Mr. Lindin's LibraryA Chapter by ♪Kinnixk ♫
Inspired from picture labeled Mr. Lindin's Library
“Else! We are all waiting on you!”
I throw my last grassy-green sweatshirt in my backpack. Zipping it up, I toss it over my shoulder and sprint out of my room. I quickly glance at myself in the bathroom mirror. The white sink in front of me is clean and empty- all the toothbrushes, soap, shampoo and conditioner bottles had already been packed. I try to straighten my unruly long dark-brunette hair, which had tangled
together again. I give up; I was going to be in a car all day, so why should I bother with it?
“Else! This is the last time I’m calling you!”
“I’m coming, Mother!” I grab the 2000 year calendar and scamper quickly down the stairs,
through the kitchen, and out of the house. I stop short, almost bumping into her,“Sorry,
Mother.”She turns around, her freckles standing out sharper than usual. “The men have already left, Else. What was taking you so long?” my mom rages. Then she grabs my blue backpack, saying,“Never mind; get in the car.”
I get into the passenger seat. Mother climbs in and starts the car. I get comfortable in my seat and close my chocolate brown eyes. It was going to be a long drive. Why, you ask?
The reason we were moving was because Mother couldn’t stand being in Hollow’s Peak any
longer. She said it brought too many memories of Father. I bite my lower lip, trying not to cry again. Father had only died two weeks ago, right after my fifteenth birthday, and it still hurt to think of him. Mother had contacted a Mr. Layne Linden, a friend from way back when shewas in high school. He lives in Katie’s Creek somewhere in Kentucky, in a huge mansion with a few acres of surrounding forest. He had given her the invitation to stay at his place and become his secretary. Of course she told him yes and that we’d be there as soon as possible. That
happened yesterday, so you can probably guess why I might be a little upset.
“Else. Else, wake up.”
“Hunh?”I groan and open my eyes. Mother says to me, “We’re almost there. Help me find this address.”She hands me a slip of paper. I sit up, my torso cramping.
It is five-thirty by the time we park in front of the mansion at one-thirty-two Elm Street. I get this creeped-out feeling that I was being watched. The dull bland gray shutters and most were hanging off the windows, squeaking in the wind. There were no other cars in sight- only the leafless oak trees around the lot, their branches curling up like multiple claws.
We get out silently and walk to the front door. The only sound we hear is the cold biting wind, our footsteps in the autumn leaves, and our breathing. Mother knocks on the old steel door. A young girl around my age answers. She wore a small black dress and a white apron. Her straight red-blood hair was up in a ponytail. “Yes?”
“I’m Lily and this is my daughter Else,”Mother says, “Mr. Linden is expecting us.”
“Ah, of course,” she bows to us and allows us into the house. I gasp at the ballroom; painted to shine and glimmer, with little elves and fairies carved into the marble. It was a very large room; at least thirty people could be in here. More servants and maids ran to and fro; some carrying platters of empty dishes and some with laundry. A huge grand staircase was in the far back, branching out in two directions. Two sets of doors occupied on either side of the room, leading to other places in the house.
“Mr. Linden will be here momentarily,” the girl says with some difficulty. A man walks down the right staircase, smiling, “Lily! It’s been too long.”
“Layne; how are you?” Mother asks. I take a good look at Mr. Linden when he walks closer. He had short black hair and was about six feet tall. He seems about forty, but at the same time, he seems older.
“Fine; thank you,” he smiles, showing white teeth, “I’m so glad you could come on such short notice.”
“It’s not a problem,” Mother says, her features relaxing. “This is my daughter Else.”
Mr. Linden turns his gaze toward me, his blue eyes staring at me. I fidget, shifting my weight from one foot to the other. “You have a very beautiful daughter, Lily.” I blush a slight red. He turns his attention back to Mother, saying warmly, “You two must be tired traveling to get here all day. Layla will show you to your rooms.”
The servant who had answered the door jumped slightly at the sound of her name, bows to Mr. Linden then walks fast up the staircase, expecting us to follow. At the middle, she turns and dashes up the right stairs, as if afraid of something. Mother follows her. I stop at the middle and stare at the left stairs, where they led.
I hadn’t realized I took a step forward until an arm cuts me off. I let out a surprised, “Huh?” The arm belonged to Mr. Linden.
“You must never go up this way,” he says quietly. “It is forbidden.”
“What’s forbidden?” I ask curious. What was he hiding up there that was so special and secret?
“Else, do not ask questions,” Mother says sharply. “Come now.” She grabs my right arm and walks with me in tow up the stairs to Layla. My gaze continued to stare at the closed door to the “forbidden” hallway.
I want to know.
*THAT NIGHT, 6:24 PM*
Why does Mr. Linden expect me to know where the heck I’m going? He owns a mansion, for crying out loud! When I reach yet another dead end of a hallway, I have to fight the urge to scream in frustration.
I’ve been trying to find my room for the last hour and a half, but I seem to find everything but that.
A familiar redhead walks past me. “Layla!” I call.
She turns around, “Else? Hello.”
“Do you know where my room is?” I give her a weak smile. She returns it, “It’s…um, and you take the next right and take a left at the end of the hallway.”
