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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2205691-Tome
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Horror/Scary · #2205691
11/16/19 SCREAMS!!! Contest Entry Theme: A BOOK REPORT ON A FORBIDDEN TEXT 500 words
11/16/19 SCREAMS!!! Contest Entry
Theme: A BOOK REPORT ON A FORBIDDEN TEXT
500 words

Samantha skipped to the library, pink frock dress bobbing in the warm afternoon sun.

As she entered the library, she twirled her hair, marveling at the grandeur of its marble interior. High ceilings, columns, and gothic architecture created a grand, hollow atmosphere as Samantha walked along the isles, in search of an unusual book for her class report.

She neared the back of the last row of bookshelves and noticed a dark door with a sign that read simply Forbidden, slightly ajar. Curious, she pushed it open, revealing a spartan room with an old, hickory desk. On the desk sat an hourglass,a candle, a book, and... a bleached, white skull!

Samantha gasped in shock at the macabre sight, consumed by a sudden instinct to run. But she didn't. She stood, wide-eyed, as curiosity overrode better judgment, twirling her hair in nervousness.

Samantha reached for the text, pulling it out from under the skull. It was in some strange language that she didn't recognize. She didn't know what the words meant, but they seemed grotesquely interesting. As she pondered, she realized she could make up a book report on anything if she chose a book in another language that no one knew. She picked up the book, sensing a tingle of power as she did. She hefted the heavy tome to the front desk of the library, but no one was there. She rang the bell. Nothing. That's strange, she thought. I guess if they're not here, I'll go ahead and borrow it. I'll bring it back tomorrow anyway.

Shrugging, she lifted the book from the counter and took it home.

***

That evening, Samantha sat in her bedroom to work on her book report. She laid out the book and set her notebook beside it. She had a scented candle in her room, and it seemed inexplicably appropriate to light it and work in darkness. Samantha wrote "Book Report" at the top of her notepad, then turned to the middle of the creepy text. She began to sound out the words while she twirled her hair in excitement. As she read the final word of the story, she felt it. The flame of the candle shook as if hit by a gust of wind. The fingers that touched the book tingled. The sensation rose from the fingers gradually up her arm, Samantha's other hand twirling her hair faster in fear. When the feeling reached her heart, it suddenly exploded throughout her body. Her limbs dropped and stiffened.

Samantha's features, lit in jagged asymmetry the flickering flame of the candle, slowly drew into an unnaturally wide, hideous smile. Her eyes were hollow black, lost in shadow. Hands rose slowly, deliberately, closing the book. Samantha began to write another language on the notepad, slow, at first, but growing faster until her strokes were frantic and jagged. She finished the writing and began to read, a crimson glow emanated from the ancient tome.

Samantha no longer twirled her hair.
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