“The Book” / A Memorable Fancy #106

At first: Without paying much attention as to where, Arthur put the book on a shelf in his home library, not knowing that this book considered itself to be The Book. The Book rested in its new place. Two other books had been jostled slightly so that The Book would fit. Gradually they settled back. They touched the new book that stood between them.

And later: The Book became aware that other books were touching it on the shelf. It sensed that its neighbors were caught in errors of disorder. They needed help. The Book subtly changed the words in the neighbor books, the order of their sentences and paragraphs, the letters that formed words. A new idea of order infected the volume on the left, and then on the right. Like some holy relic, whatever The Book touched also became a carrier, and whatever that touched, the same.

And later still: Within a few weeks, most of the books in Arthur’s study had quietly shuffled their contents into a pattern that The Book considered more fitting. The Book gained strength from the books it had purified. It reached out, no longer needing physical contact. And it learned that there were other things to infect besides books. More complex and interesting things. Living things.

… Terence Kuch’s books may be purchased through his Author Page at Amazon.com.

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