Journey Through The Open Seas

You go and wait on the public seat across from the old ornamental cast iron transformer box, which held your answer. On one side of it, someone has painted a ship sailing across choppy seas, with the words “Journey through the open seas” below it. The opposite side has the mystical words “Search for your dancing self” across it. The words “courage” and “faith” are painted on the other two sides, which also feature Melbourne’s old coat of arms.

A short, sturdy man comes and sits down next to you. He places a bag in between you and him. You tense up and peer at him out of the corner of your eye, but his features are shadowed by his big cowboy hat.

“Saloni sings rather well, doesn’t she?” he says. “Would be a shame if she couldn’t sing any more.” He has a deep, rich voice; he almost sounds kind.

“Saloni better be safe, or else…” you say, your voice trailing as you realise you just how powerless you are against the kidnappers.

And he laughs – a big, booming, throaty laugh. “Well, that is entirely up to you, isn’t it?” Then he gets up and leaves.

You grab the long, black bag he has left behind. Inside, there is a brightly coloured miniature painting. You have seen it before at the museum – it’s an exquisite work from 1670, which depicts a woman dressing-up for a romantic tryst with her lover. It was a painter’s attempt to translate a musical code called Vilaval Ragini from the complex Hindustani classical music tradition that explored a lover’s longing.

You transfer it to your own bag – the one given to you by the man at Federation Square, which is now bulging with the stolen booty.

The app on your screen unscrolls new words:

Go to the State Library of Victoria

Show us where 63 bricks carry joys of learning

Find one and leave no more questions burning.

You gather every ounce of strength from your body and continue walking along Swanston Street for three blocks, until you reach the State Library of Victoria.


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