Honors English 1
Mr. Bearson Period 2
30 August 2017
The Treasure of Rennes Le-Château
Parker walked the dirt path up the clifftop. A bare blossom tree hung over the road. The church towers above everything surrounding it. The looming church looked like it was about to topple off the face of the cliff. He reached the church at last, and looked back at the green countryside. Shafts of light shone through the rolling, puffs of cloud and onto the ground below. Parker turned around and headed to the church, excited to discover the secrets hiding within the weathered stone walls. He entered the church.
The inside was dark, but he could still see the beautiful architecture. The pillars were painted in bright colors that curled in delicate designs around the intricate carvings in the stone. A round window let in rays of light from the blue ceiling that shone upon two lifelike sculptures above the altar. The statues were so realistic, that they looked as though they were alive and praying. Parker walked up the old stone steps to get closer to the altar. As he stepped up, he passed the flickering votive candles that created a foreboding feeling. Flowers adorning the altar were dying, in desperate need of water. To Parker, it looked as though no one had set foot in there for years. After all, it had been a hundred years since the famed priest of the church had died, Francois Berenger Sauniere, the man of myth. One hundred years since he had taken the secret of the Treasure of Rennes Le Château to his grave. The legend was, that Sauniere found buried treasure somewhere in the church, but died before he could tell anyone where it was. It’s said that the treasure is still somewhere in the church. The story was widely believed and drew many people to the small town of Rennes Le Château at first, but they soon came to think it wasn’t true. But not Parker, he wasn’t ready to give up yet.
Parker searched the rest of the church to no avail. He had not found any sign or indication that there was a mythical treasure hidden there. Hoping to find something outside, he went around to the side of the church. Parker came across the graveyard, the sun getting lower by the minute. Cross shaped gravestones marked the final resting place of the people in this small town. The ground was still soaked from the heavy rain that came the night before. The trees surrounding the graveyard were barren, the leaves having been ripped off by the bitter, winter wind. A mist was starting to settle over the little village making the sinister scene even scarier. At the far end of the graveyard, he came to a crypt. A marble headstone read:
Francois Berenger Sauniere
11 Avril 1852 22 Janvier 1917
A stone arch framed the marble casket that held the famed priest. The area had become overgrown with weeds. It looked neglected. The flowers by the grave were completely dead, obviously laid there long ago and forgotten.
With the light constantly getting dimmer, Parker hurried to the other side of the church. He went in through the side door and saw a library of sorts. He looked around for a while, searching row by row, book by book, until finally, he came across a curtain. “What’s behind the curtain?” Parker wondered to himself. It wasn’t a window, so what was it? He carefully pulled it back at the corner. It was very dark, but he could just make out the figure of a door. He grasped the brass handle, his beating heart drowning out all other noise. Parker went into the hidden room, hardly containing his excitement. He looked around for the treasure he had spent years obsessing over, but the room was empty. Completely empty. He was shocked, there must be some sort of mistake. “There must be a treasure somewhere in here.” He thought. He examined every nook and cranny in the bare room with no luck; it was just an abandoned room.
Feeling defeated, Parker walked out to the edge of the cliff. He leaned against the wrought iron fence that separated him from the plummeting drop down to the fields below. The mist had become dense now, utterly encircling the clifftop village. The fog threatened to swallow up the little bit of land not yet devoured by it. The plateau town resembled a ship on a stormy ocean of cloud. Parker couldn’t believe that a place like this had disappointed him so much. His life’s work – all of it was for nothing. Had the whole story been a lie?
Parker started his journey back down the cliff, and into the encroaching fog below. As he made his way along the dirt path he had climbed with such high hopes earlier, he felt a drop of rain on his face. He looked up and saw the sky light up with a crack of light. The rain started coming down harder as he reached the road. Parker jumped into his car and laid back in his seat. As exhausted as he was, he couldn’t help but wonder what he would do when he got back home. Continue to study history and hunt treasure? Parker wasn’t sure anymore, not after such a discouraging adventure as this. He looked up at the dark, rainy sky. The occasional flash of lightning would illuminate the church at the top of the cliff, and Parker couldn’t stop thinking about what could still be up there. Little did he know, that if he had just pulled the curtain aside a bit further, he would have been greeted by a second door. Behind that door was the gleaming, gold treasure of Rennes Le Château.