A new leather bound book was put on the shelf every month. “They're not for reading,” Mum told me. When she left the books stopped arriving.
I skipped school and opened Brave New World. The text small, paper translucent, I sponged up the words. Next I took Shakespeare's Comedies and read The Tempest.
Dad came home to find books scattered. His eyes raging, I read aloud, “‘Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly–’”. He snatched the book off me, but I had memorised the whole page. “‘They'll go through anything,’” I quoted, “‘You read and you're pierced.’”
Author bio: Sean Gregory is a writer from the North of England.
Ornamental is part of 101 Fiction issue 24.