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Jeremy Houle

United States

There is no better way to improve yourself than braving your storms.
Hi, my name is Jeremy, an aspiring hero of your heart.

World traveler.

Message to Readers

I wrote this piece for an upcoming contest in my city. 900 words is the word limit, and that's exactly what I'm at. If you have any non-general criticism, I would very much appreciate it. So please tell me if you think a certain part is confusing.
Thanks guys!

Musicbox of Generations

June 1, 2015

PROMPT: Open Prompt


     Alexander Worth felt in his rough robe for the ancient key. As he walked down the last steps of the tedious descent, he knew this would be the last time he would have this privilege. Squinting at the old envelope and putting it in the moonlight that was staring through a window, he could just barely make out the medieval writing. “Blow off that which has seen your fathers, and your fathers you may see.” it said. A tall, dusty door squeaked as he opened it. With a cane in his left hand and a lantern in his right, Alexander walked down the dark, cavernous hallway.  Alexander suddenly tripped, which caused the ancient cedar boards beneath him to groan with an ominous creak.  He continued walking down the dark hall, with the light of his lantern just barely licking the far edges of it. At the end of the hall, the lantern was set in a groove that was worn away not by frequent, mindless use, but by the intentional use of generations past.  Alexander was slightly nervous, because if he was found, he would surely suffer the consequences. The existence of this music box was doubted by many, even by those to whom it rightfully belonged. As he looked at the ancient music box, it looked pitiful, despite being quite large. Because his father and grandfather had both failed in their attempts to unlock its secrets, Alexander, his sons, and his beloved wife remained in bondage. Before Alexander opened the music box, he remembered the archaic writings on the envelope, “Blow off that which has seen your fathers, and your fathers you may see.”  Alexander Worth thought for a moment. What here had seen his fathers? As he stood there pondering, a very fortunate thought came to him. The dust had seen his fathers! Who could know how old this dust could be? It could have been dust from the very first book ever stored on mankind’s shelves. Alexander took a deep breath and blew off the antique music box. He laboriously lifted the solid oak lid, and it banged solidly against the wall.  Alexander glanced towards the door, fearing his captors had heard the banging.  He quickly wound up the music box, and because he had solved the mystery, the doleful starting notes transformed into something beautiful, something that freed his family line from the bondage that they had been under for generations.

     The dust from the lid flew around and transformed the room into a picture of days gone by; days that were unknown to Alexander not only because of how long ago they were, but also because these days were happy. As he looked carefully, he could see a small boy playing with his older brother and running across a field of crimson and amber violets. At the end of the blossoming field, the boy ran into his mother’s arms and gave her a hug. His mother brought him inside a glorious grey-brick castle to eat his noon day meal. During his meal, the greatest musicians from around the world happily played for the prince they loved. Halfway through the meal the boy was alarmed by his older brother bursting through the door. His brother grabbed him and the music box and drug him down a flight of stone steps into a dark hallway. The brother, while shaking with fear, showed his younger brother a secret door made of the finest stone. As the older brother turned and drew his sword to fight against the evil conqueror, he was struck down by the person he feared. The evil man walked towards the frightened younger brother and gave the brother a severe, though not fatal, wound on the side of his face.

     Alexander, who had forgotten he was in the real world, gasped loudly, thoroughly shaken. His grandfather had a scar in the same place!  He suddenly knew what the rest of the vison would be. The boy would be enslaved and the secret hallway hidden.  As Alexander watched, he saw the young brother grow into a man and have a family of his own.  Alexander heard a noise and wanted to hide, but he seemed unable to look away from the dancing dust that played in the air. He watched long years of hardship in a matter of seconds, and soon the music bought him to the present. He could see that while he had been traveling in the dark on his lonely quest, his wife and children had followed.  He smiled as he saw his beautiful family following him. His smile, however, quickly turned to alarm when he noticed in the vision that armed guards were following his family. As he continued to watch, he started seeing the near future. He could see the music stop and his family standing beside him. He saw that he would get them all away to safety through the door that his grandfather had seen. The dust slowly settled and the vision faded. Alexander let out a slow, satisfied sigh. He shut the music box and noticed his family standing beside him. Alexander walked across the hall and tripped once again on the ancient cedar boards, which creaked not so ominously this time. He shut the door that he came in, walked over to the secret door, and led his family to safety where they lived happily ever after.

what inspired this original story? A few weeks ago I and my friend Donovan wrote a beautiful piece of music called Musicbox Mystery. I translated the music into written form, and Voila! My story. If you want to hear the song, I think you can find it in itunes. (its called Musicbox Mystery by Donovan Talbot.)


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