Tag Archives: books

Forbidden Knowledge (chapter 2)

There he was. Fear pulsed throughout Alice’s body and her mind started racing. She knew she was not supposed to be upstairs… but neither was he! He must have followed her, she decided. But why? Was he trying to get her in trouble? There were only two choices: remain hidden and attempt to sneak out before he sees her, or make herself known before it’s too late.

Alice decided that she did not need to accept fear.

“Excuse me,” she confidently announced, coming out from behind the bookshelf with a tall posture, “do you have permission to be here?”

He furrowed his eyebrows, as if he was puzzled to see her there. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a key. “I was wondering what happened to the main copy,” he said, glancing at the original key that Alice clenched tightly in her hand.

“Wh-what,” she gasped, suddenly unable to speak as her confidence dropped like a person jumping off the empire state building. There was no possibility of recovering, the way his beautiful brown eyes laid on her.

“This is a restricted area, you know?” He gently told her, in a way that felt more like he was trying to protect her rather than blame her. Kind of like the way one speaks to an innocent child — with genuine concern. And just like that she felt her confidence starting to rebuild itself.

“Right. Well, I work here. What’s your excuse?”

“As do I,” he instantly replied. “Except for the fact that I’m in charge of this area, and part of my responsibility is making sure we don’t have any intruders…” he gave her a suspecting look.

Alice’s eyes widened and her face turned red. He had caught her red-handed. The risk of losing her job was not what had cut her so deep. It was the fact that she had been wrong about him all along, that his progressively frequent appearances in the library had nothing to do with her. So he wasn’t a secret admirer after all, just an employee doing his job. Of course, it all made sense now, she thought.

“I’m sorry,” she confessed, looking down with tears in her eyes. “Are you going to report me?” At this point, she didnt even mind losing her job because she could not bare to look at him again and be reminded of her foolishness.

“Please just do this: make me a promise to follow the rules and you’re fine. How else am I going to make it through my days, without being able to sneak glances at that cute girl behind the front desk?” He giggled.

Alice felt her heart instantly sink to the ground! “I promise,” she blushed.

“Now you’ve got blackmail on me,” he came a little closer, “I’m taking a risk by letting this slide, you know.”

“I know,” Alice fiercely nodded with gratefulness.

“Since you’re already here…” he shrugged, “might as well show you around real fast.” He motioned his arm to follow him down an aisle.

Alice’s heart was beating so strongly that she could hear it. She followed the intriguing man in total awe. Looking at the books, she was amazed by the titles: A Manual of Occultism (1915); An Encyclopedia of Occultism (1920); A Suggestive Inquiry Into The Hermetic Mystery (1850); A Dweller on Two Planets (1905); Alchemy Rediscovered and Restored (1941); Divine Pymander (1650); Hieroglyphic Monad (1564)…

“Original copies,” he explained, “some dating all the way back to the 16th century.”

“This is incredible. Thank you so much for showing me around. I promise not to come back, or even tell anyone I was here. But before I leave, there’s just one thing I felt extra curious about…” Alice turned and pointed at the chest where she had discovered the love letter.

“Aha,” he opened the chest and pulled out a collection of not just one, but many, many letters. All written with the same handwriting, by the same person. “These letters are more mysterious than any book you’ll find up here. Let me explain. Every now and then I’ll skim through these books and find random letters that had been placed in between the pages. They’ll fall right out. It’s as if someone strategically placed letters in certain books, hoping they would be found. The strangest part is that there are no names, no dates… nothing.”

Alice was hooked harder than any other mystery novel she had read before. “There are a lot of books up here… there could be even more letters hidden elsewhere!” she exclaimed, “What do these letters say?”

He opened his mouth as if he was about to say something, then quickly stopped himself.

“What?” Alice looked at him with raised eyebrows.

“I, uh,” he fidgeted his hands around.

“What is it?” her eyes pierced into his soul.

“I was gonna say…” he paused for a moment… then continued, “this one’s my all-time favorite,” he unfolded one of the letters and then turned to look at Alice. “It, um… it reminds me of someone I know…”

My dearest,

It has been yet another day of loneliness without you. Daylight makes it so clear to me that you are not mine. With every passing hour I grow twice as old without you in my arms.

At dawn, I am free to live in the illusive world where we have each other. Dreaming of you as I am alone is better than being with anyone else who makes me feel alone. I can stay in this world where rejection and separation do not exist… until dusk.

You make me feel something that goes beyond happiness, beyond excitability, beyond joy… absolutely indescribable. When we lock eyes, it’s as if all is well in the universe and the stars are perfectly aligned. My words only represent a fraction of what is unfathomable. I’m not sure if you truly understand.

