Week 28: Flesh
Word Count: 456
By Maggie Robertson
Alice walked into her favorite bookstore to browse during her lunch break. On this day, she was exploring the farthest reaches of the back corner, when she came across a curious doorway. In all her times wandering though the shelves and stacks and heaps of books, she had never seen this feature before. There was a tall, narrow doorway tucked into the corner, with a red curtain hanging from a carved mahogany rod. Right at her eye level, in small, silver, embroidered letters, it said “Flesh Fiction.”
She flushed, and in a flash, she was through the portal into a very different bookstore.
Empty shelves hung from the ceiling by wires and the lights were recessed into the floor, giving the impression that the room was inverted. The middle of the room opened up, and there in the center was a suspended table with a lone volume resting on a podium. On the cover, embossed in those same silver letters: “Flesh Fiction.” She opened the cover: Table of Contents.
“Ah ha! It’s a book of short stories.” Out of curiosity, she turned to the first story, titled “Soul.” There were no words on the page; instead, the story flowed into her flesh as she lived the words:
She stumbled into the diner, bone tired from walking all night long. She had been on the move for almost 2 days straight, and had run out of money and food 12 hours ago. She wasn’t sure how she had gotten to this town, but there was something different about this one. She felt the shift under her feet and the ground felt almost familiar. She was certain her body had never been here before, but perhaps her soul had been…”
“Wow.” Alice came back to herself, but it wasn’t easy. Curiosity pulled at her, and she turned to another entry.
The answer is “Yes,” the question unknown. “Yes” flashed onto the screen. Then it faded and no other words followed. In a panic, she ran up the hill, chasing the elusive letters. Sailing along on swirling breezes, soaring just out of reach, were they really there at all? A peek, a hint of an outline, no, that was the shadow of a bird…”
Alice felt herself drawn in, becoming the very pages of the book, her own story wrung out of her flesh and embedded into the parchment. All that was left was a hint of lilac.
Lucy was exploring her favorite bookstore when she noticed a tall, narrow doorway tucked into a far back corner. Looking closer at the red curtain covering the curious entryway, she read the small, silver, embroidered letters:
She flushed, and in a flash, she flew through the portal.