Wednesday, July 7, 2004

The Book Signing, Chapter 1

That day had begun like any other. But the way it ended, and what happened in between, I would remember for years as the turning point in my life.

After I got upstairs and readied for bed, I turned to my desk, and the book that lay on it. According to anyone who saw me with it, it was my Bible; to my close friends, it was an obsession; but to my English teacher, it was my life. All my hopes and desires, thoughts and ideas, my personality had been poured into it. This book defined who I was.

Yet nobody knew it. Published under an alias, "Colored Moods" had become a bestseller. To the public, finding the true author had become the top controversial subject; finding out who I was became a worldwide manhunt. To avoid suspicion (although nobody would have believed me) I joined it, quickly becoming one of the most obsessed. Un/Surprisingly, it worked. Throwing the few "smart ones" off my back, I proposed the ultimate idea in finding the author: the "Fahrenheit Flood."

In the book, "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury, the police use a simple strategy to find Montag.

[Insert quote here --- if everyone, all of the citizens would open their doors and look out their windows, then Montag would have nowhere to hide. ---]

The "Fahrenheit Flood" was a brilliant idea that I was applauded for; using my own name (not an alias), I wrote down the strategy to find this "mysterious" author. Unfortunately (fortunately!) it failed. Everyone who did not write it , was to post their names on an Internet Message Board. Also, they were to write down the names of people they knew. Those people would run a search on their name, reply to the messages denying their involvement, and do the same. After several weeks, billions of names from all over the world had been entered and replied to. All but one.

Without denying my being the author, I told the public that I was too busy handling the website to post a message. "Besides, if I had been the writer, wouldn't I have found a hidey-hole to bury myself in and not come out? And would I have contributed to the effort of finding the author with any ideas?"

Every response, but one, I received to that posting was "No, you are right and we (the public) understand the difficulty in running the Flood yourself." Of course, that last one made me laugh; it was from my English teacher, and was posted as a private message: "Ace, stop playing with their minds. Although you are undoubtedly smarter than most of them, don't get too cocky. Go find yourself a hidey-hole and a shovel just in case something comes up."

I printed, then deleted that message, then hid it in my room safe, where I also kept the book contracts; only I could access it, nobody else, especially my parents.