May 9, 2013
By , Yorkville, IL
In one moment she was standing in the rain, waiting for the bus. In the next, she was lying on the dirty sidewalk screaming as the pressure threatened to crush her. She couldn’t move. She could only lay there, wondering how just how long it would take her to die. She had no idea what was happening. She only know that this was surely her end.

And then the pressure was gone. She kept her eyes squeezed tightly shut, panting and feeling the grain of the wooden floor beneath her. Her breath caught in her throat when she realized. Wood? But she had been standing at the bus stop only moments before...

It was a long time before she could force her eyes to open, blinking to focus the scene around her. She lost her breath again when she was finally able to observe her surroundings. She lay on a wood floor, but that she already knew. It was the shelves that took away her breath. Floor to ceiling, filled entirely with books. She recalled her last thought before the pressure had begun. If I could, I would do nothing but read all day, even if I run out of new books.

Running out of books would be impossible here. She would be able to read for months. She smiled and pulled herself to her feet, slowly, carefully. Ignoring the pain in her body, she moved to the nearest shelf and selected the first book her touched. She frowned slightly when she saw there was no title, but it didn’t matter. A book was a book. So she eased the cover open, careful not to damage the thing. It was someone elses, after all.

Odd, there was no title page. The first few pages were blank. Every page she turned to was blank. In fact, the entire book was devoid of words. A deep frown pulled on the corners of her mouth, and she reached for another book. It was blank too. Becoming frantic, she reached for a third. Blank.

She pulled book after book from the shelves. They were all blank. She sank to the floor, hugging herself and trying not the cry. This shouldn’t have been affecting her so much. So someone had a thing for blank books. She shouldn’t have cared. She didn’t even know how she got to the room. It could very well have been a dream.

Something moved in her peripheral vision. Her head whipped toward it, and she watched as a book pulled itself from the self and fell to the floor, entirely of its own accord. Once there, the pages turned as if by wind, and settled on a page near the back of the book.

She crawled forward, transfixed. The page had words on it. Words! Of all the things to find on the pages of a book. Her relief was short lived, however. In her excitement she had failed to actually read the words. When she did, she scrambled away in terror.


A small flame appeared in the center of the page. It quickly spread to the rest of the book, and then to those on the shelf nearest to it. Soon the whole room was ablaze. She curled herself into a ball in the center of the room, feeling nothing but pain and pressure. Her entire body felt like it was on fire, though no flames touched her.

Then it was cold. Oh, the heat was still there, but it was no longer in the air. It clung to her skin, but above it she could feel coldness. She pried her eyes open and found herself staring into the face of an EMT.

“Wha...?” It wasn’t really a question, more of a general sound of confusion. Her mind couldn’t form a coherent thought. Words were clearly impossible.

The EMT smiled kindly. “You were hit by a bus. The driver lost control. You’re lucky to be alive.”

The world shifted into blackness only seconds later. As her consciousness faded, she thought she heard someone whispering in her ear, but it must have been her imagination. She slipped farther into her dreams, until she was struggling to hear the whispered words.

“Burn with me,” it said. “Burn with me.”

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Childofthemind said...
May 12, 2013 at 12:55 am
Short but sweet :) I like it
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