Cyrille had let him borrow that one particular book, telling him it would more than likely interest him. He had said something about choose-your-own but Mira hadn’t really understood what it meant. Not that he didn’t know how to pick his own things, his own this and that, but as far as a book was concerned, he didn’t really understand what it had been supposed to mean.
Mira had opened the book, looked it over, read the back of it, skimmed through a few pages but none of them really had made sense. He’d tried from the start but everything seemed jumbled and at the end of every paragraph or couple of page, there seemed to be choices. Different choice led to different pages. Was he supposed to pick?
“I don’t get the book, Cyrille. When I get to the end of the first page, I start trying to read the second one but it doesn’t follow up on the first page and I just get really lost.” He waved the book about lightly. Mira knew that, if Cyrille had offered this book to Agni, there would have been two likely outcomes: one, the book would have been read through in whichever was it was meant to, or two, Agni would have thrown it away for not understanding what it was about and how it worked.
Cyrille laughed softly, he put down his own book and scooted closer to Mira. He took the book from the other’s darker ones and opened up to the first page. He skimmed the paragraph and found his way down to the choices, depending on what the reader decided. “When you make it down here, after you’ve read the paragraph, you have to decide what you do. The whole book isn’t just a single story, it’s multiple means of getting through the story.”
“But I want to read through the whole story.”
“In a way you can’t, though you can always note down which option you’ve taken when you take them and then you read it again and you select another option. I don’t mind if you want to write down in the book with a pencil, I have a couple of books like that and I’ve done it with another one. That way I knew I’d have experienced everything the book had to offer.”
“That’s a little weird.”
“Well, I guess in a way it is but think about it, this book puts you in the lead’s shoes so you decide where you go, you pick up objects along your adventure and you discover new worlds. That’s why the hero has no name and no real physical description. What you pick up along the way is different though.”
“Still a little weird.”
Cyrille laughed and shook his head. “You don’t have to read it if you don’t want to, you know.”
“No, no I want to read it, it’s just a little confusing. So say I read through the first page and I come to my choices,” he opens up the book to the proper page and he looks down to his ‘choices’. “I could either decide to head into the forest, I’d have to go to page twelve, or I could decide to turn and follow the pathway to the lake, that’s page fourteen or there’s the cave and that’s seventeen. So I go to one of these pages and when I get there, I’ll move along in my adventure and I’ll have another decision to make.”
“Pretty much. All good?”
“I think so, sorry I bothered you.”
“You’re never a bother to me, Mira. I love helping you guys when it comes to learning new things.” He kissed the top of the young demon’s head and moved back to where he’d dropped his book, leaning back into the couch cushions and opening his reading back to the page he’d been at just moments before. He spared one glance to Mira who had opened the book again. He was looking thoughtful, trying to decided where he was going, Cyrille figured, and there, those pages were turned to another point further down into the book.
“So I died.”
Cyrille looked up as he put his book down. He quirked a brow and laughed at Mira sheepish smile.
“I took one wrong turn and I got smushed by some boulder avalanche. I died. Can I just go back to the last page I was on before I made this one choice and read from there or do I have to start all over again?” He looked genuinely curious and Cyrille laughed again, a soft, amused sound.
“That one is absolutely up to you, Mira. Some people go back and take the other path, some people start all over, make different choices because they didn’t like where they were heading, it really is all up to you.”
“I’m going to get some popcorn going, you want some?”
Mira looked up from his book, a thoughtful look crossing his face as he put his finger as a bookmark in his book a he closed it for a few moments. “I think popcorn would be pretty sweet, don’t forget to make some for Agni.”
“I won’t forget Agni, Mira. While I know he might not want any and I figure that he might huff somewhat if we don’t prepare him any, anyway, I figured I’d make enough for all of us. Want anything special on it?”
“Do we still have some of that sweet and sour thing you used last time? I really liked it.”
“Some sweet and sour for you it is I think I’ll stick to buttery for me, though maybe cheddar might be nice. I’ll go and see if Agni even wants enough and what he might want on it should be want any. Go back to your book.”
Mira, rolling his eyes at being told what to do, leaned back into the thickly comfortable couch cushions and opened his book, using his finger-bookmark to find where he’d left off again.
“There’s going to be popcorn, Agni, want some?”
Flopped on his bed, headphones over his head, Agni seemed to not hear him. Cyrille shook his head and stepped closer to the bed, he moved to stand in his friend’s line of sight, not saying another word. There was no point in uttering anything of he couldn’t be heard over that music.
Agni blinked up at the sudden face above his own and he tugged his headphones off somewhat. “Yes?”
At least he seemed to be over that little phase of snapping at everyone for everything. For now in any case. Cyrille smiled down at him, brushing some hair behind his ear. “I’m preparing some popcorn, I thought you might want some, any flavour in particular you’d care to have?”
Agni shifted, moving to sit up. He turned his player off and unplugged his headphone. “Something a little sweet? I liked that cloud-candy thing you brought back, it was really nice.”
Cyrille reached out, fingers mussing the teen’s hair gently. There was some progress being made, Agni was trying to be nice, it was better than nothing in the long run. “I still have some of that and I’m pretty sure I can get your portion of popcorn coated in a bit of the stuff, would that be fair?”
“That’d be nice, can I help?” Agni had skipped out on helping with most everything in the house as of the past week and then some, this was new too. Perhaps a return to normalcy.
“Some help would actually be nice. I’ll let you put your things away and I’ll start the popcorn up, then we can prepare the mixes together for each of our portion. Mira wants some sweet and sour and I’ll be setting for just some cheddar flavoured stuff, shouldn’t take too long to prepare everything.”
With that, he stepped away from that bedroom, a smile tugging at his lips. Cyrille knew Mira had been worrying himself to no end about his brother’s behaviour, this really was a step in the right direction.