The Man in Black: by Arthur Cola
The ancient Roman god Pollex along with Castor statue greets visitors on Michelangelo’s Cordonato stairway up which the characters of the novel, The Brooch, ascend.
We end this series introducing the central characters of my upcoming novel, The Brooch, with that of the sixth son. His name is Roberto Roselli and he has a heart filled with a burning desire for revenge. It’s a hate well hidden in his thirty year old body which gives an appearance of a model right out of an Armani cologne ad given his curly black hair, deep set dark eyes and skin so smooth that not a hair of stubble might be seen on his face. He seeks to avenge his father who sits paralyzed in a wheelchair in prison. It doesn’t matter to Roberto Roselli that his father is in such a state because he had tried to steal from Arthur Colonna and the Musketeers (John, Rich and Ryan) an ancient artifact connected to the three Magi of Bethlehem fame.
In the sequence below we are introduced to him as the would-be thief of Ramsey House.
Excerpt from the novel, The Brooch. Chapter 1: A Special Announcement
Atop the sloping roof girded by a series of peaks reminiscent of the middle ages rather than Tudor architecture the shadowy figure slithered between the stone chimneys which were a definite feature of Manor House style of 400 or 500 years ago. The home itself was the family seat of the Earl of Ramsey and spread across an immense lawn of lush green in what the Welsh called a Vale, in this case in the Pembrokeshire area not far from the smallest city in all of the United Kingdom, called St. David’s. The Cathedral dating back to the 12th Century with its foundations predating back to the 5th century, was of no interest to the black clad figure making its way in a most determined manner to the destination of a small balcony jutting out from the second floor west wing of the house.
The balcony itself overlooked a charming garden, which was also of no interest to the would be intruder whose focus remained intently upon that balcony which could have been easily used in the balcony scene from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, so beautifully was it nestled amidst vines and a nearby tree growing near to its ledge. The view, of course, was of much interest to Lord and Lady Ramsey whose bedroom adjoined the balcony and was just large enough to hold a small table and a couple of chairs on which they would take their tea on a pleasant afternoon. But darkness had fallen across St. David’s and only the glowing exterior of its Cathedral could be seen from the roof. A few lanterns flickering in the garden area gave the only light outside the house. For it so happened that the couple was not at home, in fact they were off to visit their only son and heir to the Earldom. And so as they were making their way towards the bay only a few servants remained to see to the daily operation of the home and care for the grounds. How lucky was this thief coming in the night to have to face no one save perhaps an elderly butler, a gardener and a couple of maids all of whom at this point had retired for the evening. Naturally they had entered the code so that the silent alarm system would be activated. However that inconvenience was soon to have its wiring snipped and made neutered as to producing any sound of alarm.
The slender figure dressed in the pall of night smiled with a sense of satisfaction in the knowledge that there would be no alarm this night and so far not so much as a bird fluttering in the nearby tree. He grabbed hold of a thick vine, tugged on it to test for strength then slowly let himself over the edge of the roof. Descending down the vine branches he jumped onto the balcony clipping one of the tea time garden chairs which clanked against the table but did not fall over. The figure froze in place turning himself ever so slightly from left to right to look for possible movement or lights being switched on. Steadying the tilted chair he then wiped his brow for some of the black grease paint he used to conceal himself as part of the night sky had begun to moisten from his perspiration and dripped into his eyes. All remained quiet and dark as he finally thought it safe to move towards the French style double doors with tiny window panes in each wooden frame making up the door itself.
(The tension builds as Roberto Roselli is relentless in trying to thwart Arthur Colonna and the five sons from solving the mystery of the Brooch and demonstrating to the world the power of love. Get a copy on Kindle or through www.feedaread.com later this summer).