Book of Days: November 12, Don’t Open the Book

This is what can happen when you let your guard down, Tyrone thought, raising his sword and waiting for the next wave. It wasn’t a charitable thought, and he knew this couldn’t rightfully be considered Morgan’s fault, but all the same, they were the one who opened the book.

“Here they come,” Yukiko called out, settling into her stance and preparing. The two of them were holding the line well enough, though each time a group of pale specters materialize at the edge of the room, Tyrone was certain one of them would be able to break past, get to the little room behind them where Morgan and Gerald were trying to close whatever portal had been opened by the inscription on the book’s cover. Five waves in, and Gerald promised they were close, but Tyrone still hadn’t figured out how he was quantifying that, not when none of them knew what was in the book in the first place.

The spectre whose faded appearance had alerted Yukiko to the start of the next wave finally became as substantial as it was going to. It was like a black and white photograph in the middle of the room, with the opacity dropped to see through their thin skin to the wall of the old library beyond. The photograph would have to have been taken after they died, of course, but if the movies were to be believed, that was a thing people used to do. Tyrone shuddered once as the spectre reached him and sliced down with the sword.

Even though the spectre was faded, it wasn’t entirely insubstantial. It didn’t feel like cutting through a person, of course, or even through the bamboo bundles he was used to practicing on, but there was enough resistance he might have been cutting through cloth. The whole thing gave him the creeps, which he supposed was the least they could expect having raised the dead and all, but he didn’t have time to think about it before two more of the figures appeared at the edge of the room.

He and Yukiko each took one this time, hers an old man with a long face and his a woman with a button nose, and then three more began to form. It had been like this every wave, like something out of a video game, and if the comparison held true, it meant they were getting all the trash mobs and a boss was on the way. He didn’t know what that would look like in the real world and didn’t really want to find out. 

“Hurry up,” he insisted and four more appeared, but even he didn’t know what more they could be doing. It wasn’t like the book had a search engine, and even if it did, what search terms would they use? “Reverse cover spell?” “Correct fuck-up?” No, they were doing everything they could, just as he and Yukiko were, and the only thing they could do was get through it. And then he would never, never, let Morgan and Gerald explore one of these sites without supervision ever again.

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by | Nov 12, 2021

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