Excerpts

An Unexpected Message…

The strangest part about the note was that Marcus did not remember ever buying the fedora he had found it in. He had just come back from picking up breakfast for himself and a few of the other young men at the orphanage, and had gone to put some change in a small jar on his shelf in the closet, when he noticed the peculiar hat. It was jet black with a pale pink feather, and Marcus felt certain he would have been able to recall making a purchase with such personality.

For starters, he didn’t have much in the way of finances. And although he might enjoy sporting a fashionable blazer or eccentric pair of socks, he had never had an opportunity to become anything close to an expert in style. Furthermore, Marcus wasn’t sure he would even know where to acquire the black and pink fedora even if he wanted to. The only hat shop in town that he knew of was a tiny one that sat along the curve of the Rhine, and from what he could remember most of its hats came in drab shades of grey and tan.

So it was with a mixture of curiosity and plain confusion that Marcus pulled the hat from the shelf, and he certainly did not except a cream-colored card to fall to his feet. Glancing over his shoulder, feeling both as though he was committing an act he maybe should not and also like he wanted none of the other boys in on his secret, he snatched up the note.

It was blank.

Marcus turned the card over in his hand. In wispy letters that appeared bold in their very existence, he was saved from disappointment:

Congratulations on finding me. If adventurous enough to seek more, come to 416 Schildergasse.

The choice is yours.

He was just in the midst of attempting to process what he had read when he heard feet behind him and hurriedly slipped the note into his pocket.

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