The abuse started subtly; breaking the spine, dog-earing the corners. Nothing terrible. But then I’d leave them in the rain, the pages curling and sticking together, the ink slightly bleeding. Spilt tea added disfigurement, so they became my coasters. Then came the peeling; like removing the plastic from a new screen, I’d strip the cover of its thin coating, leaving it coarse and bare. It was...satisfying.
A friend then told me that I had changed the way she read books, that she started to break the spines and dog-ear pages.
I no longer torture them. I probably owe an apology.
FLASH FICTION 101 JUNE 2020 SHORTLISTED ENTRY
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