That night I decided to burn his books.
Every one that he had purchased online.
My grandmother took care of me the most after my parents died. Grandfather just went down the hill after my dad died in a car accident. I resented him for not being there when I needed him the most. I recall him sitting down in a chair reading a book with a bookcover and I asked him:
"Grandpa, what cha' reading?" I asked.
"Q are cordinillary invited," My grand father said. "Star Trek."
"Are you ever going to take me to a Green Lantern airing?" I asked.
"No." Grandpa said.
"Why?" I asked.
Grandpa lowered his book.
"We are in tough times. Chris," Grandpa said. "Your grandma and I have agreed to not visit the theater so that means . . . as you are well aware. . . No direct TV and no DISH." He had lowered his book. "Do you want to hear a scene from Q-Squared?"
"Why not that book you are reading?" I asked.
"You will understand one day," Grandpa said. "There is a couple scenes in this novel that you might like."
And I hated that book. Grandpa would skip a scene that would mention being adult related and then he skipped a couple pages regarding how the guy went psycho after tapping into the insane asylum of cloud. Don't get me wrong, the writer has a good narrative but I simply hated it. Probably because I had no idea who these characters were.
My Grandpa purchased fanfiction, online, too.
It was nightfall when I scooted the wheelbarrow down past my garage with books. I stopped at the pile of books then take one out after another. Until I got down to 'I,Q' a story that my grandfather once read regarding this guy named Q searching for his family named Lady Q and q. Though my grandfather skipped a couple scenes when reading to me when we were on the road heading somewhere for the summer. Grandmother was the one who usually drove. I would fall asleep naturally when Grandfather had got to the ending of the scene where this Q snapped his fingers mentioning it was dramatic.
I tossed the book onto the pile then took out my fireblazer.
Being a Private Investigator comes with its perks.
I started the flame on the pile of books.
I stepped back watching the flames devour the books. I sat down in a lawn chair watching the books burn, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I watch the flames taking them in for the hour. It was a delightful hour. Suddenly a figure walked close by the flames, used a walking stick to pull out a book at the edge, then made a weird hand gesture that was flippant. The flames on the books vanished. I got up staring at the man in shock who's face was covered by the book.
"What the hell!" I shouted. "Put that back."
The man turned his head toward me then the night stars brightened.
"Hello, there, again," The man said. "Wallis."
"You are from the funeral," I said. "Now give it back so I can finish what I started!"
The man shook his head.
"No, sorry," The man said, holding the book. "You are a sorry excuse for a man who upholds the law."
My hands curled up.
"I am not!" I said. "Who are you?"
The man held the book up.
"Do you recognize me now?" The man asked.
I squint and saw at the bald man's right side was a smiling man resembled that strange man from the funeral.
But seeing him face to face; he looked more older and a lot more mature than the bookcover.
The other side of the bookcover had been scorched off.
"Uh . . ." I said. "No. I don't know who you are."
"Open the book," The man said. "Any page."
I opened the book up, that was remarkably burnt but readable, and opened to a random page.
First line that caught my eye was "Let me go!"
The first name that caught my eye was 'Trelane' and then 'Q'.
I closed the book.
"Q?" I asked.
The man scoffled.
"No, my name is Trelane." Trelane said, with a pat on his chest.
I raised a brow.
"Then who is Q?" I asked.
Trelane picked up a book from the flames with the image of a man holding a bottle with what appears to be universe of some sorts inside.
"This is my father," Trelane said, then he dropped it back into the sorry-ass pile. "I am his first son. His other son was made to save the continuum. You may know him as q but many refer to him as Q Junior. . . And I call him; brother."
"This isn't any of your business to interfere in," I said. "Now give me that book!"
"What did Star Trek ever take from you?" Trelane asked.
"A grandparent." I said.
Trelane looked at me sadly.
"Now about the sorry excuse for a private eye," Trelane said, then he made a ten year old boy with burns all over his face appear. "Burn the books and you kill."
The boy was in front of him tearing up.
"But you are fictional!" I said. "Fictional characters cannot be harmed."
Trelane grew a grim look.
"I want my dad." The boy said.
"Thomas. . . Thomas. . ." Trelane said. "Your dad and mom is dead." He had both hands on the boy's shoulder. "We may be fictional but that is no way to treat those who have entertained you!" He shook his fist at me. "We may be words of imagination but be burned to death? You could have sold these books! Every book has a life, Mr Wallis."
The boy vanished.
"No, that is not true," I said. "If it were, then we would have advocates or activists against burning books."
"I am their advocate," Trelane said. "You hate our world with a burning passion because your grandfather found another way to grieve!"
"He didn't grieve that way!" I said.
"Yes, he did!" Trelane argued back. "When he was alone reading Q-in law. . . your grandfather cried, lowered the book on his lap, and cried, that was a week after your parents died! If I am not mistaken you were in school at the time dealing with the grief. His wife came in the room and cried with him, hugging him. You survived that car crash for a reason!"
"I should have died in it!" I said.
"No, don't say that." Trelane said.
"I should have died in it rather than see my grandfather become the way he did." I said.
Trelane stepped forward.
"I don't have a grandfather but I do have a father who is still alive," Trelane said. "One who both hates me and cares about me. But that is a totally different story itself." He had a shrug. "You split families apart in these books by burning them!" He shook the book from side to side leaning forward with the walking stick. "I could just fix that all up by snapping my fingers and restoring them to their former glory." He leaned back to his straight position still holding the book to his side. "You seek answers to mysteries which makes you good at what you do. But no matter what, you have the civil obligation to make sure no one dies because of it!"
"So?" I asked. "How does it connect to me?"
"You hate Star Trek," Trelane said. "And there's a mystery behind it. How does that affect those you care about?"
"Nothing happens." I said.
"Wrong, human," Trelane said. "It does harm." He sounded serious. "No aging, no death for you, and you may seem like you are aging to other people but you are not." He put the book down on a counter then he approached me with a sincere look in his eyes. "I am taking you to my world."
Then there was a white flash that blinded my vision.