CHAPTER II: THE CONTINUING TRAVAILS OF A PAPER

//(https://foreverunderthegun.wordpress.com/2014/11/20/the-travails-of-a-paper-2/) THIS BEING THE LINK TO THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER. \\

Brilliantly bound. Finely polished.

I was a notebook you had to earn.

I missed out on becoming a novel. Big deal.
In fact, it all seemed so funny now- less than a week ago I considered becoming a novel the best possible thing. “The Keeper of Ideas”, that’s what I wanted to become. Ideas and thoughts poured out onto me and I, charged with the task of keeping them safe, for as long as I can and as well as I can. What a noble task that wa-shush!

I am a notebook now. And that’s all I am, and that’s all I will be. Nothing more, probably less.
I had to accept the fact. But still, it wasn’t cause for great disappointment.

The dimwits all around me didn’t want to be notebooks. They said it was a scary prospect. Indeed, if you think about it, it is quite scary- leaving yourself at the mercy of a human being to do what he pleases with your body.
But none of these dimwits, not a single goddamned one of these half-baked, good for nothing dunces knew that a Notebook is what helps create ideas in the first place. Without a Notebook, how can a person possibly pen down his ideas? What will he write on? His toilet paper? His blotting paper, perhaps?
Even if novels provide a person with ideas, he cannot pen them down or do anything with them unless and until he is armed with the humble, yet hugely important notebook!

Armed with this confidence, I made sure I sat quite away from the other fellows. We were all in a truck, being transported to the warehouse. Few of the fellows around me didn’t even know where we were headed, they kept playing this stupid game where they flap their pages at each other in order to try and beat the other into submission. It was a sport they learnt from the humans. Wrestling.

I kept looking around me, continually making sure I remain untouched by the dirty lot I was with. Being in a truck, there were always chances the others could fall onto you and ruffle your feathers up, a thought which always left me completely nauseated.

While I was thence ruminating, I heard a bunch of sniggers break out. Thought curiosity welled up within me like lava within a volcano, I refused to turn or otherwise try and find the cause for this outbreak of mirth.
Despite my best efforts, however, the lines of conversation wafted across easily enough for me to pick up- “Always had a giant stick up his binding, back at the factory too.” The speaker cleared his throat, and in what seemed like a distinctly familiar voice, said, “I come from a fine plantation of chestnut. The best. It is my birthright to become a novel. But boo hoo! Look at me! I am just fit enough for some idiot, who gets to google all over me.”

And out broke a riotous burst of laughter, this time clearly directed towards me. I felt my binding tighten as I heard them laugh. Now, picking fights with riff-raff wasn’t my thing, but I had to show them who was boss.

I turned and made my way through to them.
The big goon who was imitating me broke his big guffawing laughter off and shuffled towards me. He towered over me- a good two inches.
I opened my mouth to speak but strangely, I couldn’t find my voice.
“What do you want, jerk? Want to pick a fight? I’ll knock that damn chestnut out of you right about now!” His voice thundered out from his pages, even causing my cover to slightly lift off a bit. The abject silence that prevailed in the truck didn’t help either.
“It’s doodle, not Google, you moron.” Even as I said it, I flinched. How could I have hit back with such a damp squib of a comeback! My voice had come out all weak and broken, but nevertheless I could feel the fight building up inside.
But before I could even start sinking my claws in, the entire truck and every single possible variation and product of paper it contained, burst forth into thunderous laugher,
I got clapped on the back by the heavier books, leaving me slightly shaken and dazed. I pushed myself through the unruly crowd, extremely eager to have some time away from such an immature gathering.
The big goon who provoked me into what I now saw as an impulsive outburst, was the loudest of all, guffawing away to glory.

It was a lame comeback but a comeback nevertheless. At least I wasn’t acting like some uncouth muscle head who was just showing off some stupid ugly hardback.

Suddenly, the truck hit a bump and I rocketed into the air. I desperately tried to keep my papers and covers together but to no avail. I fell hard on my spine, covers apart and completely open. My pages were laid bare.
The other notebooks and books weren’t affected because they were all tightly stacked against each other.

I tried hard to close myself properly and get back to my earlier position but before I could move a page, the big goon moved over to me and said, “Need some help, bud?”
His cronies started gathering around me and the other books plonked their covers up out of interest.
“I’m fine, thanks.”, I warbled.

“No, you don’t seem fine at all to me. Boys, let’s give him a hand, shall we?”

Long story cut short, when we landed at the warehouse the next morning, I had a few loose pages and a slightly weaker binding.
I was dumped into a box labelled “DAMAGED PIECES” and thrown into a dark room somewhere. I tried to call out to the human who carried us there but I just couldn’t open my mouth, what with all those dirty torn books all over it.
I just waited there, stunned and bewildered by this cruel and completely undeserving twist of events.

I just waited there.

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