Bookshelves are wonderful things. So wonderful, in fact, that they have enticed the minds of thousands for centuries. They have been described as the best arsenal you can ever have which is, of course, perfectly true. They equip you for everything life may throw at you. Or so Em liked to think.
Em (short for Emerald) loved books. Each day, her ebony hair would swing entrancingly down her back as she skipped down the long hallway of her home, Tempest Manor, towards the library. Em had always hated the house with its long and winding hallways, which leaned in towards her as though they were trying to suffocate her. The library was the one room which seemed to have no dark patches or shadowy spots. It was the room where she felt safe. So every day she would go and pick any book she had not yet read from a shelf and read it in the bay window seat letting it transport her to far, foreign places.
However, despite Em's love for books, there was one book that she never touched. It solemnly sat on the third shelf of the east wall in its black cobwebbed overcoat. It was titled 'The Coming Storm' by L.M. Shadwell and, according to Em, it had sat in the shadows from the day it had been written. Em's cousin, Maddy, had told Em all about the book when she had asked. Maddy always knew everything and she had said,
" L.M. Shawell lived in this house two hundred years ago and he wrote that book when he was only thirty-four years old. He wrote that terrible, tragic book and went mad from the thought of it. He hid it in this library, so that no one would ever read the horror of his creation. So NEVER open that book Em, for as long as you value your life!"
Because Maddy had said so, it had to be true in Em's mind, so she always steered well clear of the far corner on the east wall in fear of the horror the book may contain. Yet, she was curious about that far, pernicious book. It always tickled the back of her mind.
By the time Em was seven years, she had read the majority of books from the library. She tried to find new things to do in the house, like exploring or counting all the doors but nothing was ever as fun or as interesting as her books. It was then that the whispering started.
The whispering came from 'the coming storm.' A deep, tempting voice which susurrated in the air, telling her things about that book. About that dark malevolent book that had sat in the murky dusk of her mind for all those years. Until eventually she gave into the call from 'the coming storm.'
The next day Em awoke in a from her deep slumber, rubbing her dreamy eyes as she sat up in bed. She wore her Sunday best, the smartest clothes she had for the occasion, and descended down the staircase. The ominous oak door swung effortlessly open. 'The coming storm' almost called to her as it sat temptingly on the shelf. As Em walked into the heart of the room, the oak giant creaked closed, isolating her from the outside world.
Em found that the horror inside the book could not be described; just thought of it made her throat dry and her sticky palms clench together. Her stomach began to fill with butterflies, but instead of butterflies, snakes writhed inside her with poisonous fangs waiting to bite. No matter how many pointless theory sessions Em attended, the feeling still remained. The ghastly uproar of fear. The remnants of the coming storm which had been abandoned in her mind.
A number of years passed between that day and Em almost forgot about what had happened that day in the library and everything that book had told her.
Almost, but not completely.
You see, each day when midnight fell, and Em drifted into a soporific daze, the malevolent words of the coming storm still echoed in her ears and yet when she awoke Em could never quite remember had been spoken.
No one knows what happened to Em. After a while she simply vanished. Some say she went to a mental asylum; maybe she is still there. Others say she lived a normal life under a different name in a different place, however that is highly unlikely. And a few unfortunates say she ended it, and strung herself from the ceiling.
And yet, wherever Em went or wherever she disappeared to. The tempest is still brewing, the storm is still coming. Its darkness stirs silently in that corner in the library, and it shall continue to gather forever. That is, until the book is opened.
Until the storm finally comes.
It will wait forever.
And forever it shall wait.