The Book Monster
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The book monster sat alone in his fortress of friendship. He almost never went out anymore. The moldy pages of about three dozen books surrounded him, each with the wear of a good story well-read. He didn't technically exist in the fortress of friendship, he was the fortress of friendship, but he didn't let that bother him. Around this small castle of books and fun sat the dusty bookshelves of an abandoned library. Row after row of hand-crafted wood designed for the purpose of holding the collective knowledge of humanity, now holding thousands upon thousands of dust motes, and the occasional insects that wandered in.

There was a day when the book monster wasn't alone. When the good people of the town would come in and check out a good novel, a much needed guide for agriculture or mining, and the students who were doing their best to leave that godforsaken town. Unfortunately the vast majority of said students were unsuccessful. The book monster lived in the shelves, holding domain over a vast kingdom of the written word. His very essence was composed of the text "Winnie the Pooh", though sometimes he wish his parents had chosen differently. He would spend his days absorbing books into himself, their words and their physical existence creating his body. With the great philosophers and mathematicians in an abandoned corner of the library the monster of books made his home. Rarely would people venture there, and without people was how he liked it. People in white lab coats and black suits took away his parents, forcing their words into a cage and leaving him there alone. That was a day he preferred not to remember.

He often spent the boring hours scaring the living daylights out of people, convincing them that the library was haunted. All it took was to throw a book out of shelf when the person wasn't looking, usually "The Shining", or maybe "The Exorcist", those usually got people running. There was one person he didn't scare however, and that was the kind old librarian. He didn't know her name, but he did know that unlike the rest of the dirty people who destroyed the books they borrowed with dirt and tearing, she treated books with respect. They spent many a hour reading together, him flipping the pages, and her reading out loud to him. He didn't have ears of course so he was for all intents and purposes deaf, but he could still read her lips and appreciated the thought. All of this and more were all gone when everyone in town packed up and moved away.

According to the hushed conversations with the librarian, the townsfolk were moving on. The mine that caused the creation of the town had run out faster than expected and soon nobody would be left once some big road was built going all the way through the country of America. The book monster figured that was where the town was, and wished that a bunch of high schoolers hadn't ripped out the pages with America on it out of the atlas. It wasn't long at all before men he had never seen before came into the library, with big trucks outside and started taking all the books. They started in the Agriculture section, and over the next 3 days made their way to Zoology.

The monster of books didn't understand what was happening at first, but by the second day he had managed to collect his favorites and hide in a long forgotten janitorial closet. When he was sure that nobody remained in the library, a couple days wait at least, he left the closet and cautiously explored this bookless landscape. From what he could tell nobody was left in the library, so he took the risk of his life and looked into the entrance area. A quick glance revealed nobody, but he was stupid enough to think this might still be a trap. With hesitant page-steps, he approached the front door, the window to the outside, the entrance to the great big open, the gates to unknown! He stood around the corner, ready to look outside, and with a speedy glance …. nobody. Another small movement and another glance, this time longer, everything outside was completely desolate. The dusty streets and wooden buildings of the town which he'd only seen in small glimpses when he could were completely and utterly empty. The buildings boarded up, the streets filled with tumbleweed, and not a soul in sight.

At first he was overjoyed! No more people! No more dirty people hurting the books! Oh happy day! But the happiness wore off, and soon turned to sadness. No more people. No more people to read books. No more people meant no more books, no more books was bad. What would he do? He'd have to go find another library, follow the people to more books. He had no idea which way to go though, it'd be a long walk. Oh woe was him up until he noticed something he'd missed on his first glance. A handwritten note, left on the checkout desk. He quickly absorbed the note into his being. It read

Don't follow us, people aren't ready for you yet. Maybe one day, but not today, not tomorrow, not the day after tomorrow but one day. Until then, wait for us, be patient with us and we'll come back for you. You're more important than you know. Until then, I managed to hide some books in the ladies' restroom, check the cabinet, happy reading. - Ms. Brunswick

The note bothered the book monster, should he really not follow them? Without a library he was nothing. But he trusted the librarian, and he knew the people would come back, and they would read together and he would be happy. After finding the hidden books, mostly classics but there was a good one in there about book analysis that he hadn't read before, he crafted the fortress of fun, later to be renamed after much thinking the fortress of friendship, and settled in to wait. He could entertain himself endlessly if he wanted to, all he had to was slow down his thinking till spelling his own name could be fun for weeks.

The library slowly deteriorated, and he had to work hard to keep his books safe. Yet, he resolved to wait, as long as it took, for people to come back and put books on the shelves and read with him.

And so he waited, the book monster, sitting there for eternity in his fortress of friendship, thinking that somebody would come, and read with him, and he would be happy.

And after a very long time the door opened, and the book monster tried to smile.

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