Written by Dennis Detwiller, © 2013
I’ve seen two of the books in twenty-two years. They came out of the Great Desert with some of the crazies who track out there. I bought one for a week’s worth of drinking at the Hole, the other for a ’57 Packard. They’re tin, the books, see? Only they’re not. They look like tin but with green metal flecked in it, and the pages are metal—thin metal, like, with the writing burned into it.
They’re big, the books. Oversized, but they don’t weigh hardly nothing.
I read them now, every day. One is from a man named McCaw, who lived in 1651 in Shropshire, England. Had family myself there, back before we were all trundled off by Her Majesty to this glorious new continent. The book talks all old timey about England and a library and strange creatures and machines and stars and cycles.
The other book. Well, the other book is worse. It’s from sometime after all this. Some Chinese world where they taken over past some sort of atomic war or something. Heaven and hell, the books. With me in between.
These books, they’re real. What’s in them is real. I know that. I read them enough.
The first guy who brought one in to the junk shop, he set to drinking in the Hole, and he never did get out of that hole, if you know what I mean. He drove his truck into the river after telling me about the library out there in the waste. A library so big, and so filled with these books, that you wouldn’t believe. A place that weren’t built by no man. He marked it on my map.
I got my pack. I got food and water for days. I got my jeep and my rifle.
I’m going to go out to this library and see what else the books in the stacks have to say.