Carl’s mind was never the same after reading the book with no name. He thought about it constantly. So much so, that he couldn’t sleep. His mind craved knowledge like a drug addict that can’t get enough wisdom and no other book was better than the original high.
“Carl, the guys are worried about you. You’re spending too much time alone.”
“Pete, I’m reading the most brilliant minds in history. Would you like me to read the guys a bedtime story? That way we can all be together.”
“That’ll never happen,” Pete laughed. And Carl kept reading his book. It had been sixteen hours. He didn’t sleep and he didn’t need to. He had ideas about how to change the city, even the world, but they were hazy. Before Carl was divorced, he remembered that he bought flowers for his fiancé at Books and Blooms. It was a strange store. Carl didn’t understand how it turned a profit. The proprietor slept most of the day. He was nearly 100 years old and that was a few years ago, so the place was probably closed, but he decided to walk past it during his lunch hour anyway.
On a crisp October afternoon, Carl looked into Books and Blooms. It was flowers on the first floor and books on the second. A bald man with a few white hairs reclined in a lounge chair surrounded by exotic flowers. He was fast asleep.
“Sir, are you open? Your sign says you’re open.”
The old man opened his electric blue eyes. They were full of knowledge and intelligence.
“Are you looking for books or flowers?” He asked. “I’m Mr. Bloom.”
“My name’s Carl and I’m looking for neither, but I do have a question for you.”
“Uh, huh,” the old man nodded. He sat up quickly. Carl didn’t expect that.
“Have you ever heard of a book with no name that imparts wisdom? It has Latin letters.”
“A book with no name. You should be careful of those. You say the book was written in Latin and you comprehended it?”
“I don’t read Latin, but I understood it.”
“Strange,” Bloom said. “But when you’ve been around as long as I have, you hear of even stranger things. I have a theory on your book, but most consider it to be a myth, something made up by an overly enthusiastic mind. I live in the literary world, so I know what I’m talking about. Follow me.”
Bloom led Carl up the spiral staircase and into the back room. “Now where did I put it?” Bloom was fingering the L books. ‘There it is, Lucifer’s Lexicon. Lucifer, also known as the Devil, means the bearer of light. Legend says that he wrote a book with no name. It contains all worldly secrets and is considered to be the wisest book ever written, that is, if you are interested in worldly knowledge. Also, considering who wrote it, I would think it to be the most dangerous book ever written. Where did you find it?” Bloom asked.
“In the Lexington Library,” Carl said.
“That place burned to the ground.”
“I know, I was in the fire.”
“And you found the book there.”
“Yes; it was the only thing not burning.”
Bloom continued to turn the pages of Lucifer’s Lexicon. Suddenly, he came across a picture of Satan holding his book.
“That’s the one!” Carl said.
“How do you know?” Bloom asked.
“Look, the stitching around the outer edge; it crosses and crisscrosses. I’ve spent so much time with that book; it’s unmistakable.”
“Well, where is it?” Bloom asked.
“It was stolen from me; I think it was stolen by the arsonist.”
“A book like that is dangerous. It’s been missing for hundreds of years. If it wound up in the wrong hands, the owner could easily have the world,” Bloom said.
“Do you have any idea of how I could get it back?” Carl asked.
“What makes you think you are the one to have it?”
“It gave me a love for reading and opened up my mind to everything.”
“An open mind is a fool’s paradise,” Bloom laughed. “Let me wish you luck and send you on your way with a book that can teach you how to think.”
“Sherlock Holmes: The Hound of the Baskervilles?” Carl asked.
“Yes; simple deductive reasoning can take you far. Now I need to get back to the most important thing in my day.”
“What’s that?” Carl asked.
“My nap.” And in five seconds, Bloom was asleep in his lawn chair.