His assistant found him. She went in his office without knocking and the professor was sitting at his desk slowly chewing a handful of pages.
“I miss the taste of ink” he explained. “Don’t you remember how it was? Can’t you remember what it was like to have the paper fill you completely?”
Of course she didn’t remember, she’s too young. She never saw the big halls filled with scholars devouring book after book, ripping the pages apart in a chewing frenzy for knowledge and letters. His problem was that he kept living in the past. It’s a fairly known warning that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. He should have known that, he’s an historian, after all. I guess it must be different when it’s your own history, your own doom.
It was embarrassing. A well educated man eating books. We’ve moved past that as a society. We just don’t do that anymore, it’s completely unacceptable. Books are meant to stand still, not to be eaten. At least the university managed to keep it quiet. If people knew they employed a page-eater they would be finished. It’s impossible to trust a man who still drools over pulp and ink.
Poor girl. It’s a shame she had to witness something like that.
Written for Flash! Friday