It's Michael Jackson! Is it Jackson or a ghost or a zombie? Whoo hoo! He performs a little dance, and disappears like the hologram of a Princess in distress. There is a popping noise that seems to come from nowhere: or rather everywhere - as if there was a bubble around the here and now, which had just burst. He looked at the books around the room. They looked the same. Why then did they suddenyl seem much more interesting than a few moments ago ? Had someone slipped him something? Were there mushrooms in the cellar? No, it had to be the book, the decaying yellow book in his hand. So far he has only taken small glimpses at its text. The book intrigued him more than any he'd ever seen before, yet as soon as he began reading the text he felt a terrible revulsion for reasons he didn't understand. Too afraid to read the book yet, he found himself drawn into the typography on the crumbling yellow pages, an elegant typeface that seemed antiquated yet alien. It was recognizably English. Yet written beside them were words in no human language he knew.

Chandler is suddenly gripped with disgust and throws the book across the room. He thinks he hears brief malicious laughter, but then it is no more. He stands up, clutching his head. "Man, I knew I drink a lot last night but this is just ridiculous," he said. Things seem back to normal now. The shadows are less deep, the books are still dead and dull and forbidding, and there is no Michael Jackson anywhere in sight--thank God.

Chandler idly pulled a book off the shelf to try to wash the taste of that horrible yellow book out of his brain. It's some kind of record of an expedition to the antarctic from the 1950s or so. The first few pages he reads are deadly dull, involving a lot of statistics and accounting. But the book then begins to talk about some kind of crashed spaceship. He checks the title page, and apparently this book is indeed presented as nonfiction. He shakes his head. His father seemed like such a normal person--maybe too normal. Why does he suddenly have all these weird books? Well, two weird books, anyway. Maybe he's just overreacting.

Then, as Chandler puts the book down and tries to get back into the rhythm of ordinary life, there is a knock at the door of the used book store. He tenses, picking up the largest hardcover book he can find to use as a weapon. He creeps to the door and opens it hesitantly...

Continue to Chapter Three