Friday, January 4, 2013


If it really bothers you I believe I can translate it quite easily from the original Arabic...I don't think it will help much, though.

As punishment for being an unfaithful, unwise, unhappy and greedy waste of an individual mind, you shall live forever on, tending this Library and all its contents until the end of time. You shall no longer  experience the pleasures of a body, but your echo will remain, imprinted amongst the flagstones, for all eternity. And just as this curse was brought upon you by your own selfishness, so shall you grant, to all who enter your doors while the moon is full and bright, their deepest wishes, their most heartfelt desires, with the power you shall have at your disposal. You shall do unto them as was done unto you, in the hope that you may inspire greater wisdom instead of demanding it for yourself. And to any who enter the Library you shall give whatever knowledge they request and answer their most pressing questions with the unending rows upon rows of pages of which you shall be the keeper. Finally, as a reminder of your most unforgivable sin, five words shall be inscribed over the Library's great entrance, so you will not ever forget why you must be imprisoned. And imprisoned you will be, confined to the Library and its grounds until the fabric of the universe itself is torn apart; and even if by some chance you manage to escape into the lucky embrace of death you shall be called back again and again 'til your sentence is served.

I am granted the freedom to travel the grounds of what I have come to call my Library, but I rarely ever do. The terms of the curse were spoken true, and I cannot bear to see those five words carved into the wall:

This is where tragedy begins.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


I'm not completely alone, though. The Eidolon is almost always with me, and when he isn't, Philips, Thompson, and Salvatore are; and when he is, Philips, Thompson, and Salvatore are, too. It's true that they're not being punished, but still they decide to keep me company. We play bridge when we aren't working.

There are 53,644,747,765,488,792,839,237,440,000 possible deals of bridge from a 52-card deck to four players, at thirteen cards each hand. The probability of getting a Yarborough is 1827 to 1, and the probability of both members of a partnership getting a Yarborough is 546,000,000 to 1. The odds of receiving a perfect hand are 169,066,442 to 1 and the odds of every player receiving one are 2,235,197,406,895,366,368,301,559,999 to 1.

Bridge goes big.

Once every year, on January first, I receive a letter. The letter informs me how much time I have left in my sentence, which isn't a completely rigid number. Nowadays I manage to reduce it by about one and one quarter decades every year. The worst letter I ever got was my tenth. It told me that I had only lost thirty-two minutes from my time here. But my best? My best letter was from the year 2002. It said that I had erased one hundred years exactly from the time I must spend chained to this Library.

I don't know who sends them. I knew at first, but it's changed now, a thousand times or more. The ones who send the letters are not ageless as I or my companions are. The only thing that is ever the same is the signature, which only consists of those five horrible, horrible words.

This is where tragedy begins.