BOOK DETAILS

Hamlet's Story Must Be Told: Horatio's Saga and the Elsinore Confessions

Hamlet's Story Must Be Told: Horatio's Saga and the Elsinore Confessions

by Dan Jammal

ISBN: 9781499741803

Publisher CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Published in Literature & Fiction/Genre Fiction, Literature & Fiction

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Book Description

Upon the promise to prince Hamlet, Horatio holds a story within him that the world must know. The mystery is finally unearthed with what transpires after the fall of the Danish Empire. The first part, The Elsinore Confessions, reveals the confessions of the staff within the castle, who witnessed events that were previously undocumented in the play. The second part, Horatio’s Saga, tells the story of Horatio’s experience to do what he was destined by Hamlet to do. Horatio looks to connect with publishers willing to circulate his controversial manuscript containing the events from Denmark

Sample Chapter

This story must be told, as he said to me before passing on to the undiscovered country. “Report me and my cause aright to the unsatisfied. If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart, absent thee from felicity a while, and in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain, to tell my story.” These were his words, no more, yet no less than needed, in the exact uttering from his lips before those most tragic of events in the history of Denmark. And I was witness to it all, given the privilege of every look and virtue. With every instruction that left his mouth, he was correct in thought and moving. It is not enough to say that he was a most excellent man, but a man like no other. He was a gifted scholar, a loyal son, and the Prince of Denmark.

But now, the sun has set on his futures’ horizon and Lord Hamlet forever sleeps and dreams; I know not where. Did he have a proper burial? Was he honored the way that I would have honored him? I will never know.

As the sun had set on my own day, the most dreadful of days when the prince took his last breath, I received word from a loyal follower of Lord Hamlet that those still faithful to his Uncle Claudius, the brief and tyrant king, would do all in their power to keep my lips sealed and his name righteous. Even as Claudius himself was dead at those same moments and clearly shown to be a king of lies, he still has loyal followers.

In his dying request, Lord Hamlet asked of me to tell his story, to make sure that his name, and that of his family, would live long in the good health of all minds. I was to speak with the now king, Fortinbras, that same dreadful evening and disclose to him everything that I had seen and known, from the mouth and mind of Lord Hamlet. Yet, I was informed of the attempt on my life if I even went near King Fortinbras, let alone pass one word his way through sound or paper. I grew wise on a moment’s whim and fled Denmark for more familiar grounds, to spare my life and be able to tell the story I was born and prophesized to tell.

“…And I will wear him in my heart’s core, ay, my heart of heart, as I do thee.” These were the words and the friendship with Lord Hamlet that I had worked so hard to maintain, as one of his significance will not be seen for generations and centuries to come. And yet, now he is no longer, and with no heir to fulfill the coming of another great soul. Thus, my call to action is worth more than money can purchase, and even more than my own life and history. It is here, in England, where the rotten Claudius once sent the Lord Hamlet to end his glorious life that I now hide to bring him back to life once again. I could not imagine if he had made it to England, what would be of his history. His story will be told, and as I am alive and breathing, all will be made aware of his dying wish and the oceans of words that will bring the tides of truth. This dark and hidden alehouse in the deepest and most questionable part of London is musty and rank. The putrid smells quicken the pace of my heart and increase this paranoia that rests in my mind that I cannot escape. Even as London is familiar ground for me, I am still surrounded by nerves, as fears fill my hollow heart of possibly being captured by those who would do anything and everything to keep my lips sealed, and hands frozen, from spreading the words of Lord Hamlet.

I am to wait for two men who are supposed to meet me here to hopefully discuss the publishing of the almost completed manuscript of all the happenings in the last days of Lord Hamlet’s Denmark. These men are said to be fair, and publish only the most true and heralded works by men who have a voice to be heard. They have been cunning enough to publish manifestos of great importance and political significance of the rebellions, and even spread word from the richest of the rich to the smallest and poorest of the classes. Once I informed them of my arrival here in London, they made sure to send word to me about their interest in the events that unfolded in Denmark, as countries from all around are in awe at the stories and events that have been spread from word of mouth alone as one breath travels through the winds of the oceans to distant shores. If only I knew what John Heminges and Henry Condell looked like so I could be prepared to trust them within our first meeting. I can only assume they will be men of discreet appearance to hide as I hide. But their eyes will tell what their nerves are screaming, as I also cry out into the night through the black of my head’s windows.

