4 of 25

I have started a new series of short stories recently, it all spurred from an idea about changing history. All of the photos are from old photobooks from the basement. Here’s the fourth one:

(4)

“The first few times we rushed to your side and consoled you, we wiped your tears away and told you everything was going to be O.K. But then we realized that this was your new habit, and whether we consoled you or not, you continued to weep in the grass, covering your whole body with your bathing towel. Each of the fictional characters you’ve read about had something about them and “I have nothing interesting about me that would ever let me be a character in a book!” you shouted at us the last time we tried to help you. Surely, we already thought you were more interesting than the rest of us because of the lack of attention you desired upon walking into a room; you weren’t ever shy with your eyes, but rather with your mouth. It always seemed to be flinching like you had a constant distaste for your words and had to stop yourself from letting us hear them. You never talked about them, and no one ever read the books you read, so we never really found out what made you cry so much every time you read them. We would see you march down the hill and lay your towel down in the grass and we would think oh, she’s at it again- that girl has her tears for only made up ideas. And sure enough, you would read, then roll over and cry and cry and cry, then you would turn back to the book and read until you cried again. The librarians turned beet red when you walked in the door and handed back to them soggy books. Eventually you were banned from the public library, and for the following week you were not the same and you always looked like you were in a hurry. So you found a window in the back of the library on the right side of a desk and you asked whoever sat there to pick out a book for you. And they would. You would steal it for a little while, but you always brought it back. You were such a fast reader (and runner) that the librarians never caught on. You asked us politely to buy you cans of beets at the grocery store, and we did, but we never saw you eat them. But we started to notice that a single can would disappear for every book you returned to the library. Then after a rare day of drinking, you confessed to us your crimes in between hiccups. You asked the innocent person sitting by your window to place a can next to your soggy book on the shelf. You told them it was for the librarians. We stopped wondering about you and started wondering about what the hell those librarians did with all those cans of beets.”

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