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Cause [1.1.5]

[Author’s Note: 1.1.5 contains the first link. Sometimes, the characters will send links of texts, pictures or documents that are counted as external content. Whilst these are not necessary to understand the story, it may be entertaining or informative to click the links and have a look for yourself.]

With the click of a clasp, Joseph Castle closed up his collection box and put it back under his bed, with the new coins he’d found safely stowed inside. He opened a file on his phone and added the coins to the list – his collection now exceeded 70 coins from a range of historical places, bought online, discovered on his travels and collected from elsewhere. He got up from his position crouching by the bed and stood upright, deciding to get dressed.

Once he was feeling presentable, wearing a bow tie, blazer and smart trousers as he usually did, he retrieved his lucky coin: a conventionsthaler from the Holy Roman Empire in 1771. He did not consider it lucky just because of the palindromic date, but also because when he clutched it, his abilities told him who had owned it: Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor and brother of Marie Antoinette… and his namesake.

Joseph had a special connection with all of the objects he touched. When he held them, he just instinctively knew things. It was partly this ability that made him enjoy collecting things from all over the world; he wanted to know their stories.

He checked his phone on the way downstairs and found that Geoffrey had been trying to get hold of him. As he replied, he also decided to message Lola and see what she was up to.


 GS dude

bro. JC 

how’re you doing? JC 


He made his way into the front room, where his uncle had fallen asleep in front of the television again. Joseph sighed at the sleeping figure and turned off the television for him.


 GS not bad

hey gal, what you up to today? JC 

 LZ Oh, hi. Nothing much, really.

 LZ I’m getting on with some college work.

oh right. i should probably do some of that later. JC 


He looked around the house. It was fairly clean and tidy, mostly due to him. His uncle was by no means messy, but as a prolific travel writer he was always busy writing and not tidying. Joseph enjoyed the things his uncle wrote, and wanted to do travel writing of his own.


 LZ You also take literature, right?

yeah. do you need a hand? JC 

 LZ Do you study Hamlet at your college?

of course we do. ask away. JC 

 LZ Thanks. I’ve been struggling to get my head around the play within a play scene.

 LZ How is it characterising Claudius?

That’s good. JC 

 GS anyway man, you should really reply more

 GS lola was complaining that you hadnt messaged her in a while either

Yeah, I know. I’m talking to her now. JC 


As he chatted, he wandered into his uncle’s study for a moment. There were papers everywhere, and a laptop on the desk in front of a huge leather chair on wheels. Joseph sat in it and began to spin around idly. As he did, he noted a series of scratches in the wall above the desk, which seemed to be spelling ‘RUN’. He eyed it for a moment, and sighed with disappointment. The vision faded, almost with a sense of embarrassment at having failed completely to scare him.


it suggests that he’s guilty, and from his reaction we now realise that he is indeed the antagonist. the whole scene also develops the sense of secrecy and trickery.  JC 

 LZ OK, thank you. God, these essays are brutal.

i know. you have nothing to worry about, though. you’re a top student. JC 

 LZ You really think so? My E in History would like to have a word with you.

heheh. come on, have a little more faith. JC 

 GS oh good

 GS not in a violation of the dudebro constitution though right?

the what. JC 

 GS the dudebro constitution

the what. JC 

 GS come on man weve discussed this before


Joseph stood up, slightly dizzy, and chuckled to himself at his silliness. He exited the study and returned to the living room to wake his uncle up.

“Morning!” he shouted as he walked in.

“GAH!” his uncle yelled, sitting up immediately and entering a fighting stance. He dropped his arms and chuckled as Joseph burst out laughing.

“Sorry, sorry, couldn’t help it,” Joseph gasped. “Wow, you need to stop watching reruns of Friends at 3 in the morning, man.”

“Yeah, yeah, alright.” muttered his uncle. “Right, now that I’ve been rudely awoken, what say we get some coffee?”

“Sure. I’m ready to go.” Joseph said. His uncle nodded. “I’ll go get showered and dressed and we can head out shortly, then.”

His uncle traipsed upstairs and Joseph sat on the now-empty sofa to wait for him.


 LZ I’m just saying, I’m not all great.

 LZ I mean, check you out. You’re getting straight As, right?

well, yes. but being book smart isn’t as important as being smart in other ways.  JC 

 LZ I suppose.

think of it this way. JC 

whilst I’m messing around with books and college, you’re working hard to escape the future that has been set aside for you. JC 

you’re working for a purpose – you know what you want to do and where you want to be, and the better you do in college, the more easily you can escape from the world you’re in. JC 

 GS this

a hyperlink? …oh my god you actually wrote it. JC 

 GS i wasnt kidding

holy shit, I need to give this a read ASAP. bet my uncle would get a kick out of it.  JC 

 GS so yeah youre not breaking any rules right?

no, of course not. i’m not even into lola, man. JC 

i’m as unfazed by her feminine charms as you are by my coin collection. JC 

 GS it really is such boring bullshit

so you say. JC 

 GS anyway im not surprised that you dont like lola

 GS i mean you never see her in person do you, despite living in the same city

 GS oh and youre not following her on any social media

i am a shit friend when it comes to social media. what does this have to do with it, anyway? JC 

 GS if you saw the pics she posts youd understand why i fucking adore her

 GS she has this whole gothic girl thing going on and its hot

oh god, are we actually having this conversation? she is my good friend, you know. JC 

 GS whatever you say


With a clatter on the stairs and a flourish as he walked in, Joseph’s uncle returned, dressed and ready to leave.

“Come on, kiddo.” he said. Joseph sat up and walked over to the door, following his uncle out of the house and into the car. The coffee shop was only a few minutes away, and Joseph busied himself with his phone for the whole journey.


 LZ …That’s really nice to say.

 LZ Thank you.

no problem. JC 

 LZ Oh, right, I forgot to say. Geoff wanted to chat to you.

oh yeah, I know. i’m talking to him right now. JC 

 LZ Oh, sorry! Do you want me to stop chatting to you for the time being?


disregarding silly topics like this, have you had any visions this morning? JC 

 GS twins stabbing each other and giggling as they did so

WOW that’s fucked up. JC 

mine was just the word ‘run’ scratched into the wall. boring. JC 

 GS yeah wow thats not very imaginative


“Friends OK?” asked his uncle, startling Joseph from his phone.

“Uh, yeah, they’re all good.” he replied.

“So, what do you want to do today?”

“I’m not sure.” Joseph replied. “Did you have any plans?”

His uncle kept his eyes on the road as they turned a corner and entered the city centre. He pulled his face, deep in thought.

“…No. Maybe we should go swimming, it’s been a while since we’ve had a good swim.”

“Sounds good.” said Joseph.


of course not, I can multitask. JC 

 LZ OK. Normally I’d say the same but I might get this work done.

 LZ Zack’s going to message the group chat at some point soon, so we can talk more then.

alright, sounds good. talk to you then. JC 

quite disappointing, really. JC 

 GS yup

 GS so whats happening today anyway

what do you mean? JC 

 GS well i figured we could play something later

oh, video games. yeah, probably. wonder if fin would join us? JC 

 GS probably


The car rumbled to a gentle stop. They had arrived at the coffee shop.

“Right, let’s go.” said his uncle. Joseph nodded, and followed.

Cause [1.1.4]
Cause [1.1.6]

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