Last week, Doctor MONTE HILTON had a visit from his patient, JEFF REINHART, who explained why he felt the book was speaking to him. We finished with Jeff managing to leave the book with the Doc, before running back out into the night.
On to today…
It was still dark as Monte crept back downstairs. He slipped inside the living room, closing the door before turning on the light; he had no wish to disturb his wife any more than he already had. The book lay exactly as he had left it, on the corner of the desk. He picked it up and sat down in one of the armchairs, placing the book on his lap in front of him.
He sat that way for several minutes before rousing himself. He picked up the book and opened it to the first page, which was blank, and he laughed at himself. The urge to turn again was great and so Monte licked his index finger and flipped to the next page. There were words here, symbols to be more precise, similar to the ones on the cover. They meant nothing to Monte, and he flipped another page. This time there were more words. They were still of a language and form that he didn’t recognise, but Monte realised he could understand the meaning behind them. They spoke of times long past and places he didn’t recognise. There was talk of creation, but not creation as he knew it; a strong believer in science, Monte knew that the aggregation of rocks and minerals that we now know as Earth happened over 4 billion years ago, and the universe 10 billion years before that. But this text spoke of a time before that, when ancient things swam and crept, crawled and stalked.
Monte slammed the book closed and sat back for a moment. Before the universe? That was ludicrous. He looked at the book again, and flipped a couple of pages open. The text was once again unreadable – lines of symbols and script that mean nothing to him. Tossing the book aside, he went to the kitchen and made himself a drink.
Before the Universe. There was nothing before the universe. Monte pondered the question as he drank. We would know, he reasoned, yet the idea of things that existed before the universe intrigued him. Placing his drink down, he moved back to the living room, and once more picked up the book. He sat holding it against his chest for a moment, before he opened it. Immediately, he could see the words. Not as letters and symbols he recognised, but in his eyes he could visualise what they spoke of. He began to read and flipped the pages as he did so, covering almost a quarter of the book over the next hour. He read of light and dark, fire and mist, of a time before time. He read of terrible floods and plagues, of beings that consisted of nothing but vapours, in a broken land, pummelled by mighty storms. They moved over the land, seeking shelter but finding none.
Monte placed his hands over the text, obscuring it, but still he saw the creatures fighting and snarling, clawing and biting, seeking. They were seeking. But what? He closed his eyes, but still the creatures roamed, writhing and twitching, ever looking, and in that moment, he understood what they were looking for.
Monte slapped both of his hands together, closing the book. For a moment, the images remained, swirling and twitching, but after a moment, they began to drain away, becoming washed-out, like a faded water-painting. He sat that way for several minutes before opening his eyes and looking down at the book. The dark images he saw seemed to have moved again. The shapes were more solid.The urge to open the book was strong, but he resisted, tossing the book onto the floor, near the fireplace.
Just a short piece today. Next week, we spend time with Monte in his own therapy session and learn more about him. I hope to see you here next week!