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By. Russell Hemmell

“Books are mischievous objects, Gillian -remember. Written words have always proved dangerous, and ancient books, containing bunches of them in a fascinating format, are the worst. Stay away – especially in the Day of All Hallows’ Eve.”

Her teacher’s eyes were jade-like stones, repeating those words day after day – adamant and unforgiving.

“They kill you by spell, they kill you by handling. Sometimes it’s the quest itself that dooms you to hell.”

 

But Gillian had come to all possible extents to put her hands on the One of All Books bestowing mystical powers, the One everybody had tried to hide from her knowledge.

She entered the old library, eyes-wide-open, fearful and expectant. And there It was – waiting, on a golden lectern, ripe to be grabbed.

Gillian approached -hesitant, her hungry fingers lingering over the torn leather cover, skin over skin, human against beast.

A chilling gust coming from nowhere opened up the volume, and its pages whistled to her ears with the crystalline voice of a vestal that prayed – words different from the ones printed on its pages, resounding in the thousand tongues of the most radiant angel.

Whispering to her ears. Insinuating with slithering moans into the deepest recesses of her mind. Buying her soul, spiriting it away.

Russell Hemmell is a statistician and social scientist from the U.K, passionate about astrophysics and speculative fiction. Recent Stories in Gone Lawn, Not One of Us, SQ Mag, and elsewhere.

Daniel Fries is a musician from the United States.