Monday, September 5, 2011

FROM MY ARCHIVES******THE BOOK***** A SHORT STORY

FROM LIN'S ARCHIVES


THE BOOK


By
L.J. Holmes
December 10, 2000
Word Count: 1, 528

Long ago, before the birth of time, a Book appeared in the vast Nowhereness; a Book of incredible knowledge, wisdom, and inner depth, but man nor beast had yet to rise, from the primordial granules of cosmic dust.

Without a being to open the Book, what good does its existence serve? Within the fastened covers of the enduring treatise, were the answers to all the issues that would ever be confronted by beasts of all descriptions.

Drifting along on the aloneness of Nowhereness, the Book remained untouched, untarnished, unconnected, its purpose undiscovered, waiting for the dawn of the Book's beginning. For the Book will only come into its own when it is finally opened.

A Bang of monumental proportions sent thundering ripples deep into the vast Nowhereness, catching the Book in the cataclysmic aftershocks, casting it light years into the future, far from the Nowhereness it had known.
It came to rest in an open meadow. The gurgling sound of water tripping over stones, blended with the lusty speaks of many a bird, and scuttling creature; all busily peering at the Book. All sound stopped, silence echoed, for a moment or two.

Creatures big and small gazed at the alien "Whatsit", each separate creature having much to say,certain that only it knew what the thing was. Few neared, it, not at all certain what it might do, until one little bunny-babe, scampered from the family warren. With a twitching nose, a slight wink of bravery,that he really didn't feel: Who would know?: hopped ever closer, stopping after each hop, one never knew what a "Whatsit" might do, until he was close enough to really see.

Being a bunny, schooled in advanced carrotology, he quickly ascertained the "Whatsit" was most definitely NOT a carrot...nor even orange; his favorite color. He wrinkled his bewhiskered pink nose, but no scent rewarded his efforts. Sitting back on all fours, he pondered the thing. There had to be a way of finding out what it was, and why it had landed here, in his playground. Lifting one fluffy paw, he apprehensively reached out, and then snapped it right back when the "Whatsit" giggled.

Turning, he communicated his discoveries to one and all, and asked them what he should do next? A fox barked that maybe he should check it out. Foxes always thought they were the smartest creatures, in all the land.

With switching tail, snout almost to the ground, the fox slithered and stalked his way over. Like the bunny, who'd scampered away; bunnies and foxes do not go together very well; the fox slid his snout over the "Whatsit".

If the bunny had been confused by the "Whatsit", the fox was even moreso. Not only could he not catch any scent, his keen ears picked no sounds of breathing, no beat of heart, but once more, it giggled.

Glaring rather derisively at the "Whatsit"; foxes don't like being played for a fool; he gave it one mighty swat. In clearly audible foxese, the "Whatsit", whispered back, "Don't do that!"

Leaping like a scared jackrabbit, or terrorized fox of the Hunt, he yelped his report to the meadow life, when a crow cawed, "Man is coming!" The meadow emptied of all signs of life. The "Whatsit" forgotten in the mad dash, for there were some things more important than "Whatsits".

The long gait of the towering man-beast brought him quickly to the very spot, where the Book waited. His eyes widened on the well crafted Book, with its glittering gold print announcing it as "The Book".

He bent to it. His breath caught as a gasp escaped his throat. Before his eyes the Book began to expand and contract, almost as if it were breathing. Reaching out, he reverently touched the Book, and felt a spark of racing joy coursing up his arm. Retreating back for just a moment, his eyes swept the land around him, searching, scanning, peering, he figured for an answer to the pulsating rhythm, of the living Book before him.

Some inner awareness seemed to just know, the answer was not to be found out there. No, it was here within the Book, and within himself. To learn the answer, he must take the Book, so the pages could bring enlightenment to him. Moving back the minute distance he'd retreated, he bent down and lifted the Book into his hands. Unlike the books lining his shelves at home, this Book was warm to the touch. Real, beyond leather and parchment.

He took the book and withdrew from the meadow, leaving the watching land and air creatures, and their fascinated interest in the "Whatsit, far behind. If he heard a bunny thumping loudly, or a fox snorting derisively, he showed no sign.

