See no evil.
Lecrutia was ten when she found the books.
She wasn’t supposed to go in her father’s study – she’d mess up the papers that lay on his
big walnut desk. Or spill ink on the floor, her mother said. little girls are clumsy and
should keep to the playroom where the childish things were kept.
But one, cold, crisp winter’s afternoon, Lucretia was bored. Bored of being cooped up,
bored of playing with her dolls. Her governess was away, and usually that would be a
cause for celebration as tuesdays were the dreaded day of learning mathematics. A subject
she had neither interest nor aptitude for.
Mother was entertaining that vile Mrs Pimmins who smelled of violets and insisted on calling her “my dear”.
Father was out and not expected until tommorow.
And really, what was the harm in having a bit of an explore?
She’d just be really careful not to disturb anything.
Of course good intentions when it comes to children are often brushed along the wayside as soon as anything
diverting comes along.
Lucretia stroked the silky feathers of the stuffed owl that glared sightless from its perch, and ran her
fingers over the wooden boxes and figurines that her father had collected from his travels all over the world.
The bookcase was of the most interest however. She liked to read, although the choices of literature her
governess deemed appropriate for her were often boring. Sometimes she snuck a book from the collection
in the library and read about adventures and mystery and other things that her mother took from her when
she was inevitably discovered.
How much more interesting must the books be in her father’s library if they were hidden away so?
Lucretia ran her hand over the leather spines and tried to decipher the titles. Some of them were in
foreign languages, some were so worn that she couldn’t make out the words. But one tome caught her
“The Book Of The Dead.”
Quietly Lucrecia slid it from the shelf, sat down and began to read.
Hear No Evil
From that point on Lucrecia became bolder. She knew how to sneak into her fathers study without
being noticed by the maids, and was careful to do so when her parents were otherwise occupied.
The book, her special book as she now called it in her mind had opened up a door inside her that
she hadn’t known was there. A lot of it she didn’t understand, and some of it was in different languages,
but the symbols and pictures were fascinating, as were the stories that she could understand, written
on bits of paper placed between the picture runes, obviously translations into English.
The Coffin Texts were her favourite, perhaps because they were accompanied by a symbol that she was
familiar with. It was embossed on father’s robe, the one that he wore when he had his friends to visit in
the night and she was told to go to bed early.
Now she wondered exactly what those dark robed men spoke of.
And so it was that the next time she was sent to her room before the moon was up and her mother had
retired early, Lucretia slipped along the corridor on quiet bare feet and padded down the staircase the
maids used. The candles were already lit in the big room where her father entertained his guests, but he himself
was up in his chambers. Carefully Lucrecia tucked herself under a corner table and concealed herself behind
the heavy brocade tablecloth.
She heard the first of the carriages arrive just as she was about to doze off, but it wasn’t long before the heavy
door to the meeting room was opened and several pairs of footsteps echoed on the polished wood floor. If she
peeked, carefully she could see boots and the edges of cloaks as the men, and one woman settled on the
chairs around the table.
Lucretia listened and she learned of Gods and plots and spells of power. She learnt of resurrection that was
certainly not the same as it was in the Bible. She discovered that what they talked of could not be found
out by anyone else. They had a secret, and now she did too.
Speak No Evil
With her new information Lucretia’s special book began to reveal more secrets, although the pull of it had started
to make her more reckless. Once she had to hide in a cupboard when a maid came in to clean, and on one
terrifying day hide behind the couch when her father unexpectedly returned because he had forgotten his
But these secrets, and this knowledge had taken root in her mind, and as she pondered the ancients and
their magics, the power in simply speaking out load a certain combination a plan took hold.
Tommy. Or Thomas Mapleton the fifth as it was inscribed on his gravestone in the family plot behind
their little chapel. Tommy, silly, bright eyed Tommy who didn’t mind playing tea party with her dolls when
she was little and he several years older. Tommy who gave her her first pony ride even though they both
knew mother would tan his hide if she caught them. Tommy who had suddenly withered away like a plant
deprived water and was buried while their mother wept, her father stood stoicly and she herself stood by
bewildered as to why any of this had happened.
If the special book contained spells that could ressurect kings then surely a fifteen year old boy would
be easier for the magic?
It took two days to plan. Sneaking out the piece of paper from the book with the english pronounciation
of the spell and hiding it under her mattress, and finding an opportunity when everyone was asleep,
including the servents. But the time came when the house was utterly silent. slipping through the hallway,
Lucrecia carefully unlocked the kitchen door and stepped into the night.
The moon was a slender silver sickle but shone enough light that she could see well enough, and anyway she
the way by heart.
The damp grass brushed her bare feet as she moved towards the gravestones, milky grey in the darkness,
a soft contrast to the dark whispering trees.
Pausing infront of Tommy’s stone, she gave the cool stone a fond brush with her fingers befoer reciting the
words that she had learned from heart.
Her heart beating fast, she waited for something to happen. Her mouth dry, the bodice of her nightgown
suddenly feeling too tight.
For a moment all was still.
It hadden’t worked, Lucrecia thought with dissapointment. She must have said it wrong or..
A sudden shifting of the earth beneath her made her jump back with a squeak of surprise. The grass
that covered the coffin was splitting apart, the earth pushing upwards.
She’d done it! Lucrecia stifled a shout of joy. Several noises behind her made her turn in surprise.
Of the twenty three graves that made up the family plot, all were breaking open. She caught a
glimpse of a yellow boned hand reaching upwards and what looked like the top of a skull trying
to push through the earth.
Suddenly Lucrecia didn’t think that this had been a very good idea after all….