The Man at the Window

February 18, 2008
Jerry finally became agitated by the monotonous ticking of the ornate clock on the mantelpiece. The Grand Master had called for her, she did not know why, but a call from the Grand Master himself meant that something was up. Jerry shifted his weight, scratched his nose, and did his best to ignore the clock. The Grand Master’s sitting room was the epitome of a not-so-modest person furbishing a room to look modest. The plain brown and grey rug hardly complemented the empty table and chairs. The single window was split down the middle, leading to a latch that would open to the cool night sky of mid-March. Jerry had thought about sitting, but discarded the thought when he imagined the Grand Master entering to find his student too lazy to stand for the most important man of the century.

Jerry’s thoughts turned to his home, of summer fields and clovers rustling against seasonal winds. The vineyard, the brewery, and the mid-summer festival filled his head with calm and respite, exactly what he needed. His reminiscing was interrupted by the sound of light knocking on the window. Jerry turned slowly, reaching for the dagger at his side.

A turbaned head stared back at Jerry, dumbfounded he continued to gaze at the night-time visitor. The man’s green eyes pierced Jerry, it made Jerry feel like the man knew Jerry’s every thought. The bandits of the south were the only ones who wore turbans like the man at the window. The man motioned for Jerry to come closer, Jerry obliged. The man pointed at Jerry then down at the latch, turning his hand over like he was opening the latch. Jerry looked at his feet, then back at the door. If the Grand Master had not come yet, he probably would not arrive for a while. Hesitantly, Jerry reached for the latch. As his hand was just touching the handle, footsteps from the door behind him caused Jerry to jerk back and motion for the man to hide. The man understood and climbed down out of sight.

The doorknob rotated and opened to reveal the Grand Master, in all of his glory. His purple and golden robe, large earrings, and platinum bracelets greatly contrasted the modest room. He twirled and then embraced Jerry with a smile, his long brown beard waving with his every move. Jerry returned the embraced politely, not warmly, the Grand Master was not to be taken for a fool; his jovial mood did not betray the serious and powerful man beneath. One faux pas and you could be in solitary confinement for a week.

“My dear Jerry,” his grandfather-like voice filled Jerry’s head with warm fires and good books. “I have called upon you today for something very important to me,” he paused for effect,” that which is, I need you to…” his sentence was interrupted by a loud knock on the door. “Excuse me Jerry,” he left the room, his robe sweeping behind him like a bat.

Almost immediately a tap on the window made Jerry spin in alarm, the Grand Master’s voice had almost made him forget about the man at the window. The man waved his hands over each other, to signal for me to hurry up. Jerry hastened to open the window. As he did, the night air rushed down his shirt clearing his head of warm fires.

“Quickly, we must go,” said the man in a thick accent. “That man will kill you if we do not go now,” he peered over Jerry’s shoulder at the door.

“But, why, I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Jerry stopped, he had heard the word kill, and you in a sentence directed at him. Jerry pointed at the door, and then to himself. “Kill me? Why?” Jerry asked, his voice cracked as he spoke.

“That man is planning on a mass murder of all Sin-Jin people, they are planning to rebel against their mother-country,” the man’s eyes conveyed his serious directly to Jerry’s heart. “You are to be sent to contact all of the Sin-Jinese leaders with a message of peace,” his eyes continued to fixate on Jerry. “As soon as you returned, you and all of those leaders you collected will be murdered.

Jerry knew nothing of the national politics, but why would this man want him? Jerry swallowed “Why me? Why did they choose me?”

“You are royalty, slightly, enough to gain respect.” His eyes now shifted back and forth from Jerry to the door.

Jerry bit his lip in thought, turned and grabbed his coat, swiped some scones from a cabinet in one corner of the room, and checked that his wine-bag was full. Truthful or not, this man did not mean to hurt Jerry. One corner of the man’s mouth twitched into a smile, a smile of joy, not deceit. Jerry didn’t notice as he stepped up onto the window sill with the man.

The man then looped his arm around Jerry’s, closed the window, and jumped. With the man’s hand clamped over his mouth, the two dark figures dove into the moat. A watchman later swore he saw a demon hopping from tower to tower all night, then finally into the moat. Jerry’s old life was finished, his new life was about to begin. But that, is another story…

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