Secret Garden

My name is Michael John Everard and I have 19 hours, 21 minutes and 46 seconds before I will be murdered. Well no, not really. Just kidding. How would I know? Since I first set a foot on this soil, in this city, I have been more dead than alive anyway. At every corner, someone could ram a dagger into my back for no particular reason. Every passing guard could question me and discover that I am not Michael John Everard at all. But I had known what awaited me here, and I accepted the risk.

It was nearly the time of the evening prayers when the whole city freezes for a moment, everyone’s eyes on the citadel. I left the café I had been sitting at and slowly walked down the street. Towards the citadel the hill gently rose, and in this part of the city the streets grew smaller. My mission was important and dangerous, and the survival of the whole city could depend upon it. The street ended in a grocery shop right in front of me, but next to it there was a small passage, just wide enough for me to fit through. And beyond the dark passage lay a small garden, fenced by stone walls and a magnificent view over the city.

I casually walked into the garden, stopped to look over the city for a moment and then made my way to a bench at the back of the garden. In the shadow of a big tree I sat down, the last strokes of the sun on the ground before me. As I heard the bells of the citadel I felt beneath the bench. And felt, more to the right. There were some rests of duct tape but no book.

I didn’t look under the bench. I stood up and started to walk. The garden had two entries, but it didn’t really matter which one I took. I just walked on.

My name is Michael John Everard and I am as good as dead. I walked out of the garden and never looked back.

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