Chapter 5: The Twist

Little James flipped through the pages of his favorite martian book, Martians on the Playground. Normally the book was filled with images of Marshall – the main character but today, Little James noticed something different. Marshall wasn’t the only character on page five. Three new characters were present: a fairy, an elf, and a dragon. 

“Look, Mama.” Marshall handed the book to his mother. “Marshall has new friends.”

His mother flipped through the pages of the book, unsure of what Little James was talking about.

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She bought this book for him almost a year earlier and read the book to him an infinite number of times. Little James new this book inside and out and not once did he ever refer to the other aliens in the book as new friends.

“Huh.” She flipped through the book, stopping on page five. Sure enough, there were three new characters she’d never seen before. “We must’ve gotten this book mixed up with one of our library books. Let’s go back to the library and see if we can find your book.”

“Okay, Mama.”

***

(The Meeting)

The glow of a fire burning underneath a cauldron barely lit the room.

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A trio of tiny figures stood around the cauldron, staring at an individual dressed in a dark cloak.

“The time to unite and confront our enemies has come.” The cloaked stranger addressed his small audience. “We’ve been too gracious with out gifts. Too giving. We’ve allowed the other characters in the world to have too much control over their stories. The three of you were selected for one purpose and one purpose only: To rewrite fiction so that it serves our needs above all others.”

One tiny figure, kicked the gravel on the ground and cleared her throat.

“You have something to say, Francesca?”

“More like a question. How will we rewrite all of the fictional books?”

The dark stranger moved toward Francesca. His shadow was a giant crawling along the clay walls. Francesca inched away, uncertain of what to expect.

“There will be three phases to this unfortunate task.” The dark stranger grabbed a stick and began writing in the the gravel floor. “First, cast enchantment spells to bind the books shut so that no characters can escape. Work quickly! The last thing we want is for characters to escape into other books and begin talking to one and other about this. Second, you will each be assigned an eraser. The erasers will sweep in and remove details of the stories, wiping out all those who populate the books.”

“And the third,” Francesca asked.

“The last phase,” the dark stranger began, “begins with a ritual sacrifice.”

To be continued

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