Thursday, June 8, 2017

Jeremiah’s book, by Simona Pezzotti

 Jeremiah's book
The detective Jeremiah and his partner Miloš are dealing with a series of theft occurring in the city of Brno.

An old man once said: "Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations".

A sharp wind was cutting the air like a knife when the doorbell rang.
"Jesus Christ, Jeremiah! What's wrong with you, what happened in here?!" Miloš was dumbfounded by the state of Jeremiah's flat. The window at the bottom of the room was opened and glasses were scattered all over the place together with several sheets of paper, clothes and other random things. Biscuit, Jeremiah's cat, was hiding in a dark corner near the couch, where now Miloš was sitting.
"I'm sorry, it's been a difficult night." said Jeremiah while running his hands through his hair.
"Yeah, I see, it looks like your house have just been hit by a typhoon, which is unlikely probable considering that we live in Brno" Miloš shook his head.
"Let's not speak about it, I'll fix everything later. Anyway, why are you here this early?"
"Well, first of all because I'm your daily alarm clock since we moved here, second because we had a new theft in the Moravian Gallery."
"Let me guess: The Head of Medusa by Peter Paul Rubens."
"Bingo! You're really the best detective in town, I wonder why you moved here from London."
"What about the surveillance cameras?"
"Obscured. The guards didn't see anything as well, but we have an old lady as witness. She claims that a man with black clothes and a red mask ran away from the backyard."
"A red mask? It sounds like a normal guy who's been to a party."
"Uh-uh" Miloš shook again his head in denial "She said he wrote a message on the gallery's wall before running away, and the message is really there."
"A message? What kind of message?"
"Get dressed and let's go to take a look."

When Jeremiah and Miloš arrived in front of the Moravian Gallery a small group of people was murmuring in front of the main door but as soon as they approached, everybody quickly left leaving free sight of the message written on the wall.
"LAST" read Jeremiah
"What do you think it means? Is this the last piece he will steal? How many does he have by now? Eight? Nine?"
"With this one it makes eleven."
"Eleven?! I didn't realize at all."
"Eleven like..." Jeremiah narrowed his eyes and started to look around.
"Eleven like...? What are you looking at?!"
Before Miloš could even realize it Jeremiah already started to run towards street Zámecnicka.
"Jeremiah! Where are you going so fast?!"
"Run Miloš, or we won't make it in time! And call quickly two other people! It's almost eleven o'clock and we gotta take it now!"
"Take it?! Take what?!" Miloš was struggling to follow the friend, both with his mind and body.
"The glass marble."

