This one comes from the #storystarter prompts, courtesy of @jolantru. I decided to take it up, with egging from @sarahcoldheart, after we had a small discussion on how the default setting of paper happens to be “dead”, rendering the phrase “dead paper” somewhat meaningless, unless…
The book disintegrated in my hands and I cringed at the feel of dead paper on skin. Fragments of leaves whispered past my feet and slid onto the floor with a sibilance that held no meaning at all. I rubbed my fingers and found them coated in dust, dry and streak-leaving, crumbled over with memories and ghosts of words.
I had known, and she had known, what the cost of her giving up her words would be. We had decided, still, that the library was worth saving from the wormrot consuming it. But faced now with the prospect of an eternity without her story-weaving, her magic to comfort me in the night, I wondered if it had been worth it. Holding the time-worn leathery spine, the only thing left of her to me, I looked around myself and saw only shelves and shelves of dead books, their words as locked and shut to me as catacombs.