by Asher Corwell
originally published at 01:16PM on Friday, March 23, 2007

He replaced the book on the shelf and pulled down another. The spine was blank. The title on the cover was in Cyrillic, which he did not know. He leafed through the pages regardless, a choking dust plume slapping its hands on his throat and nasal passages. The book itself was mostly in English. It wasn’t the book he was looking for, but it intrigued him. He walked, paying little attention, back to the small oaken table and chair, carved lovingly if not imperfectly, that the monastery provided him. Glancing through the pages, he became aware of an odd feeling of disconnection. He felt it first in his fingertips, then it moved into his palms, up his arms. He continue to flip, page after page. Words, religious symbols, the Tetragrammaton, depictions of the crucifixion, the stigmata, all flew up at him and fought for space in his mind. He felt like weeping, but didn’t quite understand why. This book was obviously holy, but like none he had ever seen. Finally, he turned to the last page in the book.