Sunday, June 17, 2012

Timed Writing: 6/15/2012


Time: 10 minutes
Prompt: "... 'you will never know,' he said. 'It is a forbidden book.'..."
Source: Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel García Márquez

"What about that one?" I asked the old man. I pointed at the little gray book on top of the bookshelf behind his desk. I had caught him reading it once, when he thought I'd left for the day, and when he noticed me watching, he'd snapped it shut before I could see any of its contents. Now he pretended not to know what I was talking about.

"That one?" he said, as he reached for an altogether different volume -- a manual on book cataloguing in the absence of computers, published decades ago by some post-apocalyptic regeneration preparationists who'd thought we would be in another stone age by now. "You've already seen this one," the librarian said. "Six months ago, as I recall. You complained that it was irrelevant and returned it to me in under a minute."

You know that's not the one I mean," I said. "I want to know what's in the gray book."

The librarian pushed his eyebrows together above the bridge of his hooked nose, and in a low voice, as though he were trying to sound mysterious, he spoke.

"You wil never know," he said. "It is a forbidden book."

He tried to maintain the serious expression, but when I started laughing -- how could I not? the very idea of a forbidden book was so ludicrously antique! -- his face broke into a grin, and he said, "Alright, my dear, what would you say if I simply asked you not to read it? As a favor to me, your oldest friend?"

(about my timed writing exercises)


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