The Annals of Manetho record the death of the Pythagorean Xeppigone, eyeless from birth, who looked upon the codex Abeochromicon and saw its pages clearly. He took his life with a nail before three days had passed. The corpse he left was near-flayed in frantic scarification, intricate with madder-red patterns far too delicate to tell by touch alone.

In that library beneath the Library at Alexandria, a recessed vault to the depth of eight feet was constructed for this single volume, because blindfolds and locked coffers are no protection against it. Not even shut covers can impede a viewer's attention; it is therefore said that the hue of their mushroom-smooth leather is unknowable in the absolute. Learning it would entail a separation of cover from spine, and like all things of its kind, Abeochromicon refuses physical harm as shadows deny pins. All estimates of its age are of course meaningless.

Even the seeming of a book is likely a strained perceptual construct, an analogy. Consider that it wholly lacks inscription. Although it opens as any book, having the impression of distinct pages, the end is unreachable -- and on turning backwards, one immediately meets the front cover. Accordingly, assuming the codex to be comprised of matter is to invite paradox. The Alexandrians conjecture Abeochromicon as a tiny lapse in the present age; through it, a prior universe encroaches, bringing a welter of irrational physics. Though its tangible existence is incompatible with this mode of reality, something remains directly apparent to the mind.

The thick plane of protean light called Abeochromicon may be likened to a lunatic painter's wail, or the throbbing cinder of an obsolete star. All of mind's colors figure in its erratic phasing, alongside pungent spectra that grieve and confound the eye. Whatever their quality, it cannot properly be called color; color is stable and intelligible, a conceit of known worlds. Abeochromicon chronicles far worlds with skittering, angular turquoises, and the glisten of carious pearl. Rust upon smoke -- ashen curdle of aphasia -- the topaz quiver of the awakened void -- tenuous grit beneath the chattering legs of pi -- the sudden flashing decoherence of light -- like blood, it fills the eye.

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