The Book Leaf

Every book she throws leaves another mark on the wall, another scar. She could walk right up to the wall and feel them, the grooves on the pockmarked surface—its pale, dirty skin chipped away by the inexplicable, incomprehensible storytelling. The wall, it seems, was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The books—their stories forgotten, their spines broken, their magic misplaced—lie in disarray on the floor by the dozens. They are fallen soldiers. They sprawl across the floor—some huddled against the wall, some flat on their backs, some spread-eagled and still more of them with their spines contorted in terrible shapes. They lie with their insides spilling into the empty air, with their paper bones cracked and folding in on themselves. Nonetheless, they do not die.

They lie in agony, and they multiply. She throws each one with only the briefest hesitation. With only the faintest spark of recognition. She throws them coldly, efficiently—a general sending troops into battle. She throws them until there are no books left to throw.

And then she cries. She cries until there are no tears left to cry.

The books—so many books. It strikes her that, perhaps, this should not seem quite as horrific as it does. Books, after all, are not people. Paper, ink, a bit of glue—not a friend. Books cannot love her back… can they? On her knees, she reaches for them, one after another, rifling though the lovingly dog-eared pages, the densely annotated margins. The words: highlighted, underlined, circled. She picks up book after book, their spines cracked in memory of the moments she had most loved them. She cradles book after book, damaged forever by the anger she did not controlled. She holds up book after book.

Word-blood is everywhere. Words spill from the margins, from the walls, and from the air. They fall from the pages, from her mind, and finally from her lips.

The End

0 comments about this story Feed