Secret Passage in Library - 9/28

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Re: Secret Passage in Library - 9/28

Postby whatevertheyaint » Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:30 am

I think this was a fun prompt.  I participated in the "finish my sentence" one at the site on FB.  I've especially enjoyed reading Norrin 2's here--engaging voice, lots of imagery, and a cool twist.

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RE: Secret Passage in Library - 9/28

Postby muse2me » Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:46 pm


Aunt Vinnie had been at it again! I could see traces of glimmer scattered about and a palm print about the size of Vinnie’s on the edge of the bookshelf. I found the door and put my ear against it, listening. I didn’t have to wait long. The dark things can always sense you. I heard the scuffle of tiny claws skitter away from the door falling back in a soft bump, rising again and rat-a-tat scampering off into what sounded like a distant void. I dared not open the door to see.

I called Shar and Enos. “I’m at the library. Aunt Vinnie opened the book this time…and there’s a door.” There was a tense silence. Then I heard Shar let out a long breathy sigh.

“I’ll get Enos, he was in studio working on a landscape last I saw him. Do you need Yaga?”

Yaga, my broom, is very handy in opening doorways. “If you think she will come to you, I don’t want to put her off. Perhaps we should try it without.”

“Well then, as Holmes would say, ‘the game is afoot’. We’ll be there toot sweet. Do not open that door!”

“Don’t worry.” I said.

Shar, my ah-hum older sister, and I have an artist’s emporium in a big rambling Victorian mansion over in East Coopers Mill with a fabulous view of Whiskey Creek. I make jewelry and Shar sketches. Enos, a free spirit in a deliciously hunky body, paints, mostly in water colors, but he hasn’t really found his power yet. We have a good mix of artists with a small but growing clientele from across the country.

East Coopers Mill is quite small, a village really, with a year round population of about 12000. We’re open at the Emporium three days a week. We stay open late Friday nights to catch the big city crowd from the Civic Theater. We entice them with wine and cheese. The rest of the week we tell visitors that the most exciting thing to do is go down to the local dump and watch the bears feed. Sundays they roll up the side walk, like I said, a small community.

That’s why it was such a big deal when our Aunt Lavinia began to throw her power around, willy nilly, with absolutely no thought as to the consequences. Just suppose for a minute what might happen if you came in for a sketch and Shar placed your most feared demon in the picture looking over your shoulder. Just sketched it in without so much as a by your leave, or trying to get rid of it or at least warning you first that it was there. Can you imagine it?

I was pacing in front of the Library when Shar and Enos arrived. “Oh! Hurry, you two, we’ve no time to lose.” I must confess I was looking at Enos cute bum as he walked briskly to the back of the library but when we reached the enchanted door I was all business.

Enos salted the threshold before we crossed into the tunnel. An odor most foul seeped from within, a miasma which thickened with every step. Shar swallowed, choking briefly on the stench before she found her voice. Then clear and strong she intoned, “Watchers of the gate I summon, stir, and call ye! Stay the feet of this foul creature and all his minions that he should walk no more among the souls of light.”

Erie shadows danced across the tunnel floor and we felt the vibration of the rumble before we heard it. Then out of the darkness came a high pitched keening turning to a mad laughter. The hair stood up on the back of my neck. I saw the yellow eyes and I grabbed Shar’s hand. He was coming fast as a storm!

Suddenly Enos stepped in front of me. He held only a paintbrush in his hand but the lovely sparkling stream that emanated from his brush painted the blackness and bathed the tunnel in an aura of golden light. Enos, Gods bless him, had found his power.

Safe within the aura we rushed from the tunnel and closed the door. Our hope was that the Watchers could keep the demon at bay. At least until we worked out a spell. In the meantime there was the book…and poor dear Aunt Vinnie to deal with.

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RE: Secret Passage in Library - 9/28

Postby Olive_Austen » Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:17 pm

"Zebroski, Zebroski, Zebroski," I mutter to myself as I run my finger over the dusty book spines.

It had been nearly six hours since I arrived at the library freshly motivated and determined to kick my science paper's ass. I sigh in irritation as I bend over to check the next row down. My eyes light up as I spot it: "The Strange Ways of Inspecting Insects" by Zina Zebroski. I grasp the book to yank it out when the one next to it catches my eye. A fine layer of dust lay on its worn black cover. I let go of Zebroski's book and reach for it.