Voices come and go all around me and I keep a constant watch for what I hope to be my salvation from this gift of knowledge, yet also a curse, within these hands. The smells of death have already touched the floors of this establishment, as I can see the stains within the wooden planks whose corners begin to turn towards the heavens repenting their own involvement in the lives that have been taken. I am uneasy, but in this situation, I do not think that I will ever know what feeling comfortable and safe may be like ever again.

The door opens and closes with a loud pop every time it is used, and this shady establishment seems to attract many patrons in these late hours. Even as the nights are cool, men still wander to their pubs to warm themselves away from their wives, whether into the arms of a pint of ale or a whore. My coat warms me well enough, as it also hides the document bag that protects what I have in ink to this point. These words lost, with my life, would be a failure to the mission I am on. Lord, give me the will to carry on and grant me even half of the power Lord Hamlet did possess.

The hour has come and passed when these men were scheduled to meet me. I sense foul play and can only assume that if interrogated, they would offer up my name and location to spare their lives. I am no one, and this story may find its way around this globe without my mind. So what is to lose, as everything is to gain when being spared their lives? I must begin to assume they will not appear, and begin to make my plan for exit so that I will not be seen. I steal a glance around the entire establishment, and see no immediate threat. No eyes gaze in my direction that I can see. I slowly stand and begin to look to see if any stand when I rise. No movement in reaction to my own. I begin to move in the direction of the door, slowly and alert within my senses, yet no one seems to be looking my way. As I near the door, I see several sketchy men look within my direction. Their eyes burn at my face as they glance so intently. What to do? Are these the men who have been waiting upon my leaving and will look to follow me into the night and take me down when the time is right and the shadows of this black evening encompass my walk? I head out of the door quickly and walk across the street to the storefront on the opposite side and hide in a shadow of a doorway watching to see who will come out the door after me. Within moments, two men exit, and look around intently. These men must be looking for me. But as soon as they peer in either direction, one man reaches into his coat pocket looking for what I can assume to be a weapon to peel away my life as they track me down. Lucky am I that I sought shelter and did not leave myself exposed to the night’s light. When his hand comes from the coat, he is holding what looks to be a smoking pipe. As his friend lifts a flame in his direction, they light it and pass it back and forth commencing in honest laughter and telling the stories of their day.

Now my decision on what I should do is a mystery even to myself. These men, Heminges and Condell, were believed to be the only men who would publish the story and were brave enough not to fear persecution, execution or a history of being labeled radicals against the government. They know not where I am staying while I am here, and I hope that they will attempt to contact me for this opportunity through the secretive channels we have engaged in. These words will need to be circulated to the world; Lord Hamlet will be heard if it is the last thing that I will do with the final beats of my heart. I will retreat for now until I can try and make contact once again with these men and try this secretive meeting once more.

These streets of London are far more terrifying than those of Denmark. Even in Denmark, when there is no one to trust, one can find a place to hide to keep from the eyes and ears of the state. But here in London, I feel as if the walls and cobblestones on the uneven ground all have eyes and ears, and observe every step I take. Then with the information they gather, they wash their thoughts to the homeless bums who drink of their waters and collect the thoughts of my existence. I know that I am being hunted by those faithful to the former King Claudius, as they do not want his image slandered. But if they only knew the words that I have almost completely writ, they would end their hunt for me and move forth to protect the new king of Denmark. I only wish I could have just lasted one more day in the presence of the Danes, as I would have told newly crowned King Fortinbras all that I had seen and was told. I can only hope that even as I have gone, that others have stepped up to the throne and shared their stories with the king and informed him of the evil man that Claudius truly was. I can only hope, and pray.

Yet now, I am here, in the streets of London, all by myself, hoping to survive with the only documented words of Lord Hamlet. And these words will be read; I will make certain of that. These streets may bring me to the edge of my sanity and attempt to push me from the cliff, but I will endure and do what must be done. There is not one human who can stop the movement of the wind.

But soft, it appears again, within my walk, cast several feet before me; the apparition. Like the image of his father that walked the night in Denmark, Lord Hamlet has now for a second time appeared to me here in the streets of London. What shall I do? The first time he appeared to me, I ran as if I were on the brink of losing all my wits, but I realized shortly after how foolish I was. I have seen the spirits before when King Hamlet appeared to me, so it should not have affected me as it did. I can only attribute the shock I experienced to the high-strung nerves and rapid pulse of my veins I have felt since being here in London. This second visitation must happen, as he needs, as I know that it is for my education.

