Okay, so, in an effort to prevent my writing from becoming a "dear gods I must finish this chapter because I want this fic to be good! GDKjikahjdenjf:KDJFK" sorta thing and just write for the sake of writing, I'll be posting some one-off short stories, blurbs, and other small things that I probably will never ever continue into full on fics. Hopefully this will help shake me from my inspirational slunk that I'm in with my fics. Anywho~ ---------------------------------------------- There once was a man who lived as a book binder, day after day he would repair the priceless works of art that were brought in before him. He would work tirelessly to return them all to their former glory; weaving together the stitching and binding them in the finest leather. This was his world, his life, and all that he ever knew; and he was quite good at what he did. He enjoyed the simple things in life, he enjoyed making his living the way that he did. He worked in a house that was squeezed together between two other houses, it was small and not held together very well, but he didn't mind. He lived alone and it was the perfect size for him. He didn't need anything but his books, as long as they were there he was happy. Sometimes he would go walking along the cobblestone paths when it was frigid and raining, and he would listen to the raindrops and feel the freshness of the air. He always loved the rain, it was like it was washing the world clean. His favorite books to repair were books that told tales of adventures, daring rescues, and heroics. He would wish everyday that he would one day be able to have an adventure of his own; while he was content with his life the way it was, he always longed for something more. He wished with all his heart that something would happen and he'd be able to experience something that would change his life forever, and everyday the same routine would play out. Finally he accepted that there would never be an adventure for him; he was too ordinary for anything extraordinary to happen in his life. It was that very week, when he had given up all hope on ever experiencing the thrill of adventure, that a woman happened into his humble shop. "How can I help you, madam?" He asked as he would to anyone who entered the store, presuming that his reputation as an excellent binder had brought him yet another customer. "I have a book for you, sir," Was her simple reply, and with that she handed him a book. The man took it happily, looking for the extent of the damage that he would soon be repairing, only to find that there was nothing wrong with the volume. It was bound in dark red leather and was inscribed with golden words that read 'Not for the Faint of Heart.' That was it, no more, no less. "I'm afraid I don't understand," He said turning the book over in his hands, "There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with this." "You misunderstand me, sir, I wish to give you the book as a gift." She said as she nodded, for the first time the man noticed how old she looked and how frail she seemed to be. "Was she that elderly when she had first walked in? I swear she seemed much younger." The man thought, but then the woman continued speaking and woke him from his daze. "But I must warn you, only open it if you are prepared to pay the price. Only open it if you are prepared to fail, but are also prepared to fight for success." Her words were cryptic and the man didn't quite understand what she meant, "Remember what it is you have now. Are you happy?" She asked, but she had no intention of waiting for an answer; instead she turned and exited the shop, and left the book behind. The man couldn't begin to understand what the woman had meant, so he set the book down and went back to work. He would sort it all out later, when he had time to think. He tried to ignore the book for the rest of the day, but he found his eyes falling on the tome often. He would stare and think about the woman's warning, was he happy? He wasn't unhappy, he knew that for certain, but whether or not he was truly happy he couldn't say. Finally he couldn't stand it any longer, he walked over and picked the book up. It was a heavy title, crisp white pages waited for him just inside the cover. The words on the front of the book danced before him, "What could possibly happen from opening a book?" He pondered, chasing away his own doubts. Finally he flipped open the book, and nothing happened. He turned a few of the pages, waiting for something to happen; waiting for the old woman's predictions to come true. Nothing happened, nothing at all. He suddenly felt very foolish, standing alone with a book at arms length, like it was going to spontaneously burst into flames in his hands. He looked at the clock, it was very late. When did it get to be so dark outside? Often times he would lose himself in his work, he stifled a yawn and set the book down. He decided to go rest his head, perhaps it was for the best that nothing had happened. Almost immediately he was asleep, as soon as his head hit the pillow. While he slept, the book that lay open on the desk down the stairs began to stir. It's crisp pages began to flutter in a non-existent breeze, flipping themselves open to the dead center of the volume. A shadow passed from the book's pages, it swept across the man, across the house, across the town; it continued to spread. It was an unseen specter in the dead of night; and everywhere it went things began to change. The world was becoming a darker place, and when the man awoke he would find that his life would never be the same again. --------------------------------------------------------- Unfortunately, that's it. I haven't decided what's going to happen with this from there. I probably won't continue this anytime soon, and if I did it wouldn't be anything too extravagant. Anyway, just let me know what you thought, and maybe I'll do a short story based on this with more detail. It's good to work on something outside of my fics for a while, at least while I sort through what I want to happen in the fics and get over this block I've hit.