The Secret Story of the Parchment Scroll
Bramah and the Beggar Boy live in a world controlled by Consortium, an integrated global economic and administrative empire. Consortium hires Bramah to unlock an oak box found in an old farmhouse. She outwits the guards and steals it. When she and the Beggar Boy open the oak box, they find stories about Dr. A. E. Anderson, a doctor born in 2020 who is trying to vaccinate children during a period of bio-contagion.
The Good Doctor, as Posted on Cy-Board #6 To Whom It May Concern —although scorned and fearful of— I found myself and sought them marauders, vagabonds, traders, riff-raff, brigands, invaders—survivors, they save seeds in glass jars. And at the bridge of locks, cut off, waxed paper Still redolent of honey and the flowers— documents and escape, a series of borders Once, would have been unthinkable, now we are close bound enough— I’ve discovered Colony Collapse. I’ve seen the despair of Queenless. I’ve seen oceans overflowing, then sink, smelt ice, the sound of it cracking, then— I’ve hugged close, glass vials and my microscope. I’ve told Beggar Boys and Girls: This is a chalice. They laugh and point, they help me barter glass. Signed, Dr. A.E. Anderson.
Dr. Anderson eventually rescues and adopts an orphan, named Abigail, who is rescued from the evil Consortium(some say with the help of Bramah and the Beggar Boy); taught the secrets of the Wishing Well; and roams the world before falling in love with the scholar Bartholomew.
During the first year of the pandemic, the character of Dr. Anderson emerged much more fully and strongly in response to the events I witnessed as I self-isolated early in the spring of 2020. I hadn’t originally meant to spend so much time with her, but her struggles as a woman, her passion for justice, and her own failings captivated me. I simply couldn’t let her go.
Once you’ve read the parchment scroll story, I’d love to hear your responses as well as your own experiences of 2020. Leave a reply below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Renée Sarojini Saklikar 2021.
© Nadina Tandy Cover Art. © Top Shelf Creative Book Design.
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