One Page, One Line

She flipped the page, and another, and then another. She knew what she needed, or at least, she had decided she would glean what she needed from THIS book,
and not the others. It was bound in the old style, with pages much thicker than was necessary, and painted gold on their edges. A dignified, beautiful, gold-trimmed, leather-bound book, full of the knowledge of its own importance. In short, just the kind of thing Leiza wished herself to be.

It had been that dream again, intruding on Leiza’s morning, imposing its own purpose on an otherwise purposeless Sunday. Lots of water, as always, and a green light coming up from beneath. Friends all around—or at least, a feeling of being watched from all sides, and it was not at all a bad feeling.

Pages had been falling down through the water, and Leiza had tried to swim to them, tried to rescue them before they sank, and were lost. She finally clutched a single page in her hands—but it was blank. The sentences were slipping off the page and swimming away, undulating like eels, each sentence phosphorescent with meaning. She tried to grasp one, couldn’t, opened her mouth and inhaled it instead. She immediately had weight; saw the drifting pages rise out of sight as she sank swiftly into deeper waters.

The water in her dream was the same as always, the feeling of being watched was the same, but the pages were new. When she’d awakened, the meaning of the one sentence she’d caught was long gone, but the feeling remained. Leiza had a direction now, and so she looked through this slightly gaudy book, skimming pages, now and then reading a sentence by itself, contemplating its relevance when read out of context.

They really did stand alone, sentences, if you read them just right, she thought. Who needs the whole story, when this sentence says so much? “Had not that, after all, been love?” A fantastic line! What more is there to be said? Leiza supposed it was necessary for the sentences to have others on either side for company… but she fancied for a moment writing a book herself, where each page carried, not twenty or thirty lines, but just one: One sentence, standing alone, dignified, alive with meaning, waiting for the right soul to come along and acknowledge it. It’d take a lot of paper, but imagine how fast she could write books! And how fast she could read, if all books were this way—why, the Bible could be leisurely absorbed in a single afternoon! And I daresay, thought Leiza, I’d gather just about as much meaning from it as the proper Bible. I might even remember a verse or two!

She closed the gold-trimmed book, and pulled a sheet of paper to herself. “How much more meaningful is a sentence that believes in itself?” she wrote.

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Howl was born in the wastes north of Hithlum, where only beasts and witches dare roam. He was raised by two old hags, Tabby and Wiles, who had an unhealthy fascination towards the literary arts. Howl now resides in a well-furnished cave off South Rim Trail, complete with an old iBook and Wi-Fi.