I have the sense that this has all happened before, to my father, who died in bed as a result. I’m flipping through a catalog, a mail-order catalog of dark and forbidden things, offhandedly looking for a certain item, even though I know it’s dangerous, it’s what’s caused my father’s misfortune and untimely death.

I see the item, a bracelet in the catalog, and then it’s there, I’m wearing it. The act of looking, the act of wanting–it’s the same as the act of owning, the act of having. I talk with my family, begging them for advice now that I’ve unleashed a force I couldn’t understand. A sense of dread fills me, which is borne out when I see small letters begin to appear on a piece of scrap paper on the kitchen table, written by a small and invisible hand.

“This is it, this is what happened to my father, it’s starting all over again!” I scream–a really long and drawn-out scream. My mother comforts me–maybe I should read what’s being written, maybe things won’t be the same this time. I look at the page; “aleg” is written over and over again in a sloppy hand. It’s my name, I realize with horror, or at least how my name might sound to someone eavesdropping or with a speech impediment.

More words being to appear in the same hand, all over the available space on the paper. I put out fresh sheets to help it along. Mom calls the unseen writier a “Liliputian,” though I disagree–but I haven’t any better name, so it sticks. The rest of the writing is vary vague, but it seems to be a cry for help against some sort of danger–a danger which, I realize, killed my father. I’m terrified but determined to help, to avoid his fate. I set a sketchbook in the path of the invisible writer, and suddenly it’s filled with text and brightly colored images.

I have a fleeting glimpse of a dragon in flight before I slam the book closed, fearful of what I might find.

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