From The Writing Desk: The Key

banner_thekeymore Bering & Wells Über/AU, this time Early Modern, since clearly we were lacking an Early Modern Spain setting.

[Banner sources: 1) the final page of the Alhambra Decree (1492) with the signatures of the Reyes Católicos, via wikipedia (Public Domain), 2) a 1585 print map of Toledo (about a century late for this story, but there was no digitalized 15th century city map I could get my hands on) by Ambrogio Brambilla, via the BNE, Digital Edition, 3) p. 55 of a 15th century Sephardic Mahzor (prayer book, manuscript), via the BNE, Digital Edition, 4) p. 873 of a 15h centry “Hebrew Bible” [sic], illustrated manuscript, via the BNE, Digital Edition.]


This story started with looking at black-and-white shots of Toledo. And then I began to play with the idea of placing Bering & Wells in that setting and I really wanted to touch upon the Sephardi exile and then things just happened, as they tend to do. I did upgrade from medieval to Early Modern setting; who knows, I might write Baroque next.

As always, this story should transport just as well if you have never even heard of a little show called “Warehouse 13”, but if you did hear of it, you might get an extra smile out of it.
Since the setting may not be as easily approachable, there are tons of notes. And there are women falling in love with each other (no notes on that). The story has a total of seven chapters and I will edit and post as I get to it (after the deadline is, as always, another deadline to face).

You can access the story via the Writing Desk, or you can segue into Chapter One here.

4 thoughts on “From The Writing Desk: The Key”

  1. “The song poems quoted above the chapters are taken from a recording of Sephardic laments and romances called “Endechar”, which is the old Jewish-Spanish term for lamenting.”

    The recording is on YouTube at

    Also on YouTube is a classic recording by Jordi Savall and Montserrat Figueras:

    This story is going to be a real treat.


  2. Thank you for the vote of confidence, dear Duchess.

    And sine we are talking about the music: The “Endechar” recording is a little on the dry side, but very well curated; of the Savall/Figureas (other than “everything they every did together”), I’d single out “Por que llorax niña blanca”.
    Another recording I kept close while writing this was “El canto espiritual judeoespañol” (Alia Musica) – there are only two pieces of it on YouTube, (, but the whole disc is well worth listening to, in my opinion.


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