Ghosts In the Pages

There are ghosts caught between the pages of this old book I have, pressed like moths between the paper. I can see their shadows when I turn the pages, the line of a shoulder here, the curve of an eyebrow there. Sometimes, when the light is just right, I can see the ghosts on facing pages, one man, one woman, features blurred but shapes revealing their existence.

I’ve never read this book. I’ve given up trying. Every time I open it, I am distracted by the figures sliding across the pages, and I quickly lose interest in the narrative of the novel and instead want to stare and stare at the ghosts inside.

Sometimes I see a set of numbers drift like a cloud over the surface of the paper: 13.

Sometimes there is a statue as well, some tall and thin tribal figure, carved I think from dark wood.

This book was in the house when I moved in, on a shelf with a dozen other thick and ancient books, all belonging I assume to my grandfather. None of the others have ghosts inside, only this one.

If I close my eyes and listen carefully, I can hear the rough sound of fingertips slipping over paper.

It’s so soothing that some nights, when I can’t sleep, I lay the book face up on my bedside table and listen to the whisper of ghostly fingers rustling the paper until the dawn creeps in.

I’ve never even read it, but my favorite story in the world lives in this book.

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6 Comments

  1. Thirteen is my lucky number. I’m glad it’s in your book, even if that is ridiculously selfish.

    Reply
  2. This is so beautiful…

    Reply
    • Kameko

       /  January 23, 2012

      Oh, I had a dream last night that you were in! I just remembered: we were having lunch and having a hard time deciding on noodles or fruit.

      I didn’t say it was a very exciting dream.

      But your hair was beautiful!

      Reply
      • As long as my hair was beautiful, I don’t care if it was fruit or noodles we settled on! Very nice to visit your dream…

        Reply
        • Kameko

           /  January 25, 2012

          You’re a delightful dream guest. You didn’t try to scare me or eat my head or anything.

          So polite. You can come over any time.

          Reply

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