s more she came back. There was no one else to visit me in hospital. I might have got clean of all the alcohol and drugs in there, but without her I still wouldn’t have had anything to live for. She saved my life each time she saw me.
So, now she’s gone, you’re right where I was back then, and I’m here trying to repay my debt to your mother and follow her example.
How did I find you? I looked for you. It’s what she would have done.
“Shhh, my sister’s in the cupboard. What? Can’t you hear her? Good! That means you haven’t woken her.
Poor child. So sweet, but so volatile. She gets its from our father. He always had such a temper. She doesn’t show it often. Only when she’s woken from her slumber. I would hate for you to see her in such a way.
Father was always angry though. He only showed it every now and then, but it was always bubbling under the surface. He always hated her for her innocence, and laughed at her anger. She would try to stand up to him when he woke her in his rage when I would do nothing. But it always ended with her cowering in this cupboard. At least she has some peace there now. Please. Don’t wake her!”
The disembodied voice faded away. I made my way into the dark and dusty room. It showed no sign that it had ever been a child’s room. There were no toys under the cobwebs. The only objects in the room were an old, metal bedframe, and a big wooden cupboard against the far wall.
I walked towards the cupboard and one of the rotting floorboards under me creaked loudly. Against my will I held my breath. Slowly, one of the doors to the cupboard swung open. I heard another voice. This time I could place it and it was definitely coming from the cupboard, and it was that of a very angry little girl.
“Who’s there? Why have you woken me up? WHY HAVE YOU WOKEN ME UP!”
Both doors flung open and I was pulled into the open maw of the cupboard.
I would like it to be very clear to whomever reads this journal in the future: I loved my father. Even now, I still love him. He was a good father and taught me much. It pains me personally to have to order his execution. But I am responsible to my people, to the revolution, and to the party, and he is a danger to all three. His continued presence, even if controlled, would only weaken my position and I cannot allow this.
We disagreed as all fathers and sons will do. When I was a child it was only small, trivial matters. But then our talk came to politics and the way the world was, and should be. We disagreed even more but we always respected each other. We never stopped talking about our differences.
But the time for talking is long past. Now is a time for action when words become more important than a debate. They carry with them the weight to mould a people. They can start a revolution or cast one into fire. He has not stopped talking, and he has started acting. I have also been acting. But while his actions have been chipping away at the periphery of mine, I have been ignoring him. He has made the continuation of that course impossible.
It makes me even gladder that mother died on the Day of National Ascendance. Not only was she martyred for the cause, but she does not have to bear this strain. She would acknowledge its righteousness of course, but it would still be unpleasant nonetheless.
I have signed the order, and that is the end to my part in this. His remains will be destroyed. No monument to him will be there be for his followers, or myself.
“One! Two! Three!” roared the crowd, echoing the strikes of the referee’s hand against the mat. It was over. Not just the match, but also the career of Silas Cage.
He lay there, unmoving, as the champion soaked in the cheers of the crowd. “Let him have his moment,” Silas thought. “He needs to look strong. Besides I need a second.” The pain was nothing new for Silas. It wasn’t making him retire. He’d had so many injuries over the years he was already working out the recovery time for the different bumps, bruises, sprains and lacerations he’s suffered in this last match. “At least I’m not concussed. I want to remember this.”
Quicker than he usually would have, the champion made his way up the ramp backstage leaving all eyes on Silas sprawled out in the middle of the ring. Sensing the change in the crowd he began to move. He opened his eyes and surveyed the battlefield. Broken chairs, splinters of tables, and thumbtacks were littered around the ring. Slowly he made his way to his feet, only slightly exaggerating the effort this took. The cheers began for him. After a career of making crowds boo it was strange but delightful to finally make one cheer. “Thank you, Silas,” rang out from everywhere. The rumours had been confirmed days ago and they all knew this was it. He soaked it all in, only now showing the man behind the wrestler, and waved goodbye to the fans.
Backstage the locker room and everyone else cheered and clapped him. He shook every one of their hands. Silas came to the last two waiting for him: his third wife Brandy, and sixth child Laurie, only two months old. “I’ll get this one right” he said taking them in his arms.