At The Tower of Midnight
By Richard Klu
He loved the velvet covering he’d hand stitched for the Codex. Its texture pleased him so much so that oftentimes Jacob found himself rubbing the cover of the book while speaking with others. He’d had a special carpet commissioned for his Manhattan apartment made from velvet as well. The coverings of his new office furniture? Velvet. He stroked his face with his velvet gloved fingers in and out of meetings. Velvet made him feel closer to his Codex and to the ancient words within it that he’d come to praise as gospel.
It was an ancient tome predating Sumer. It’d been purchased in Istanbul by Jacob’s mother, a history professor, on an expedition that’d been financed by the family business. They were an upper-class family that made its money in the insurance industry. Gambling over when people would die and if they’d get cancers or have an accident was a profitable business. Marcus Melloney had started Melloney Insurance in 1902 and the company hadn’t seen a negative growth year until Jacob ascended to the throne as CEO last year.
Jacob was more interested in the tome he’d been helping his mother decipher since he was twelve than running any business. It’d become an obsession for his mother and thus their only way of bonding. As years passed and his mother with them Jacob fell to the allure of the books hidden secrets. It was written in an unknown language. Still, he, like his mother, understood it. Touching the book and turning its pages had somehow transferred the knowledge needed to read the language into him. With each touch he believed he could feel the knowledge of the codex flowing into him. It’d taken near twenty years of studying the text to finally reach a point where the text had something to give back.
The book detailed not only the lives of the ancient builders and their rituals but it also detailed the building of structures that could catch light and some claimed to be able to catch the moon or stars themselves. Pages depicted gods the size of galaxies and their twisted ever changing visages. If you read around the edging of the book you found a different story than if you read its center. If you read the first structures of each page you could compile secret messages from the writer, whomever they may have been. These messages seeped through the cover flashing images into Jacobs mind. Images of temples, towers, and obelisks. He’d originally covered the black tomb in velvet to form a barrier to these images. To slow his interest. But there was no slowing. The book took to the velvet. Evolved and incorporated it into its being.
Jacob’s obsessions had led his company into financial ruin. He was to be voted out of his position by the company’s board of directors within a month. The bad part was that if he hadn’t built the new building he’d actually have run a fairly clean and healthy company. The tower he’d erected as the new corporate offices was of his own design. It’d been so elaborate with its many marbled and silvered areas that the company had spent over one hundred years of saved profits in just one year of building. It was hailed as being the most luxurious office in all the world, the company just didn’t have the money to sustain it.
It was a twisted structure that faced the rising sun in the east catching its light. As the sun passed over the building the hollow core of the tower illuminated in the shape of a funnel with open roofed terraced offices. The western side of the building caught the setting of the sun. A view Jacob had paid extra for as it required purchasing three other buildings, shortening them, and renting them out to new tenants. The sun’s path had to be preserved. At the start of the summer solstice, the sunlight would hit portions of glass in a manner that would cause the building to refract light into the red spectrum causing the tower to glow. Likewise, at the start of the winter solstice, the building would refract blue. Sitting areas looked like modern temples with columns and abstract art depicting a slurry of symbols from the Codex that only Jacob truly appreciated.
Lenses and mirrors were disguised as decorations so that when the harvest moon was full its glow would be reflected into the center of the tower creating a glowing sphere of pure moonlight. Just as the Codex described. Since the building’s construction, random men, women, and children had wandered in and been found exploring after hours. They all claimed to have been called there. Each had their own robes. Some were of the upper classes wearing amber velvet robes with fine trimmings as Jacob planned to later that night. Others came with the sheets of their beds as robes. Each robe, made from bedding or finer linens, had a white moon sphere painted or stitched onto its back. It was this same symbol that Jacob saw each time he donned his moon robes.
The followers were called, the Codex had seen to that. Jacob knew he was their priest. The decipher of the text. He who would lead them to their true future and into the realm beyond. Where men basked in the light of gods and gods devoured the souls of man. A fate all souls were called towards. A fate all who lived deserved.