Walker looks up and sees her standing under the arch of the closet door. Lost and mesmerised, the young girl glances over the piece of paper in her hand. There are thoughts of confusion and sadness pressed deeply onto her face. The girl with the ash blonde hair and ocean blue eyes shoots a startled glance into Walker’s direction and then glares back into the closet where she stepped out of mere moments ago. The two are speechless. Walker is pressed against the bed’s headboard staring at the girl standing at the foot of the bed. Jumping up, Walker sprints passed the girl toward the closet to see where she could have entered the tiny room from. There were no other access points, only the door.
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Aurora inspects the familiar room. It appears to be from a distant memory. Things from the memory seem different. The old oak double bed frame has been refurbished and looks anew. The pale white side panels have been replaced with beautiful oak tables with golden, lion-head handles. A large wool rug has been draped across the floor at the foot of the bed. With her eyes closed, she traces finishing of the bed post with her index finger and feels the grains of the oiled wood with her fingertip, almost hoping that it would bare a resemblance to the one at home. Familiar smells fill the room. The scent of cherry and musk envelops her. She hears a clutter in the distance. Walker walks over to her, exasperated with this girl who just stumbled out of his closet. Aurora’s eyes widen as she remembers the piece of paper clenched in her fist. That’s who she is here for. She had to remind herself. He was the reason she came back.
Another muffled noise. This time the sound was further away.
Walker stares at the blonde-haired girl in awe. She had just ignored the only person in the room. A girl who just appeared out of nowhere from his closet. Walker watches her closely, taking note of the way she glides through the house. Seemingly knowing exactly where she was going. Wandering through the large portals of the old country-side cottage. Walker examines the girl’s facial expressions carefully, listening intently to the mutters escaping her lips. Trying to decipher the reason for her unexpected visit. He follows her, confused with what she was searching for in the house. Then the chance came that he was waiting for. The girl let her hand drop slightly and Walker could read the crumbled-up note:
My dearest Aurora,
What you search for has been lost in 1954. Go to 58 Waterberry Street, Westward Manor, second passage downstairs, in the study, pay a mind to the pointing man. He will guide you where you need to be.
If anyone can find the key, it is you.
With the greatest of love.
Aurora smiled as she found the study. Her heart pounding loud enough for Walker to hear as she pushes the heavy door open and enters through the mahogany frame. She is astonished by the brilliance of the sight in front of her. A vast collection of books garnishes the walls in the high reaching shelves. A grand mahogany desk has been placed in front of the master bookcase and a deep red, leather high-rise chair stands behind it. There is a large golden globe positioned exactly in the middle of the impressive study underneath an extravagant, candle lit chandelier. It is close to midnight and her quest has led her here. She looks down at the piece of paper.
… pay a mind to the pointing man. He will guide you where you need to be…
Walker looks at Aurora. The dim light from the chandelier catching her hair as she paces through the room. Standing next to the golden globe in the centre of the room. Walker looks down at the compass carefully balanced on the top of the globe, the gauge is pointing toward the large high-backed chair. He glances up to see Aurora plummeting into the chair and exhaling heavily. Walker sees her looking at the little note in her hand again, before she glances over the room once more. Her eyes searching intently for the man. The candlelight playing with the features of her face. Walker can see her eyes following the splendour of the room down to the old wooden desk in front of her. She looks down into her hand again.
… the pointing man…
Aurora rushes to her feet and grabs the photo frame on the desk. Walker walks up to her and glances over her shoulder to look at the picture. In the frame is a faded sketch of a familiar man at a carnival pointing onto the sky. Aurora mutters to herself as she examines the sketch with a critical eye. She finds nothing. She sets the photo frame back into its position. Its permanent residency betrayed by the dust free spot on the desk. Nothing. She starts pacing through the study once more. The candle-lit room provides her with barely enough light to examine the contents of the bookcase behind the desk. Murmuring, she reads over the titles of the books. The old books have collected dust over the years. She can’t shake the thought that someone has been working on this impressive collection for many years. She passes by the books, admiring the calligraphy and innovative titles of the olden authors. Paying little mind to what she reads, The Traveller by Matthew Parker, The Sailor by Francis Lucan, The Magnetic Compass by Mark Pointer, The Wandering Ship by Walker Skylar. She stops. She removes book titled The Magnetic Compass out of the bookcase and examines the binding. He told her there was a book. She turns the book over. On the back of the book is a picture of a man. The same man in the old sketch. Eyes shot wide, with book in hand, she rushes back to the desk and picks up the old photo frame once more.
Walker follows her intently. Looking at her, searchingly staring at the sketch. Pointer. His grandfather was also a writer. This was his study before he passed away a couple of years ago. It is his grandfather in his early years sketched in the picture that’s rightful place is on the desk. The Magnetic Compass was the first book his grandfather wrote. It was the start of his grandfather’s legacy and it has always been one of his favourite books. He watches as Aurora removes the delicate sketch from its frame and flips it over. At the bottom of the sketch is a small note that reads.
Mark Pointer. Author of The Magnetic Compass. 1916. A book written by a man who once only had a compass in his pocket, but through this compass built a legacy this world would not soon forget.
Aurora opens the book again to see the print date. This was a first print. She reads the note written in the front of the book on the binding.
Worlds apart, yet we became closer. This book was written as a reminder of how a little direction can change one man’s life and thereafter whoever should follow in his footsteps. My hopes are that whoever uses my compass will find what they are looking for. Just as I have.
Aurora remembers the compass she spotted earlier on the globe. She rushes around the mahogany table to where the compass is carefully balanced on the globe. For a moment time stands still as she looks at the golden instrument. She picks the little compass up and looks at the engraving. A thick layer of dust has collected on it over the years, causing her to barely be able to make out the direction into which the compass is pointing. After a quick polish with the hem of her dress she sees where it’s pointing. Due North. Home. One step closer.