Thursday, 7 August 2008


The clouds seemed to light up a brilliant white as he broke through them, almost blinding white. He lived for this moment, knowing they spread out, pure white in every direction, like an endless expanse of paradise.

The Last Resort, he liked to think of it. The very last place on earth that was untouched by humanity, its pollution, the noise, the pain, the politics and the rage. He'd have to go back down to it sometime, but for now, it was just him and trusty old Jane. How she shined in the evening sun, reflecting off hard rays on her white and blue trim. The steady hum of her propeller already a part of the serenity.

Matt never thought of his Mooney as just an airplane. It was always Her, and She was always Jane. She was not unlike his mistress, granting him an escape from reality in a way nothing else ever had. At 24, he figured that was a worrying situation, but the beauty of the world above drove everything out of his mind pretty damn quick.

The clouds cleared for a few miles and he banked slightly, holding course with rudders, so he could look down... God's view of Conroe, rolling green plains. He spied a brook stretching across the green, deep blue water glimmering in the bright sun. Following it with his eyes, he spied a castle, still mostly intact with high rising turrets casting shadows west across it's fortification and the overgrown grass beyond.

He let out a low whistle. "Funny, never noticed that before," he said, mostly to himself. He quickly set aside his flight chart and reached over to find his map. He was surprised to discover no record of the location ever having held a fort or castle of any kind, not for a few hundred miles. "That can't be right," he said, rechecking. He felt an urge to set down and have a look around.

"Nothing ventured, nothing gained," he sighed, as he started banking towards the castle, looking for a safe place to set down. He found a level bit of grass for a stretch and marked off his touchdown spot. A few minutes later he was on the ground, approaching the castle.

Up close the stone walls seemed to reach up to the sky, imposing their presence against nature and man alike. There was no moat to this castle, so there was no drawbridge. Just an outer fortification leading straight on to the actual castle. Matt crossed the outer courtyard quickly, not interested in it, while any other day he would've spent hours looking around. Today he didn't, because today he saw a book lying by the inner wall. Never mind that he was in an apparently non-existent large defensive stone structure, but a book?

He quickly flipped it over and opened it, the pages turning easily as though it were brand new, but yellowing with age. Not brittle at all. He flipped past a blank page and got to the first. From the neat writing, he judged it was a journal or a diary.

There was one sentence on the page.

"Nothing ventured, nothing gained."