If I had to start anywhere with my story, I would have to start at the beginning. I mean, how often does anyone get to say they saved the world; all the more with your imaginary friend. That’s right. My imaginary friend actually came to life, like real life, through means I never dreamed possible, nor even existed. And it all started, with a book that was purchased on a whim.
It was just another typical day in North Dakota, in the city of Madorne. I would get up, go about my day, doing random things here and there, then go home and sleep, repeating the cycle every day. It honestly felt like I was in a rerun of a TV show where I could actually predict what would happen and be correct about 9 times out of 10.
This morning, I was checking my social media while working on my latest novel. As an author, everyday things would always inspire my imagination. While I browsed the internet, I saw there was a garage sale close to my apartment building. I thought it was a nice day for it and would check it out.
A short walk later I found the sale without much trouble. The house and yard looked neat with a lot of stuff to look through. It appeared the family was managing the sale; a woman with black hair in mid-thirties managed the cash while a man of around the same age played with a similar-looking child. The lady greeted me as I browsed through the goods. There was a lot of things like old picture frames, clothes of many different styles and sizes, ceramics, home décor, etc. I kept looking and picked out some clothes and a couple trinkets. I then came across a book that seemed out of place compared to the other scattered items.
Looking at what I already held in my hands, I walked up to the mother and asked if she could hold my things while I continued to look. She agreed and I wandered over to the book that I saw. Turning the book over in my hands I found that it was much lighter than I anticipated. The ornate leather-bound book was thick with bronze carvings of swirls and leaves etched all around the border. Looking inside was a mess of strange characters and symbols I couldn’t make out, or recognize with its fair share of blank pages. I looked at the book again and noticed words on the bottom of the cover I didn’t see before stating 如果你打電話他會來的.
While I’m not able to make out what it says, my friend, Talone, may be able to translate it for me. I didn’t see a price tag on the book, so I brought it to the lady and asked if it’s for sale, and if so, how much she wanted for it. The woman paused turning the book over in her hands as she considered the price. Looking back to me, she let out a wide smile and said I could have the book for no cost – provided I buy the other items.
“Are you sure?” I asked, shocked. She nodded and smiled, saying “Absolutely, I got that from an estate sale and it has been collecting dust ever since.” Thanking her for the book, I paid for the other items I had picked out and quickly headed home.
When I got home, I dropped everything, got on my bed, and opened the book to see if I could make out anything written. While I skimmed through the pages it was still just a bunch of symbols and characters that I couldn’t make out. One thing that struck me as strange was the very first page and the last page looked very similar. Almost identical in terms of what was written in, and what I can assume is in Chinese characters or something like that.
Other than these two pages, everything else about this book was just strange. Not only was there a strange language I couldn’t understand but every other page was completely blank, almost as if the book never got finished. As I continued to look it over I started getting lost in my own thoughts. I started seeing this vision of a lush forest with a huge city right in the middle. This city had what looked like a castle that just towered over everything kind of like an overseer of the forest, the inhabitants, the city, everything. I got the feeling this city was a protector of sorts, where if something were to happen it would have the power to come alive. I don’t know how but it was a very strong feeling. As I continued to observe the scenery, I heard what sounded like a man shouting in my direction saying “What are you doing here?” Very strong, armored arms then wrapped around my waist and hoisted me into the air, taking me away from the city.
“You shouldn’t be here.” Said the man. “How did you get here?” He didn’t sound angry, more worried or concerned than anything with a sense of urgency in his voice.
Before I could wrap my head around what was going on the vision started to fade and I found myself on the floor of my own bedroom. From the throbbing sensation in my head I concluded that somehow, I fell from my bed and hit my head on the hardwood floor. At that point I tried to stand using my bed for balance and decide to stay on the floor for a while due to dizziness. I wasn’t on the floor long before my phone starting ringing, showing Talone’s stupid party profile pic. I answered the phone, and sure enough it sounded as if he had consumed two pots of coffee.
“Hey, hey, hey Amy!” He shouts. “How goes my favorite bestie?”
I groan in response. “How much coffee have you had today?”
“Hey, hey … hey. To be honest, I can’t remember. I know I started another pot because I was just hit with a major idea!” With his job as a software engineer he was always trying to think of something for either a game, fashion, kid’s entertainment, you name it. The list goes on and on of ideas and unfinished projects where he thought the only solution was coffee, coffee, and more coffee. While I’m into reading and writing, as well as playing video games, he’s way into the field of software.
“Listen, I need you to come over. I need your help translating a book I just got from a garage sale.” I let out another groan as my head continued to throb.
“Yo, you OK?” He asked concerned.
“I will be honest, I don’t know what just happened but I have a huge headache. When you come over can you bring some ibuprofen?”
