Kaylee and the Book
Chapter 1, part 1
Kaylee sat down with a book. She hates days like this where she must put her phone away and read. Her tyrant mother wants her to read more and tweet less. When the mother has spoken the child must obey. That is what her mother tells her anyway. About a week ago in an old and dusty book store Kaylee found this old book. It was leather bound and smelled like metal. It had a gold edge her mother called gilding. It was a very expensive book, except the bookshop owner wanted to sell it today. She seemed happy to have it go. Kaylee’s mother didn’t want her to open the book. She said, “the value of the book is in the spine. If you open it the spine could break making it less valuable.” But she didn’t take the book away so Kaylee has decided to open the book and see what was inside. To her surprise the first page had gold accents and it looked hand scribed like a book from a long time ago. Kaylee couldn’t read the book. It was in some other language. The first page seemed to glow in the light. Kaylee carefully closed the book. Maybe when school started she could find a teacher who could recognize the language.
That night she dreamed of castles and horses. Men in armor and women in fancy dresses. Her dream was a messy compilation of images rather than a strict narrative. Like she was channel surfing except every channel was about medieval times. Kaylee woke up in the middle of the night to the smell of something vial. A mix of body odor, feces, and nasty that was oppressive. When she woke the smell dissipated immediately. For a second she could see a shadow on the floor of her room. It was human shaped, too big to be anyone in her family. The spent the rest of the night staring at the door. She would fall asleep then wake up to a sound then fall asleep again. The next morning, she woke up to find her mother in her room.
She had her angry pose on and her angry face screwed tight. She said, “Kaylee what were you thinking?” It didn’t really sound like a question she could answer. Her mother directed her to her door. She said, “you know you don’t belong outside at night.” Outside her room she found muddy footprints. Kaylee held her foot to the closest print. The print was triple the size of her foot. Her mother looking at the print and her daughters foot caught on. She told her to get dressed and pack a bag. Kaylee grabbed a gym bag and a couple of outfits her mother made up for her in her closet. She grabbed her phone, tablet, chargers and the book. Her mother called her father and then they bolted from the house.
Kaylee’s father wasn’t allowed near the house for the last couple of weeks because of something he did on a business trip. While on this trip he went into a strip club and spent around $5,000 on strippers. He said it was for business, but his partner posted pictures on their instant gram that showed him in the middle of the action. Kaylee and her mother went to a coffee shop her mother likes to go to with her girlfriends. Kaylee sat there with a warm cup of peppermint tea and the book. She opened the book again and went to the next page. It was also in that foreign language, but it had a beautiful silver leaf drawling of a knight in armor. Kaylee looked outside of the shop and saw a man in armor. His armor was old and stained both with rust and a dried drown substance. She somehow knew this was blood. Kaylee closed the book. As she did someone dropped a cup of coffee. Kaylee turned to the noise then back to the knight. He was gone.
That barista saw the book. She said to Kaylee’s mother, “Mrs. Bishop you really shouldn’t let her play with that book it looks old.” Kaylee gave the barista the icy stare of death. Her mother said little. She was on the phone with her estranged husband. Kaylee could only hear her mother’s side of the conversation, “did you check everywhere Donald. No, I am not making this up don’t you see the footprints. Not yet I need time to think about it and us. Good bye.” She had been mad at him before but she never heard her mother call her dad Donald. Like the duck. Her mother ended her call and came over to Kaylee. She said, “why do you have that book?” Kaylee couldn’t answer her. She didn’t know why she had to take the book. For some reason, it was more important than anything else. From the coffee shop her mother could see a rare book shop. She took the book from Kaylee. Together they went to the book shop.
The owner of the shop first smiled then he cocked his head at the sight of the book. He said, “well ladies what you got there.” He put on a pair of white gloves then he took the book. Kaylee felt a cold shiver run up her back. He said the book was in amazing shape but whoever did the gilding did it wrong. The pages were fused together. The book was more of a paperweight rather than literature. Kaylee asked, “can you identify the language in the book?” He replied, “how can I when the book can’t be opened.” Kaylee came over to the book and opened it to page three. He looked shocked. First that the solid fused book opened then at the illustration inside. He said, “this is middle English. What the ancient people of the UK spoke and wrote way back when.” He paused then said, “how did you open the book.” Kaylee closed the book. He tried to open it but the book was a solid mass again. Her mother then tried but to the same affect.
These are short stories I wrote. Some are connected to the larger books I am working on others are just for the fun of story telling.
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