The Book of Gateways (Installment 18)

After our bodies adjust to their normal functions Piers and I decide to create some “guidelines” for this book. We sit comfortably on the floor of the backroom with the book on the floor in between us.

            “So?” I say my eye brows raised high in question.

            “I think it should stay in the safe. It’s secretive, and only you and I know the password.” Piers says pulling on the corner of the book to bring it towards him. I nod in agreement.

            “I think we should tell each other when and where we are going when we use the book.” I say not sure how he will react to those perimeters. Piers looks up at me, his eyes conveying the gears in his mind spinning at a million miles per hour. He doesn’t answer for a while. Still thinking. He may be a history teacher but he acts like a business man. Constantly considering all options to see which has the most benefits.

            “That seems… reasonable. After all we did find the book together, and I’m sure Milo would have wanted it that way.” He starts flipping through the book aimlessly while he talks with me. I nod as he continues to flip the pages. Then I notice a little white piece of paper slip out from between the pages and gently land on the floor.

            “What is that?” I point to the little paper.

            “I’m not sure.” Piers says picking it up. His eyebrows furrow. “It’s from Milo, ‘To whomever finds this book, be cautious, there are many nuances and guidelines to these books that I have had to figure out by trial and error. As I am sure you have noticed there are blank pages and destination pages. I have found that you can create a destination page by drawing the destination in which you would like to go. However, you must have defining keys in the design of your destination.’” Piers pauses.

            “What does he mean by that?” I ask. Piers shrugs. He flips over the little page and continues to read. “‘By defining keys I mean items in your destination that define the location. You could draw an alleyway and want it to be the alleyway next to Macallister’s pub, however if there is no sign, particular garbage can with an address, or other defining items you could end up in any alleyway in the world (if it is too similar) or the gateway may not work at all. I have affectionately started calling this book, ‘The Book of Gateways’”

            “Well that makes it infinitely more complicated.” Piers flips the page again as if more instructions will appear. “That seems to be it. There’s nothing else written here.” He heaves a sigh.

            “Could I?” I ask gently taking the paper from his hand. The paper reads true. There’s nothing else. I feel a sad twinge in my heart knowing Milo wrote this not too long. The old man still had secrets. I hand the paper back.

            “You know what this means?” Piers smiles at me as if knowing I need to see it.

            “No, what?”

            “We can go anywhere.” His eyes light up. “It was better that time, right? We’ll get used to the shock.” My first instinct is to say no and chastise him for even thinking of such a thing, but then I think on it for a while. Although my mental cogs aren’t running a mile a minute they still turn and I come to a conclusion.

            “Alright.” I say quietly. “Let’s make this happen.”

His mouth opens into a wide smile. I feel afraid, but for once in a very long time I feel alive.



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