Sunday, 27 June 2010

Provenance Pt. 1

The Red Door was a thing that should never have been opened.

It was a built to specification by the master carpenter Klaus Mueller, after twelve bottles of dark rum shared with the stranger that visited him every Sabbath. He did not know the name of the man, just that the stranger bought word of the outside world to the small town that Mueller had lived in all his life, and that was enough for Klaus.

"Klaus, you are the greatest carpenter in all of the world, but you have never truly crafted something that changed anything, have you?" said the stranger, his thin black lips slowly moving across his harrowed, pale face. "Masters must be exhibited, masters must share their work, but you sir are content to build whatever is required, not what is... 'needed'. Needed to be shared, needed to be seen."

Klaus smiled at the compliment-- this man was of the world, was he not? Though with words so golden and a tongue so silver, surely they were lies, but the conviction...

The majority of the stranger's features were obscured by the burgundy cloak he wore, draped over his shoulders and drifting behind him as he moved amongst the chairs and tables of Klaus Mueller's workshop. He arrived before dark and left in the night between the clink of glasses, leaving Mueller with nothing but a scant knowledge of the outside world and a hangover that would kill a lesser man.

The two men were sat around an oak table that Mueller had been working on for the past week, their glasses caked to the surface because of the alcohol spilt during their toasts. It was a long silence between the two before Klaus replied, a hanging moment of thought put into the mysterious man's words.

"What do you suggest then, friend?" said Klaus. "I could, perhaps, build a monument to my supposed genius, to draw the crowds to this little hamlet of a town I call home."

"Or..." said the stranger, considering the words as they left his mouth, "I could make use of your talent for a project I've had in mind for some time now..."

"Is this what this has always been about?" said Klaus, "your visits here to my workshop, leading to this moment?"

The stranger shrugged nonchalantly, and his smile twisted for a moment. "Perhaps, but I know talent when I skill it, and I have need of your ability."

"What is it then?" said Klaus, "what would you have me do?"

"A door. Built to my exactest specification."

"A door?" repeated Klaus, incredulously. "Is that all?"

"Not even that... the door itself... the door shall present itself soon enough. But the frame, the framing for the door, and the hinges on which it will turn... that would be your challenge."


The stranger grinned. "Did you think it would be easy?"

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