- Pick up the nearest book. (I’m sure you must have one nearby.)
- Turn to page 123.
- What is the first sentence on the page?
- The last sentence on the page?
- Now . . . connect them together….
(And no, you may not transcribe the entire page of the book–that’s cheating!)
My office, which is in the kitchen, has mostly textbooks and cookbooks. So I walked into the bedroom and grabbed the first book I saw, there is a little pile conveniently by the door, of book I have not yet read. The lucky winner was Iris Murdoch's Bruno's Dream:
'I hope so. I can't imagine how I will ever get them to leave without me,' Gemma said. Six little lights bobbed above the horizon. They have said I'm the one. I really don't know why it's me. I keep telling them that I just make hats.
Rob had been concerned about his friend for some time. Gemma was looking at the supposed bobbing lights now, although Rob didn't think he saw anything that couldn't simply be an airplane. She twisted a strand of her bob that hung by her eyes, framing the curve of her cherub's face. She was flushed. Her eyes squinted a little with worry. 'What, do they look like?'
Gemma smiled. 'They're like tails but with a lot of structure. No that's not right. They're like an octopus tentacle, but upright. They're s-shaped. They hover.'
'Bluish gray.' And there are a series of round thingies in the tentacle that open and close like an old camera shutter. And when they say something, well not say exactly, but when they communicate,' her speech was racing now, 'they come close to you and sort of hum, but you know exactly what they're saying!'
'Baby,' Rob crooned.
'Why me?' I'm not representative.'
'What's wrong with you?'
'I'm not married...or even sexually active. Don't they want a reproducing member of our species?'
'They may not. I wouldn't'
'I'm damaged goods,' she whined with feeling.
Rob found himself thinking that he could not disagree. Since her brother's death five months earlier, Gemma had retreated into her basement workshop with her feathers, silk flowers and scraps of felt and produced marvel after haberdashery marvel but had stopped speaking to her family, saw no friends except for himself. She seemed to survive on tea and sesame covered cookies, which he brought her from her favorite Italian bakery in The Village. 'Well, you haven't been yourself.'
'I'm in mourning. I can't stand life without him.'
'Neither can I , baby. Neither can I.'
Gemma felt embarrassed now. Her brother had been Rob's one true love.