I fall to my knees in this dark and empty alley and wrap my arms around my body to contain all that I have left of my emotional structure. Bowing my head to him, so that I may prove my loyalty and admiration, I remain still. “What is your will, my Lord, that I may command upon this still living world and do for your honor?” Peace stays still, and all I hear are distant, muffled voices that do not pose a threat to this visitation. I slowly shift my head up to see what is happening, as he is silent still. As I come close to level, I see his feet float closer to me, with movement over the air, yet when there is no movement from him. In fear, I lower my head once again, as I cannot look upon what the ghostly world may have done to him. I hold steady and wait for what could be a command, or further information that I may convey to the world. If it were not for the visitation of King Hamlet in Denmark, I may not be strong willed enough to contain my nerve and allow this to be. Regardless, I shake as if frozen, and breathe shallow, quick-paced breathes.

“Horatio… my excellent friend. I am here to warn you… that you do not have much time left. Those that would silence my history… are afoot and search for you even now.” His words enter the air as slow as the time that passes in this eternity. “I have seen it writ that you shall be with me soon, and I look upon our meeting with great honor… for what you have at hand must be done and I trust in you to keep the promise you have made.”

Silence falls and I wait for a moment to collect my nerve. Slowly I look up once again, and see that he is drifting away into the darkness of the alley ahead. As quick as I can, I yell to him “My lord, I thank thee for your advanced warning and will in all my power, do all that is within my blood and soul to make your words known to the world. You can trust in me my prince.”

As I looked up to see the beauty of his face, that would look upon me as a brother more than a friend, I catch his eyes for just one moment before he disappears into the night air. Those blue globes were not unlike the same that I saw before his life was ended. They were certain, worldly, deeper than the ocean’s depths and as solid as the universe in the sky. Even as his spirit walks in the night, I can see that there is some semblance of peace in his ever-present soul. He looked as I last saw him, dressed in nights cloak, with his beard as full to the chin as it was in the golden hew of his ancestor’s complexion.

Quickly to my feet, I heed his word and take a strong look around me. What did he mean that they are in search of me even now? Does that call out to the sounds that are within the alley ahead, or that they are landed in England and search for my name in the inns of the city? I must not stay here and wonder. I take one final glance to make sure that he is gone, and make my way steadily to the Cherub Inn.

When I arrive back within this small and dark room, I settle my nerves and begin to strip myself of the fears and anxiety that I carry as I walk out of doors. This task has become more than I ever thought I could personally undertake, and yet the words the prince spoke still house themselves deep within me. He said that I shall be joining him soon. That can only mean that my end is afoot, and that there is not much time left to complete this task. My death is upon me; my end is near. I still have the final events left to tell of his last days, so I must sit myself down and place ink to paper if I am to complete this journal of events.

As I prepare myself to write these words, I pause and think of nothing more than how these are my last days, if not hours. What is it that I am doing; sacrificing my life for another man, yet a prince? I am telling a story that may already be known, but very likely not. As I place the quill down, I begin to quiver with fear that I should not be here; that I should escape now before anything happens to me. I know of many places across this globe that I could hide where no one would find me. There are countries with forests as deep as the ocean’s depths, where I could build myself a small home, start a family, and live out the rest of my days. I could do this, and have a life to live. But, what kind of life would it be, if in the back of my mind I knew that justice was not done? How could I let such dishonor and treachery prevail when in my mind I know the truth that exists? I would never sleep a moment through the night. Yet through it all, I could never guarantee that those that would seal my mouth now would not want to complete their task and find me one day. I could not allow horrible things to happen to my family in such a case. I am bound to this story, as it is bound within me.

As I return the quill to my fingers, I begin to make note of the events of the duel, where the prince and Laertes shared blow for blow of the foils. It was a battle to remember, as no one thought the prince could wield a weapon as he did. Laertes was always known for his craftsmanship with taking lives through swordplay, but no one ever saw the prince train in the same manner. Reminiscent of all else the prince could do, he surprised them all by striking Laertes one time after another. Even the look within the eyes of Laertes gave away the story of his frustration. That must have been why he followed through with the plan created by the king to destroy the prince. I saw a look within Laertes’ eyes in the beginning when the prince asked for forgiveness that showed a man in equal pain that understood the thoughts of the other. They were of one emotional consciousness. But let it be fear of losing, fear of embarrassment or just the evil workings of the mind that forced the lad to wield the poisoned sword that not only took his life, but that of the sweet prince.