Love always, xoxo.

Alice took a deep breath and nodded with a coy smile, “yeah, I like this one too.” Her eyes remained fixated on the piece of paper for a moment… and then she slowly turned her head to meet his eyes, which she found had already been fixated on her, and she felt a whole rush throughout her body.

Then her mind became flooded with questions. “Well, what happened? Did they ever find their letters? Did they ever get returned? Did they ever have a chance? Do you think that there are more letters hidden around here? Can we find this person, if they are even still alive?”

To be continued…

Forbidden Knowledge

Alice was a librarian. Her large, round glasses started to fog up every time her favorite customer came by. He did not even look like a bookworm, but she was noticing his presence becoming more frequent. He moved with such purpose that she questioned if he was aware of it or not. He suddenly turned and raised his eyebrows with a slight grin as he noticed her watching him intently. He seemed to be flustered: taken aback by her attention. She wasn’t sure if he was flattered or nervous, perhaps both…

Alice soon became desperate. Every cell in her body wanted to get closer to him but every cell in her brain gave her reasons not to. She decided to lean on the one thing she always turned to for help — books. Working at a library had its pluses, one of them being able to spend an entire day dedicated to reading. She devoted herself to the “romance” section. Every love novel she nosed through seemed to be full of clichés and unrealistic expectations. She decided to forgo the fiction.

Focusing instead on nonfiction, she found an endless supply of magazines full of “love tips” and “beauty secrets,” but everything lacked substance. She learned about appealing perfumes she could wear, types of clothing that flattered her body, and even a few pickup lines she could try out. However, she felt like she was dealing with something so much deeper than that, so she continued searching the library for something that would call out to her.

Alice browsed every genre: art, education, medical, history, science, self-help, and so-on. It was hopeless. She was not sure exactly what she was looking for, she only knew that once she found it — she would know. And then it hit her: the attic. There were always whispers and gossip among co-workers about “the secret attic,” full of forbidden books that have been untouched for decades. It could give her the answers she needed. Normally she would never be foolish enough to risk breaking into the attic, but lately her mind had been tugging on itself, desperately nagging at her to do something, but what?

The next morning, Alice arrived to work much earlier than usual, before anyone else. She ran straight towards the upstairs and climbed a latter that lead her to a small door. Cautiously placing her hand on the knob, she let out a heavy sigh to learn it was locked. Determined, she searched the area for a key and immediately found one conveniently hanging right above the door. She unlocked it, slipped the key in her pocket, and then locked the door shut behind her — just in case.

Trapped in darkness, she had to use her phone as a flashlight just to see anything. Luckily she found a light switch right away. Flicking it on, her eyes widened at the extensive collection of dusty books that clearly came from a time before hers. Her curious heart pounded at the thought of uncovering ancient knowledge that had become forbidden to most of the modern world. Feeling overwhelmed, she didn’t know where to start. There were so many shelves. She slowly strolled down the aisles until she noticed a small chest. Opening it up, she discovered a letter written in script. The paper was crinkly and the ink was faded, so it must be quite old. She read the letter in her head.

My dearest,

I am hoping you receive this message, although I am unsure if you will. I need your advice. I need your assurance. I need you.

You told me to move on, yet you were so upset when I tried moving forward. Perhaps it’s because you could see me internally moving backwards.

It took me too long to see what I really needed. Why couldn’t you have directly told me what I needed to do, instead of acting out and waiting for me to read between the lines? Perhaps it’s because you knew it was something I needed to come to terms with on my own. You know that the heaviness of a person’s choice should never be placed on the shoulders of someone else.

Will you give me a chance? If I cannot spend forever with you, let me spend a day with you. If I cannot spend a day with you, let me spend a night with you. If I cannot spend a night with you, let me have a dance with you. And if I cannot have a dance with you, let me hold you for just a second.

Would you ever let me be yours? If I cannot be your partner, have me as your sidekick. If you do not want me as a sidekick, let me be your obedient. If you do not want me as your obedient, let me be your friend. And if I cannot be your friend, please have one dance with me and hold me in your arms for just a second.

Love always, xoxo.

“Wow,” Alice thought to herself, “this is nuts.” She began to see what else was hiding in the chest until suddenly she heard a noise. It sounded like someone was unlocking the door. Panicked, Alice threw the chest back where she found it and ran to the corner and hid behind a large bookshelf. Her heart was racing as she heard footsteps coming closer. She dreaded the thought of getting caught. And then the footsteps stopped.

Alice peered through the hole of the tall bookshelf to see who it was. She could not believe her eyes when she saw it was him, that guy she keeps noticing.

