The book was made of a very thin leather that almost seemed fragile. Every few pages the leather would change; whether in quality or colour; and with it, the story would also change.
If one were to take the time to translate all the languages in the book they would find a history of the cult. The first few stories, written in the most ancient language, told the stories of the first generation.
There weren’t many in the first generation, only about ten or so, but they were close. They hid from the rest of the world as they worshipped in the dark. They married and had children to whom they taught their religion.
The religion grew and ten followers soon became twenty which became fifty then over one hundred. But the book didn’t hold all of their stories. After the first ten stories, the only stories which were written into the book were the stories of priests and priestesses who had made a difference to the cult.
Researchers who dared to ask the right questions and complete the right tests may find out more than they wished to. If the researcher tested the material of the book, they would have a most gruesome discovery. For the leather that makes up the paper is comprised of human skin.
To be more specific, the leather is made up of skin from the faces of the people the stories are about.
To the members of the cult, becoming a part of the book is a rite of honour. Many members have pledged their lives to the protecting of this sacred book while others have pledged their lives to becoming a part of the book.
For all the history and sacredness of the book, its name is quite simple and will give clues to the book’s composition. The title, if translated properly, is “The Book of Faces”.
This post was written in response to Writing 101: The Things We Treasure.
Shiny baubles may catch my eye and I may be easily mesmerized by twinkling lights but neither constitute a treasure. I love my family and adore my friends but they are not my deepest treasure.
If you were to cut me open and peer at my heart, you would find in it a treasure more desirable to me than gold or diamonds. Piled high in my heart, flowing through my veins, live stories.
I hoard books filled with stories so that they line my walls without a space between them. I wait, impatiently, for stories not yet written. I long for ideas that will capture the minds of readers far into the future. I crave new stories that I can read and explore their worlds. I anticipate the next story as I’m closing the book I’ve just finished.
As far back as I can remember I have loved stories. I can still remember the words of the “Lost Little Kitten” being read in my mother’s voice. There are story books that have been passed on to the newest generation which were read to me as a child. Some of the stories I remember from my youth were created by parents and babysitters who wanted us to settle for the night. Other stories from my youth were written in scribbles on the notebooks my parents left lying on the kitchen table.
My mother encouraged my love of stories by buying me treasures to hoard like a dragon in its cave. When one book was finished another was waiting to be read. From a modest stack, the treasures grew into a massive pile.
I’ve cut down on my treasure since becoming a woman. I’ve shared them with those less fortunate by donating to libraries and local foundations. Unfortunately for my floorboards, the pile still keeps growing.
Whisper2Scream pointed out the disconnect between the previous beginning and the rest of this piece. I’ve edited out the old beginning and replaced it with something I like a bit better.