O is for Obsession

Early in his life, Logos forswore human contact. No person ever interested him the way his studies had, and no human life was ever so important as his insatiable quest for knowledge. And so when his life neared its end, a thought occurred to him: the whole world should be catalogued. It was an impossible task, of course, but what better use of the finite time left to him could there be? So he gathered every book in his library, his pens, his ink, and a chair, and he began.

Months into his enrollment of the whole world, he found something unusual in one of his oldest his tomes, an ancient volume that smelled of the mold and rot of an open grave. It claimed to be a spell that held the secret to eternal life. It was nonsense, of course. Superstitious nonsense from a more primitive time. But even nonsense had to be catalogued.

And he was dying anyway. What was the harm in trying? He could supplement the spell with his own notes about its failure.

And so he wrote and wrote, referencing and cross-checking his volumes as necessary. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he was dimly aware of feeling well. Proving that silly spell wrong had given him a burst of energy. He didn’t feel the need to sleep or eat or relieve himself for quite some time, and he felt like he could have gone on forever if only his pen would sit properly in his fingers.

He stared at his hand in irritation and noticed that there were sores on his fingers, callouses from holding the pen that had eventually given way to real wounds. But then he looked more closely and he saw that his flesh was a pallid grey, and that there were even a few spots where he thought he could see the shining white of bone.

Irritation gave way to curiosity, and he began poking and prodding at the wounds. There was no pain. There was no blood. He stopped to write down his observations and he grew frustrated once more with his hand’s utter unwillingness to cooperate. So he did the only sensible thing. He found a knife and began cutting away the dead flesh.

This in turn led to its own set of problems. The bones of his fingers were wholly inadequate to the task of holding a pen, too thin and spindly by far. He considered his shining white digits and idly wondered what part of the spell was it that was keeping his bones from falling away from each other, that kept the thin, pointy metacarpals connected.

Thin. Pointy.

Logos smiled, wholly unaware that the muscles in his face were too decayed to properly perform the action. He dipped the tip of a finger into his inkwell and began again.


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