He pulled me across the library. “Find it!” He barked. His hand started to skim the ancient spines on the shelves, skipping from one spine to another when he did not find the words he was looking for. His other hand held my wrist in a tight-grip vice, making sure I would not get away.
My eyes scanned the room, this library hidden underneath the earth for thousands of years. I was filled with both wonder and fear. I wanted to touch the spines and read, be filled with the smell of old, crisped papers, and the calming silence, a canvas for millions of stories.
I blinked, as though returning from a dream. My unbounded hand was raised, my fingers nearly caressing a spine. And I stopped. My name was on the spine. It was written in different characters, but I knew it was my name.
I knew it was mine.
I immediately looked away, feigning ignorance. But before I could drop my hand, his hand had took hold of mine.
“Ah, you’ve found it.” His eyes sparkled, his lips easing into a cocky smile. “It really is true: it beckons its owner.”
I tried to pull my hand away, but he was too strong.
“No!” I screamed. I pulled harder, I held the frame of the next shelf to give me leverage, but I was too weak. He forced my fingers to brush the spine of the book. With one touch, the book latched onto my hand and was freely moved from its shelf.
He grabbed it out of my grasp and dragged me into a table. He laid the book, and opened it. Its pages were crisp with old age, and was filled with characters far from any human script I’ve seen. But I understood them.
I recalled them.
He stopped into a page. On the top read ‘1483’. “Read.” He ordered, “You know what to do.”
I shook my head, tears started to prick my eyes. “Please, no.” My voice became a rasp whisper. My arms were sore, my heart beating fast, and my eyes were starting to blur. “I– I can’t– I can’t change my past. I will not–“