The infinite scroll (short)

I woke up that morning to find a piece of soft, creamy paper pinned underneath my alarm clock. The page ran off the night stand and onto the floor. It was a long piece of paper. Looking down, I saw that the single sheet trailed across the room and out of my door hanging slightly ajar. Puzzled, I got up and followed the page across the room, kicking my electric typewriter hard in the process, which was sitting on the ground next to my cluttered desk. Now hopping on one foot with a grimace, I swung open the door and saw the paper stretching down the hall. It was an extremely long piece of paper – maybe a scroll, now I thought about it – disappearing around the corner at the end of the hallway, painted gray with little morning light.

The page was completely blank, without a single mark on it. It was magnificent. I followed it down the hallway, holding it up and letting it slip through my thumb and forefinger as I walked, creating a steadily cresting wave of white parchment in my wake.
Poking my head around the corner, past a sink of dishes and into the cramped living room, the scroll continued to stretch and stretch. Giddy with confusion and intrigue now, I rushed through the little kitchen and into the open arch to find the living room positively covered. Every surface and square inch smothered in four, five, six layers of the never ending scroll.

I stared at the sea of white before me, rustling slightly with a spring breeze from the open window next to the armchair that now looked like it had been sitting out in a blizzard for days. Nervous to venture further into the room so as to not mark the perfectly pristine page… I hurried back to my bedroom and grabbed the corner of paper clamped firmly beneath my alarm clock. At least I had a starting place. I began to roll – across the room, down the hallway, through the kitchen and into entrance archway of the cluttered living room. I rolled and rolled and rolled and rolled. And rolled. And rolled, pulling and pulling and pulling the page toward me. Yet the it seemed never to stop, no matter how long I rolled. After the roll became nearly three feet in diameter, I at last sat it on its side, and started to think. What would I do with such a roll? I began thinking of all the wonderous projects and crafts and artworks I could create. I ran back to my room and grabbed a small notepad off the desk, again hitting my foot hard on the heavy electrical typewriter that sat firmly in the way.

I plopped down at the little table with an even littler plant on top, and started to write all my ideas for this behemoth of bristol. The longest scroll of paper in history! For days I thought of ideas, writing them down in page after page of my notebook. I thought of all the wonderful things I could do with this extraordinary piece of paper. There was just so much of it, and it was so clean and perfect, that I knew whatever I did had to do it justice. I had to plan it out just right before putting pen – or marker or paint or whatever – to page. There were endless possibilities, just as endless as the paper itself that had taken over my living room.

Two passed, and I did nothing but add another foot and a half to the diameter of my roll – barely making a dent in the snowbanks of paper that had officially become a permanent residence of the apartment. A month slipped by and the task of filling this infinite scroll became ever more daunting. As my ideas grew to match its perceived grandeur and perfection in my mind, they came half baked and inadequate. Pretty soon, snow fell outside the still-open window to match the scenery inside – I was too afraid to step across the paper to close it, you see.

The paper, it seemed, would stay forever. A piece of art all in and of itself… Just by being. I simply could not find it within me to create something to fill it all. I could not fill an endless, infinite scroll…
Thanksgiving was lovely, and soon Christmas came – I packed my suitcase and left my apartment and the endless piece of creamy soft paper, walking through the front door out of the kitchen. A flight later, I was staying with my parents and seeing old friends. I told them about the appearance of that perfect piece of parchment, and how I couldn’t possibly fill it all. No idea was quite right, would quite work. Christmas eve came, and I sat by the fireplace in my parents cozy home. The next morning, my stocking held candy and honey and small oranges as always – but at the bottom of the green felt stocking with my name stitched in white across the front, were a pair of new, gleaming silver scissors.

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