On the seventh day, rest.

But on the eighth? What then?

Six days to create the world. One day to rest. Afterwards, only a brief appearance here and there. Off and on. Popping up when we needed a cleansing. Or a rebirth.

Then two thousand or so years ago, gone. Apparently for good.

Today is my seventh day. Seven days since what? I don’t know. But today is my day of rest.

Of rebirth

Of cleansing.

Only the cleansing I should have done wasn’t the cleansing I did. The mess in the corner remained, though not a hint of the previous evening’s growth lingered. Just the torn carpet. The scraps of shredded padding. The busted concrete. The gravel and sand and earth exposed.

Dry now. Given enough time and shelter from the world, everything dries up. Becomes a wasteland.

Still, there are things that grow. Even in a wasteland. Dangerous things, like thoughts and desires. Little plots that start as seeds but sprout and blossom from your ears and eyes and mouth. Birth cannot be stopped. Our thoughts cannot be halted.

Ideas must procreate.

Like viruses in the subconscious.

The Jungian Flu.

The ideas in the book, they weren’t my ideas. Not even something I’d personally subscribe to.

The words did not speak to me, though they spoke at me. But still, there is something to be said about a story that has no reader. It is like a body with no soul.

I scrambled two eggs and toasted a slice of bread. At them together as a sandwich.

There was no butter.

As I chewed through the mash upon which I would fuel this new birth, I planned the birth which was to come. The birth of thoughts and ideas from a book no one has read.

At least not this copy.

Or at least not for decades.

The checkout card, beneath the sofa, buried in dust balls and hairballs. Hiding and timid, afraid to let itself come to light. But still yearning for discovery. My discovery.

A single name, written 37 years ago. June the seventh.

Marcy VanNeal.

The only person whose fingers have graced the books pages. Or, at the very least, the only person who the book can be tracked back to.

Though was it ever in Marcy’s hands? Did it ever endure the caress of eager eyes? Or was the card simply a bookmark? Something found by another and shoved inside to hold the place of a stranger.

8+3+1+0+9+2+8+8=49

Crack my back, crack its spine.

Bury it in the hole in the corner.

Give it food.

Give it water.

Let it grow.

A layer of self sloughs from my unclothed body, and I brush the egg from my beard.

I am born anew.

Silent daffodils
consume the sky
as sundancers
mute
a grayscale rainbow.

Continue to Chapter Ten