Chapter 1:

The Book


The night was young, the air was warm, and a large figure stepped out of a neglected second-hand bookstore and onto the streets. Nestled in the arm of the man was a tome of moderate size. He didn’t know it yet, but written in this book was the secrets of another world.

The door creaked as it swung open to allow the man entrance. He lit a fire, as the night was becoming colder, reclined in his deep armchair, and flipped the book open. From the moment he had laid his eyes on this book, he knew it to be something special. To the untrained eye, it looked as though someone had scrawled nonsense over the pages of the book, and the man (or Professor Quovolsky, as he was usually known) might have easily dismissed this as the work of a child, or some untalented teenager attempting to challenge the art of Pablo Picasso. No, this was an entirely different beast, and what convinced Quovolsky of this fact was that the book conveniently included a translation guide. After getting to grips with the grammar and characters, the Professor was able to translate the first few chapters of the book, and immediately recognised it as some kind of religious doctrine.

He thought it would have been an awful amount of effort to encode a mere story into a language that appeared to either not exist or be the script of some uncontacted tribe. Perhaps this was the holy text of an uncontacted tribe, but the events that it described were quite strange and unearthly. The Professor found the notion that there were four moons especially odd. He considered the author mistakenly seeing four moons in the sky unlikely at best.

After painstakingly working through the creation myth, he discovered that there were four rational creatures outlined in the story. “Strange.” He thought, “Nothing like I’ve ever heard of before.”

Eventually, he decided to put the book down, for the rays of dawn were already penetrating his window lattice.

Once he awoke, he began to translate the book once more. The Professor’s attention was split between whatever he was doing at that moment and the book. He continued to mentally translate the book on his stroll to work. Cars narrowly avoided him as he walked across the roads, and he was just missed by trains when crossing rails. He was even knocked down by a cyclist once.

Safely at the university, the Professor continued to toil on the book at any moment he had free. He had become engrossed in its absurdity. He neglected some of his duties in favour of translating the apparent narrative. When the time came to return to his abode, he had translated two parts of the story. The making of the world, and the unmaking of the world. His mind was vivid with images of the Gods - of which there were 20 in total, the people - mammalian, amphibian, reptilian and avian, and the Titans - prophetic creatures, with many of their kind, yet only one had revealed itself to the Gods. The Titan had told the Gods everything.

Concepts and feelings swirled within the Professor’s head as he walked home. He was so focused on the story, that when he was pulled into a dark back alley, it took him a moment to feel afraid. A masked figure made a silhouette on a dimming sky. It was speaking, but he couldn’t make out the words. He panicked and tried to stand upright, but he felt a poke in his back that made him stop his attempt. He prayed to every God, including the twenty in the book, that he would make it home with his life. His mind went to the penknife he always kept handy, and he knew this to be his best option. Subtly, he reached for his pocket and groped for the small knife. He had almost pulled it out, when there was a cry from the silhouette, who was pointing at his pocket. Quovolsky heard a bang and felt immense pain. His eyes followed the pain to a bleeding hole that presumably went all the way through the middle of his chest. He gaped at the impish figure who had given the signal to fire, who was now searching his pockets. The large man wanted to cry out in shock and rage, but all he could do was stare and bleed as his breath became sharper. The night sky was black now, not that it mattered to him. At some point, the robbers who had shot him had taken all they wanted to and left, but he could not put his finger on when. For what felt like an eternity, he sat in darkness. The pain of the wound had given way to a dull ache, and he could think with some degree of clarity again. He searched the streets before him for the streetlights, or anything that he could recognise in the night. Realising how tired he was, he reclined back on the pavement, which seemed to be covered in a coarse powder. He looked into the sky, and saw how brilliant the stars were. As he was lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves, he appreciated the soft glow of the moons in the sky.

Joe Gold