My father loved words. He built high towers with them.
But the tower got too high, and one day, he fell.
The first day he was absent from his study, something wield happened.
Somehow half of the room’s colors were gone. Somehow the room became twice as large.
I had never dressed this way before. Somehow the suits’ blackness was dazzling.
I read the books he left behind.
There was one book that was different from the rest. It was the book my father wrote.
I forgot to close the window as I read.
The wind blew the text off the page.
I shut the book, but it was too late.
The wind had messed up all the types on all the pages.
A girl jumped out of the book, looking angry.
She dragged me in the book, saying I was responsible for fixing the book.
The book seemed just half an inch thick, but it was deep.
To collect the lost words, I journeyed far.
I did not share my father’s passion for words.
You see, he had always been telling me nice stories with his beautiful words,
But in the end, he let me down.
That was why sometimes I chose to keep my words safely in my throat.
I was afraid that if I ever let them out, they would disappear just like the vapor coming out of my mouth in winter did.
However, I saw so many beautiful views in the world of the book that
Sometimes I forgot that my depressed father wrote the book.
But they are fictional. They are lies. I said so to the girl, who got mad at me.
She said, Watch your mouth! Your dad created me. Are you saying that I’m a lie?
I said sorry to her.
We journeyed long in the book.
One spring, one summer, one autumn, and two winters was past.
By the end of the second winter, we had fixed the book.
We shook hands and said farewell.
The girl offered to realize a wish I had to thank me.
I said it was too high above and far away for me to reach there. Could you send me there?
I wished I could see him again.
The girl said let’s give it a try. I wonder how high we can get if we pile up the ninety thousand words we have?
We were only able to reach the first cloud layer.
Dad must be higher above.
I hid my face in the soft cloud, so the girl wouldn’t see it if I end up crying.
Something cool touched the back of my neck.
I thought it was snow from the clouds above. I touched my neck, but the coolness did not melt in my hand.
I checked the snowflake.
It was not a snowflake. It was a letter.[character?]
I lifted my face and saw the words Dad wrote me snowing down from above.
I brought the words home.
I put them in the aquarium where the tropical fish lived, on a plant’s leaf, in a rusty can, and in many other places.
His words protected me.
Then, I grew up.
I was surprised that I failed to notice the words disappearing until all of them were gone.
The words are in my heart now.
They are a promise that Dad asked me to keep, and I will keep the promise.
A day will come when I meet him again high up in the sky.
But before that, I promise him that I will collect as many beautiful things as I can, so that
When I get there, we will have good materials to make stories with.
to check out Traveling between the lines-The boy’s side here
I used to have a happy life that words did not bother to describe, and then the happy life ended.
That was how most stories went, and so did mine.
A war that I did not cause swiped the flat world where I lived.
I was too small to change the big war, so I did something nobody would notice at all.
I sneaked into a boat and sailed to the sea, which they said floated towards the edge of the world.
Somehow I knew there must be a land beyond the triangular world in which we lived.
I sailed. The waves chewed on my boat, bit on it, and at last swallowed the it up.
The last sight I saw before drowning in the sea’s stomach was the border of the water, cut sharp along a straight line.
I thought I must be the only one who had actually been to the end of the world.
And then I thought no thoughts.
When I woke up, I found myself on a writing desk.
A gentleman deep in his chair by the desk held a fountain pen inside his palm, which gradually loosened as he was dosed off.
I leaned over the book he had been working on, and found he was writing about the war going on.
He startled when he opened his eyes with me in his sight, but just briefly.
He asked me if I was from the village on the end of the world, to which I replied yes.
“I haven’t given you a name yet.” He sounded like those songs that you found familiar but couldn't quite recall what songs they were. “I was just going to start writing about you. I didn’t expect your name to be troubling me so much that I would dream about you.”
I told him my name and that he was not dreaming and that a storm carried me here.
The gentleman widened his eyes.
“Are you saying that you came out of the novel that I write?”
There was some confusion, and finally I had to accept the fact that the god who had been always been manipulating our fate was the gentleman sitting in the leather chair in front of me.
I had prayed thousand times but he never heard me. But now I had a chance.
I asked why he squeezed the last drop of peace out of our land and let it withier away.
The god replied that we lived on the land of his heart, whose veins had dried for long.
He jumped, hearing a door somewhere in the house.
He said it must be his son coming home and urged me back to the book so he could hide it away.
Before falling inside the edge, I asked why he kept his writing from his son.
“Not this one.” He shut the cover over my head. “I want him to hear nothing other than the happy stories where the leaves never leave their summer tree.”
When I went back home mother cried. She had never expected to see me again.
I told her not to worry because I had a plan. A plan to save the world.
I sailed again. This time when I crossed the world’s edge, nobody was in the study bathing in dusk’s light.
I grabbed the book on the desk and sneaked out from the window and ran and ran and ran until I tripped.
“Are you alright?”
A boy helped me up and handed the book I had dropped. I recognized him to be the boy who heard nothing other than the happy stories where the leaves never leave their summer tree.
I ran again.
I kept the book where the god could never find and told him so.
He didn’t get mad. He just attempted at a smile.
The kings of our lands woke up and ended the war, and my happy life was back.
I visited the god at times, listening to him murmuring about his summer tree boy.
Years past and I visited the him less often.
The kings forbade people to believe in the old god and made themselves gods.
I sailed again but could not find the god in his house.
I saw people in black and the summer tree boy in tears.
All he had left was a study full of happy tales.
I dug out the hidden book and placed it on the shelf.
One day the boy would open the book.
And I would sail again.