Suddenly, the whole bookcase begins to shake. Books fall from the shelves onto the floor, their pages crunching as they hit the ground. The black book remains sturdily on the shelf like a child reluctant to let go of his mother.

The shaking stops as abruptly as it came. Frozen, I glance around the empty library, my gaze quickly returning to the black book as its cover flips open. Its pages rustle in an invisible raging wind as the book transforms into a small door.

I shut my eyes, my heart beating fast. Have I been at the library so long I'm hallucinating? I open my eyes, hoping I will be sitting at the library table, my science paper completed.

I slowly open my eyes. The door stands before me as if it had been there for hundreds of years. My eyes grace it's curved edging and iron decor, scrunching my nose at the strong mothball scent. The rusty handle feels cool beneath my palm. I press down and with surprising ease, the creaking hinges give way.

I stare into the darkness, then glance over my shoulder to the library where my half-finished paper waits patiently on the table. I click my tongue in brief consideration, take a deep breath, and plunge into the darkness.

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RE: The Station

Postby muse2me » Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:57 pm


I enjoyed your story, clever concept. keep writing.

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RE: Secret Passage in Library - 9/28

Postby mike91848 » Fri Oct 01, 2010 3:42 pm

I had just barely lifted the book off the shelf when something happened that made me pull in a short breath as my eyes widened in disbelief! The book case section before me slowly opened inward on squeaky hinges accompanied by another sound conjuring up a vision of a babbling brook along with a damp smell arousing all of my senses, as though I was entering an underground cave. The sounds and the smell were then followed by a flicker of light from, oh my, a torch!

The torch was sitting in an ornate metal cradle on the wall to the right. I stepped across the threshold to discover a room, not a cave, but with a small stream running through the middle from one end to the other, from my right to my left. The water appeared from the far wall to the right at about 10 feet above the floor out onto and over a short landing of about 5 feet in length and maybe 10 feet wide or so then becoming a waterfall splashing down into the waterway carved out of the floor. At the far end of the room to the left the water disappeared into the wall. Of course it did not disappear but had an outlet allowing the flow to continue underground on its’ journey to where I do not know.

The waterway was about 15 feet wide with solid rock walkways on either side of about 5 feet in width. The ceiling appeared to be about 30 feet high. As I stepped deeper into the room venturing to the right I was able to see the room more clearly and identified 6 torches that illuminated this cave like room with their flickering and dancing flames. There were two torches on each side with two at the far end on the right behind the waterfall! The flames behind the waterfall seemed to move to an unheard song stepping off an uneven tempo matched by the water falling in front of them, both joined in a dance of light and sound moving so gracefully. It was then that I noticed her, standing in the corner looking my way.

She acknowledged my presence with a nod allowing her long auburn hair to fall around her shoulders then forward as she seemed to curtsey, actually she did! I felt as if I had stepped into a different time, no longer in just a hidden room at the library but into a different place and time. Maybe a castle with an underground room, for what use I didn’t know. She stepped forward as she stood tall with a knowing smirk in recognition of my displacement. She motioned for me to follow the path towards her then step across several raised stones in the stream leading to the middle where a larger stone stood several feet above the water. I found myself following her command and ended up sitting there, in the middle of the stream about 20 feet or so from the waterfall.

The young lady was dressed in what I would call a day dress but almost floor length. She walked with the grace of a dancer back behind the waterfall but in front of the torches, on the landing there. She moved, or should I say almost floated, behind the water turning and swaying with her arms swirling about behind the water then her hands would slip into the falling water slicing their way through then being pulled back without leaving any evidence that they had been there. Her laughter rose above the sounds of the water sounding almost like singing but much more playful! I sat there losing track of time and place being pulled into her magical spell with every passing moment until she slowed then stopped. She stood there behind the waterfall backlit by the torches, her image changing and moving only because of the falling water and the flames as they sparked and grew dim just to rise brightly again and again.

This was a dream, it had to be. How could this happen? But I was damp from the moisture in the air and felt the coolness of the water as I sat there on the stone. How? I realized that I still had the book in my hand from the shelf. I looked down to see what I had. A leather bound collection of spells from a medieval sorcerer. I awakened. I was standing in front of the book case.

