The Book of Secrets Ch. 01byLadynStFreknBed©
James walked the streets of Madrid. He had gone on vacation in order to try to get over his ex-fiancé. Now, he found himself aimlessly wandering the foreign streets at night with thoughts of her poisoning his mind. The image of her in bed with his best friend flashed before him. James ran his hand through his dirty blonde hair. He decided he had to do something to block her from his mind. The only way he could do that tonight was to get drunk.
He scanned the unfamiliar surroundings. For a moment, he wondered where he was. He decided he didn't care all that much. Although he had wandered through alleys and side streets of a foreign city, he could call a taxi after he was done drinking. That's how he would find his way back to the hotel.
He ducked into a small bar. Other than a group of men sitting around a table and one old soul sitting at the bar, the place was empty. He sat next to the old man at the bar. The young bartender approached him.
"Una cerveza, por favor," James told the bartender. James snickered to himself that finally those four years of studying Spanish were put to good use. As long as he knew how to order a beer, his vacation would be fine.
James tried to listen to the conversation that the four men sitting at the table were holding. Listening to Spanish conversation was a bad habit he had picked up back home. He had always wanted to be fluent in the language, but never had much opportunity to practice. Therefore, whenever he encountered people speaking Spanish, he would try to decipher what they were saying as a way to practice the language.
There was one word repeated in the conversation that James knew very well. "El libro" means "book." They were discussing a book. James was intrigued by this. These rough-looking men couldn't be part of a book club.
"What book could they be talking about?" James wondered.
The bartender served James his beer. James' thoughts drifted back to the reason he was there. Jennifer, his ex-fiancé, was the woman with whom he had thought he was going to spend the rest of his life. He pictured her blonde hair and delicious body as he chugged his beer. He quickly ordered another.
He felt the need to drown the picture of her, but it seemed like the more he drank, the more resentful he felt. He hated her now. She had betrayed his trust. It had been difficult to trust her in the first place. He had been burned by love way too many times. When he started dating Jennifer, he had made a conscious effort to give love one more try. For two years, he lived with her. Though they had their ups and downs like any couple, he had been happy. That is until he came home early to surprise her on her birthday only to catch her in bed with his best friend.
Three beers later, James had started to tell his tale of woe to the poor, old man sitting next to him at the bar. The old man had a vacant look on his face.
"No comprendo inglés," the man apologized for not understanding James' rant.
The men sitting at the table watched James. As James stood up to leave, one of the men rushed to him.
"Please, come," he said in broken English.
James walked with the man and joined the group of men. There was an awkward pause as the man who had invited James to join them searched for words.
"You read, yes?" the tall, lanky Hispanic man asked.
"Yes, of course," James replied.
"Tengo un libro," he said, searching James' expression to see if he understood.
"You have a book," James translated aloud.
"Si! Pero, no can read. It's English," the man explained in a mesh of English and Spanish.
"Ah, so you want me to read a book to you?" James asked.
The men paused, unsure of James' words and the proper response. James tried again.
"Queremos qué yo leo el libro?" sure that it was not perfectly correct, he hoped it was close enough for them to understand.
"Si!" the men shouted in excitement.
"Wow! This must be some book for them to want to hear it so badly," James thought.
"I can try," James said. "Qué es este libro?" James asked what the book is.
The men looked hard at James, as if to try to see through him.
"El Libro de los Secretos," a short, stocky man with long black hair whispered.
"The Book of Secrets," James translated aloud.
"Si," said the tall, lanky man. "You come with us," he continued as he stood.
The others followed his cue and stood. James was a little uneasy about following this strange gang of men anywhere. But, he felt that he had very little to lose. Death seemed almost a welcome end to his heartache. James was intrigued by this mysterious book that the men obviously wanted to hear.
The tall man led the way out of the bar and down an alley. They turned down a narrow street. The men walked to one house. They walked up a flight of stairs. James followed. The short, stocky man took a key from his pocket and opened the door.
The room was littered with beer cans. A worn couch was the only furniture in the room. James sat on the couch. The tall man disappeared down the hall and returned with a small, leather book and another book. James hoped that the small book was the one he was to read.
The tall man offered both books to James. The others kicked beer cans out of their way and sat on the floor. The tall man sat beside James. James looked at the larger book. He was relieved that it was a Spanish to English/ English to Spanish dictionary. On the cover of the small, leather book were gold-embossed letters that read, "The Book of Secrets."
As James opened the book, the tall man stopped him. "Me llamo Eduardo," he introduced himself. He pointed to the other men and introduced them. The stocky man who unlocked the door was addressed as Juan. The other two men were Jose and Julio. James introduced himself to the group.
After introductions, James began to read the book. Eduardo assisted translating some of the words into Spanish. James was not only surprised by how much Spanish he remembered, but also by the content of the book.
The book began by talking about empathy, feeling what someone else was feeling. When the book talked about using the power of empathy to control others' actions, James was dumbfounded. The whole concept made sense. The more he read, the more he understood. According to the book, a man could use empathic power to implant lust into the mind of a woman he desired. "Mind control!" James said to himself.
The book gave details to a process of seducing a woman by implanting thoughts in her mind which she would think were her own. James was shocked. When he finished the book, he had doubts to the validity of the process, but was eager to try it. It seemed to make so much sense to him.
"How did you get this book?" James asked Eduardo in Spanish.
"Juan. Juan got the book. Su hermano, his brother, died. His brother had many novias," Eduardo struggled to say.
"Novias? Girlfriends," James translated.
"Si!" Eduardo confirmed.
The men had listened intently as James had revealed the content of the book. They sat in awe of what they had heard. Eduardo and James stood from the couch. Eduardo embraced James.
"Gracias. Muchas gracias!" Eduardo said as he hugged James.
The men stood and shook James' hand. James left the apartment in a fog. His mind was racing over what he had learned. He walked until he found a busy street. He haled a taxi and gave the name of his hotel as his destination.
Once at his hotel, he immediately called the airline and packed his bags. All he could think about was how to use this new information to get revenge on his ex. His mind raced with possibilities. He needed to hurry home, test his new skill, then exact his revenge.