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Mr. Linden's Library
Jessica, Age 11, Barrie, ON

Cassidy walk into the old musty library. “Hello, Mr. Linden are you here?” she asked, shivering with the cold and pulling her sweater around her to keep out the cold of the night that was creeping through the open windows.

“Yes, my child, over here.” Replied Mr. Linden’s calm, kind voice. A hand as old as the books around it raised from behind three great piles of towering books. It beckoned her to come. Cassidy did as she was told.

Walking over to the piles, Cassidy noticed that the books were slowly parting and the closer she got the quicker the books parted.

When she reached the piles they had parted fully, but Mr. Linden did not sit in the chair behind the desk. Instead open on the table was a book, with two old arms sticking out of the pages.

Cassidy reached out and touched one, horror-struck. Running her hand from the elbow down. She could feel her hand softening for it felt like a rock that has never been touched by the waters of the sea.

Suddenly the other arm moved. It grabbed her wrist and began to squeeze harder and harder and harder. Pain surged up Cassidy’s arm she could feel it braking one bone at a time.

The second arm moved. Cassidy released the hand that she realised was still resting on the first crusty old arm. But it was too late. The old hand had already grabbed hold so tightly that it was cutting off the circulation. A throbbing pain rushed up her arm and into her shoulder. She cried aloud.

Suddenly the to arms began to pull Cassidy towards the book. Closer, and closer she slid across the floor. Terror boiling in her chest.

“Help! Help! A book is attacking me!” Cassidy screamed, but no help came. Cassidy began to cry tears of fear.

Suddenly the hands began to squeezed harder than ever. She winced at the pain. The arms began pulling Cassidy towards the book faster. She screamed again. Now Cassidy’s head was being drawn towards the pages of the book.

“No! No! I won’t go! Who ever, What ever you are!” Cassidy yelled at the book. She wondered if any of the other servants could hear her cries for help.

Now Cassidy's nose was hovering above the pages. Cassidy could feel the pain in her nose already, but instead of squishing her nose against the pages her nose began going through the pages!

She giggled for it was a particularly strange sensation.

When her nose was half way through, the rest of her body began merging through the pages, too. Again she began to giggle but this time she had no control over her laughter. She was laughing harder than she had ever laughed before. It was as though somebody had just told her an impeccably hilarious joke.

Then she felt her feet just beginning to cut through the page. She opened her mouth to scream but her laughter was in the way and her scream logged at that back of her throat.

“I’m going to die!” Cassidy thought in panic, “Great I’m 15 and instead of going to the Dogs I get to go the Books! Just my luck.” Then there was an extremely long string of swearing.

“POP” Cassidy’s feet finished their journey through the pages. And then Cassidy became aware of the presents of another, as though she was not the first to have been pulled through the pages against their will.

There was a sudden burst of dazzling white light, and then everything was white. The sky was white and even the ground was white. Cassidy was amazed she looked down at her self and gasped.

She wore a beautifully crafted gown of white silks and laces. “How incredibly exquisite,” said Cassidy aloud who had just noticed that her impulsively annoying laughing had stopped.

There was another burst of light and she stood in one of the many halls of the castle that she had just left. In fact it was the hall that the library was on. But there was something wrong with the hall. Something but what? What was it that was wrong here?

That's when it hit her. Where were all the pictures of Mr. Linden? And who was the woman in all the pictures? Cassidy didn’t have to do much of anything to get that answer.

For just then Polly, another one of the servants, came tearing down the hall towards her yelling,”Miss Linden, Miss Linden, your father wishes to speak with you about the ball.”

Miss Linden? Cassidy looked around because there had never been a Miss Linden that she knew of and Mrs. Linden had died many years ago.

“Miss Linden please don’t fool around, you know that your father is a very busy man.” Cassidy raised her hand and pointed at herself for she aside from Polly, was the only one in the hall. Polly nodded her head very quickly and sternly. “Ya you, young lady. Get your butt into that library before your father throws a fit.”

She grabbed ahold of Cassidy’s sleeve and began to pull Cassidy to the library door. When they reached the door Polly stood in front of Cassidy and began to wipe off Cassidy’s dress of purple silk. Then she stepped aside and gave Cassidy a bit of a push.

Cassidy stepped into the library but instead of the musty old smell she had gotten earlier, it smelt of fresh paint. At the desk in the back sat an at least 40 year younger Mr. Linden. He had a lot more hair then the last time that she had seen him (which was that morning when he was telling the staff what they would be doing that day).

He looked up at her with a look of confusion, then his eyes softened. He nodded, then beckoned her closer. She thought about the last time she had that he had beckoned her to come closer. But she didn’t give off a signal that something was wrong. She took a few steps closer to the desk. Again he beckoned her closer, so she took a few more steps and he nodded.

