Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Chapter 14

Seamus got home around 9:15 that evening, kicked his shoes off and put on some fuzzy slippers and sweatpants. He liked wearing cozy clothes on cold winter evenings. He made some hot chocolate, too, and took it up to his room. He didn't want to get his hopes up about the journal, so he figured he might as well be comfy.

Again, the journal came out from the drawer and again, there was no message waiting for him. Again, a new date for a new entry.

So, are you going to talk to me tonight? he wrote.

Goodness! What a way to start a conversation! We haven't even been properly introduced yet.

Seamus was startled. The words had appeared quickly, and in a new handwriting, small, slanted and energetic. It was more like an actual person's handwriting than the elegant script that had come out of the book before. Also, the ink was blue, as opposed to the black that everything had been previously. The writing continued.

Why don't we back up and try this again. I'll start this time: My name is Cassidy.

I'm Seamus.

Nice to meet you.

You too, I think. Though I have to confess I'm at a bit of a loss as to what's going on right now. This isn't the book talking, is it? Why haven't you written before? Are you real or fictional? Where are you?

So many questions! It's nice to meet a man who doesn't talk about himself all the time but still – you want to give a girl some breathing room. I didn't expect a bloody Spanish Inquisition.

Ha. Monty Python. Nobody expects a Spanish Inquisition.

Yes. :-)

And you're one of those people who writes out their emoticons even when they're not typing.

Apparently, yes. But let's get you some actual information before you start psychoanalyzing me through my writing habits and British humor references. First of all: yes, I'm a real person, as I assume you are?

As far as I can tell, yes. Though I've been having my doubts recently.

Good enough for now. I'm in Oregon. I'm a student at PSU (the "P" is for Portland). And I've stumbled into this the same way I expect you did. I just found this book and started writing in it.

Yeah, me too. I found my copy in the basement of a library here. I'm down in California, by the way. Palo Alto (in the Bay Area).

Cool, I know where that is. I have an aunt who lives down there. Anyway, this book was talking to me for a bit, kept asking me about books I had read. Weird things would happen when I answered – I'd see flashes of scenes from the books, just briefly appearing around me. I'm not sure what that was all about. Then a few days ago it told me to wait. Didn't say for what. I wasn't able to get anything else out of it until tonight.

Interesting. It was only a few days ago that I found this book. On Saturday.

Yeah, it was probably the same time. So I'm thinking: the book…

The writing stopped. Seamus waited a few moments, then wrote:

Yes? What about it?

The response came back, the writing hastier than before.

Crap. I gotta go. Find you later.

And that was it. A thin, blue line stretched across the journal page below the last words. Seamus guess that meant this Cassidy person had closed her copy of the book. He closed his too, fastened it, and put it away.

Curiouser and curiouser, he thought.


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