|Behind the Pages
Monday, October 12th
This was the day where it all started. Thomas King (one of my top students) greeted me enthusiastically as I walked through the doors, “Professor Willington! I have something that may interest you.”
“And that would be…” I asked.
A book!” he exclaimed as he took off his backpack and rooted through it. He hauled out a thick brown book with pages that were torn and tattered. “My friends and I were camping in an abandoned cabin this weekend and we just saw this lying around. We thought maybe you could interpret the language, being an ancient history teacher and all.”
I grasped it and flicked through the pages. This “language” was comprised mainly of shapes and curves. In my twenty years of teaching I have never seen anything quite like it. “Thank you for this, Mr” King. I’ll make sure to get into it as soon as possible.”
The book never left my presence all day; I studied it whenever possible. I never slept at all that night. Instead, I spent countless hours studying the book and drinking coffee.
Tuesday, October 13th
Nearing seven in the morning, I swallowed my final mouthful of coffee; it was bitter cold. I threw on my brown suede jacket and firmly picked up the book. Just then, the front door to my small, two- bedroom house swung open in a swift movement. I walked cautiously through the doorway to my front porch. There was no wind.
I spent my lunch break in the staff room by myself. My colleague, Robert Henderson walked in. Henderson taught psychology. He was a lanky man and (like myself) was showing signs of balding. “Why, hello there Edward. Still trying to decode that mysterious book I see. It’s good to see you finally pick up a pastime. Any progress with it?”
“N-no. At least not yet.”
“Are you feeling okay Ed?” he asked me. “Your voice is kind of shaky and do seem more pale than usual.”
“Oh. N-n-no worries. I’m doing just,” I said, then hesitated for several seconds, “exquisite.”
That was a lie. My body had been feeling numb all day; wasn’t feeling quite myself. As soon as I got home I tossed the book on the side table and dropped on my bed, staring at the white tiled ceiling. My eyes soon closed. After a few seconds of darkness, I saw white streaks form before my eyes. The streaks came together, and combined to make a detailed render of a left hand. A single drop of red formed around the palm, then dropped. I felt it splash on my forehead. It was cold. I jumped off the bed in a quick jerk and sprinted to the bathroom. I looked in the mirror and saw my reflection. Only it wasn’t a reflection. My face was badly burned and the skin was peeling off. It sizzled like bacon on a frying pan. I shut my eyes and opened them, I was in my bed again. My face turned towards the clock. It was Wednesday.
Wednesday, October 14th
At six thirty in the morning I phoned the school. “Good m-m-morning Vivian. N-not feeling well, won’t come in t-today. Bye.” I hung up the phone and slouched on the desk chair. I ran my hands across my face. I was sweating profusely and my stubble was getting thick. The room around me was moving as if I was on a rowboat in the middle of a storm. An uneasy feeling was growing in my stomach. I felt numb again, like a puppet on strings. This "sensation" spread to my left hand. I tried to grab the book which lay on the center of the table, but my hand didn't budge; I lost all feeling in it. I watched in horror as my left hand grabbed my right, and snapped back my index finger, breaking the bone instantly. Unimaginable pain rushed through me as I screamed in agony. Tears ran down my face.
It was at this point where I figured out what had happened. The book I had received from my student was nothing more than a gateway for evil spirits. Looking through the passages released the spirits. And they had possessed me, starting with my hand. I had to take force before it spread throughout my body. I knew what I had to do.
I grabbed the handle of the wooden drawer below me in my desk with the second and third fingers on my right hand. With a struggle I opened it (the pain increasing) and gripped a plastic handle. The handle belonged to a five inch, stainless steel knife. My left hand saw this and grabbed hold of the handle as well.
I move my head in closer and sank my teeth into the back of the possessed hand. I felt the arteries busting. Blood gushed out instantaneously and spilled all over my legs, staining my faded brown jeans. The left hand lost grip and twitched in pain. With my good hand I raised the knife high above my head then sent it down upon my wrist. The blade dug deeper and deeper into my left wrist. I hit bone. I chiseled the bone with the knife but to no avail. I dropped the knife and grabbed onto my left wrist (my hand now dangling) with my right hand and twisted it in a clockwork motion until it broke off and hit the floor. The hand spasmed for a few seconds then stopped.
I leaned back in my chair, breathing heavily. I had lost too much blood. I collapsed on the floor.
Thursday, October 15th
My eyes opened slowly. My body was still in agony but it was a feeling I had adjusted to. When I saw my severed, shriveled up hand in front of me I realized it wasn't a dream. I grasped the desk and hauled myself up. According to the clock I was unconscious for over twenty hours. I looked at the book, and aloud I said, "I know what you're doing and it will not work. You ...are not going to consume m-m-me!" I returned to the drawer and hauled it open swiftly; the contents spilling over the floor. I shuffled through the junk and found what I was looking for: matches. Just then my arm arm (now handless) jabbed me between the eyes, bringing me to one knee. I punched my arm repeatedly for several minutes until it stopped moving. I picked up a match and swished it across the desk. A flame appeared at the end. I dropped it on the book, and within seconds it was engulfed in flames. I hunched over the fire with a crooked smile on my face. Soon the entire desk was in flames.
My front door was pushed down, and several people ran in, including Robert Henderson. The rest dressed in uniform. I don't remember much after that but I was told that I passed out.
Friday, October 16th
The next thing I remember was waking up surrounded by white walls in a small, secluded room. A young doctor in his early twenties came in and spoke to me, "Hello Edward. I am glad that you are awake and well."
"Who are you?" I asked.
"You can call me Dr. Bobby and I want to be your friend. But first you have to tell me about yourself. How is life treating you? Do you have something against your own limbs?" I looked down at my left arm. The stub was bandaged. "But don't tell me. Instead I want you to write it all down. Every last detail. Take as long as you want. Until then, this will be your new home. There are many others living here just like you. And they all want to be your friend." He handed me a notepad and a rubber pencil with a blunt edge. "Write anything you want that relates to your life recently. When you are done my doctor friends and I will read it over and you may be allowed back to your old home. Or this may be your own home. If you have any questions, please knock on your door and a doctor will see you as soon as possible." With that he left.
This is when I started writing this journal. I can't wait for the doctors to read it and find out what happened. I can't wait to go home. I should probably end this now, my hand is feeling really numb.
My best regards,
Friday, October 16th, 2009