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Re: Secret Passage in Library - 9/28

Postby fleur1977 » Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:29 pm

Your story gave me goosebumps! I loved it!

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RE: Secret Passage in Library - 9/28

Postby DMCollins » Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:06 am

I was immediately captivated by a fragrance that wafted up from the darkness. Fear and curiosity wrestled in my heart for a moment. I took a step inside. The door slammed shut behind me. As my eyes adjusted a bit, I realized that there was a faint point of light ahead. The tunnel sloped gently downward and there was a handrail to help steady my steps.

In my thoughts I asked, “What is this place? Where am I going?”

“You have asked two good questions, and it is wise to ask them!”

My knees buckled as a fresh shot of adrenaline charged through my body. Frozen in mid-step, I squinted hard to find the one who spoke. A misty, transparent form emerged from the darkness. Though I was startled, it felt strange that I wasn’t afraid. “Who - or what - are you?”

“I was sent to guide you. I am a helper. What is it that you seek?”

Thoughts swirled around my head. I grabbed at one to look at it more closely. Knowledge. I came to the library for information. I wanted to know the truth, so I came to the library to do some research. The genealogy room remained a mystery to me as I perused the stacks and searched the databases for hours at a time. Even after many weeks of searching, I always left more confused and frustrated than when I first began.

“Why have you come?” The voice stirred an urgency inside me that I had tried so hard to suppress. Years of living had taught me to not care whether I would ever learn the answer to my personal riddle. I was only curious. I was on an adventure, that’s all. But at that moment, in the darkness of the tunnel, I no longer believed my own story.

“ I want - I need - to find out who I am.” There. I said it out loud. The announcement released something in my heart. I felt lighter inside, like someone had removed a heavy weight from my chest. The image of the helper began to shimmer and the tunnel brightened a bit.

“Yes, you do indeed!” My guide increased in light as he spoke. “Most never ask the question, thinking they already know that answer. They know names and recognize faces but never discover their identity. Information and facts may lead to a form of knowledge, but only wisdom will lead one to truth.

“I am sent to lead you into the deeper truth that you seek. I hold the keys which unlock the mysteries in your heart. Shall we continue on?” Light, in the shape of a hand, reached to touch my shoulder. We instantly appeared far down the tunnel. I could hear voices and sounds of activity just beyond us, where the tunnel opened its mouth like a contented yawn.

The fragrance that first drew me now permeated the air all around and, somehow, even inside me.
I squinted again, this time adjusting to the amazing light of the place. Joy and excitement moved through my body with every sight, sound and smell. The people were stunningly beautiful and, I’m not sure how or why, but some of them seemed familiar to me.

Then I saw her. Before I could catch my breath we were standing face-to-face. As she spoke, I knew her voice deep inside my heart.

“It’s so good to see you again!”
And then I woke up.

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RE: Secret Passage in Library - 9/28