To be continued…

Check out my book collection

Occasionally, I like to go out on the weekend. Maybe go into Philly or travel to another state, usually for concerts. The only bars I really like are the ones with live music and dancing. But I actually try not to drink too much — to save it for special occasions here and there — to not make a habit of it. A lot of my time is spent staying in to find some peace and quiet. I need time to unplug and recharge or else I will burn out easily. I like to do a lot of thinking. Mainly when I stay in, I like to either read books or look up new books to buy. I am a huge bookworm but my problem is that once I start a book it’s always difficult for me to finish it without getting distracted by another book. My preferred genre is non-fiction, although I can still appreciate a good novel, but most of my collection involves science or history. I also love the hippie-dippy new age-y stuff that I personally classify as non-fiction but I guess some would call it fictitious.

Here are some examples from my collection…

Milk and honey

This is a book of poems, most of them very short. All of the poems together tell a story of heavy past traumas coming to the surface and finding the strength to heal. Some of them are terribly sad and upsetting, some of them are positively lovely. Anyone who can relate to them will find comfort.

Harley Quinn: Volume 1 – Hot in the City

This happens to be the first and only comic book I have ever owned. I think I would have enjoyed comic books more in my earlier years if they were not all completely tailored for boys. Now comic books are becoming more inclusive and finally focusing more on the kickass female characters. This story follows sexy super villain Harley Quinn through Brooklyn, NY and… I don’t wanna give any spoilers, so I’ll just say it’s both action-packed and hysterical, and I definitely plan on getting the next volumes. Also totally interested in reading about Poison Ivy’s story.

A Street Cat Named Bob

You know that when I saw a book with a cat’s face on the cover, I just had to get it! (And this hippie-looking dude holding the cat on the back cover…) I have only started this book, but so far it is a very precious story. A stray cat walks into an aspiring musician’s life, and things will never be the same… a love story for the ages…

Paradise in Plain Sight: Lessons from a Zen Garden

This is a great book to read for whenever you are feeling anxious. Author Karen Maezen Miller moves into a new home with a century-old Japanese garden, and looks to the garden for insight and introspection. The garden carries so many metaphors for life lessons. It is such a peaceful book, something to read on a rainy Sunday morning with a cup of hot tea.

The Anywhere, Anytime Chill Guide

I can’t believe I found this gem at a dollar store! This treasure contains natural remedies for practically anything that gives you anxiety: traffic jams, waiting, giving bad news, physical ailments (such as hangover, bloating, PMS, insomnia, and muscle soreness), negative emotions (such as anger, guilt, forgetfulness, indecision, crankiness, or feeling stuck in a rut), moving homes, or losing a loved one. Remedies typically involve some sort of exercise, or breathing pattern, or simple recipe.

Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures

This is an animal behavior book, each chapter discussing the intelligent and unique traits of different species. It shows how animal behavior research has proven that all animals, even “lesser” species, have full cognitive functions that for a long time were only seen as exclusive to human beings. They have memories, feel emotions, and want to be loved just like us.

Food of The Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge

Author Terence McKenna was a very, very interesting man with a lot of very, very interesting things to say. He has countless speeches and essays that will really screw with your perception. In this book, he proposes that the psychedelic plants are the missing link in human evolution — that they are the reason for the sudden growth of consciousness. He discusses the ancient practice of entheogen use in shamanic societies. Our current modern society is hooked on caffeine, sugar, and synthetic street drugs — substances that are draining us and killing many. If our society instead turned to substances that are designed to heal us when used properly, we could experience that deep healing we truly need.

The Mysteries of Isis: Her Worship and Magick

Isis is the ancient Egyptian goddess, worshipped by many for over 6,000 years. The story of Isis, Osiris, & Horus is the most famous Egyptian myth. There are many links between Isis / Horus and the Christian story of Virgin Mary / Jesus Christ. In Greco-Roman mythology, Isis is linked to Venus or Aphrodite. She is goddess of love, fertility, nature, healing, justice… basically everything. I’m really interested in her history and all of the occult mysteries surrounding her.

Goddess Aloud! Transforming Your World Through Rituals & Mantras

This book explores several ancient mythical goddesses, their stories, and how to draw inspiration from them in order to empower your life and find your voice. Goddesses include Pax the Roman goddess of peace, Isis the Egyptian goddess of magic and motherhood, Venus the Roman goddess of love, Mary Magdalene the Christian sacred prostitute, Sunna the Norse light-bringer of hope, and so on. This is especially empowering for women, seeing how the feminine energy has influenced humankind since the dawn of man.

To be continued…