An Analysis of Fractals is a master’s thesis residing in the University of New Mexico’s Dark Collection. It is absolutely forbidden to check the book out or to photocopy it. While you may read it on the special collection floor, all items such as cellphones and keys must be left with the special collection desk. The only items allowed near the book are pen and paper, if you wish to take notes.

On first inspection, the thesis is similar to other master’s theses one might find elsewhere in the library (the University used to keep physical copies of all its theses before completely digitizing them in 2012). It is bound in Blue 9995 leather, and the paper is rather cheap. The title is embossed in gold lettering. It is also covered in a large amount of dried blood.

The author is listed as “Melissa Herrera-Viglianco, MSc Candidate” and the submission date is “5 July 1997.” It also lists Herrera-Viglianco’s sponsor and other relevant information.

Since most of the books in the Dark Collection have interesting personal histories, I inquired after this one. The following is hearsay, based on what I could gather from library staff dating from that time period (the ones I could track down, anyway).

The thesis was apparently submitted after the author’s death in a car accident. Her sister apparently submitted it on the marked date, and it sat in regular collection until an engineering student with an interest in theoretical math checked it out. This student disappeared. The book was returned after their dorm was cleaned out by the university staff. After a few weeks, it was again checked out, this time by a PhD candidate. He fared no better and after two days of having the book, proceeded to stab himself to death in a “frenzy.” (This at least is verifiable, the Albuquerque Journal has back issues kept on microfilm and digital copy in the library’s basement.) The final person to check out the book was one of the library staff, it is her blood on the thesis.

The inside of the book appears to be in the Sinhala script, and has a large amount of white space often with only one or two words appearing on the page. This said, it becomes increasingly hard to read as you get deeper into the book. It is mildly more tolerable if you read it starting from the last page and proceed backwards, but again it is almost impossible to reach the other side. The impression is not so much that the book is long, but that it goes down as if each page is slightly lower than the one before it. The most disturbing thing is that it seems that climbing out is harder than going in.

Regardless, it is an interesting find occupying the shelf with Ex Altiora to its immediate right and Acts Upon You to its immediate left.

නිවැරදි තැනැත්තාගේ වගකීම දරන්න