“Thanks,” I run down the said hallway. The hall opens up into the huge ballroom. I grin and skip steps into the fork of the parted staircase. I feel a pull to go into the forbidden door. I quickly look around. No one was in sight, at least as far as I could see.
I run up and barge through the forbidden door. It opened easier than I thought. Once my breathing slows, I walk through the small hallway. Nothing was in the hall. No chairs or tables. Weird.
I stop at a tall door. I push on it, but it doesn’t budge. I grasp the doorknob tightly and try again. I hear a small click and the door opens an inch. Moving slowly, it groans with the effort. I push harder and it swings open completely, freely. A huge amount of dust explodes from the room and drifts over me. I cough.
It’s just a closet, I frown at the empty racks and shelves. Are you kidding me? This is the secret?
Going closer I notice a small black hardcover book half hidden on a shelf. I examine it. It had no writing on the front, the back, or the stem.
“Why is this forbidden?” I ask quietly to no one. Quickly, I take it and walk out of the closet, closing the door firmly behind me. I run back out of the hall, up the steps, into my room. I shut the door and lock it.
In the safety of my room, I uncover the book from my arms. Something compels me to open it. I sit on my bed and opened the book to the first page. There were words on the bottom.
“He warned you. Now it’s too late.”
Once I read the last word, I couldn’t feel my fingers. They fumble and I drop the book. My eyes close against my will. My body seemed to shut down. I fall to the floor and I sleep in blackness.
~ ~ ~ ~
“Don’t you see? You saw her spirit! She’s a witch; I tell you, a witch!” Angry shouting followed this statement.
I open my eyes. For some reason unknown to me, I was sitting down in a small courthouse, my hands bound together with rope in my lap. I wear a plain white shirt, tree-bark brown skirt, and brown loafers.
“What?” I whisper. Hold on- What was going on?
“The judge will now decide!” I look up. A stern sharp-faced man stares at me with cold, grey eyes. I look away only to be glared at by the other people around me.
Why are they staring at me? Why do they look so…old-fashioned?
The judge meanwhile holds his arm up in a thumbs-up position. Then, smirking as if he enjoyed whatever he was doing, he flipped it around. Loud shouting, cheers of, “Burn the witch!” and some crying erupted. Those who cried looked at me with sadness, fear, and love.
It dawns on me, they’re talking about me! What have I done?
“What-!Hold on! Where are you taking me?” I demand as a sandy-haired man grabs me roughly by the arm and throws me to the door. People stand up and throw trash at me- old popcorn bags, apples, and soda. I keep my head down, fully embarrassed and thoroughly confused.
Once outside, I look up and gasp. There were no tall buildings or automobiles. All the shops and houses seemed to be made of wood. All the ladies wore dresses and had bonnets over their heads. They stop and stare at me. The people pile outside with the chant of, “Burn the witch!”behind me.
The book landed me right in the middle of a trial, I realize the truth, right after the Renaissance ends and the accusing of witches start. And that means…
I am going to die. This was what Mr. Linden was referring to. This was why no one was allowed near the book.
Why don’t I listen to anyone? I think desperately. The man walks me over to a cart which easily doubled as a small mini-jail cell, attached with a horse. He opens the door and shoves me in. I fall hard on the wood floor. The door slams shut, blocking off most of the light from the twilight sun.
They’re serious about killing me! I crawl back to the door and pound my fists against it.
“’Tis will not work,” a soft voice says behind me. “I have already tried it.”
I whirl around. Half-hidden in shadows was a girl no older than me. She too wore a white shirt and a black skirt, patched in some places with a different color fabric. I can’t see her face clearly.
“I think thee is not from around here.” she sits up, darkness still around her, hiding her face.
“What year is it?” My breathing slowly goes back into a regular pace.
“1492; did thee not know?”
“Where have thee come from?” There is a low curiosity in her voice.
“Katie’s River,” I reply, “I’m not supposed to be here.”
“Indeed,” she says seriously, “Neither am I. But we will escape from this. I plan it.”
“Soon. When the time is right, we will leave.”
I’m silent for a few minutes. Yelling and shouts start up again, and the cart lurches as the horse is whipped to start moving.
“What is thy name?” she asks me.
“I thought thee looked familiar,” the girl shifts onto her knees. Her face was in the small patch of sunlight. She had blue eyes and long, soft, red-blood hair.
“…Layla?” I said shocked.
She nods, “Indeed.”
“How did you get here?”
“The right question is; how did I get out?” She crawls closer to me, “Listen Else. I am not from the present, of your time. I rarely speak at all; for I cannot say thee’s normal English. This book is forbidden because all who read it become trapped in its pages and their spirit is sent here in another’s body.”
“So if you can get in and out…then that means that there is a way to return.”
“There is another slight problem for thee,” Layla bites her lip, and then hesitantly continues, “The book only gives you so long to make it back into thy own body. If thee linger too long…”
“Vines and leaves have sprouted from the middle of the book. It will slowly wrap around thy body the longer thee stays here. If thee do not make it out, it will eventually strangle thee.”
