How To Make Your Book Stop Screaming

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Peter Damien

Staff Writer

Peter Damien has been reading since time out of mind, writing for a very long time, and been hopelessly lost to a disgraceful addiction to tea for a few years now. He writes short stories, comics, a lot of articles, and novels at an achingly slow pace. When not staring at words, he spends a lot of time in the woods, as befits a man of his hairstyle. He lives with a billion books, a tolerant wife, too many animals, and also two small boys. When it comes to writing, the small boys are, frankly, no help whatsoever. You can find Peter on Twitter, if that's the kind of thing you're into. Twitter: @peterdamien

So you bought a book. Congratulations! What fun! What exciting adventures are bound between those two covers, what worlds await you of fun and education and exciting characters! But what’s this? Oh no! You have brought the book home and now it won’t stop screaming! Gee wiz, does this take all of the fun out of things! Not to worry. I’m here to help you.

Is The Book Really Screaming? This is the first thing to ascertain. Are you quite sure the unceasing, ear-shredding guttural scream is coming from the book? Or is there a possibility that you have lost your mind and are simply imagining it? There are many ways of ascertaining this. Has anything else strange recently happened around you? For example, is the sky the color of a television screen tuned to a dead channel, or has a cat spoken to you? Are the walls jelly? Are you jelly? Are there people in your house you are fairly certain actually exist in comic books and not real life? These are all slight indicators that you may be off your gourd.

If none of these things are visible, try bringing a friend or loved one into the room with the book. Can they hear it’s screaming? Do they flinch at its ceaseless tortured wailing? Good! That means it is real and your mind is whole! Or is it!? (It is. Calm down.)

Does The Book Want Something? Now, let us listen to the window-rattling deathly howls of the book. Let us put our thinking caps on and pay close attention! Can you hear, intermingled with the shrieks, discern any words from the book? Perhaps it simply wants something and is frustrated with its inability to get it! It has no arms and legs, after all! If it howls “coffee!!! oh god!!! please!!! coffee have you no humanity oh god the suffering please won’t you release me from this hellish embrace and give me coffee!” then your new book might want some coffee. Why not pour a cup into the book and see if that helps? WARNING: Make sure the coffee isn’t too hot! Although the book can’t sue you, it might make the otherworldly high-pitched wail worse, and that’s just no good!

Is It Possessed By A Dark And Twisted Demon Attempting To Claw Its Way Into Our World and Out Of Its Blasted Hellscape Via The Screaming Book? This is a pretty common problem, so do not feel embarrassed. There are many ways to tell. For example, is the book made out of human skin? Are there strange runes carved into the cover and pages, remnants of a dead and forgotten language which you cannot begin to comprehend but which, deep in the ancient and animal recesses of your mind, fills you with a sanity-damaging terror from which you eventually cannot escape? Again, super common! I mean, if I had a dollar…! Ha ha!

If this is the case, you have a couple of choices. For one, you can prick your finger and drip human blood into the book, then place it in the center of a pentagram made out of salt, thus fulfilling the requirements of the prophecy and unleashing the demon upon the world to wreck terrible havoc. It might be okay, It might show you pity for your service. Alternately, if you can find a cabin in the woods that some teenagers are going to be staying at for a weekend, why not leave the book there for them to find? It won’t be able to resist them. Especially the Heroic Jock, or the Nerdy But Secretly Beautiful Girl.

Stay strong, Timmy.

Stay strong, Timmy.

Can You Firmly Ignore The Book? This can be a difficult method. After all, the screaming is not only the tortured howl of unimaginable agony without even pause for breath, but also it is beginning to attract looks from the neighbors, and That Asshole Gary from next door has been on your case for weeks already. However! If you can calmly but firmly put the book in another room with the door shut and ignore the screaming, perhaps the book will come to understand that it cannot intimidate you or get anything unless it uses its words. You are not going to be walked all over like that! Given time, the book may go quiet and either speak to you in a deep voice, in a heavy accent you have never heard on this earth before, and tell you what it wants. It may even tell you its True Name, granting you dominion over it! Then you read it peacefully.

And Finally: Can You Re-Gift It? Just give it away! Tie it tightly shut with string – or chains, if it is particularly rowdy” – and then wrap it and give it away! Give it to that one relative you don’t like very much. As if they ever get you anything good! And you only see them once a year, if that, so it’ll be ages before they complain about it – assuming they’re alive – so maybe it’ll all have blown over by then.

Once this is done, you can go read like Twilight or something. I know people say a lot of stuff about Twilight, sure, but you have to admit it never shrieks in unbearable horror for all of time, so why not give it a go!

pictured: not screaming at you

pictured: not screaming at you

(UPDATE: During the ongoing court proceedings attempting to have Peter locked up, it has been suggested that he is confusing books with babies yet again and the reliability of this guide has been called into question. We apologize for any difficulties this may have caused. — Ed. )


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