Fairy Tale Realism: Book of Secrets

“As the horde of scorpions skittered away, the Temple of the Book of Secrets sunk to silence.  Through a crumbling wall, a vista of the Lost City stretched below the mountaintop.  The sunken buildings and toppled towers were soon obscured by a sandstorm blowing through from the Eastern desert.

“Joan crept across the temple hall, toward an alter of muddy gold.  She burnished a candlestick with her sleeve, and it shone like an small sun.  She put it in her pocket, then shuffled behind the table.

“There, lying on a swath of dusty velvet, surrounded by pillars and engravings of dirty gold, was the book of secrets, itself covered in thick layers of dust.  She brushed it all away from the cover page to reveal the title of the book…”

“What was the title,” whispered Joan, as he paused, “of the book of secrets?”

“Shrunk and White, the Elements of Style.  I won’t let you read my copy, for it is tattered and careworn, but someday I’ll buy you your own.”


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