Lost in the Dust Jacket

Arthur Rackham from "The Old Woman in the Wood," fairy tale number 123 by the Brothers Grimm

Arthur Rackham from “The Old Woman in the Wood,” fairy tale number 123 by the Brothers Grimm

“I’ve come to love the silence.” She whispered the statement to no one in particular, as seeking solace had recently become her favorite past time. Her words trickled out into the ether and greeted nothingness.

Longing for a new beginning, she searched for solitude between the covers. Only through the pages of never-ending words did she find peace and tranquility. She heard the sounds in her mind, in her soul, preempting the noise of the world. Stories from the outside space were too personal, too intrusive, too raw, too true.

Narrative absorption softened the blow of her own situation. Fantasy swelled within her mind and closed out the awfulness of reality.

A story enveloped her. She felt each character’s embrace, its fingertips gently lingering a moment longer than what felt comfortable but encasing her in safety. She let the moment swallow her. No chance of being forgotten when you’re rooted to the ground.

Other voices called her to rejoin them, asked that she come back to the here and now. Her family wanted her home and needed her to be a part of them. They wouldn’t let her slip away into oblivion.

The girl forced herself into a thinly-veiled metamorphosis, one where she could easily slide back and forth between the states. She acquiesced to stay in the present but only if she could rejoin her characters from time to time. They pulled her back to Maycomb, Narnia, Limerick, Little Rock, Sussex, and West Table — where she only had to worry about their fates and not her own.

***

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13 Comments

Filed under fiction, writing

13 responses to “Lost in the Dust Jacket

  1. Jennifer G. Knoblock

    Oh, yes, yes. I love the dreaminess of this, and how I can identify with the reader.

  2. J. Raven

    sounds like a perfect way to while away a day 🙂

  3. Ah, lost in a world of books – one of my favorite daydreams!

  4. I love the way you have written this, especially: ‘She heard the sounds in her mind, in her soul, preempting the noise of the world. Stories from the outside space were too personal, too intrusive, too raw, too true’. Books are such wonderful escapism and you have captured that.

  5. I “easily slide back and forth” between reality and book-fantasy a lot myself. And I loved the references to narnia and to kill a mockingbird and the lions of little rock (I think) and others at the end. I needed it after you wrote “A story enveloped her.” I immediately wanted to know which one!

    • The reference was actually made about “Warriors Don’t Cry” by Melba Patillo Beals, a book that has stayed with me for years. Even though it’s a tragic story of the Little Rock Seven who helped integrate the Arkansas public school system, it is one that totally intrigued me. It was unreal to know all of that happened to those students within my mother’s high school years.

    • I’ve looked up Lions of Little Rock now and want to read it. Same issue – you should try Patillo’s autobiographical account.

  6. Meg

    Oh, I know what that pull is like. Especially Narnia. Well done.

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