An envelope was sitting on my doorstep today. No return address, just my name printed in block letters, stark and official. I cautiously opened it, and pulled out a sheaf of papers.
The pages were yellowed with age, stiff and crackling. The blue ink was faded and pale.
Puzzled, I began to read. The story was unfamiliar, the language flowery, prose-like, an ode to magic and mystery. The secrets of night and the glory of dawn, all wrapped into a few sheets of scribbled notes. Diagrams and equations filled the margins, complex mathematics beyond my comprehension. Theories of gravity and coincidence, planetary alignment, faerie magic and brain chemistry, the Answers were here. It was all here.
The handwriting was mine.
My hands began to shake, the brittle pages trembled. I had no memory of writing these words, filling the lines with such care.
How could I have written this?
The clumsy cursive was unmistakable, the smears from my left hand were an unequivocal signature. I still had ink blots from a letter I had written this morning, freshly marking my skin like a tattoo. The stains matched, mirror images. Like birthmarks, fingerprints; there was no doubt.
My words. How could these be mine?
I stood there for a long time, trying to make sense of it. With each reading, I felt farther away from the conclusion, farther away from what I was supposed to understand.
And then the pages began to crumble.
Disintegrating before my eyes, the fragile words turned to dust, leaving nothing but glitter and ash in my hands.