There it lay – on some table, near the stairs to the store’s underground – covered by no humble hill, plenty of gray clouds and heavy mist. I was not the least in the know about what a monumental tale its pages contained. I was suspicious of the claims it was amazing, and even astonishing. And I was just about to put it down again, but then, changed my mind, kept it in my hand. It would not, nor ever, let me leave it behind; like magic it followed me home.
I left it be for a while, knew this one would require nothing less but my full attention. Do not ask me how I knew, that every word in this piece of work was necessary, that each of them would count – just as I knew not all questions would be answered, but that it would not matter. And now I know for sure it does not matter.
It took me many readings to read it, because the child’s account demanded my full attention, and so, out of respect I read it slowly, not to miss any twist or turn. I read it in word by word, sentence by sentence, and definitely not in one sitting, as I felt the child’s fear, as if it in part could be mine. And so it was mine.
I finished it, just now. The last couple of pages I read long before it is evening. I realized last night I could no way finish reading it just before time to sleep (time that would be nightmare). So much I feared what might be written on its last pages, what would be the end of a grim story. What would be the destiny of this lonely child.
I finished reading it, my deepest fear distracted by Shins’ musical poetry playing on the stereo, by bright lights all around my safe haven, and by him, my loved one, on the couch, a few feet away. So I feared the worst, why I could never finish this story at night, left all alone. I feared this child might have made the worst mistake, or maybe this census-taker had taken the wrong path, made a serious miscalculation.
So real was my fear this story would not end well.
Now I know how this story ends.
And I write these words, in hope you will dare read this story too.
You will be duly rewarded for your efforts.
This is one awesome tale. It is scary as hell. But truly amazing and astonishing.
China Miéville is to be applauded.
Anita B Krišto© 2017