Square Námestí Svobody, 10:52 am.
The place was already full of people when the sun peeped out from behind the clouds making the astronomical clock of Brno shine.
Jeremiah, out of breath, got close to the clock and touched its smooth surface. It was warm.
"Miloš, you know the story behind this clock, don't you?" Jeremiah kept firmly his hand on the clock.
"Actually..." Miloš hesitated "I'm from Ostrava, so I don't know that much about Brno."
"The black granite monument commemorates the victory over the Swedish army who laid siege the city of Brno, in 1645. After months of resistance by Brno's citizens, the Swedish general said he would withdraw if the city wouldn't fall by noon."
"And how this is connecting to us?" Miloš frowned.
"The local people of Brno decided to turn all the clocks one hour early, at eleven o'clock. The bells rang and the Swedish army packed its weapon and went back home. This clock is releasing a glass marble, every day, at eleven o'clock. I'm almost sure that what we're looking for, is in here."
Miloš squeezed his eyes shut and snorted "I swear. If you're wrong, this is the last time I'm following you on these crazy things."
"Where are the others?" Jeremiah looked tensely at his watch.
"They should be here in a couple of min-" right when Miloš was finishing his sentence, the gear wheels of the clock started to rotate.
"There's no more time." Jeremiah pushed Miloš "Go on that side! There's a hole! Put your hand in it and try to catch the ball!"
"This feels even worse than running, you know?!" Miloš cried.
The sphere started to roll on the steel pipes with a soft sound. Jeremiah turned his head a bit trying to understand from which side it could come out. He and Miloš were only two, but the paths of the sphere were four, so there was only fifty percent of success.
As the noise increased Miloš shut his eyes and decidedly closed his hand. Jeremiah peeped into the hole and grasped the air.
People around them were screaming and speaking in different languages.
"Miloš, tell me that you got it."
"If I don't speak does it count like a valid reply?"
Jeremiah sweared but in the moment he turned his head Miloš jumped to a tourist near him.
"Miloš, what are you doing?!" Jeremiah couldn't believe his eyes.
"She has it! She has it! She got the ball!!! Help me!" said Miloš struggling to get the sphere from the girl's hands.
Jeremiah stopped him and tried to convince the girl to show him what she got. The sphere was different from how it was supposed to be. It was yellow and made out of plastic.
"It's this one, isn't it?"
"Yes, but the color is wrong. Maybe if I try to..." The sphere automatically opened to the slightest pressure made by Jeremiah.
"Yeeees! Yeeeeeees!" Miloš screamed from the excitement "You're a genius Jeremiah! A real genius!"
Jeremiah pulled out a small paper from the inside of the object and started to unfold it when his friend's mobile phone rang.
"Greetings from the descendant" he slowly read.
Miloš hung up the phone and stared at it for a few seconds.
"Who was it?"
"Barbora called from the police station. All the previously stolen pictures are back in place...” whispered Miloš with an astonished look on his face.
"She doesn't know. But close on some pictures there were numbers"
"Well, not normal numbers, only zeros and ones, so..."
"Binary code?"
"What does it mean? I guess somebody wants to play with us, huh?"
"Barbora just sent me a picture of each number." Miloš showed it to Jeremiah "You know I'm good with these things, right?"
"Yes, but I guess you will need time to decode it."
"Not at all. It says: dragon."
"Dragon? I know where it is. The town hall."

Jeremiah and Miloš rushed through street Masarykova and got quickly in front of the city hall. When they arrived they couldn't believe their eyes: "The Head of Medusa" by Peter Paul Rubens was stuck on the main pillar of Pilgram's Portal.
"Oh Jesus!" Miloš immediately threw up his hands in the hair "I don't know if I'm more in shock for the picture up there, or the sculpture itself!"
"You really don't know anything about Brno, huh?" Jeremiah giggled "Pilgram Portal. The architect Pilgram made this sculpture for the town hall, but the Mayor was late with the payments so he decided to twist the main pillar and promised to leave it like that until he would have receive the correct payment."
"Hmm, weird, but okay. So the message in the sphere could be related to this? Maybe the thief is Pilgram's descendant?"
"I think we could find the answer in the main pillar."
"So, you're planning to...?"
"We have to destroy the pillar"
"I was really hoping you wouldn't say this." Miloš sighed "It's illegal, you know?! That's a monument, you cannot simply go and do whatever you want!"
"Says the guy who harassed a poor girl to steal a ball from her hands."
"That was necessary! And I didn't harass her, she just didn't understand me!"
"Yeah, I bet she would say the same" Jeremiah laughed.

With a special authorization obtained from the Mayor, Jeremiah and Miloš succeeded in opening the main pillar of the portal. What the sculpture revealed it had been searched for years, in many countries, among several people. Its value was estimated to be around $30 millions: Michelangelo's "Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence".
The picture got easily stolen many years ago, in Italy, and its trails disappeared until a young guy found it in his grandfather's attic. It's in that moment that he decided he wanted to give it back to the world. But how can a descendant of a great thief give back something that has been stolen, without getting caught as well?

The solution I came up with, for sure, was not the easiest, but somehow it worked. Following the path of my departed grandfather, leaving hints here and there around Brno and having a thrilling life for three months it's the price I had to pay to give a better outcome to this story. One thing is sure: I'll never steal something again; also because both my moral and my job are in total conflict with this.
Let's say I made an exception for a good purpose.
Now I have to go, Miloš is knocking relentlessly at my door.

No comments:

Post a Comment