Henry & the Black Alphabet – Part 3

The letters of the alphabet melted into black ink puddles and disappeared as silently as they came.
But Henry could still hear their voices echoing in his ears. He was so frightened he was unable to speak for a while. When he finally recovered, he asked Titus: “Did you see what happened?”. Titus only nodded as he was paralysed in fear.
Zavoom’s eyes were fixed towards the point where the letters first appeared.
For the rest of the night, Henry kept his bed lamp on and waited until dawn faded in.
“I must talk to Yuki as soon as I get to school”, he said to himself and his friends, “she might have some ideas on how to get there”.
Yukiko was Henry’s best friend.
They were in the same school and lived not too far from each other. Yuki lived with her parents and her chubby little brother, Kiyoshi, in a pretty house not too far from Henry’s.
Her room was the most amazing place to be. Extraordinary things always happened in Yuki’s room.
At school Henry handed her an origami frog with a message inside. Yuki taught him how to make different animals with origami paper. She nodded and agreed to meet him later.
Henry was panting when he arrived at Yuki’s in the afternoon. Mrs Kimura welcomed him and accompanied him to Yuki’s room.
“Thank you, Mrs Kimura”, he said. She smiled, left a little tray with some kasutera and tea, closed the panel doors and silently walked away. Behind the colourful panel doors, Yuki was waiting for him with Mamoru-San and Tadao-San (Mamoru-San and Tadao-San were Yuki’s most trusted helpers).
“Something scary happened last night”, began Henry with his eyes widening. “The letters of the alphabet have escaped from the books”. Yuki listened very attentively. “I’ve been told to reach the tower of books but I don’t know how to get there and…” Henry paused, lowered his head and added: “I’m really scared of what I could find..and I am scared to get lost and never return”.
Yuki nodded. Then she simply said: “I think I could help getting you there.”
Mamoru-San and Tadao-San nodded in agreement.
“I am not so sure where the tower of books is nor I know what you will find on this journey but I could get you there on the best and safest thing. You will fly on an origami swan.”
Henry’s face lit up.
In the years he had known Yuki, she had never ceased to amaze him and everything she suggested, as other-worldly as it was, always worked.
“I have special origami paper. My grandmother saved it for me in Japan and my dad brought it when we moved here. It’s not like the other origami paper we play with sometimes, this is magic origami paper” she said beaming a smile.

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2019 All images and content copyright Isabella Thermes