Considered one of, if not, the last of the great cathedrals built in the Baroque style in Spain; Cadiz Cathedral ‘by the Sea’ was the first to incorporate the new Rocco influence in its construction (circa 1722 – 1838 AD).
The featured wooden doors of Cadiz Cathedral are its main entrance. In this photo, the Cathedral’s outer courtyard steps are decorated in red seating for a public function.
Trivia #1: Cadiz Cathedral’s twin towers built of costly Genoese marble and Ostionera stone and reaching a height of 40 meters (131 feet) above sea level are controversial in that they apparently contravened the city’s centries-old edict prohibiting the construction of high towers.
However, somehow the towers’ construction was approved. Today, the towers are the city’s famous landmark taking center stage in its ocean view. See Cadiz Cathedral’s wide-angle, as seen from the Atlantic Ocean below.
Trivia #2. Sherry aficionados worldwide know that only bottles of Sherry produced in Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz, Spain can officiallybe called “Sherry.”
It was late. He had no idea when he would arrive. Or, if he would come at all. His summons, as the dead warlock, termed his necromancy concocted missive, was deliberately vague:
“Come to the old Scrap Metal Inc building, aka my office…pick a time you like. And, do not be late..or else. Oh, and bring that thing… I have the payment!”
Suddenly, the old scrap metal building was back to its original splendor…
(And the cause of that sudden change in the building’s appearance…?)
…A knock on the front door, the loading dock entrance near the old building’s red wall.
Urgently, the dead warlock rushed past the workers, long since dead, themselves real ghosts busy hammering steel, piling lumber and metal rods, hard at work making the wood nickels, round to-its and thingymebobbers same as they did when they were alive.
The din was cacophonous. Of course, none of the real ghosts “workers” saw the dead warlock rushing past them, his flowing purple coat with a glowing “M” embroidered on its breast pocket.
He rushed to the door and pulled the chains to the door near the red wall…
…In walked an Uber driver holding a printed copy of the dead warlock’s “missive.”
“Uh, Sir, I read your online order and could not make head nor tails of it, so I picked up and brought what you ordered last week. Wagu ghost burger from Ghost Burgers and hold the fries. Was that okay, Sir?”
“Yes, yes, give that to me… keep the change,” mumbled the dead warlock, grabbing the paper bag with his order, and ripping the bag open as a napkin flew to the cement floor. He throws a gold coin in the Uber driver’s direction while taking a bite of his wagu ghost burger.
Catching the gold coin, the Uber driver said, “Thank you, Sir! See you next week, Mr. Merlin?”
–Written for ThursdayDoors’ Annual Writing Challenge #TDWC–
A homeless figure, a man shuffled along Simcoe Street in downtown Toronto in the wee hours of December 19, 2019.
He did his level best to breathe in the early morning subzero affections, that Winter frequently lavished upon the city.
The homeless man, swaddled in garbage bags, one of which he had fashioned with newspaper as string into a “blanket” with a hoodie, pushed his rusty Loblaws grocery store cart trudging Northeast up Simcoe Street.
His grocery cart’s miraculously quiet stealth made not a sound on the frozen slippery sidewalk. The stone sidewalk’s skating rink sheen was unaffected by the copious salt and sand sprinkled about like confetti icing in an attempt to improve pedestrian traffic’s safe passage.
His head seemingly lowered in the humility of his circumstances – the homeless man took in his surroundings with expert eagle-eyed precision.
His apparently labored steps belied the skill and ability of one familiar with the shadows in the uncanny precision of his every step. Surreptitiously, he counted his steps as he approached a sewage grate. Then…
… He paused across the street from the US Embassy Toronto building.
The tattered-looking guitar case’s edge hidden under a pile of trash in the homeless man’s seemingly dilapidated Loblaws grocery cart, gleamed under the streetlight as he halted his stride.
Standing atop the sewage grate (sealed for safety because of its location across from the US Embassy Toronto), the homeless man began shouting seemingly incoherently:-
He cried out loud six times:
I need the Holy Bible, give me not food of The Empress, nor the shelter of the Ace of Pentacles, I need the Holy Bible!
His words echoed, piercing the very early morning stillness.
Meanwhile, across the street from the homeless man standing atop the sewage grate…
…the four “Security Guards” actually Navy Seals guarding the US Embassy Toronto’s front gates instinctively placed their right hand on their respective holstered weapons as they watched in disbelief at what happened next…
The homeless man retrieved a round metal object from his tattered clothing under his garbage bag blanket. He dropped the object unseen through the slots in his rusted-out Loblaws grocery store shopping cart.
