Woodgrove: Awake

The wind rustled the leaves on the trees. A tall building with stained glass windows was hidden in the grove of trees. Peaceful, but out of place. Almost as if it were never really there.


2. Chapter 1: For It’s Time to Meet

Hidden in the trees on the mountain the Grove Library has never been found. It sits and blends and changes. It is the safe haven for the lost spirits, souls, and creatures of knowledge that lived in the woods. We get newcomers and goers everyday here in the Grove. Many of the spirits spend time in the constellation room. I️ often spend my nights there too. The rugs cover the ground but you can see the universe in front of your eyes as you lay down.

The spirits often sleep on the edges, falling asleep under the stars. The Grove gives a sense of security. No one has ever found us and no one ever will.

I️ spent my day picking a new book and reading it. I️ finished it late that night and began to put the book away on the shelf I️ had found it on. Although, it was hard to know because the library always changed. The nice part about it is that the books always seemed to be placed in Alphabetical order.

It was in that moment that everything stopped. The doors flung open with a gust of wind that was so strong it blew the spirits in front of it 10 meters back. A little girl stood there with light blond hair pressed against her face. Her teeth were chattering and her face was so pale. She could not be more than 16 years old. She was dressed in a pink gown and it looked very expensive.

The spirits stared at her in awe. I️ did not hesitate to hide behind the stack of books to the left of me. I️ had never seen another human in real life. I️ had only seen them in the books. The spirits finally got a hold of themselves and dragged me out from behind the books. The little girl looked up at me. I️ looked down at the spirits and they looked back at me.

“What are you looking at?” She asked.

Startled, I️ looked at her- she couldn’t see them.

“Nothing.” I️ responded quickly.

“Well...... I️ am cold and almost dead. Would you mind if I️ spent the night?” She asked politely.

I️ shook my head and lead her to my bed on the left side of the circle. It was okay, I️ almost never slept in it anyway.

I️ gestured to the bed and she sat down.

“Thanks.” She said blankly.

I️ simply nodded and left her there. I️ moved to the constellation room, tonight it showed a nebula. Not sure which one, but it was beautiful. There were mini storms that surrounded the room. It was almost as if I️ had been right in the middle of it.

I️ layer down on the floor and then I️ heard a voice behind me.

“Wow- what is this place?” The voice asked.

I️ quickly turned my head; it was the girl. I️ hadn’t noticed it before but her hair was a bright red. Like an apple. Her eyes were bright green like the ocean during a summer day.

While I️ was studying her features she had walked down the steps and was now in the center of the constellation room. She then looked down at me.

“Who are you? Are you the only one here?” She asked me. “What is your name? I️ am Leonara but I️ usually go by LuLu. Do you recognize me?”

I️ shook my head. She looked very surprised. “I️ am the Princess of Karmain. You are in Karminian territory, you know. How do you not know me?” LuLu asked with curiosity.

I️ responded even though I️ had no idea what to say. “Actually we are in what you call no man’s land.” It is right off the border of Karmain and Terila. Although we move a lot. We often stay in this area to avoid people. This place here is for spirits you see. The spirits of the Grove. This place you asked, well, welcome- to the Grove Library. I️ am Eieta, guardian of spirits, the librarian of the Grove. Here, you are welcome, if you cause no trouble.”

I️ had never spoken so much. I️ had never met another person, yet, it was easy to talk. You learn many things here in the library. I️ learned how to speak the Karminian language through an old book, hopefully it was updated enough.

“S-spirits?” She asked nervously.

I️ looked up. “Don’t worry, they are not to hurt you here. They are knowledge spirits, not evil ones. They can be dangerous though if you disrupt their reading, I️ would be weary.”

She put a small smile on her face. “Oh okay.” She said with a small chuckle.

“How long are you to stay LuLu?” I️ asked her.

“It is PRINCESS LuLu.” She stated sassily.

“How long are you staying Leonara?” I️ asked forcefully this time.

She sighed. “I️ cannot go back home. I️ ran away. I️ was hoping I️ could at least stay a couple of days and now that I️ am thinking, hopefully I️ could live here.”

I️ turned my head to look at her. I️ don’t know what it would be like to have another person here. I️ am sure the spirits wouldn’t mind, they don’t even mind me most of the time. She needed a place to stay. I️ could use the extra help. There is so much to dust.

“You can live here.” I️ said.

She smiled a big smile. “Thank you so——“

“But, in exchange you must work here. Earn your way. This library takes a lot of work to maintain and if you are going to live here, you must help.” I️ said cutting her off.

She nodded with a smile. I️ motioned for her to come next to me. I️ sat down on the ground and fell back, looking at the sky. I️ motioned for her to do the same. She did. That night we slept under the storms.

I woke up to the constellation room covered with daytime light. LuLu was still sleeping and I️ decided not to wake her up. I️ went to the corner of library where we kept the basket. I️ picked a couple pieces of bread and put one in my mouth. The other I️ took back to the constellation room and placed next to Leonara. I️ then began to work like normal. I️ started dusting the section C of the library. I️ was about a quarter way into it when I️ heard LuLu walk up the stairs from the constellation room. The piece of bread in her hands.

She looked up at me. “Is this it?” She asked.

I️ didn’t know a ton about human culture but I️ had read in a book that royalty ate lots of food and it was all really expensive. I️ believe I️ read it in the book French Revolutionary Memoirs. I️ remember it being quite a gruesome book.

I️ nodded. “We are running low on food, we have to wait til we spawn near a town to get food. We should spawn near one tomorrow or the day after.”

She nodded. “What should I️ start with today?” She asked.

“Today I️ need you to go clean up and sort those stacks of books over there.” I️ said pointing to a massive pile of books near the east corner of the building.

Her eyes widened. “Ok....” She said unsure.

“You will be fine.” I️ responded.

We had been cleaning for almost four hours when I️ finished dusting the section C of the library. She had made a pretty good dent in the pile of books too. I️ decided it was time to eat again. It was almost mid afternoon and the light shone through the windows. You could see the dust particles in the air.

“TIME FOR LUCH!” I️ yelled.

I️ swear she probably jumped ten feet in the air. She turned around looking relieved and nodded. I️ walked over to one of the desks in the library and set out some milk and apples. It was all we had at the moment, but it was good enough.

LuLu came up behind me and looked disappointed with the lack of food. She sat down anyway and began to eat. She must have been hungry. I️ don’t eat a lot, you see. I️ spend most of my time reading or cleaning. I️ don’t have enough food for one person, let alone two.

She had just finished eating when I️ said, “you are free to read any books in the library except those in the restricted section. Trust me, I’ll tell you what is in there right now. There is nothing but pain and death. The spirits don’t even go in there. For good cause too. I️ am the only one allowed, and if there is a book in the restricted section you would like to read. Tell me and I️ will get it for you if it is of acceptable content.”

She stared at me and then nodded slowly.

“Feel free to start reading when you are done with the pile.” I️ finished.

She giggled, “even you call it a pile.” She said with a grin.

I️ smiled and looked out the window where the grass was green and the sun was shining. For it was now spring.

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