these Stories are not my Own

Jack writes things here, savvy?

Golden motes drift lazily through the sun cast room, the dust of ages passed given life. They swirl about in a frenzy behind me as I walk, kicked up by my booted feet and riding the winds of my passing.

I reach a hand out, splaying my fingers, and run them across the uneven surface of the shelved books. My eyes flutter closed and I am brought to a nostalgic scene, a reel of sepia-tinted film showing a young boy running past a picket fence, off-white since the image is awash in beige. It’s me: carefree, laughing.

Back in the library I’m savouring every touch of every book as it passes under my fingers, basking in their tactile presence, eyes still closed. They are firm under the pressure of my fingers, but worn slightly soft and smooth from use. These books have been pored over, their wisdom borrowed time and again. But I don’t want their wisdom.

I want their stories.

My eyelids pull back, my pupils retreat as the sunlight invades them. My hand falls away from the books, my feet stop in mid-stride. I stop, I turn, I look at one of the leather-bound books beside me.

I cock my head slightly, reading the dusty title vertically.

A smile lights my face as I reach for the book, the dust falling off of it as it is dislodged from the others around it.

Soon I have found a chair to fall back into, the large book resting in my lap just as I rest in the lap of the chair.

I open it, the pages eliciting a satisfying crackle. They are the only noises to break the silence of the library, and it is with this sound the book speaks to me. First, it tells me the contents:

  • Tobacco, Inspired
  • an Invasion at Springtime
  • Laughter and Tears
  • Ponderous Puddles
  • a Moment with Lily Christianson

Amid the silence I turn the page, sending another delicate rustle to the ceiling. And I know, somehow, that I’m not the only one listening.

The End

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