Welcome to this novel.
This device uses fiction mixed with fact to show the way in which Nostradamus' life and prophecies may have been shaped. It offers a possible explanation of his gifts.
He sat there next to the outside air watching the spreading rays bring to life this dark and sleepy town. The shutters were open and, sitting on the ledge, he observed the impact of the dawn. He observed, for observation was his essence, the town below, its early morning travellers emerging out of lightening shadows, the stars above circling in their predictable passage, dimming portents of past and future times. The stars observed, a single mind, a single man below, alone amongst their eternal vastness.
Nostradamus was satisfied. He had spent the night firstly in writing, then in appreciating the magnitude of his decision. The work was complete, he had resolved to do no more.
"Nine hundred and forty two verses, all written within the space of the last four years. Nine hundred and forty two verses. Who would see the beauty in their number?" He knew the answer but still it pleased him to dwell upon the numerology. "Three circles, a hundred units wide giving three hundred and fourteen places on each rim, nine hundred and forty two verses in all. Three circles to protect the code. Two are not enough. Only the third confirms which is right and wrong. "
Nostradamus inhaled the morning air, light wisps of breeze flowing through the unglazed window. This space, an opening to the world, linking him to the universe of stars and men, the same three spheres the prophecies bound.
His room was still lit by the incessant flicker of the candle. Long hours of gentle uneven light had measured time while he read and thought. Now, his papers stored away, the end result of thought possessed him. He would be alone for some time yet but he had no intention of sleeping. He was used to long, late nights and short repose but tonight was different; tonight his compulsion ended. He would not sleep but enjoy the warmth of contemplation.
"She was safe, she would be safe now that all the words were in their proper place. There was enough written for the task to be resolved, enough for the future man."
Four years to write the prophecies. Four years in which he and they explored time. Now it was finished, no more would he see of her, no more feel the others presence. And she would be safe, that he already knew.
Four years of writing dire prophecies. Four years of writing but now no more to come. There would be no more writing based on these visions, the visions themselves would also abate. There was still time left in his life but no other words would he pen in relation to this distant future. He knew the subtlety of his words. In writing of the future he helped its course, helped, not changed it and brought into being that which must be. He had used the future well and this gave him pleasure, for the work would survive because of it. Survive until it was needed. So the use of the future ensures the future, a neat twist bringing the end back to the beginning.
"But there is no need for more. She is safe, my part is played and his will take its course."
His thoughts returned to the impact of his choice to stop. He knew its magnitude He knew that human nature would allow few others to understand or even contemplate its meaning. "They will be more interested in what I have written, not why I chose to do it. And of those few who question why I started even less will wonder why I stopped.
"But why should they ask?" he mused, "for they can not know the answer unless they know the task. They could not know unless they shared my hidden needs. I alone was with those future beings and know the way we learned. I alone know what was involved, the risks we took and the anguish of our minds."
Nostradamus lingered on the thoughts of them, the future beings that were both the source and reason for his work. He found no pleasure in foreseeing future times but drew exhilaration from the special power, the special bond between himself and those it enjoined to him.
"But that is ended. My aims are fulfilled. She is safe and now I have more mortal souls in growing need of me."