Water seeped in long ago, washing away the words. The stories disappeared but their mystery remained. The pages wrinkled as they dried, half-hearted hues clouding the once-bleached paper. Bloodstains of the stories killed in the flood, perhaps.
Glue dissolved, but the charcoal sketches held fast in the book’s embrace. Now they gather dots of mildew like age spots on the hands of couple growing old together.
The pain of losing them is gone now and the lost stories shift into myth. I think I like them best this way, though I’ve switched to waterproof ink.