At the library, your favourite librarian is there… the one who screeches each time someone makes a little noise. To get out quick you return your book, very glad it’s not over due, and head to the shelf where you know the sequel should be. It’s not. Someone else must have gotten to it first. But there is another book, one you’ve never seen before in that section. It looks old, really ancient almost. The cover isn’t paper-based, it looks like leather. It feels like leather too, warm on your fingers. The pages are stiff, you need to run your fingers through to split them, as if something had become stuck between. Maybe sap from pressed flowers, drips from teacups or just dust.
The first story is about a dragon. You skim through and see more which mention kingdoms, shapeshifters and you’re surprised to notice one about traveling through space and another about traveling through time. Kind of advanced concepts for such an old book.
The books absorbs you. The librarian forgotten. Time passes. You look up and discover you’re not even in the same library. Now all the books are covered in a layer of dust. Some shelves have fallen over scattering books all over. There are no people. Weird. Closing the book you hold it and walk out into the next aisle. Still no people, just dust and debris. Was there a World War Three all of a sudden?
Outside on the street all the cars look like they’ve been sitting in a junkyard for decades. The tallest buildings look like skeletons, windows smashed. Some missing chunks and tottering over, beams exposed. Something happened while you were lost in the pages of that book. What happened?