Postby nutnik » Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:56 am

I have spent countless hours of my life in libraries, hoping to find the book that would change my life. My search continued as I wandered into a dimly lit corner of the stacks. This section of the library obviously hadn’t been visited, yet alone dusted in decades. I sniffed the air hard. “ssssssfffffff…aaahhh”. There’s nothing like the smell of old books. If there were a Glade product that captured that smell - I’d buy it in a heartbeat.
The tattered, crumbly bindings of the books in the section were in the most deplorable shape I had ever seen. The spines were bubbled where the glue surrendered to the stale air over the years. “This is horrible!” I exclaimed, annoyed that my tax dollars had not been used for their intended purpose. “To maintain and preserve”, the last levy ballot stated. “Maintain and preserve, my ass!”, I choked out, coughing as I crept down the aisle.
All of the selections were faded, pale red, except one - it was green. Not the standard, hunter shade exhibited by the rest of the discount bound books in the library. It reminded me of the color of Catholic school classrooms - “puke green”, we used to call it. I always envisioned the barf projecting from Linda Blair’s mouth in the Exorcist, coating the walls.
The book had no title and no embellishment on the cover. I was drawn to it out of the most intense curiosity I had ever experienced. I touched the cover. It felt coarse, but warm - like something a cat had slept on all day. I grasped it and slid it from the shelf. The wall to the left of me disintegrated without a sound revealing a tunnel. I tossed the book and it tumbled to the floor as I ran out of the aisle. I looked back at the tunnel. I expected something to emerge, but there was nothing. I looked around the room. I was alone. “Great, what do I do now?” I mused. “I’m obviously going in there. What else am I going to do? Tell someone? Fat chance of that!”
I walked towards the tunnel. I stopped to pick up the book and opened it. It contained no words - only symbols printed in a beautiful, metallic ink. I flipped through it quickly, stopping periodically to inspect a design. I had never seen anything like them before. “How bizarre?“, I thought. “You are standing in front of a secret passage you stumbled upon in a library, and this is bizarre?“ I chuckled.
Grasping the book, I moved forward into the passage. The interior was cool and damp. The musty smell was overwhelming and the floor was soft, slightly wet and gristly. It felt like I was walking on millions of water balloons, holding me aloft in the dank air. I decided I wasn’t in a big hurry to see what I was walking on, and tried to think of something else. I felt sweat trickle down the sides of my face and neck. It gave me the creeps. It reminded me of being in the insect house at the zoo. The feeling that there was something horrible crawling on an unreachable part of my body. I began to feel that maybe it wasn’t sweat - maybe it was something else. The light from the entrance was useless at this point, but there was, as cliché as it sounds - a light at the end of tunnel. I decided to run through this muck to reach it as quickly as I could.
As adrenaline rushed through my body as butterflies amassed in my stomach. I bolted toward the pale, blue light in front of me. I heard a loud thud behind me and knew instinctively that the entrance had slammed shut. My breath began to show itself as plumes of steam as I drew closer to the light. I felt my heart jumping faster and faster in my chest. I made one last lunge toward the light and I collided with a viscous, transparent film covering the exit of the tunnel. I kept my feet moving as the weight of my body stretched the membrane, further and further - until it broke.
I awoke gasping for air. I jumped out of bed and started dressing. My girlfriend gawked at me, “Are you ok? Where are you going in such a hurry?”
“To the library.”
“Don’t forget to take this,” she said handing me the green book.

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RE: Secret Passage in Library - 9/28

Postby helpnewby » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:22 am

She had perused the self-help section of the library countless times. After Dan left, Joann had spent months here studying every guaranteed step-by-step guide to happiness. Joann still didn’t know what she wanted out of life, but at least she still wanted one. She ran her finger along the binders looking for J317.12. “An End to Anxiety.” “Live Your Dream Life Now.” “Secrets to a Successful Relationship.” Here it was. “Live in the Now, a Guide to True Happiness.” She reached out to grab it, but then stopped as a leather-bound book caught her eye. Obviously, it had been misshelved. She thought of Mrs. Finkle, the decrepit lady who worked as a part-time volunteer at the library. “That senile old woman is more trouble than she’s worth,” Joann chuckled. She squatted down and pulled the book from the shelf thinking she’d return it to the circulation desk. As the book slid from it’s snug home between the glossy spines of “100 Days to Getting Your Life Back On Track” and “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It,” Joann was startled to discover light emanating from the narrow space behind the book. She stuck her hand into the gap expecting to find a lost reading light, but her fingers touched something cold instead; something metal and round from the feel of it. Shocked, she withdrew her hand and got down on her knees to have a look. Next to the smiling face of Dr. John Renard, eminent Psychiatrist and founder of the Center for a Better Life, was a doorknob. Light streamed through a large keyhole beneath the knob. Joann stood up and went around to the other side of the shelf. Nothing out of the ordinary, just home decorating books. How was this possible? Who would place a free-standing door in the middle of a library and then conceal it? And where was the light coming from? Joann ran back down the isle and dropped to her knees beside the leather book. The binding creaked as she opened to the title page. “A Travelor’s Guide to Limbo” was printed in a bold, elegant script. With the book in hand, Joann reached for the knob and slowly turned it. A vibration rocketed down her spine causing her to wince in pain. It felt as if the floor had dropped out from under her. She was falling. Her stomach lurched violently as panic shot through her body. Suddenly she was standing in a brightly lit tunnel. There was complete silence except for her own ragged breath. White walls climbed fifteen feet to a domed ceiling that stretched out as far as she could see. Along these walls were randomly placed doors, each as nondescript as the next. Getting to her feet, Joann wandered along the tunnel examining the doors as she passed. Which one would lead her back to the library? Joann was uncomfortable with too many choices. A restaurant menu was enough to paralyze her. She reached out for a doorknob, but froze. What if the painful vibration happened again? What if this door led her further down the rabbit hole? Perhaps she should keep looking before making any decisions. As she walked, Joann analyzed the events that had led her to this place – to this Limbo. The book! A Travelor’s Guide to Limbo. She had forgotten all about it. If only she had the guide, she’d know which door to choose. The panic was seeping into her brain now like poisonous gas, chocking out all reason. She had to take control – make a decision. Stop thinking and DO something! Joann grabbed a doorknob to her right. She took a deep breath and turned the knob. Nothing happened. Tentatively, she tried another. Again, nothing. Her confidence growing, Joann hurried along the tunnel trying every door she came across. She found herself grinning as she fearlessly jiggled knobs. She had taken control of her fate. She was going to save herself. As she turned the next knob, the jolt hit her, knocking the wind from her lungs. She closed her eyes tight as her body hurtled toward reality. She found herself back in the library. She stared at the shelves before her, groaning beneath the weight of all those self-help books and then Joann turned on her heel and walk out of the isle forever.

