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88 Keys [MultiFormat]
eBook by Jerry W. Lennon

eBook Category: Fantasy
eBook Description: A young Indian Prince has an extraordinary gift: he can see colors when he plays his piano. When his step-father plans to exploit his abilities to spread a revolt to free India from British rule, 88 Keys must leave India or go up in flames.

eBook Publisher: SynergEbooks, Published: SynergEbooks, 2011
Fictionwise Release Date: May 2011

Chapter 1

* * * *

Do you want to hear a tale about real magic? Yes? Good, now sit down and listen. Now, your parents might say that the amazing story I am about to tell you is only a fairytale, that's okay. But they can stay and listen to my tale and at the end they can be the judges of whether magic tales are only for children.

Remember, real magic really happens when someone uses all of their abilities to bring about change for the good of all they care about. That is what this story is about. Now, please pay attention and maybe you too will turn out like they did. Well, some of them are not really that nice, as you will learn. But who knows, maybe they will change their ways.

Long before recorded history traced one's life from cradle to grave, there was a kingdom. Well, not a kingdom as in fairytales, but more like a huge province with a mayor who is not elected, but is self-appointed because he has the money to buy power and what he says is law. Wait a minute. That sounds like today, come to think of it. And here I was trying to think of an original phrase to catch your interest! Oh well, some things never change, do they? Sorry, I do go on a bit.

As I was saying, this kingdom was one of many independent fiefdoms hidden in the foothills of the world's greatest mountain range known as the Himalayas. In the 1830's, only a few people in the whole world knew -- or, for that matter, cared -- about the great Himalayas. Himalayas, when translated from Sanskrit, means the Abode of the Snow. These great mountains extend from the high Hindu Kush in the north of India to the lowlands to the south now known as Bengal. The moguls who ruled kingdoms within riding distance of these mountains accepted this natural border as the start or the end of their realms. It depended upon whom you asked. The main thing for you to remember is that the land was easy to defend because these mountains served as a natural wall surrounding the kingdoms. Besides, the rulers thought it made sense ending their kingdom at these mountains because it was too hard going over these mountains and claiming what was on the other side, which was... well... more mountains. Also, they were a lazy lot. So everyone stayed on their own little estate keeping pretty much to themselves.

The only exception to this tradition was the great grandfather of 88 Keys. This Mogul was known as the Persian Mogul. Why was he called the Persian Mogul? Because he claimed to be from Persia, that's why.

He first came into this area as a Middle Eastern merchant leading a trading party on the Silk Road. Yes, that one .The road started in the plains of what is now Turkey and wound its way around to the interior of China. Who said you do not know your history? The Persian Trader traveled the Silk Road most of his life. After traveling the road for some twenty years, he was growing weary and longed for his childhood home. However, he stayed in Asia because Aadesh, his principal and only wife, was from the far side of the Kunlan Mountain. She was traded to the Persian during his last journey to China. There is not much that is known about her except that she died in childbirth. Her son would become known as Shoba the Turkman, named in honor of the country of his father and to instill his ancestry and heritage.

The Persian, now newly widowed, decided his son would inherit more than just bags of gold and a herd of camels. So one day, while looking over the lush fields and feeling the summer breeze rustling over the high passes in the mountains, he said, "This is it. I am staying here. I claim this land." And since there was no one there to dispute his claim to this vast wild jungle that would become known as the gateway to the Himalayans, it was his for the taking. "Here" was just at the Himalayan foothills that looked down into the Indus Valley where the checkerboard "Princely Kingdoms" lay. The fierce Pathans who had left many years ago to resettle in Afghanistan, once ruled the land he now claimed as his kingdom. Go figure.

For many years, no one was the wiser that they were new to the neighborhood because no one traveled that much into the high hills of northern India. Besides, the Persian staked out land no one really wanted -- where the high eastern passes began at the world's tallest mountains.

Here I must also mention that the Persian had more wealth than his fellow Mogul's. This fact became evident with the lavish parties he would throw to introduce his presence to his neighbors. People would come from far and wide. It was at one of these such parties that 88 Keys' father, Singhway the Turkman, met his mother.

Who is this 88 Keys, you ask? This you will learn shortly. Matter of fact, it is quite a good place to begin my story in earnest. Now, please be so kind as to stop fidgeting and listen or I will crack you good. No, I can't do that anymore or you will tell your mother... or worse yet, you'll call DCFS and report me, won't you?

With the death of "The Persian", this small kingdom would have disappeared in the footnotes of British history like all the other insignificant fiefdoms in the mid-1860s had Shoba the Turkman's son, Singhway Turkman, not become known throughout India as the Raja of the Kingdom of the Tigers and Snakes. How this name came about is an interesting story.

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