“You bet. Catch you in a few!” Before I can say anything else, he hangs up.
I decide to lie back down on my bed trying to process the events that just happened. I mean, I thought I was just reading the book but I ended up on the floor. Something about what I had seen felt really bad, but also familiar. That was even more strange considering I had no idea what in the world just happened, or what I just saw. Then I think back to the voice of the man I had heard. Something about that voice was very protecting, very reassuring, very … familiar. That place was a beautiful forest I would often dream about at night, or in daydreams. Especially when I would watch Tarzan, or any TV show or film that had a forest for a scene. That man, gosh I wish I could have gotten a look at him just to see him and see if I could recognize him. As my head was still swimming with questions, a couple loud bangs echoed from my door bringing me back to reality. One of the “benefits” of having your crazy best friend as your neighbor in a small apartment complex.
“Knock any louder and you’ll wake the dead!” I shout. On cue, a couple louder knocks echo from my door. I race to open it and there’s Talone standing there with his usual, wide grin.
“You know the dead can’t hear, right?”
“I don’t know about that.” I glare. “But I know our landlord can and he’s already talked to me once about your loud banging.”
“Point made, now are you gonna let me in?” He gestures towards the kitchen, I just shrug saying “Enter and eat.”
He comes in and makes himself comfortable like usual, scarfing down food in the kitchen as if he has a bottomless pit for a stomach. I just take a seat on the couch to skim through the book again thinking I must have missed something, but there are still those two pages with those weird symbols. The rest of the pages are just blank. With a book this thick, around 200 pages, at least, I still couldn’t understand why only two pages had been written while the other pages were blank. Talone came and sat next to me asking “Why are you looking at blank pages?”
“This is the book I wanted you to look at and help me with.” I handed him the now closed book. He sets down his plate of food, takes the book, and combs through the pages pretty quickly. I get concerned as he looks through it, hoping and praying he doesn’t rip anything or damage anything.
“Well,” He starts. “The front and back pages, as well as this writing on the cover are definitely in Chinese. I recognize the characters.”
“Interesting.” I’m a little surprised. “Can you make out what it says?”
“Give me a pen and paper and I’ll write it down for ya.” I grab the nearest pen and paper from the end table and await his translation. He starts by saying “The cover says, If you call he will come, and the rest says this:”
Whatever you think, it will be
Whatever you feel, it will show
You cannot fight it, it will see
That feeling you get, you will know
When day becomes night
And night becomes day
The great evil will fight
Because it wants to stay
But then comes a hero
A friend with might
Odds to win are zero
But there shall be a fight
Darkness is its power
Darkness is its breath
Light will make it cower
Light will mark its death
When he finished, he said “Honestly this sounds like a lot of gibberish to me. But, hey, I read code, not books.”
“Ok, since when did you learn Chinese?” I asked curious how he knew the translation so easily. He smiles with his response. “I had a lot of international students in my college courses so I learned throughout the years of having them as classmates.” He looks at the book again. “What I don’t understand is why 99.98% of this book is blank for how thick it is. You’re not pulling something on me, are you?”
“Look, the book was sold to me as is.” I continued. “There was just something about it that called to me and I wanted to buy it. I will admit I didn’t look at the pages when I bought it but I didn’t anticipate the book having almost all pages being blank.”
“Well, I can’t help you with what I can’t see.” It was then I had an idea. “You think this could be an accumulation of rainworks?” Talone looked at me with nothing but confusion on his face. “You’re definitely speaking another language to me right now.”
I explained. “Rainworks are normally positive messages and art that appear when it rains. They are mainly outdoors, obviously, and can be seen on buildings, streets, sidewalks, anywhere where rain can get to it.” Talone was still lost.
“So you’re saying … we leave it outside on a rainy day?” I hit him in the shoulder.
“No, I’m saying maybe tomorrow, take a page and take a damp cloth over it. Maybe then we can see more than just a blank page.” He starts chuckling.
“This reminds me of the time you had a piece of paper where you were so convinced heat would bring out a secret message, without hesitation, you through it in the oven.” I wince at the remembrance of the incident. “And guess what happened after that?”
“Hey, there was a fire extinguisher nearby and that was years ago!” I cross my arms in a huff.
“Look, I can see where you’re going with this but if a rainwork is meant for outdoors, what makes you think this book is a rainwork?” I think a moment before I answer, I honestly didn’t know where that idea came from. I remember reading about them online but have never seen any myself and it actually just came to me. I ultimately answer with “Just a thought.” He sighs.
“Just make sure you don’t end up destroying this thing in the process of your experiment.”
“I promise.” He slaps me on the back and gets up for the kitchen.
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