Yesterday’s constitutional around ‘our’ local woods brought a most intriguing encounter of the fictional kind, as the photo sequence below is intended to illustrate.
Taking a route up a wooden ‘staircase’ to a viewpoint, I noticed from a few steps below what appeared to be a page of paper and, upon reaching the site, stopped and stooped to inspect further, to confirm that indeed it was, more specifically printed matter, a leaf that had become unbound from a book . Continuing the ascent, rounding a corner in the stairway and then gaining the top steps, turning again to view the summit of grass and moss and trees, and in the midst of the tangle of branches and twigs of a bare bush, the sight of what was obviously a book, very likely the substance of the volume from which the just-encountered pages had become unbound, one assumed. Approaching up the rise of the hill, to the viewing area and the immediate location of the bush, closer inspection was possible. As can be observed from the photographic evidence, the book was of standard paperback format, its spine cracked and, lodged within the branches of the bush, the text open at page 305, the beginning of Chapter Fifteen, ‘The Lion’s Den’. Flurries of wind at this elevated point regularly blew this leaf over to reveal the following two pages of print, facilitating a little further glimpse into this lion’s den, before fluttering back down to rest, momentarily.
Curiosity of course dictated the disturbance of the book from its perch in order to discover more, precisely what its title and author were at least, thus revealed to be ‘Fallen’ by the hitherto unknown-to-me Lauren Ka..(te, as it proved to be in totality), the surname truncated by the physical fact of the bottom right corner of the cover having been torn off in addition to its missing pages. Such a title might fancifully complicate the mystery of who might have left the book in such a place and why – was it intimating that the object had indeed fallen, from the sky, from what- or wherever, to land in the midst of the bush, perhaps..?
Whatever the circumstances, they could be mulled over during the continuation of the walk. The book replaced within the bush, I set off to descend the wooden steps only soon to be distracted again, by the sight of another unbound page, near the top of the stairway, more of the story unfolding…