52. A Moving Read

The other day I was reading the paper when suddenly the ink began to move. It started near the center of the page; the ink seemed to liquefy and then slither and ripple in all directions to the edges of the page. It made a sort of gurgly swishing noise as it moved, and the paper trembled slightly in my hands as if the ink were moving throughout the entire paper.

After a few seconds, the movement stopped. In my hands was a sheaf of blank newsprint. I began to page through it.

I found the ink congregated on what I believe used to be page C-3. There it was, an inky, impossibly black miasma about the size of a CD, shimmering faintly and pulsating disturbingly. When I put my face closer to study it, I heard a low murmur almost as though the ink were conversing softly with itself.

I sat there for a few moments, trying to decide what to do. I came to the conclusion that I should find somewhere to lay the paper flat. I folded it carefully, carried it into the dining room, cleared a place on the table, and set the paper down, opened to the page formerly known as C-3. The ink was still congregated there. I regarded it for a while, and I had the unpleasant impression that it was regarding me back.

Finally, I decided that I had to know. “Are you good, or evil?” I asked, my voice quavering slightly.

“Ee-vill,” the ink answered in an exaggerated English accent. For me, the accent was the real tip-off that I was dealing with something truly malevolent.

I knew I had to act fast. I went and got a mason jar from the basement. Then I rolled up the newspaper, held it over the open mouth of the jar, and shook vigorously. After a few moments, the ink blob oozed out of the end of the roll and plopped into the jar. Quick as lightning, I closed the lid.

Satisfied with this temporary measure, I took a trip to the hardware store and came home with some quick-setting cement and a five-gallon plastic bucket. I mixed up the cement and filled in the five-gallon bucket with the jar in the middle. Then I buried the bucket about three feet down in my back yard.

Thus did I save the world.

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