My first expedition from the bedroom and the study was a curious one.
Firstly, I carefully opened the door to the hallway and looked out. Yesterday's tray of leftover food had been taken and nothing had been left in its place. Interesting. For some reason I had thought that once the tray was taken it would be immediately replaced with a new tray of food.
Why would I bear thought to the schedule of an unseen man who is holding me captive? I simply have no idea. It's funny the things your mind ponders in isolation.
This was the earliest I had risen, since I woke up here a few days ago. So I suppose he delivers the food after the sun has risen.
I thought about the possibility that he may, in fact, believe me to still be asleep. What an intriguing thought - that I know something he doesn't, for once. I wanted to use this to my advantage.
Just before bed last night I was thinking about which of the rooms I had seen up the hallway, that I wanted to investigate first. In truth, I had decided to go with a room a few doors up from where I was presently situated. I'm not sure why, I just felt strongly about the idea of exploring that room in particular.
But the absence of the tray presented me with a new opportunity.
It was so early, everything up the hallway was stooped in darkness. The room directly opposite mine, however, had the faintest light reflecting on the door, sourced from the moonlight, shining out of the underneath of the curtain in the bedroom.
I did not choose that room because it is the only one that I could clearly see. Did I choose that room because it was opposite the bedroom? In part, yes. The main reason I chose it, though, was because it has a keyhole directly below the door handle.
This meant, come food delivery time, I would be able to sneak a peak at my captor.
Scary? Yes. Dangerous? Absolutely. But I cannot sit idly by anymore. I need answers.
Of course, my main priority today was to begin searching the rooms for any clues as to the identity of this man.
I left the bedroom, gently closing the door behind me. I tiptoed across the hall and as I reached for the doorknob, a troubling thought crossed my mind - what if the door was locked? With a subtle turn, the lock clicked and thankfully, the door opened. That would have caused quite the upset to my plans.
The room was pitch black. I wanted to close the door behind me, but I needed the trickle of light from under the bedroom door. I hadn't thought this part through - what if I couldn't see anything? How would I be able to search the room?
I scanned what little I could see of the room and failed to come up with a better source of light. I could not see a window or anything. Disaster. Just as I was about to give up and return to the bedroom, out the corner of my eye I saw something shiny.
The most beautiful golden, three-armed candelabra I have ever seen. And right next to it was a packet of matches with the striker in tact. I could not believe my luck. I also could not believe I did not see it the first time I looked.
With all three candles lit, the room became illuminated in a warm glow. There were wooden-carved drawers and oak desks and gold-leaf closets and stained-glass cabinets filled with bits and pieces. In the centre of the room was a rouge chaise lounge.
It would have been ever so beautiful, had it not been for the thick layer of dust on everything.
Untouched, just like the study...
I gently eased the door closed and got to work sifting through all his wares, looking for any kind of clue as to where I am or who this man is. All the while, keeping my ears well and truly focussed on the hallway outside.
I've decided to refer to this room as Room Un, as it is the first room I have investigated and I cannot think of a better way to categorise it.
To be brief, I did not find a name or anything in Room Un. Lots of wrapped teacups and fine china. Pieces of paper from different places all over France. Some candles. Some well-worn mens clothing. Some gazettes.
I wish I could tell you that I found lots of interesting information, but alas my work was relatively fruitless.
I did find something. A piece of old cloth, most likely a napkin at some stage of its life, with a symbol embroidered at the corner. The reason this was not like any other cloth is that I have seen this symbol before. I just cannot remember where.
It's like a memory you once had, but discarded because it was so meaningless and now you find yourself searching through the proverbial haystack, to uncover the elusive needle.
And as for my idea to spy on my captor through the keyhole?
I had heard nothing whilst being in the room. I must have been in there for at least two hours at this stage, when I finally heard the slightest "ding" of silverware.
I scrambled to the door as quickly as possible and looked through the keyhole. Nothing. I waited a few seconds - no sound.
Convinced nobody was in the hallway, I opened the door.
And there was the tray, refilled with food, tea and a new pitcher of water.
Not a captor in sight.
I took some bread and continued looking until I had searched the whole room.
It took me the better part of a day to go through all his materials in Room Un. I tried to be ever so quiet and put everything back in its exact order and rightful place.
At least I found something. Now I must retire to the bedroom for some tea and to mull over the meaning of this symbol.
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The Secret Diary of Belle (Grimmoire Series)Mystery / Thriller
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