Chris ran a hand over the book, feeling the raised print under finger and palm. It was glossy, like a well-loved leather binding, even as it looked utterly new and unread, its leaves parchment-brown and ragged as if they had just been cut. On the title, embossed into the center of a sunburst, was Chris’s name.

“What is it?”

The oracle regarded Chris through the featureless expanse of its mask. “It is your book,” it said. “Your tome. Every story in your life, that has happened or will happen. Written at the time of your creation by the same hand.”

“What if I change something in it?” Chris said.

“Many have,” replied the oracle, evenly. “People have traveled here through fire and death, through their own private purgatories and worse, to set hands upon their tome. You may tear leaves out, alter them, or add new ones.” The oracle gestured to an inkstone and calligraphy pen at its side with a robed limb.

Chris opened the book to the section indicated by a fine ribbon bookmark. Glancing at the page, it seemed to be about the encounter with and questions asked of the oracle.

“The bookmark represents where you are,” said the oracle. “Changing the leaves that have gone before will alter memory. Changing the ones yet to come will alter reality.”

“Why would someone want to tear out their memory?”

“It is by far the most common action among the lucky few that have made it here,” the oracle said. “But the choice is yours. Alter memory, alter reality, or leave the book as it lies and return to your waking life.”

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