The Lost Locket of Lahari

Written By: Janna - Sep• 13•14

LLoL-1The babble of thousands of men’s voices. A cacophony of dialects. A sharp smell of sweat and animal dung intertwine with the commands of elephant handlers as the great beasts lumber under burdens of soil and marble. The heat is stifling, but a wind scuttles across the chaotic building site, bringing a breath of coolness from the river.

It is an obsession of an Emperor consumed with grief over his beloved wife that will command the labor of 20,000 men for over twenty years. In a Bazaar tucked in the shadow of the expanding Taj Mahal, the locket of Lahari is brought forth.

UnknownThe locket never reaches the one for whom is was created. It is mislaid, forgotten. Perhaps carelessly buried in the bottom of a trunk, unknowingly lost in the dusty Indian streets, or bartered for by an Englishman from the East India Trading Company and loaded on a ship only to be lost at sea. Wherever the locket disappeared to, it wasn’t seen again until 1890, in an upstart new country just a little over a century old.

In a time when the Sioux and the 7th Calvary were still dodging each other’s bullets and women were edging into liberation by donning bloomers and sitting astride bicycles for the first time, the locket resurfaced. The world was now fast becoming a place where wireless telegraph technology was no longer a dream and Emily Dickenson penned her poetry. Deep into the Spiritualist movement, hundreds of thousands of Americans flooded mediums with requests for séances and hunted down unexplained phenomena.

imagesThe locket again dipped into obscurity, making a brief appearance during the roaring 20’s. With the brassy sounds of Jazz as a soundtrack, the decade skids by bringing with it rocket fuel, the first radio broadcast, penicillin, the drying up of America, and the devastating stock market crash of 1929.

The world shudders as war breaks out for the second time in twenty years. Half a world away amid the Japanese occupation, the city of Manila is under siege and the locket is once again present. Amid the devastation of World War II, Franklin D. Roosevelt is the first and last man to be elected to his fourth term as president, Ingrid Bergman lights up the silver screen, and the microwave oven is born.

Unknown-1From cooking conveniences to a world where the iPhone is now on its eighth generation, the locket has finally made its way to the present. Pluto is no longer a planet. The Golden Globes have been celebrated for over seventy years with no signs of stopping any time soon. Would the old man in the Indian Bazaar recognize the world in which his locket now found itself? Not only has man been to space, certainly an inconceivable notion in 1632, but now life in the form of sea plankton has been found thriving in the frozen, oxygen deprived vastness.

The locket’s travels don’t stop there. It again takes flight, finding itself fifty years in the future. With only a little imagination we can visualize a world in which artificial organs exist for terminal patients, supersonic jets are used for commuting, evidence of dark matter will be discovered, and farming will be come a vertical feat in overcrowded cites. And we might as well say it, sure, there can be flying cars too.

images-1 The Lost Locket of Lahari was created from the combined talents of the Patchwork Press authors. It can be purchased at:

Barnes & Noble

And to get you excited about our upcoming collaborative work, here’s the next letter clue.




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