by Peter Cherches

            I bought a book called Shylock.  I began to read it, but as I was reading, something began to make me feel rather uncomfortable.  Strange, but I felt the book was watching me read it.  Could this be possible?  Does a book have eyes?  I tried to put the notion out of my mind, dismiss it as a preposterous illusion, but as I continued reading the sensation nonetheless remained.  Eventually, spooked by the whole experience, and in a tizzy, I took a pin and began to prick the book wildly, in retaliation.  Much to my horror, its pages began to bleed—real blood.  This was more than I could take.  I had to get rid of the book.  I cleaned off most of the blood and brought it to a place in my neighborhood that buys used books.  This place pays based on weight, so I put Shylock on the scale.  The book weighed exactly one pound, no less, no more.  I took my payment in trade.