Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Dan Brown's Lost Symbol's hidden chapters

Whilst in Heathrow last week, I had to climb over the heaps of new Dan Brown Novels piled high.

Of course, most people still don't know about the hidden secret sequel contained within the main novel. I've managed to extract the opening scene after following the instructions coded into the book's spine.

Renowned curator Jacques Saunière staggered through a Dan Brown opening sentence.

Nearby, a voice spoke, chillingly close. "Do not move." On his hands and knees, the curator froze, turning his head slowly. Only fifteen feet away, outside the sealed gate, the mountainous silhouette of his attacker stared through the iron bars. He was broad and tall, with ghost-pale skin. His irises were pink with dark red pupils.

The attacker carried himself like an angry ox, with his wide shoulders thrown back and his chin tucked hard into his chest. His dark hair was slicked back with oil, accentuating an arrow-like widow's peak that divided his jutting brow and preceded him like the prow of a battleship. As he advanced, his dark eyes seemed to scorch the earth before him, radiating a fiery clarity that forecast his reputation for unblinking severity in all matters.

Only those with a keen eye would notice his 14-karat gold bishop's ring with purple amethyst, large diamonds, and hand-tooled mitre-crozier appliqué on this attacker’s hand.

Death, in this forsaken place, could come in countless forms. Erstwhile geologist, now curator, Saunière had endured the savage splendor of many rugged terrain for years, and yet nothing could prepare him for a fate as barbarous and unnatural as the one about to befall him.
"The Knights Templar were warriors," the curator reminded, the sound of his aluminum crutches echoing in this reverberant space. Then he smelled burning flesh, and he knew it was his own.

“My French stinks”, Langdon thought, “but my zodiac iconography is pretty good”, as, two hours later, he made his way towards the scene of the gruesome crime.

Earlier he had been sitting all alone in the enormous cabin of a Falcon 2000EX corporate jet as it bounced its way through turbulence. In the background, the dual Pratt & Whitney engines hummed evenly.

Then he’d been whisked to this vaulted archway of the museum's Grand Gallery.

Although not overly handsome in a classical sense, the forty-year-old Langdon had what his female colleagues referred to as an ‘erudite’ appeal — wisp of gray in his thick brown hair, probing blue eyes, an arrestingly deep voice, and the strong, carefree smile of a collegiate athlete.

He’d learned the ropes in the trenches, ever since, as a boy, he had fallen down an abandoned well shaft and almost died treading water in the narrow space for hours before being rescued. Since then, he'd suffered a haunting phobia of enclosed spaces - elevators, subways, squash courts.

Pulling back the sleeve of his jacket, he checked his watch - a vintage, collector's-edition Mickey Mouse wristwatch that had been a gift from his parents on his tenth birthday.

He sighed audibly as he remembered.

Right now, he could taste the familiar tang of museum air - an arid, deionized essence that carried a faint hint of carbon - the product of industrial, coal-filter dehumidifiers that ran around the clock to counteract the corrosive carbon dioxide exhaled by visitors.

He nodded as he remembered that five months ago, the kaleidoscope of power had been shaken, and Aringarosa was still reeling from the blow.

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