Many readers have asked that I continue with the novelette The Letter, a mystery and adventure story set in Malta and published in 2014. The story is open ended and it is my intention to continue however the time is not yet right! For me this story reflects a personal journey of self discovery. Like the character Paul Arient who discovers a key that leads him to a hidden treasure lain deep in a city buried beneath the city of Valletta, that key for me is representative of Malta which helped me to discover many new and hidden parts that had lain hidden deep within me. The second part of the story can only be written when I have moved onto the next leg of my journey.
I loved writing the story, incorporating the locations in Malta, my experiences and the characters reflect many different people I have met along the way. Just like Paul Arient who is sails off into the moonlight at the end, I too am sailing onto the next leg of my journey.
The following is an excerpt from “The Letter” when Paul Arient first encounters the Knight in the forgotten city lying beneath Valletta, Malta:
I look at the stranger before me with revelation. I heard of my family origins from France, but if I have understood correctly, he is just after adding a huge chunk to my family history. It sounds incredible. I listen as he continues.
“The Knights of Malta went through some very turbulent times and were forced from Malta by the French, dispersing across Europe. A small group of us who still believed in the cause of protecting the mother Church detached ourselves and kept our close links with the Vatican. We still protect its secrets and that of the world. We never stopped pursuing the descendents who under an oath of allegiance are to serve the Knights Hospitaller. You are the descendent of Iulio Arientus and your destiny is to serve the group of Hospitallers. What you hold in your possession now is the key that unlocks a treasure that if ever was to be exposed, would destroy the Church and the faith of the millions who follow the Christian way.”
“What is it that you want me to do?” I ask him curiously.
“The treasure I speak of is a book bound in silver that has lain hidden in a floor vault in the building above us since the new city of Valletta was constructed in the 16th century. The building directly above is the residence of the Archbishop. He has been tasked by the new Pope in the Vatican to investigate what secrets the Hospitallers are hiding on behalf of the Church and these are to be discovered and destroyed. The Hospitallers are currently under investigation by the Vatican, the reasons I cannot currently go into; however, each member of our group is in the process of moving any evidence we have of the real truth and this book is one of the most sacred that we have taken an oath to mind and protect. The secrets contained within cannot be destroyed by the Church.”
“Ironic that the same Church who set out to protect its secrets now wants to destroy them,” Becca adds in sarcastically.
“Please, any questions you may have I will gladly answer once we have the book removed from the safe above us and placed in safety away from the island of Malta. Time is against us. The Archbishop is currently away on business and we must seize this opportunity.”
I hold my stare with him overwhelmed with all the new information. Should I believe him? I have heard of the Knights’ work in the past with the Church. I feel Becca tug at my sleeve and look at her questioningly. She nods in agreement. Without hesitation the hooded man moves to the building directly behind us and slides open a small door. We enter through the dust and he points to a stairway leading to the roof towards a trap door.
If you would like to discover more on The Letter, check out its home page on the Ben Kesp Website.
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