The round metal object fastened itself magnetically to the sealed sewer grate on the sidewalk beneath his feet
In an instant…
The sewer grate opened…its circumference gleaming with a strange blue light emanating from inside…
…letters of the Hebrew alphabet rose in a swift wind from inside the circumference of the now-opened sewer grate and engulfed the homeless man and his rusted-out Loblaws cart!
The homeless man and his cart…vanished inside the hole under the sewer grate.
Then the sewer grate sealed itself on its own…
And…the early morning quiet resumed…
Trained to not abandon their posts, all four of the “Security Guards” calmly stood their ground. One of them tapped his earpiece, placing a phone call.
Meanwhile, inside the US Embassy in Toronto...
Head of Security (aka The Hierophant, or just “H”) was startled awake by his emergency phone. He answered:
“Yes, Captain, what is it?”
“We had a strange event a few moments ago, Sir.”
“What do you mean?”
“Sir, a homeless man, and his cart uh..ehm.. vanished across the street. He spoke the following words before he uh…vanished. He said:
‘I Need the Holy Bible, give me not food of The Empress, nor the shelter of the Ace of Pentacles, I need the Holy Bible!'”
“What did you say, Captain? The homeless man said those exact words. Are you certain?”
Concealing his fear… “H” replied:
“Very well Captain. Not a word of this to Anyone. As you were Captain. As you were.”
“H” ended the call. He rushed, hopping and putting on his bedroom slippers, as he dashed out of his bedroom at his best speed.
He darted to the modest suite he had permitted Neroot (aka Jetfuel) to occupy until dawn.
He knocked feverishly on the door of the modest suite in the US Embassy Toronto’s compound.
There was no answer…
He turned the brass doorknob green with age and usage and barged into the suite…
Neroot was gone..!
A few short minutes Earlier…
Neroot reasoned quickly in her thoughts as she stood watching the word:
dissolve on the outside of the empty envelope that “H” had sent in a manila envelope along with a set of keys with a Mercedes-Benz logo.
The empty envelope inside the manila envelope revealed a map of the catacombs under the US Embassy Toronto, highlighting the way to the AGO’s (Art Gallery of Ontario) secret underground parking garage.
Neroot spoke to herself:
“Oh my old friend, “H,” what are you up to? How did you know I would come to you for help. And why do you want me to remember that phrase “The Original Six?”
Neroot heard a familiar voice…the voice was coming from somewhere outside her window in the suite at US Embassy Toronto.
She peered through the frosted triple bulletproof Embassy glass. She could only make out a figure across the street. The indistinct figure had some sort of cart. But…
…she knew that voice!
Wasting no time to extend her gratitude to “H” for his hospitality in offering her refuge…
Neroot, holding tightly the Mercedes-Benz remote fob, “H” had sent her, grabbed the dark wool coat and Reebok running shoes she had helped herself to from the suite’s clothes closet…
…she bolted out the door…allowing the door to slam shut on its own behind her as she fled… dressing in the dark coat and Reebok running shoes, while in flight…
She raced down the hallway, its pine wood floorboards creaking as she sped at full speed down the spiral staircase into the US Embassy Toronto’s Great Hall.
The Great Hall was spacious and empty. Its opulence of a long-gone era was removed and replaced by an ocean of beige paint on its now bare walls.
Its walls’ valuables had been exchanged/sacrificed years ago for the necessary multi-million dollar life-saving “modifications” made to the only remaining monument in the Great Hall…
…the great fireplace.
The great fireplace stood at the far end of the Great Hall. Its grand height almost touched the 18-foot (5.4 meters) ceiling.
Its imposing mantle—one piece of stone, carved into the shape of a massive eagle with the Sun and Moon, one in each of its talons.
And, the eagle carving depicted this legendary bird with its wingspan fully extended and emerging out of a crumbling throne in 3D relief.
Neroot dashed her body to the Great Hall’s floor, her dark winter coat and Reebok running shoes both squeaking as she abruptly flipped her body, legs – first, onto the pristinely polished oak wood floor.
Her body began sliding fast and sideways, assuming the form and aerodynamics of a batter sliding into home base… toward the fireplace.
As Neroot’s body slid perilously into the stone fireplace coming up fast on her outstretched lower body…
Neroot whispered into the Mercedes Benz key fob still held tightly in her hand for this purpose…
“The Sun, The Moon, and The Empress in Reverse!”
The stone fireplace shook, and its outer frame swung open creaking loudly. Its movement revealed an arched stone doorway large enough for one person. The arched stone doorway’s height was just enough for a person to slide through while laying prone on the floor.
As quickly as the arched stone doorway, the fireplace’s outer frame had opened…
…It began to close!
Neroot willed her body to speed up to clear the fireplace opening…closing fast in front of her…
Just as she slid successfully through the arched doorway…
…the fireplace resumed its unassuming role once again, as though nothing had happened… hiding well, its costly secret.