This is my entry to the writing prompt contest hosted on A Southern Girl's Life. I'm using the prompt, "Your characters are reading your story."
I started to hand him the book, but something in me hesitated. Why? It was just another life-book, just like the hundreds I've read before. But somehow... this one was different. There was just something I couldn't put my finger on. I let out a sigh. Any-hoooo...
His expression showed his slight confusion, but I ignored it, dropping the faded, dusty book into his awkwardly large hands.
"Is this one special or...?" He gesticulated, waving the short book as he inquired. I started to shake my head in affirmative of the latter, but stopped.
"Possibly. Read it and let me know what you think."
I returned my attention to my daily task of flipping through life-books from the last year, but every few moments, my gaze wandered back to Kyle. At first he seemed bored, but the more he read, the more he immersed himself in the girl's story. It made me smile. It didn't always happen, but when it did, it was really cool to watch. His mouth quirked in suppressed amusement.
"At the part with the holly leaves?" I had to ask.
He grinned before flipping to the next page. Even Kyle had to smile at that amusing incident.
"What do you think so far?"
"She's only six so far, and very dramatic." He announced, wiping his huge hands on the front of his pants.
"Yup." More silence ensued while he resumed his reading. Normally the quiet didn't bother me, but right now it was positively unbearable. "But hey, at least she won the races, right?"
Kyle gave me one impatient glance before dropping his concentration back to the book. I knew better than to cross the line again. With a sigh, I dragged my feet back to the library room to get a new book and I could feel him silently laughing behind my back. Whether he was laughing at the story or at me, I couldn't tell.
"You're right. This story is definitely different."
Hours later, he was finally finished. My head shot up from where it was resting on my folded arms. "I knew it! I knew it!" My cheering halted abruptly. "But... how exactly is it different? I couldn't figure it out."
Then I noticed his face.
"Kyle? What's wrong?"
He shuddered, his eyes darting everywhere but the book. "That story... not the whole thing, just part of it... it's... it's my story."
"How is that even possible? You're like a gazillion years old! You read books for a living and you really..." Wait... he had a life before this one.
"Don't call me Edric!'" His voice came out in a hoarse croak. "I told you, my name is Kyle now! I'm different! I don't need that life!"
"You're right. You don't need it anymore... but you had it all the same."
Edric's eyes widened as he whirled towards the window and I could see past him to the shadows that were streaking the courtyard.
"They're coming, Castilla. They're coming."