A Puzzle

Published by Unsavory in the blog Unsavory's blog. Views: 84

Greetings friends! I almost never share my work with the public. For whatever reason I like to believe that if I hoard all my stuff and polish it secretly in my own little cave, then one day it will be good enough to market for money.

I feel compelled however to share this piece with all. It's not so much a short story as it is a puzzle. Because of its nature, I'm not even sure how to market it, and I don't know that I'd have the patience to do so. I hope you enjoy it, and if you would like to comment, the only thing I really NEED to know is if you "get it" or not. Because this is highly experimental, I will not consider myself a failure if you don't "get it." It's all just for fun. Thanks for reading!


“How could it just vanish into thin air?” Isaac sat with his arms hanging limply.

“I don’t know,” Sarah said. “I don’t think anybody saw it coming.”

Isaac ran his hand down his scalp. Could his brain work out a solution with just a bit of thought? Or would fog block his mind from this point forward? “I can’t think, Sarah. I’m lost without it. I didn’t know how important it was and I just wish I could bring it back.”

“Try not to worry,” Sarah said. During horribly dark hours Isaac could still always count on Sarah to stay optimistic. “Nothing so small can stop you and I from staying happy. And that’s all that is important.”

“I don’t know if I can adjust to it though.”

“What’s up guys?” Izzy ran up with his backpack dangling off his arm. Isaac shot him a dirty look. As always, Izzy was last to know. Idiot probably could go days without figuring it out.

“A bit of a shock to find you smiling,” Sarah said. “Nobody in town knows what to do about this situation.”

“Huh?” Izzy put his backpack down. “What’s wrong? I know St.Louis lost to San Francisco, but that isn’t surprising.”

“This isn’t about sports you moron,” Isaac said.

“So what’s it about?”

“Think hard, Izzy. You got up this morning. You probably had toast and bacon.”

“That’s right. I also did my school work and study for today’s math quiz.”

“And during all that did you find a glaring omission? A difficulty in talking and studying?”

“No,” Izzy said.

“Go through any books in your backpack. Go through and study all words. That’s a big hint.”

“What’s missing? Is it that obvious?”

Isaac stood up. “That’s it. I can’t do this. I can’t go on trying to form words and thoughts this way. My vocabulary just isn’t that big.”

“Calm down,” Sarah said. “With or without it you can maintain a rich and fulfilling…”

“A rich and fulfilling what? You can’t finish saying it, can you?”

“No. I can’t.”

Sarah was always a strong girl. But at that instant all was lost. No spark. No radiant glow of any kind.

“This can’t go on,” Isaac said. “I’m willing to risk it all for a possibility at having it back.”

Sarah didn’t look happy. “I’m with you. What’s your plan?”

“This guy John from my biology class has a ton of books about occult stuff. Many containing magical incantations. I don’t think too highly of him, but it’s worth a shot.”

“Alright. Which way is his dorm room?”

“It’s not too far from my own. Right this way.”

Isaac took Sarah and Izzy across a road to a small brown building. Loud rock music pouring from John’s room shook his door and walls. Following a quick knock, Isaac put his hand on a custom doorknob John had put in. It was disturbingly phallic and Isaac didn’t want to touch it. “I can’t just stand by waiting. I’m going to go in.”

John’s dorm was dark and dingy. A potpourri of body odor and rotting trash sat stagnantly all around. Isaac could distinguish John’s bulky body laying on a living room futon.


John sprung up with a book in his hands. “Who is that?”

“It’s Isaac from biology class. I’m sorry to disturb you, but I though you might know of a fix for that which is missing.”

“That which is missing? Sad that you must talk in such a round about way. But I know your sorrow. I’m working on a fix, actually.”

“Look, I still don’t know what’s going on,” Izzy said. Isaac almost had to hit him.

“Just shut up Izzy,” Isaac said. “So do you know what to do?”

“I think so,” John said. “But it is risky. Almost too risky.”

“That’s okay,” Isaac said. “At this point I’ll try anything.”

“Oh grand spirits of our sun,” John said. “Grant us our wish and at any cost. With your wisdom and pow… e…

“wisdom and power…”

“and power…”


Sarah opened her eyes and looked around. The spell must have caused her to completely black out. The room was okay and best of all, the spell had worked perfectly. She spotted John as he held the book. But he seemed off for some reason.

“John, are you okay?”

“Oh, God. They’re gone. What have we done?”

Sarah looked to her left where her comrades had stood. Nobody was there. “What happened? Where are they?”

“Just as we should have suspected. We got back one symbol and lost another.”
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