That day I went into Bernard’s Bookstore, snowflakes fell like confetti on a parade making the ground slippery, wet, and me cold and damp. I wished the old store had a coffee bar. It didn’t but did have some fascinating ancient books. I spent an hour defrosting my toes while glancing through dozens of old tomes. A voice that came from where, I didn’t know, said, “Go upstairs.”
Except for the old woman who sat behind the early 1900s, cash register, I was alone in the store. Maybe I imagined the voice. I went back to browsing and heard it again, but more demanding this time. Compelled to obey this puzzling voice, I searched for a way to go upstairs, but couldn’t discover any way to get there, so I asked the old woman how I’d get upstairs.
At those words, her face transformed into a visage of joy. She didn’t speak but pointed to an elevator door. I pushed the button and the door slid open. I stepped into the wire cage the size of a refrigerator box. It didn’t have buttons to press, just a rotating handle with an arrow to point up or down. I spun the arrow to down and wondered what would have happened if I had pointed it to up because there wasn’t a floor above the store. The elevator refused to go down, so I twisted the arrow to up and the cage traveled upward at an astounding speed. How could I be going up when there was nothing above? Could the elevator some sort of virtual reality box?
It came to a sudden stop, the door slid open and a palatial room came into view. I stepped out onto a white marble floor. Sunshine poured through windows that abounded on all four walls of the 40 x 40-foot room. As far as I could see it was empty except for a podium with a book set on top. Lifting it I found it to be a parchment codex in octavo with a vellum cover.
I opened the book and saw illustrations of unknown plants, constellations or systems of tubes transporting liquids and populated by tiny, pudgy ‘nymphs’. I never saw a manuscript like this previously. It had to be special to be the only one in this glorious room. Where was this room? It wasn’t possible that it existed above the bookstore, but it did. I went to a window wall to try to see where I was, but the bright sun blinded me and I couldn’t see beyond the glass.
The language in this manuscript was handsome and painted with expensive ink and some bold botanical images in gold that were crafted long ago. If I could read the written words, what would I learn? Was the author of this work from our world or another? Is a cancer cure in there? As a book aficionado, I felt this was one I must have, but worried I couldn’t afford it.
If I could only read and understand the written text, I sensed I’d find immortality; world peace and other impossibilities. I carried it to the elevator, but when I tried to go through the door with the volume in my hands, some invisible barrier prevented me from taking it with me. It had to be some sort of modern safekeeping device. If this room existed atop the old store, it must be magic or some sort of technological security.
I boarded the elevator without the tome with the intent on asking the old lady how much it cost. I’d pay her if I had the amount and ask her to turn off whatever stopped the book from entering the elevator so I could take the volume home. I boarded the elevator, closed the door and the voice said, “What’s written in that book are heaven’s words.”
I turned the handle to down and the cage room silently descended. I got out and rushed to the desk. “How much is that book upstairs?”
The old lady gave me a wary look. “We don’t have an upstairs.”
“Yes, you do. Don’t you remember? I asked you how to get there and you pointed to the elevator.”
“You asked me where the bathroom was and I pointed to it.” She pointed to the elevator door. I opened the door to the elevator and the metal cage had changed into a room with a cracked sink and a tile floor in need of a good cleaning. I couldn’t understand what happened. I wanted the book so badly that I’d do anything to gain possession of it.
I heard the voice again, “Only angels can read and understand the words in Voynich’s Manuscript.
The voice told me in poetic words that Angels Speak in
The language in Voynich’s Manuscript that
is handsome and said to be heaven sent.
The botanical images painted with expensive
ink and some in gold came here long ago.
If I could read the written words, what
would I see, the voice asked? Was the author of this tome
from our world or another? Is a cancer cure in there?
I’d learn immortality may be had if I could only read
the inked in terms. World peace and other
impossibilities could be had by eating some of
those magic plants drawn on pages of animal skin.
The voice said that the text put down in that book
were heavenly words that only angels could read and speak.
I Dreamed I could read the text and it said,
Angels and Stars Will Someday Die
Going through time on astral waves makes me wish when
moonbeams shine you’d find one to lead you to the stars
where you belong and will have a fine time with beautiful
souls who used to be alive but are now here in the sky.
Heaven is cold and lonely without you and my tears freeze in place.
Please look up here and behold the newest shimmering star next to
Mars. That’s me winking at you, letting you know to have no fear
because my words don’t rhyme, it’s not a crime out here where I
mingle with angels tempting me to forget some words.
I recall the words they want me to forget but, are ones I’ll never erase.
They’re lyrics of affection I sang to you when we were in love.
All things must die, an angel who loved to be heard whispered in my ear,
but my feelings for you never stopped and are so powerful they bring me
to my knees, and make me wish I would have stayed with you.
But now I’m here with angels and stars but without you, so if you want
to become an angel like me, all you have to do is to drink the Kool Aid I left behind for
the poor and blind. When you drink, you’ll get a ticket to ride here on a moonbeam one
starry night. Until then, I close my eyes so I can’t watch the stars
dim and the sun die. I want you to know that my love for you is the one
thing that will never die.