The Thing That Should Not Love

I knocked on the door of the study. ‘Niall? Are you there?’
No answer.
I knocked again.
No answer.
I pushed open the door, felt it open with a creak. The study was dark, lit only by the gas lamp on Niall’s desk, casting shadows on the bookcases. The smell of salt in the air made my head ache.
I walked over to the desk: one top of the pile of papers there was the same old book that I’d seen Diego with. There was something embossed on the front in gold, shaped like a shrimp or a cuttlefish: as I ran my finger down it, feeling the cold numb my skin, I thought I saw the shape… change somehow. Like I was looking at it from underwater, watching it ripple into something new. The face of a golden angel, staring at me with emerald eyes.
I couldn’t stop myself. I had to know what was inside.
Trembling, I undid the clasp and let the cover fall on the desk with a thud. I winced as the briny stench intensified, covered my mouth and looked at the page: at with red words in a language I didn’t recognize but somehow understood:
I did not know what was to come. I was a child, and He taught me the truth: that mortal love is frail, but the love of that which is dead is eternal. Ia, He is risen: and you shall come to know His love, or you shall perish.

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