He leaned over the desk and whispered, “I know that you’re not really my daughter. I also know that you’re the one that she has chosen to save her from the book.”

Cassidy broke in, “I'm sorry but what do mean “save her from the book”?” Cassidy was very confused.

“Please sit down and I will explain everything.”

Mr. Linden sat up straight and pointed at a chair in front of the desk. Cassidy sat down in the chair and stared at Mr. Linden. Then Mr. Linden resumed speaking, “My daughter’s name is Kristen. She is a very kind person and loves to play around. She also adores reading but she is not allowed to read any of my books because they’re very dangerous.”

“Excuse me but did you say that your books are dangerous?” Cassidy interrupted trying not laugh at this particular remark.

“Yes, that’s what I said they’re very dangerous. One has been chosen to take you into the pages so that you can never return.  I need you to stop it before you disappear forever. Do you have any questions?” Mr. Linden took a big breath held it then let it out slowly.

“Yah. How did you know about all this? When I speak to you what do I address you as? And how is this chosen book suppose to get to me?” asked Cassidy looking straight into his heavy dark brown eyes.

“I was pulled into a book a short time ago and pushed into the future. It was the same book that brought you here and my daughter appeared and told me about the book’s little scheme. When you are around anyone other then me you must refer to me as Daddy or Papa. And here is the book that has been chosen to take you. You must fall asleep with it open. When this thing is over the title will show itself in order to surrender.” Mr. Linden handed Cassidy the book.

It was green colour but the shade was so dark that it looked almost black. “How threatening.” thought Cassidy. Running her hand down the spine she realised that there was no author either.

“Where is the author?” Cassidy asked a look of confusion creeping across her face as she flipped through the book looking at the pages. There were only one or two pictures but they looked as if they were real, as if you could reach out and touch them.

“Oh, that book is anonymous.” Replied Mr. Linden leaning over the desk to look at something on the floor. Cassidy looked down to see a husky puppy staring back up at her.

“Hello Roofer,” Cassidy said in a baby voice bending over and picking up the puppy whom that she knew as a very, very old dog. Roofer stared licking her face. Cassidy laughed and tried to pull her head away from Roofer’s wet, stinky tongue. But it was no use, the dog just followed her face.  Mr. Linden then shoed Cassidy out of the room with Roofer and the book.

Later that night Cassidy lay in Kristen’s bed reading the book that Mr. Linden had given her. Roofer was snugly sleeping on the pillow next to her. Cassidy was staring at one of the pictures when she began to drift off to sleep.

Just as her eyes fluttered shut sparks began to fly from the book. Cassidy popped her eyes open to see vines beginning to creep out of the picture through the pages.

Roofer barked at the vines. Jumped over Cassidy’s body and began to snap at the vines. Just then a spark flew out and landed on the bed spread. Cassidy spat on the spot so that a fire would not start. She grabbed Roofer and rolled out of the bed and fell on the floor with a bang. Cassidy got up and rubbed her behind, She walked over to the coat of arms that was hanging on the wall and grabbed one of the swords and ran over to the bed again. She began to slash at the vines she cut them and slashed them. They fell to the ground.

Suddenly the pieces that lay strewn on the floor began to crawl towards Cassidy's feet. She screamed and began to back away from the book. Then she tripped over Roofer. So she scuttled across the floor like a crab.

Then Cassidy got an idea. What if she threw the sword at the book and it landed on the spine where it was glued together? It would fall apart and brake! That was it, that was how she would stop this craziness.

Cassidy scuttled to her feet, and raised the sword, “I only have one chance at this.” she thought. She took a deep breath and then she threw. The sword spun through the air and landed right in the middle of the spine.

Suddenly there was a flash of light and she was in the white room again in the white dress. Then there was another flash and she stood in front of Mr. Linden’s desk again. But the person sitting in the desk wasn’t even a man in fact it was a woman.

“Excuse me but where is Mr. Linden?” Cassidy asked the old women.

The women looked up at her and gasped, “You're back! Welcome! I’m sorry but since you saved my life the future has changed. It’s not what it was when you left. Mr. Linden has retired.”

Cassidy nodded then said a little confused, How do you know that I am back from anything?”

“That dress, of course. You will no longer be a servant but instead a wonderfully rich women. You will from now on sit here” The woman, who turned out to be Ms. Linden, got up and offered his seat to Cassidy. Cassidy looked down at herself. She was wearing the dress from the white room.

“What a perfect ending,” thought Cassidy as she sat down in the big chair behind the desk.

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