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Book Worms

In the main library, I leave little tokens between the pages of books - a strand of hair, an inky fingerprint.

Sometimes I subtitle:

Adulteress, Pornographer, Materialist.

I am sure it's useful to like minds.

I take the task seriously: I pressed a flower for Knightley and Emma, I left a cut of cloth for Chaucer and gave Harry Potter a birthday card.

But yesterday,

I. Found. Something.

I left a book open at my table. When I returned, there it was on the open page: a clipping. The thick, yellow waning crescent of a fingernail.I looked around to catch a glimpse of the mystery giver but no one was near.

With my handkerchief, I wrapped up my treasure. I was desperate to be alone with it:

to rub it between thumb and forefinger. To taste it.

Today, I open my chosen book at chapter eight. I am patient. It lands. Its sticky little feet

pause on the words. The Venus flytrap snaps. I press hard on the book cover just to be sure.

Then, I open it once more.

I am satisfied. I have caught what I need.

Returning the gesture, I leave my gift on the table and watch from afar.

Story by:

Elaine Marie McKay

22 June 2013