“S-Strangle me?” Suddenly it felt hard to breathe but I know it’s my imagination.
“Yes,” she leans back and peers out between two loose boards, “It is almost time.”
“Are you out there? I mean, with the book?”
“No,” she says. “My body is asleep in your time. In dreams, I always return to my homeland.”
“Can you tell me how to get back?” I fire another question at her.
She looks at me calmly, “Layne has always been with me when we were here. But he is not, and thee and I have been captured and accused as witches. Thee can go into my house down the block and find the same exact book on my kitchen counter. Unfortunately, thee must surpass this crowd.”
“I will tell thee what we will do,” Layla says quietly after a minute, watching the outside world between the boards, “Thee will tell everyone I did it; accuse me of teaching you to be a witch. They will forget thee; they are only interested in killing true witches.”
“You mean, you want me to confirm your death sentence?” I ask. “I can’t do that.”
She looks at me with a small smile, “In a way, yes. I need thee to do it. I am fine with what they will do to me.”
“They’ll kill you,” I said seriously.
“I know that. Else, if thee do not say it, there will be no chance to get out of the crowd. Scream it when they force us out. They’ll turn on me and forget thee.”
Reluctantly, I nod.
She peers back outside, “It is time.”
As she says that, the cart lurches to a stop. Angry shouts get louder. The door opens and a solder reaches in and grabs my arm roughly. He pulls me and I am pulled backward.
“Convince them,” I faintly hear Layla. Two seconds later I am sprawled painfully on my back, staring up at two men with gruff faces. One of them hustles me to my feet.
In sheer panic of seeing the villagers with flamed torches, the two stakes piled with sawdust and straw underneath, I scream, “She did it! She is the witch! I was under her spell!” Those words sounded completely fake to me, but the guards and villagers stop their chant and stare at me in astonishment.
“Is thee’s words true?” one of the villagers asks. “Or is it the witch’s work?”
Layla is pulled out of the cart just then. Two solders pin her arms to her sides, “I will say nothing!” Layla’s eyes sparkle dangerously at the crowd and most of the women back away from her gaze,“Thee cannot make me say anything!”
“It was her!” I am suddenly released and the men in uniforms all go for Layla.
Once I got over the shock that it actually worked, I spring to my feet. Layla starts chanting in Latin and the crowd draws back fearfully. Layla’s words quickly cut off when the men drag her to one of the stakes. In two minutes she is tied firmly.
I blink and run into the crowd. They pay no attention to me at all, just like Layla had told me. I join the front row of young children and women.
Layla looks to the dark night sky, her lips moving in silent speech. The full moon looms menacingly over the scene. The crowd murmurs.
The sandy-haired man takes a torch and throws it near Layla’s bare feet, right into the sawdust. I stand still as the thirsty red flames eat up the dry wood and sawdust. They spread quickly and lick Layla’s bare feet.
Her expression becomes shocked and she lets out a bloodcurdling scream. The flames rise to her torso. I tear myself away from the sight and run through the crowd, retracing from where I started. All I could hear was Layla’s pained screams and the sound of blood pounding in my ears.
I trip and fall, blind for a split second. I land on something rectangular. Panting, I sit up and look. It was the book, sitting there, as if it awaited my arrival of falling on top of it. I pick it up quickly and scan the first page.
Nothing-no words or pictures were anywhere on the first page. Franticly, I flip through the rest of the empty book. Why wasn’t I passing out like last time?
On the inside cover in the back of the book was two faint words. I squint and read: Good job.
My body becomes numb. I drop the book and it lands open flat on the ground. My eyes shut close and I fall hard to the ground.
~ ~ ~ ~
I blink and was almost blinded by my lamp light. I reach out and turn it off. My arm was covered in leaves. I sit up quickly, tearing off the vines on my arms, clothes, neck, and legs. It took a minute to get out of the book’s grasp. Once I was free, I pinned the book shut.
“Else! Else, come here quick!”
“Mother!”I bolt to her voice, which came from the servants’ chambers. I hug her from behind. She faces me in tears.
“Layla is dead,” she whispers, “No one knows how.”
“Layla,”I mutter. I was the only one who knew what happened to her- what she did for me. It was my fault, “Let me in.”
I pass her and walk into the room. Layla lied on the bed, her body no longer drawing breath. Mr. Linden hangs aloof from her, his hands shaking.
I walk to Layla’s bedside. I take the book from under my arm and open it over her body. Leaves and vines sprout from the book and wrap gently around Layla. She glows with golden light and then-
She is gone.
I close the book softly and stand up. I face Mr. Linden. I hold the book out to him, “This is yours.”
He takes it dumbfounded, “I told you not to go in there.” He lowers the book, “Why don’t we go outside for a walk? We both need to get our minds off of this. Shall we?”
I walk out of the room, feeling content now that Layla was in the book, the one place where she would have wanted to be.
© 2012 ♪Kinnixk ♫
Added on May 19, 2012
Last Updated on May 19, 2012
AboutHallo ihr alle! :D I have ideas in my head that I need to write down in paper or on Word because my ideas normally don't stay in my mind. Ideas don't like my mind because they don't like solitary con.. more..
People who liked this story also liked..