Articles and stories on the history and people of The Demon Archives world.

22

Apr 2014

The Undying Voice of Julius Gordon – Part 2

Posted by / in Lore / 3 comments

[Did you miss Part 1?  Thanks again to Josh Conner for working on this awesome story with me!]

July 7th

There are many readers at the Byrnwood Library, but I am its only writer. I may not hold that distinction much longer. Last year, we found a mousy young girl picking through our fields, and we took her in. She gave her name as Thalia (Greek origin, means “flourishing,” according to Miller and Bolton’s 10,000 New Baby Names Book), and she is one of the most inquisitive and unflappable human beings I have ever met. She found my first and only journal entry while searching my office for something new to read, and today she asked me if I would teach her to write.

I’m not sure I trust my speech to guide her to her Voice. My words have never rested easily in the air. They need a page to live on. But if I can teach myself, I don’t see why I can’t teach a girl as bright as Thalia. She shares my curiosity, and I know for a fact that she will never quit. She has already offered a gift by way of thanks. A Bradbury novel that isn’t in our collection called Something Wicked This Way Comes. I was immediately interested by virtue of the Voice alone, but when I took the book from her, I noticed that the pages hung loose inside the paperback cover. Inside, nearly half of the book had been torn out. When I pressed Thalia for an explanation, she admitted she’d found it in a bombed-out house and kept it with her to use the pages to wipe herself. I wanted to strike her. Nearly half of the book is ruined. She murdered his words just to keep herself clean. What a waste. She’s still filthy. We all are.

I was able to calm myself before I did anything foolish. At the time, she didn’t know what she had, possibly the last living copy of Something Wicked This Way Comes, and I could forgive her for what she’d done. She didn’t know. The words were meaningless to her. Just paper and ink. Still, when I think of those pages, wadded up and smeared and lying in ditches all over the island, never to Speak again, it fills me with a shocking sadness. Shocking because of the palpable tightening in my nerves, and shocking because it occurs to me that the pain is worse than the day I’d tried and failed to keep my mother’s guts from spilling out of her chest. Her death had numbed me, but the death of these pages had set me on fire. I saw my fist crumpling Thalia’s nose, I saw the blood dripping from her boyish chin. I wanted to avenge those words. I’ve never thought of avenging my family. Perhaps it’s because the words seem so much more vivid to me, so much more alive. We are walking corpses, all of us ungainly constructs of flesh and fluid. Only through writing can we achieve a form worth preserving. I will find a new hiding place for my journal. I will not let Thalia find this entry.

Mr. Gordon seems to be inordinately attached to his books, to the ‘Voices’ he hears in them.  I can understand the appeal present in a good work of literature, but he describes it with a sense of rapturous fervor that is in itself quite remarkable.  I feel that anyone reading this journal, coming to understand the mind of Mr. Gordon, would be as unsurprised as I am at the outcome.  “Hindsight is 20/20” is really quite apt.

[Part 3]

SteelSalvation

  • NickDA

    Amazing again… very powerfully written.

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  • Tamara Haitaka

    He has some keen insight in what motivates his feelings. He likes books more than humans, but he is still sensitive enough that he doesn’t want to hurt Thalia’s feelings by having her read his entry… Or maybe it’s not about her feelings…