Short Stories

The Forgotten Why

Photo by Janko Ferlic on
Final piece written for The Literal Challenge

In a forgotten little secondhand bookshop, on the middle shelf of a long line of books, on a cramped and dusty second floor, lived a benign and often overlooked little book. And in that book, on a random page (Page sixty-seven, perhaps?), was a line of text, highlighted in a faded pink marker; something that had resonated with the reader who had made that specific mark in this funny little book so many years ago. And next to that highlighted line of misplaced words, there lay in the margin three tiny letters: w-h-y. 

And this little why had wondered all those years how she connected to those strings of letters that made words that made a sentence that moved the reader so much, he decided to highlight it in pink. Her part in the experience was wholly unknown and entirely unexplorable in her cramped space next to those pink highlighted lines, and  she would exist there eternally, always asking the question why. 

For with no eyes to read the words next to her lonely, little question, the little forgotten w-h-y could not truly live. Her existence was rooted in interaction through the three little letters that made her up and drove passing readers to think about those highlighted words along with her. But her page on sixty-seven (Or was it sixty-three?) had remained unread and unspoken on that fateful day when the book’s pink highlighter-clad reader decided he was done exploring. And all the questions he asked and answers for which he prodded stopped living as soon as he’d abandoned them. 

So our tiny, little why waits patiently in her benign book on her random page next to a sentence highlighted in pink. And she hopes that one day, someone new will stumble upon the book in which she lives, in her small little margin, where she asks w-h-y, and maybe if she’s lucky, that reader will find himself overcome with a resolution to discover the answers to such a query. 

1 comment on “The Forgotten Why

  1. Deborah Porter-Walker

    What an unusual thought provoking concept. Great short story. The first paragraph hooks you right in. X

    Liked by 1 person

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