BOOK ONE: MINUET. The opening scene
This is the script of a poet’s death. My poet! Jean-François Sarasin. Bright and handsome. Graceful and smart. A poet as smooth as a cat.
Rain whips the wintry landscape. Putrid air oozes out of a seedy tavern into a dismal garret. A ragged curtain billows over a filthy window. The flame of a candle, melting in a crooked candelabra, flickers in and out like a viper’s tongue. The poet’s brow is covered with sweat. His eyes fix the void. His fingers, scouring the blanket, get enmeshed in the tattered cloth.
From the edge of the bed, death watches him with a gnawing greed. Her bony arms stretch out to take him.
We are in the month of December, Anno Domini 1654. Time flows torrentially forward in a search for me.