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RE: Secret Passage in Library - 9/28

Postby DraconisTheory » Sat Oct 09, 2010 10:31 am

Tunnel Literature
You know when most people find a tunnel behind a seemingly benign book in the oldest section of your local library, which I'm sure everyone faces at some point in their life, they report it or scream or line dance or something other than waltz right through the threshold with their cell phone out in front of them as if the feeble glow from the screen will pierce the ancient black as well as a softball pierces a cheese grater.
Yes, I'm sure that every other person on the planet would not have been as amazingly brilliant as myself in this situation and yet here I am, phone torch raised high as I proceed into the dark. This tunnel actually kind of sucks. The ceiling is low and poop unicorns and rainbows keeps dripping on me from this mucus stuff that covers all the walls. It feels like I'm in the slime ghost's butt hole from Ghost Busters. It wouldn't surprise me since I'm in a creepy library; if I am still in the library that is. Wait, the slime ghost was in the hotel. The flowers are still standing. I digress.
Well I guess this isn't so bad. Far more eventful than sitting in the library common area and pretend to study for Mr. Bezzle's amusement. Screw that guy, I'd probably just sit there and draw in my notebook anyway. I shouldn't even be in detention this time! So I turned in my midterm essay written backwards, big deal! How hard is it to get a mirror or just flip the paper over and read it from the other side! Imagination is dead. Well it was until I found this tunnel.
The book this place was hiding behind wasn't anything special, just an old dogeared copy of some lost civilization's history, nothing particularly interesting or notable about it except how ordinary it was. I think that was why I picked it.
As a matter of fact it's still in my hand. Huh. Is it heavier now? Or maybe I should lay off the Hot Pockets. There's a light up ahead. I can actually put away my poop unicorns and rainbows phone now. Man this book is like hauling a sack of lead uphill through the snow.
How did I even get in this tunnel? I'm not saying I'm fat or anything but I'm definitely not the same size as a book. Wow. Okay, that's a little weird. All I remember is picking up the book and then the tunnel appeared... There's nothing behind me now. Just tunnel. No light from where I came in. Should I go back? The light at the other end of the tunnel is close, though. And this book is unbearable! Okay, I'm going through.
What is this? Am I back in the library? Who is that? Mr. Bezzle? God, I cant keep carrying this book. Hey! HEY! why can't he hear me? Oh poop unicorns and rainbows he's coming right at me. I'm sorry it took me long to find this book, I was just on my way back to my desk. Here take it. What is this? Why can't I put the book down? What's that in his hand? He has the book! The same old book! That's impossible! This is impossible! He's putting it back in the slot. My God he's looking at me. He's smiling. Oh no. What is this? The book. It's pulling me through the floor. Its so cold in here. It's so dark. Am I in the tunnel? Where am I? There's slime on me. It burns! Oh God! Oh God what is happening! Please! Someone help m-...


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