I wrote this 365 word story about an experience in my school library. I was trying to stay focused and get some work done, but this entity had other plans for me!
Pulled up a chair in our library wiling to get to work and placed feet up on a shelf sturdy enough to hold my feet and tomes larger than my face. Creating Killer Websites, and The Oxford Book of Death I could ignore. The bottom row contained mythology and I fought off the urge, until my eyes landed on Bulfinch’s Mythology, upside down. I rescued it, opened the cover, and the font was sepia and the pages cream. The first chapter: Prometheus and Pandora, alpha and omega. Admetus and Alcestis, Cyclopes, Circe, and Sirens. I could never resist the call of alliteration. Nearly a thousand pages rife with the diversity of white Europeans, Greek, Roman, French, British, as if they were the only ones to ever tell campfire stories of their creation. Wait! There are a few others here, Hindu and Egyptian myths sprinkled into the white cannon. Lists of names I know and hundreds of pages of names only a faint shadow in my memory and ones lurking completely unseen inside those shadows. References to Milton and Ovid, I could read these near thousand pages and be led to a thousand other books.
There are Sphinxes to devour me and Medusa to turn me to stone. Knights to defend me and an oracle to show me the way. I’m still trapped in the table of contents when the librarian comes by to tell me the shop is closing.
“Hey, do you wanna give me this book?” I couldn’t believe I asked this librarian acquaintance such a question yet he made it happen. Before I understood, I was walking home with it under my arm.
Back to the table of contents, thirteen pages for The Trojan War and seven for Troy’s fall. One for Beowulf. Four for Merlin but six for Arthur, then six more when continued. The Lady of the Fountain, however, continued twice. What decisions went into relegating one myth to a page and another to three chapters?
There, contained in the pages, were maps indicating Jason’s quest for the golden fleece and where Hades lies. If this book were not mass produced it would be illuminated. No matter, it has it’s magnetism.
Yes, my school librarian signed it out and gave it to me after I asked. As a joke. I feel guilty but I know he has statistics on what books kids take from the library and which ones they don’t. It’s very possible it was one that would just be removed from circulation sooner rather than later. He told me there was two, but that I don’t believe.