READ THE FINE PRINT
The trouble started when they threw the book in the fire.
See, what they didn’t count on was the Book Worms. Nobody ever does. What? You thought they were imaginary? Hah! Think again. Those suckers are nothing to laugh about.
And yeah, wiseacre, I've seen one. It was about six foot six, balanced on its tail. Its setae were hairy, not slimy like you’d expect. And those teeth – man, they were terrible, like gnashing jagged rocks.
Nah, it didn’t try to bite me. That’s because I’m an Ink Slinger. Book Worms and Ink Slingers are natural allies. Purveyors and protectors of the written word. That’s what we are. That's how the Founding Fathers set it up.
You ever seen a book burning? Nothing else tears at your senses like that will. The sight of the flames licking paper, the smell of singed ink, the sound of binding screeching, the taste of death in the air, the palpable feeling of agony.
You might think that pain is coming from the books, but it’s not. It’s the echo of the Book Worms waking each other up and arming for battle. That sound will haunt you. It’ll get in your bones and whittle you down to nothing.
But not me. Nope, I’m impervious to all of it. It’s all right there in black and white. Book Worms don’t just protect the books, they safeguard the Ink Slingers too.
How? Well, I’m afraid that information falls under Trade Secrets and I’m not about to jeopardize my position with the ISU (Ink Slinger’s Union).
Let’s just say that I know which side of the bread my butter is on – or is that which side of the page my ink is on – and I do my damnedest to maintain the balance between the Book Worms and Ink Slingers.
As for you, all I can suggest is that you read the fine print in your Book Owner's Manual and figure out real quick which side of the war you're on. And just to be safe, you might want to invest in a good Worm Casualty Policy.
This was written for Wakefield Mahon's Motivation Monday Flash Fic Challenge. This week's prompt was: "The trouble started when they threw the book in the fire." The guidelines are as follows:
- The prompt must be the first words in the story.
- No more than 500 words (not including the prompt). No less than 100 words.
- Any genre (in fact an unexpected genre will get you more points.)
- Entries must be submitted by Tuesday Noon EST
- The winner of each week's competition will be invited to judge the following week.
- Have fun!