The Library

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  • Published: 27 Feb 2018
  • Updated: 27 Feb 2018
  • Status: Complete
The Great Library is over a thousand years old and has grown to the size of a city.

Jack is the youngest son of Master Carter, a member of the Council of Scholars.
Emily is an orphan without a penny to her name.
Both are Acolytes in the Great Library.

When a revered Master burns a book – a crime punishable by death – Jack and Emily are thrust into a world below the Library that they never knew existed. But even as they learn life changing secrets and work together to uncover the truth, their friendship is tested in ways they never imagined.

In the Library, knowledge is power and the powerful control it.

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10. What Hides in the Dark

Scholar Young pulled a book from its bookshelf, but the book didn’t come out. Instead, it stopped at a 30 angle. Behind the bookcase, he heard squeaking of rusted metal and a quiet rumble as the bookcase slid silently into the floor below, revealing a dark corridor behind. Emily raised a quizzical eyebrow.

“A secret passageway, in a dark scary tunnel. Why am I not surprised?”

“Well, are we going in or not?” Jack asked.

 

The new tunnels were a labyrinth. They went for what seemed like miles, and travelled under, what Emily thought was the Acolyte’s section of the Library. Jack, Emily and Scholar Young swerved through the Tunnels. Carved into the walls was sacred extracts from the most important books. Lined along the walls were flickering torches throwing beams of yellow light across the rocky floor. Their nervous voices echoed around the tunnel. “I wonder what’s down here?” whispered Emily.

“Ancient scrolls and books,” speculated Jack. “I cannot believe the Council is letting them rot away down here. I wonder why.”

“It’s probably because there old and rotten, and have been replaced buy new books and scrolls,” replied Scholar Young. Their footsteps echoed down the corridor. They turned a corner into a darker corridor. The few torches reflected on the opposite wall in a dim yellow glow.

They continued down the corridors. Jack thought he heard a soft padding behind them, a turn or so away, but that was not possible. He was going mad. Then, suddenly a strong wind blew and the torches went out, row by row until a dark corridor replaced the glow of the torches.

“Jack, I thoroughly believe that this is your doing,” exclaimed Emily.

“I promise you it’s no me, you can believe that for sure!” said Jack.

“Now, can I be sure of that?” wondered Emily.

“I promise alright!” Jack voice echoing around the tunnels.

 

BANG! BANG! BANG!

From the other end of the tunnels, came a loud banging noise. It gradually became louder, as if a creature was charging at them.  They all took steps back, one by one, foot by foot; nervously.

“Is someone following us?” wondered Jack.

 “Is there? I’m not sure,” Emily answered. 

 

Suddenly a creature rose out of the darkness. It was a grey figure, hunched over on all fours, with black, ripped robes, covered in brown stains, which looked suspiciously like blood. Its shoes were sandals, but the straps had snapped, to give room for the clawed talons.

The head of the creature was wolf-like, yellow eyes, long snout, large teeth. The left side of the creature’s face was horribly melted, the skin hanging low, like wax. A long jagged scar ran down from the nose to the eyes on its right side. The creature rose on its hind legs and roared, baring its teeth at them. Jack screamed and, without a thought, he dashed off, leaving Scholar Young and Emily behind.

“Wait! Jack!” cried Emily. But Jack did not intend to turn back for them.

The Monster ran after Jack, growling. “Jack, no!” Emily screamed, and ran after him. She noticed that Scholar Young was not moving, paralysed with fear. She whipped round, “What the heck are you doing, a Monster is after Jack and you’re not even moving? Get a move on, for the Gods’ sake! Do you want to live?”

“Of course!”  

“So run, you idiot!”

 

They ran.  Down the stone corridors, left and right, chasing after Jack’s screams and the Monster snarls, for what seemed like miles and miles. But the Monster did not give up. It never ran out of breath. It just pursued its prey.

Emily saw Jack duck into the shadows and breathe quietly. The Monster stopped moving. What’s happened? How is the creature not tossing Jack into its jaws? Something clicked in Emily’s mind: Maybe…, just maybe, the Monster uses hearing and not sight? If it’s lived all its life down here in the darkness then light…

She stopped and concentrated, and felt her mind sharpening. She felt the stirring in her stomach.

“Light above and fire below, Iezan show me your power, glow!”

A searing blinding sphere of brilliant white light appeared in her hands. Emily threw the energy and it exploded in the Monster’s face.

It screeched, turned and ran.

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