Books have been called a great many things – best friends, keys to wisdom’s treasure and a great deal of other titles. This is because of their ability of fueling imaginations. They have a tendency to warp our sense of reality. But, what if books managed to warp reality itself? What if they took you to new places in earnest?
Being a typical Sunday afternoon, Jon was lazing around his house. Not really in a mood to go outdoors in the summer heat, he decided to indulge in his favorite past time – reading. Jon went to his room and opened up the drawers inside which his many books were neatly arranged. While going through his books and trying to pick one, he found a book he hadn’t seen before. Its tattered look and yellow pages told Jon that the book was rather old. The book had no title on it. Jon opened the book. Instead of a title page, the page had a very peculiar message on it.
Please place your finger on the symbol below. It will seal the bond between book and reader.
Jon scoffed at the message. He figured it must have been something of a trend in the older generations. He decided to play along. He placed his right index finger on the symbol. However, the second he did that he felt a static shock on his finger. He pulled back his hand in reflex and dropped the book. The slight shock on his finger soon transcended into a deep throbbing. His head began to hurt and his eyes began to lose focus. Jon started losing his center of balance and blacked out.
When Jon came to, he realized he was lying on something soft. He thought it was his bed. But, when his eyes gained focus, he realized he was lying on something green. He blinked several times, allowing clarity to return to his vision. He realized the green he was lying on, was actually grass. He got to his feet and brushed off the grass clinging to his body. He looked around and noticed that he was standing at the base of a grassy hill. He thought that he was dreaming, because the last thing he could remember was fainting in his bedroom. He tried willing himself to wake up, but it was to no avail. He then remembered the weird message on the book. He knew that something was fishy, but he had no information to work on. He decided to explore the area. As he took a few steps forward, the sound of approaching people reached him. He hid behind the bushes. Peeping out, he spotted the approaching people. They turned out to be a pair – a guy and a lady. Their clothing was outlandish. Jon had seen this style of clothing in one of his encyclopedias. It was common clothing during the medieval times. Jon decided to tail the pair. He could barely listen to what they were discussing. The accent was heavy, but he could make out what they were saying. The pair was a married couple. The wife was carrying an empty pail and the husband was carrying a hunting dagger, tucked in his waistband. The wife was complaining about climbing the hill.
“Why did you suddenly want to go on a walk together today? Did the deer you chase around every day, finally get tired of you?”
“Hahahaha! I just wanted to spend some time with my lovely wife. Did you have any other plans?”
“No! Nothing like that. I love spending time with you. I just don’t get why you want to go to the top of the hill right now?”
“It is an ideal spot. Besides, we need to get water too, we are almost out.”
“Very well, but let us not speak while climbing up. It is too tedious.”
The husband guffawed but remained silent. I followed them, making sure my presence went unnoticed.
After a climb of ten minutes, they finally reached the top. The top of the hill was quite rocky, unlike the grassy sides of the hill. At the center of the hill was well. The couple approached the well. Jon hid behind a small bush. He had to crouch low in order to conceal his presence. The wife placed the pail near the well.
“Now, why don’t you draw the water out?”
“Now my dear, what is the hurry? Let us enjoy our time. So, tell me. What are you usually up to when I am gone on my long hunting trips?”
“Well, I tend to our cattle, complete the daily chores, have a chat with my friends, ….”
“…and fool around with mine? Sleep with them?”
Her husband’s statement had clearly shocked the lady. Jon could feel her voice tremor.
“What are you saying, dear?”
“Stop playing dumb. Do you think I wouldn’t find out?”
Growling these words, the man drew his knife. The wife started backing away. With the large knife held in his left hand, the man rushed forward. The woman screamed, but no sound escaped her mouth, for the moment she had opened it, her head had been cut clean off her shoulders. Her head fell down, rolled and stopped near the bush Jon was hiding behind. He could see her wide eyes and open mouth clearly now. He stuffed his hand into his mouth, to avoid making any sound. The hunter had picked up the body of his wife which was still gushing blood. He dropped the body in the well. As Jon heard the splash, he realized the husband was walking towards him to retrieve the head of his wife. Jon’s heart began to pound as the man got closer to the bush. As the man bent to pick up the head, Jon felt as if his heart would give in explode inside his chest. However, nothing of that sort happened and the hunter started walking back to the well, head in hand. When he had reached about halfway, Jon felt that similar tingling in his right index finger. It soon turned into a shock and Jon gasped. The gasp was pretty audible. The hunter turned and his eyes narrowed down on the source of the sound. Jon broke cover and started backing away towards the edge of the hill. The hunter held the head in his right arm and his knife in the left. He charged at Jon, determined to end the witness to his heinous act. Jon’s head was already throbbing. His body had stopped responding. As he saw the hunter get closer, Jon gave up all hope. Groggy-headed, he watched the hunter trip on his own feet near the edge of the hill. The hunter fell down and hit his head on a rock, splitting his head open. Due to the motion of his fall, he continued tumbling down the hill. The head of his wife had fallen out of his hand when he had tripped. It started rolling down the hill as well, following her husband. Upon seeing this, Jon’s eyes closed as he blacked out for the second time in the same day.
Jon woke up to find himself in familiar surroundings of his room. His head was still throbbing, but it was quite mild. He noticed the book lying open, next to him on the floor. The page read
…..And Jill came tumbling after!
Image credits: https://www.shutterstock.com/video/clip-3473861-stock-footage-aerial-shot-of-antelope-running-on-grassy-hill.html