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A Storyteller's Legend
Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, and Westminster Abbey are all misleading. Their stained glass windows, twinkling chandeliers, and gold plated arches create auras of reverence, masking the many scandals, affairs, and conspiracies that happened behind their walls.
I hesitate to follow my tour group as they pass the Coronation Chair at Westminster. A bell tolls, breaking the silence, and I glance behind me at the rows of seats once occupied by lords and ladies three hundred years ago. A wooden door catches my sight, and I absent-mindedly nod as my mother calls me a few feet away.
I tug on the door. It refuses to open. I know the door isn’t there for aesthetic value. No artwork hangs above it and no stone sculpture accompanies it. The door is simply locked, like too many others I passed at Windsor and Buckingham Palace. There has to be more to it than meets the eye. There must be a secret behind it.
A spark in my imagination shocks my entire body and I flip through my red notebook to a blank page. What if there was a conspiracy, now long forgotten, that prompted this entrance to be forbidden?
He escapes behind the throne room seconds before his father’s arrival, my pen scratches.
“She knows about the Scroll, James.” His sister’s voice catches him off guard, stinging of disapproval.
James shifts his jaw. “He can’t know.”
“Which is why we’re going to kill him.”
The bookworm in me, desperate for another form of adventure after the conclusion of the Harry Potter series, authored Legend of the Lost Scroll. Touring the sights of London, I imagined them to be full of secrets and mysteries as ancient as the city itself. They were the fuel I needed to create an intriguing novel, full of charismatic characters and vengeful villains.
A year later, my words greeted me at my doorstep, bound in paperback. I picked up the copy on top, “Arushi Sharma” printed across the bottom. The second copy was no different. “Arushi Sharma” was etched in white. I flipped to the third and fourth copies for confirmation, enunciating my name every time. I was “Arushi Sharma”.
Vacations continue to be my source of inspiration even for my successive novels. Curiosity about locked rooms in the Palace of Versailles trigger fantastical ideas for Legend of the Lost Scroll’s sequel. I scribble across the same red notebook, golden towers decorated the palace’s entrance, a wall of serenity hiding the malevolent intentions of its princess.
Even the mystique of San Francisco’s historic trolley lines kindle ideas within me. “What do you think I’m doing?! I’m stealin’ an ambulance,” I write sitting in a trolley, passing Lombard street, as sirens blare around me. I chuckle to myself at the incompetence of a crook trying to navigate the world’s crookedest street in a stolen ambulance.
A quote from Frank Sonnenberg makes an appearance in Legend of the Lost Scroll. I meant it as motivation for my protagonist’s struggle, but today I realize, maybe it really was for me.
“Everyone on this earth is born for a reason, what’s yours?”
I no longer write as the bookworm who yearned for creative sustenance after the conclusion of J.K. Rowling’s magical series. I write now because I’m a storyteller. I was born to tell a story.