Day 96. 99 pages, 42,283 words.
Predericon stood up.
“I’ve found it,” she said.
“Of course,” the Bookwyrm said. “I felt sure you would, in time.”
She looked around. How much time had it been? She’d lost track, and none of her little gadgets and trinkets seemed important anymore. Even if they could tell her how much time had passed since she’d stepped into the lower archives, it didn’t really matter anyway. Time was a meaningless and futile attempt to separate small pieces of a seamless whole, and control them. It was entirely natural, for a mortal being … but it was futile.
She hadn’t died yet, so it had been less than five thousand years. Of this much, she was reasonably certain even though the Bookwyrm’s cakes may have been capable of prolonging her life indefinitely. They certainly had extraordinary restorative and nutritional attributes.
None of that mattered, though.
She picked up her pack, smiling at the heft of it. She opened the top and saw, as she’d suspected, that the Bookwyrm had filled it with cakes for her. Whether or not they would survive the trip – whether or not she would – remained to be seen. If they did, they would sustain her for a long time. If they didn’t, she would not care. She would most likely perish in any case. Without sustenance, she would not want to survive. And she had been eating the cakes long enough for their substance to have infused her own. If they were denied passage, so too would she.
“Goodbye,” she said.
The Bookwyrm did not reply.
Predericon walked forward, slipping the pack over her upper shoulders, and – before she could change her mind or begin to second-guess herself – jumped feet-first into the darkness in the centre of the archive.