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Mr. Linden's Library
Chelaine, Age 12, Armstrong, BC

Author's note: This story was written to go with a picture of a girl lying in bed. She had an open book beside her that had vines growing out of it.  The caption read, " He had warned her about the book, now it was too late."

          ***

"Order up!" Miranda quietly sipped at her regular coffee. She was in a small café in the outskirts of town. She had pale skin, covered partially by her blonde hair. She also had sapphire-blue eyes that brightened her whole petite face.

"Ding-a-ling, ding-a-ling." The small bell on the front glass door rang as an elderly man stalked into the café like a cat, proud to have caught a mouse.

"AAAAAHHHHH!!!! The bell rang, someone’s going to die!!!!!"

The strange man, as quickly as a frightened mouse, rapidly ducked under Miranda diminutive table. He waited a few minutes, and then continued on confidently like nothing had happened at all. The man limped over to where Miranda was sitting and introduced himself.

"Good unlucky afternoon, my darling! My name is Montgomery T. M.M.M. the 3rd of the 27ths, and my favorite color is red, although I do rather admire blue and green, and also pink! Gray is also a very fascinating color! Oh, did you catch my last name? It is veeeeerrrrrry long and wonderful! Guess what it is. No, don't guess, I'll tell you. It is… now contain yourself… my spectacular last name is… dun, dun, dun, dah… Linden!!!!!!!!!!!"

"Good afternoon, I think!" said Miranda, very skeptical of this exceedingly odd man.

"You may call me Montgomery, no, maybe you should call me Sir the 3rd, or…"

"Why don't I just call you Mr. Linden, if you like your last name so much, how's that?" interrupted Miranda, starting to get annoyed.

"Fine, fine, very good, very good, I like that indeed!" Mr. Linden plunked himself down right beside Miranda.

"So," she started, trying desperately to get a controlled conversation going. "What do you do for a living?"

"Oh, I'm a librarian, everything else is waaayyyy to unlucky for me, but, it's still a very dangerous job you know, if you get a paper cut, you will suffer from a very painful and agonizing death! Ooooohhhh, very scary, very scary indeed!"

"Uuummm…" Miranda tried to find some appropriate words. "I like to read."

"Well then, you should come to my library, it's on the street over there," he said, pointing to his left. "All you have to do is go to Main Street, turn left, go 4 blocks south, turn right, and it's the 5th beautiful building on the left!"

"Okaaaaay…" Miranda said hastily in an attempt to stop his constant babbling.

Then, Mr. Linden left, squealing as the doorbell rang again. Bewildered, Miranda headed home and went to bed.

True to her word, she tried her very best to find the library. Miranda tried following the directions she had received. Unfortunately though, after many hours, she still could not find the library and she gave up.  Eventually, it became a routine, every day Miranda would get up in the morning, look for the library, and give up. Finally, after 6 days, she found the library, right across from the café!

As Miranda walked up to the library, she looked around. Above the door, she saw the word 'L brary'. When she looked down, she found the missing 'i' covered in poison ivy. After a few minutes, Miranda walked up to the door and knocked.

"Nnnnoooo! That's very unlucky!"

'Yeah right!' Miranda thought to herself.

But the sarcasm quickly passed and she went in.

"Wow, the place actually looks… normal!" She thought out loud.

On every wall there were books piled from the floor to the very high ceiling. To her right, there were some soft cushioned chairs surrounding a large table. The table had a variety of books laid out on its surface. To her left, there were some mauve computers on weathered wooden desks.

"Helloooo!" The man said as he walked in. "Look around, look around. Just DO NOT get a paper cut, because if you do, like I said before, we will be cursed FOREVER!!!!!!!"

"Like I said before, yeah right!" She exclaimed partially to herself.

"Heeeeyyyy!" Mr. Linden retorted.

But, despite what had just happened, she looked around. First she went over to the large table and looked at some of the out of the ordinary books. There were novels on animals, magazines on space, and even an old newspaper about a hurricane that had happened 20 years ago. Next, she wandered over to where the computers were. As she sat down, the computer automatically turned on.

'Cool!' She thought.

She surfed around on the web for a little while, and then looked at some of the books. Beside the computers there were some books on music and art. As she moved down the enormous rows of books, novels, and magazines, something caught her eye. Wedged in between a magazine on Neptune and one on Pluto, was a pitch-black book.

"Hey, why's this one here?" Miranda inquired half to herself and half to Mr. Linden.

"NNNOOOO! DO NOT touch that it's DANGEROUS!"

"Again, YEAH RIGHT!! Everything is dangerous to you!!!" snorted Miranda.

She started to walk towards the book when she felt a sharp pain on the back of her head.

"OOOOWWWWW!"

Then everything went black.

"Ugh, what happened?" Miranda said drowsily.

She tried to get up, but then discovered that was almost impossible; She was tied up! Around her wrists were cords and her feet were bound with rope.

"Hey!"

As she struggled to wriggle free Mr. Linden walked into the room.

"Why are you doing this to me?" Miranda cried out desperately.

"I can not let you have that book." He said flatly.

Then he left the room. Thoroughly disgusted, Miranda tried hopelessly to get the knots undone, but had no success. As she looked around, all she could see was a large wooden door, and a window. Thoughts kept running through Miranda's mind.

'Why does Mr. Linden think that book is so dangerous? If the book really IS dangerous, why doesn't he lock it up?' and most importantly, 'How can I get out of here?'

That's when she saw it. At the corner of the window, there was what looked like a sharp piece of metal. As Miranda maneuvered herself over to the window she loosened the knots on her feet. By the time she actually got to the window, her feet were out, and she was able to focus on the cords. After just a few minutes, she had cut through the bindings on her wrists.

"There!" she said to herself, proud to have gotten out.

She stood up and tiptoed towards the door and gave it a huge shove. After several tries, she got the door to budge. She crept out and found herself in a long and narrow passageway. After making sure no one was there, she snuck out a door at the end of the tunnel and found herself in a small alleyway behind the library. As she sprinted towards the café she remembered the book.

'I have to see that book again; I'll show him that it is NOT dangerous. Where is he anyway?' she thought to herself.

She shrugged that off and quietly, not to get caught, snuck back towards Mr. Linden's library.

As Miranda entered the library, she found that the book had been moved. First, she looked around the table and chairs, not being there, she turned around.

"Ha!" She laughed out loud.

The book had been shoved underneath one of the keyboards to the first computer. Miranda suddenly became very amused at how Mr. Linden had hidden the book. Because of the book, the keyboard was probably 3 inches higher than it should have been.

'Oh well, better for me!" she mused.

Miranda quickly grabbed the mysterious book and ran. She ran out of the library, passed the café, and headed right for home.

Anxious to see what was different about the book, she had her dinner, got into her P.J.s and headed to her room. Once she was snuggled in bed she opened the book and started reading. But, because of having such a tiring day, she soon drifted of into her final sleep. He had warned her about the book, now it was too late.

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