After a short break I’m back in the Microcosms game with my story Legacy Exhibition. The 92nd Microcosms theme was based around Mad Hatter Day (which I didn’t realise was a thing!). Using the elements of explorer, museum and memoir I wrote the story below the break. I hope you enjoy it!
I always forget how grand the British Museum is. The grand columns never fail to impress. A monolith to the greatness of the British Empire.
Through giant oak doors I entered the exhibition hall dedicated to my youthful adventures. I am greeted by a portrait of me: youthful and innocence, my pith helmet at a jaunty angle. Now the wrinkles and lines are hidden by white hair and beard. My walking stick tapped along the marble floor. The other patrons do not realise it is me.
More pictures followed, paintings and maps I drew of Africa. Places no civilised man had seen before me. None of them match the grandeur of the real places, red soil as far as the eye could see. I sighed and moved on.
In a case, half way down the main hall is what I was looking for. A single tribal hat in a glass case. The only one of its kind. It looked like a common pigeon painted with the brightest rainbow. Even under the weak sun strained through smogged museum windows the hat shone. I loved it yet I can not smile in its presence. A gift I repaid in gunpowder. Not at first, I can not remember what I offered in return but it was only the first part of a two-part gift. The hat amazed every member of my club, the way it shone in the gas light. They begged me to take them to where I found it. Ego and naivety made me agree.
The hats are still in Africa, stripped of their diamonds, marking the graves of the tribe I condemned to extinction. A tear leaks down my cheek. I wipe it into my beard and apologised once again. As always I’m only answered by silence.