Incunabula Or: The Golden Legend - A determined curator vies with a private collector when rumors of a rare book surface in central Europe.
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Disclaimer: I do not own the characters and concepts of the Twilight series. They are the sole creation and property of Stephenie Meyer.
Incunabula: books that were printed using metal type up to the year 1500. The year 1500 is more a cutoff date of convenience, marking the transition from one century to the next, rather than signifying a definitive change in the appearance of books from 1501 onwards. The bicentennial anniversary of the invention of printing technology was celebrated in 1640 and it was at this time that the word incunabula first came into use.
The darkness crowded around, muffled and close, the faint scent of death and earth in the still air.
The light that had accompanied me down the stone steps was gone. This far into the catacomb, it could not penetrate. If I had been thinking more clearly, I would have kicked myself for not bringing a flash light. As it was, I could barely breathe much less think, my eyes wide, chest heaving as I struggled for air.
The sharp click was loud in the soundless crypt, utterly distinct from the harsh pant of my breathing…and it in no way resembled the faint scratching noises I'd heard as I rushed into the darkness, doubtlessly rats who could not be disturbed by the bones and dirt surrounding them. A light flickered into life, accompanying the click. Of course he had remembered a flashlight.
Mercifully, it was pointed at the ground, allowing my straining pupils to contract. Reflexively, I lifted a needless hand to my eyes, not wanting to see him here, not wanting his presence to be real. His words echoed in my head. All's fair in love and war. I had scoffed when he said it but now I felt nothing but despair.
He had used me. I was only a means to an end…perhaps amusing, but nothing more. At best, I had been a distraction. At worst, I was a complete fool. A dry sob caught in my throat as I thought of the maps on the desk in my hotel room, the missing slip of paper that indicated this very place.
As the glowing light swung up through the darkness, illuminating the figure standing no more than ten feet away, I realized the last thing on my mind was the priceless book I'd been sent here to find.