“There’s more?” I wondered as I pulled yet another box of books off the closet shelf. “I’ll never get this all cleaned out.” I might be able to sell a few. I could give some away. I’ll probably just have to toss some.
“That’s strange.” I don’t remember ever buying this book. Hardcover. No slip cover. No title at all. Vol.1 stamped on the binding. Wait a minute, it doesn’t even open. It looks just like a book, but it’s solid, like a prop for a play or a decoration for a shelf. Not plastic, kind of leathery. Where did that come from?
I set it aside and boxed up everything else to stuff into the library donation box. They can deal with it. One more done; so many more to go. I’m talking a break.
I turned the book over and over in my hands. The cover was a raised pattern of overlapping silver, gold and copper crosses. No particular pattern, yet pleasing to the eye.
I’ll work on this some more tomorrow. I picked up the box of donation books and reached for my keys. That’s why that fake book seemed familiar. The small cross on my keychain looked like those on the cover. I usually don’t have anything extra on my keyring, but this was a special gift I had added. I dropped the box and held the cross up the cover of the book. A perfect match.
I felt a small vibration, like a cell phone haptic. I felt the spine of the book shift ever so slightly open in my hand. Opening it like a small door, I looked inside and pulled out a stack of hundred dollar bills, wrapped in a $10,000 band. I riffled the stack. All hundreds.
This can’t be real. Who’s is this? Where did this come from? What should I do with this? I put the stack back in and closed the spine. I couldn’t even tell that it had opened. I held the cross against the book and opened it up again. I pulled out the stack. They looked real. Very real.
The spine closed back up. I held the cross to the cover to open it back up. I don’t know what to do. Opening the book, I couldn’t slide the stack back in. What’s wrong? It looks like there’s another stack in there. No way. Pulled it out. It looked real.
Okay, let’s try this one more time. I shut the spine, placed the cross, and opened it up. Another stack. Quickly closing it up, I placed the book and the two stacks in my briefcase. Pulling out a piece of paper, I uncapped a fountain pen and began to write a better thank you note for the very nice gift.