As the stars blanketed the night-dark sky, the man settled at his massive oak desk, The Book reposing on his leather-bound blotter before him, and just in case he wanted to make a comment or two, a recorder had been placed to the left of him as well.

The Book quivered with excitement. Finally to be opened, understood, appreciated! It had waited generations for this moment. The Book trembled once more, and wondered, would the man-creature love what the Book had to say?

The man's large hand opened wide, fingers spanned, palms facing downward; he lightly caressed his way across the Book's finely crafted flesh. He felt the Book shudder.

"What!!" he roared confusedly, just what was going on here? Books don't quiver, nor do they feel warm to the touch, but this one was doing all of that and right before his eyes.

Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, he carefully slipped one rigid finger beneath the lip of the cover, and firmly pushed it all the way into the Book, opening it and exposing the first page to his piercing eyes.

"I am the Book of All Truth. Open my pages and know me, but also learn of you."
The words written before him, seemed to come to life, spoken into the silence surrounding him, from a source he could not yet imagine.

With the patience and reverence of a child facing a full cookie jar, he lifted the book and hurriedly thumbed through it.
A cacophony of garbled words assaulted his ears,
But stopped the moment he ceased thumbing the Book.
"Open my pages one at a time." that voice softly instructed.

Over the days that followed, the man explored the Book. Each page spoke right to the center of who he knew himself to be, and who he wanted, no needed to be. The Book spoke to him of love, not casual emotions, but a love that lives and breathes within and without.

The love the Book painstakingly explained was a special love, borne of the seeds of Forever. Between the two chosen to be two blended into one, at the Beginning Time. All who settle for less are doomed to mediocrity.

By the ending pages of the Book, he knew with certainty, that the voice, the voice of the words of the Book, now imprinted on his soul and imagination, was the voice of his Beginning-Time Mate.

With regret and anticipation, he closed the back cover, the last words echoing in his mind, "You have reached the end. You know all there is to know. All things are illusions, save for the love that is your destiny. Seek it now, with insight, wisdom, and an unconditional heart."

The Book was ready to leave his hands, find the next recipient of its Eternal Message, and so it was, later that night, a wind, a mighty wind of a force of incredible power, swept through his den, lifting the Book and carrying it away.

Several days into weeks, passed. The words stayed with him. Where does one go to find their Beginning Mate? Does one place an ad? Write it in smoke across the sky?

The ringing of the phone invaded his musings,
to his great dismay.

Spreading the hand that had caressed the Book, he lifted the phone to his ear, greeted automatically, and then froze. The voice! That soft, almost sultry summer voice, returned his greeting, her words vibrating through his body, finding a home in his heart.

Years later, lying beside his cherished mate, his eyes lovingly caressed her love-bruised lips as she slept. The Book had not steered him wrong. This woman completed him, as he completed her, in a way that still left him breathless.

He had wondered if the Book found another, to enchant, and teach about the sound of love, when one night, shortly after they'd become one, his Beloved Mate told him a story, a story of Love, about a Book and an audible voice of her true love.

The voice had been his very own.

Reaching across the short space between them, he tucked his woman, his heart, his life, his Lover, into the encircling haven of his arms. Silently he thanked the Fates for sending him the Book, and wished all its future readers their own Truth in Love.


5 comments:

lionmother said...

Lin, I have a lot of email to read, but I couldn't resist reading another one of your stories and I wasn't disappointed. This reads like a fairy tale, a modern fairy tale and the way you have given the Book those characteristics of a living thing is beautiful. I love the message and even back then you had your gift.:) Thank you for continuing to bring your unique words to us.

Lin said...

That is so kind of you Barbara. Thank YOU!

Tanja said...

Another treasure from The Chest. Alas, the world is full of scardey bunnies and wily foxes who would ruin our lives if we let them. This modern parable is an opus.

gail roughton branan said...

A modern fairy tale. Keep those archives coming! If you ever close them again, you'll be hearing from me!

Anonymous said...

Lovely story. Dig out some more from your treasure chest, Lin.
Mary