I’m stalling I know, changing my pen for the third time, but now I’m ready to tell my tale. I’m still not sure how the stranger and I met up that day in the park — no, that’s not true, he called me over to the bench where he sat. It was as though I had no choice, that my body had given over control to the stranger.
Name him? I think not. Even though I know his name (or think I do) I dare not say it aloud lest he “notice” me again.
That first meeting in the park changed my life forever (or so long as I live which might be a very long time). The stranger seemed like a normal person. He sat on a park bench, dressed well with a newspaper folded on his lap.
It was as though I had crossed a threshold and entered a new world. I had been standing in my room, door closed wondering what I should do. I was afraid to go out because I had suckered one of my neighbors out of 100 bucks for a famous book with the author’s autograph. The book was a cheap reproduction and the autograph fake. I thought my customer might have found out about the fake. He’s a lot bigger and meaner.
But allow me to get back to the point I’ve been avoiding. I knew I was in for an interesting afternoon when I opened the door to my rented room during a January snowstorm and stepped directly into a park on a sunny spring afternoon. I turned around — no door. it was gone. I saw the stranger when I turned again. He beckoned to me. I walked over to the bench where he sat. He nodded to the bench next to him. I swear I heard him say “Please sit down,” but his lips never moved. I obeyed.
He reached under the newspaper he had folded on his lap and removed a package wrapped neatly in brown paper. He smiled and handed the package to me. I knew. It was the book. I was sure.
“I just gave you the real thing Robert. This is an original copy made centuries before you were born. This book is the only real copy left in the world and you my boy, are about to embark on the adventure of your life.”
I just stared at him, unable to speak, afraid to move. I sat waiting.
“Selling that fake wasn’t nice Robert, especially to an old friend of mine. It’s your job to make this right. All you have to do is get the author to authenticate this copy with his signature.”
“But the author is dead. How will I…?”
“I know Robert, I know.”
Yay! this is post number 500!