The Count of Monte Cristo was a superb novel written by Alexandre Dumas in 1844, and has been filmed at least twice, the latest perhaps, was in 2002, which had Richard Harris outshining the leading cast. Well, at least to me he did. Having watched it again earlier today, leaves me a deep craving to read the book, which sadly is no longer in my possession. The movie however, reminded me of another story of another Count.
Now, the story of this Count intertwines with not only other characters of his time, but of other times as well, to the extent that some have even remarked it as the original Twilight Zone. Well, whether it is or not, one has to read the story from the beginning which, I am NOT about to do. InsyAllah, I will however, try to write the abridged version of the abridged version. The ending, I must stress here, is non-conclusive. As implied earlier, the story goes into a kind of time-warp, making any reader wonder that perhaps, by some incomprehensible possibility, The Count is still alive and battling against the odds that are stacked against him. Though naturally impossible, a reader has to take into accounts 2 factors without which, The Count would most probably have been left rotting in some dungeon, perhaps quite like Chateau d'lf. The first, off course, is the Count's faith. The other, is the prayers of the good-hearted people of the world, who believe in all things good and just. And so the story begins just after The Count lost a battle sometime in April in the year 1899. (Other dates not mentioned here as they are not significant - just imagine you are watching a movie).
This part of the story begins with a couple with the simple name of One, who went to Mekah to perform the Haj. Like any Haj season, the city of Mekah is literally filled with millions of pilgrims - some are there to answer the call to fulfill the obligation of the final pillar of Islam, and at the same time to seek absolution, and atonement. And that, was precisely what a certain individual by the name of Moorid was doing, for he had a guilt the size of The Ayers Rock, weighing on his helpless tiny body. It was at that precise moment he was crying when One stumbled upon him.
Recognising One as former teachers, Moorid poured out his heart to them. To them he sometime whispered, sometime bawled like a helpless baby, and other times talked like a lunatic who had seen or done something insanely horrible. Moorid though, was sane as any person would be, except that, as he told One, he had conspired with a group of people known as the Wiras of the Uneven Table. The WUT, comprised of some very high profile people, as well as unknowns such as Moorid was. Together, they were entrusted with a sacred duty by the managers of another group simply known as Circus. Employed too for this task, was a simpleton who was later infamously called The False Rock.
In each corner of the Uneven Table, assembled a group of people. And each group of people were asked to conjure spells and magics, and even make pacts with the Devil himself; to the managers of Circus, nothing is sacred anymore if it can help bring about the fall of the Count.
After much deliberation, they decided on several course of actions including the use of Witch, a lady of high ambition. But the most treacherous and filthiest idea was to associate The Count with Dracula, simply because the latter was also known as Vlad The Impaler, who literally impaled his enemies while alive, then leaving them dying a slow death. The group also devised the use of Castle Hill, and forcing a man of literature to confess being impaled by The Count, hanging him by his feet for many suns until he admitted. At the same time, the False Rock who had been promised riches beyond his wildest dreams, admitted freely.
Being a simpleton that he is, the FR was also fickle minded. At one point of time, perhaps ravaged by the guilt of his act, he wanted to tell the truth but was stopped in his tracks when his fiancee was killed in a hit-and-run accident by, of all things, a bullock cart! Strangely, for someone who had wanted to give his vow of undying love, FR soon found himself caught wet. It is for these reasons and several more that earned him the name as the False Rock of Gibraltar.
At this juncture, One was puzzled as to why these people have so much hatred for The Count. Moorid was unable to provide with all the reasons, but did provide one which was quite insightful to One.
There was a time when The Count, in trying to unravel a mystery, he had wanted to hold and question a son to the Managing Director of a company, Chersonese Plus Plus. Although the son managed to evade The Count, the action had raised the ire of the MD, who went into a fit of anger never before seen by anyone.
Moorid could not continue anymore for he was choked with tears of regrets. But he did mention of another name, of a man hailing himself as The Educationist.
According to Moorid, he began to realise his wrongdoings when he witnessed the death of The Educationist's wife. The wife, who was sitting at the rear of a high speed sampan, died instantly when she fell into the waters of a canal, where there were no rapid, and hence, no stones or rocks at all. But in a heliography tablet that was widely circulated by stonemasons, it was reported she died instantly when her head hit a large boulder.
When Moorid had finished, he and One parted ways. But the accounts told by Moorid disturbed One. As soon as he returned to his homeland, he sought a community known as the Moon People and took refuge with them.
Sometime later, One went visiting Elder, where they told her of Moorid's story. Unknown to One, Elder's son, Son, was and still is a Moon People, as was Elder's support to their cause. Though Son do not like The Count, he had joined the Moon people for he wanted a society that is based on just cause.
It was just prior to this day - when the story was told - that Son was feeling lost, when he heard the story of the appearance of a new False Rock of Gibraltar. The news, coming on too soon after another - about a new revelation of a brutal murder of Nearsiberia - makes him wonder aloud: "Could there be a Loch Ness Monster in Tasik Cini?".
The story continues.