Legal Theft Project: Hidden Pages

She felt an immediate kinship with the book. It was small like her. Fragile like her. Both of them liked to hide and pass unnoticed. She hoped the book would like her even though she disrupted its quiet. Books were meant to share knowledge, even secret books hidden in the crease between the shelf and the wall. They just waited for a patient observant person to pick them up. She was that kind of person. She took the book out of her pocket and gave it a closer look than she had in the library.

The thin text bound in old leather just barely starting to flake with age. Embossed on the cover was a complicated design of twisting curves and angles in no pattern she had seen before. There was no title. No gilt on the binding and no author’s name. When she opened it, dust fluttered into the air and dissipated.

Her brow furrowed in interest. The first page had a different sigil and was written in three different alphabets. She needed better light. She moved from her desk to the thin window seat Finn had carved for her. The natural light waved through the old glass, but it was better than by her desk. Three feet made a lot of difference. Definitely three alphabets and intermixed as well. Her eyes lit. This was a puzzle. A complicated puzzle.

Tatterdemalion got paper and a set of pens. She shifted one of her crates to the window to act as a writing surface. And lost herself. Each apparent chapter had a different sigil. The book could be read from two directions. She wrote notes and ciphers and shifted with the sun like a cat napping. She looked up when the sun became too dim to read by. She considered getting a candle… but… she didn’t want to share yet. She bit her lip. Elias always noticed secrets. Secrets and new things and things that were out of place, so, it would have to be not out of place. She would have to not be out of place. She would need another mystery. Or… it could just be boring. That was better. She had a new project and could focus on one aspect of it. Tatter smiled to herself. Trying to outthink Elias was fun.

She moved the furniture around a bit, tucked the old book into her personal stash of possessions, and picked up the book of poetry she was translating. Yes, she could effuse on the wonders of this poetry for hours. She was so pleased she had multiple interests.

She lit a candle and sat back with her poems before she wondered why she wanted to keep the book for herself. She worried at the edge of her skirt. She just, didn’t want Elias to beat her to the answer. He wouldn’t tell her if he had. But… she wanted something just for herself. Elias was running off getting into strange new trouble every day and Finn was being all growly as he grew and now she had a book. That must be it. She nodded, smiled to herself, and began finding an accurate translation for the third verse.


My friend Bek over at BuildingaDoor stole this first line to write “A New Book.” Look out for thieves!


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