The Missing Page
"Oh you bastards!" I exclaimed loudly.
I checked again, just to make sure, but it was true. The next page was missing. The numbers at the bottom of each page ran from three fifty-five to three fifty-eight. The page containing three fifty-six and seven was missing.
No, not just missing, but removed. Some brainless arsehole had maliciously and deliberately removed the page. I looked closely and, yes, there, the ragged edge of the torn page was still visible. The page had not been accidentally ripped out, oh no. This one had been carefully and methodically excised.
What sort of sick mind would do that to a book? What sort of perverted sense of humour would think that removing a page from a long novel at a crucial – crucial! – point in the plot was funny?
And why would anybody, for whatever reason, deface a book? To my mind, as an avowed bibliophile, vandalising a book is tantamount to sacrilege! No true book-lover would do such a thing. Bloody Neanderthal!
Leaving that aside for now, what about me? What about the enjoyment I was getting from reading another excellent novel, huh? I’m left hanging. I can’t just carry-on as though the page was still there, can I? Damn it!
I could, I suppose, read on and hope that whatever’s missing doesn’t detract too much from the rest of the story.
But it doesn’t feel right.
It’s a bit like watching a TV series and missing an episode: you hope you’ll keep up with what’s been going-on, but always in the knowledge that you’re a bit behind the eight-ball with the plot. That’s what a missing page in a book is like.
Damn it! Why do people do things like this?
I was enjoying that book, too. Even if I get a replacement it won’t be the same. I will always know that I had to stop reading because of the actions of one moron. Every time I see or hear about that book I will be reminded of the torment and distress caused to me by that missing page. I will never be able to think of that novel by that author in the same way as I do their other works, that is what just one imbecile has done to me.
Thank you very much, whoever you are. I hope you are proud of yourself.