To think upon that day brings an onslaught of tears and anger onto me that I have never before dared share with the world. Never have I been so affected by the passing of a man. When my own parents passed on from this world, their parting was accepted as I knew that their days would come to an end much sooner than my own, or that of the prince. They were not well, due to the many years of hard labor. And all that labor was done to make the proper funds to support my education. It was the same education that brought me across the path of the prince.

A knock at my door quickly arouses my nerves once again, and puts me in the defensive state that I have grown accustomed to. I pause, and stare at the handle, even as I know the lock is safely secured. Again the knock comes. Is it the prince returning to remind me of my fate? As I sit here and question this all, I begin to feel regret for promising to tell his tale and yet think of nothing more than fleeing for my life.

“Oi, mate, are you in there? I forgot to give you a letter that was dropped off for you.” The voice is that of the front desk clerk. I stand and walk to the door, still wondering if this is a set up or not.

“Yes, I am here. You say a letter was left for me? By whom?” I ask.

“By whom? As if I should know, and care for that matter. A boy, very much in appearance of yourself.” With all the courage I have, I open the door. There stands the desk clerk, alone, with the letter, still sealed, held face level for me to take. “You should be thankful I decided to bring it to you this far. I could have waited until you passed by again, but I was in need of some liquor and needed to pass this way.”

“I humbly thank you sir. I am sorry to delay, I was just in the middle of… resting my eyes and was out of tune with the moment,” I said, hoping to keep him in good favor with me.

“Think nothing of it, mate.” As he began to walk away, I thought that this could work even better in my favor.

“Where is it that you go for this liquor? I feel the same need you have for some comfort.” He turns back to me, gives me a good look up and down, and smirks slightly. “So you’re in need of some comfort then? I have just the thing for that. Wait here in your room and I’ll bring it by shortly.”

As he walks away, I close the door and lock it once again. The letter is a single sheet folded over twice and sealed with the customary wax imprint. The symbol is not legible at all, as the hand that placed it slid aggressively enough to leave nothing more than a streak of wax. I walk to the small desk where I had been working, which is not far from the door in this tiny room, and place it down and check to see if any other markings may give away where it has come from. As I reach forward, I run my finger across the wax. It is frozen in place, which means this letter must have been written many hours ago, if not yesterday. I can tell the life of a letter by the wax, from all the years of being a messenger in my youth. As the ripples do not bend when I trace them, it shows the coolness of the air has sealed their shape. Taking a look at the edges, it is clear that it has not been tampered with, not even manhandled in the slightest. I should read it now before the desk clerk returns, so that I know what this matter may be in concerns to. As I reach for the letter, I hear the same rapping at the door. Quickly, I walk over and ask who is there.

“Are you serious? I said that I would return within a moment.” I opened the door and saw him standing there with a bottle in each hand and an expression of disgust from my questioning him.

“Sorry, I have just been through a lot of difficult days and my nerves are on the edge of my skin, sensitive to all.” He looked at me without changing his expression, but lifted a bottle right up to my face.

“Here, take this. A little bit of this “dirty water” should set your nerves ‘a right. I’ll make note to receive payment for this tomorrow.” I take the small bottle, and notice only a very tiny label on the front. He walks away and I offer a thank you. After closing the door, and once again locking it for safety, I turn into the room examining the bottle. It is also sealed with wax on the top, so I am certain that it also has not been tampered with. The blue glass bottle hides the color of the liquid within, as I have no idea what he has given me. Walking back to the desk, I seat myself and work away the wax on the bottle. On the corner of the desk is a small cup, the only one in the room, and I pour myself a very small bit at first just to see what it may be. The green liquid slides into the glass quickly, and almost sparkles at me. I think I may know what this is. I have seen it in many pubs, but only the rare and few men have asked for it. I believe, unless I am very wrong, that this is also not a legal substance to be walking around with. I wonder how the desk clerk got his hands on this? I take a quick sip and the liquid rushes into me, setting my head into an instant shock from the taste. Not like anything I could have imagined, but not that bad, either. I take another look at the label, which is rather plain with a small amount of words. But in the middle is a large A, clearly drawn, and beside it, a very, very small piece of text saying bsinthe. But being the literate man that I am, I place the A along with it to discover that this is the liquid I knew it would be. Absinthe. Quite good.

Continues...

Excerpted from "Hamlet's Story Must Be Told: Horatio's Saga and the Elsinore Confessions" by Dan Jammal. Copyright © 2014 by Dan Jammal. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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