Mr. Linden's Library

February 5, 2013
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It began one stormy night. I had been walking around the cold, stone streets of London waiting… no! Wishing for something exciting to happen in my oh-so-very boring life. Anybody named Jane must live a boring life for Jane is a plain name. Maybe if I was named Jane and it was spelled “Jayne” or something unique and charming, my life would have some excitement. I was hoping to get robbed or maybe mobbed… just something to shake up my world! And boy did I ever find something that definitely shook up my life.

I had been walking up and down the rainy streets for 2 or 3 hours when I got tired and decided to go home. I found an old alley that led to the street next to the one I lived on, so I decided to take the shortcut. I dashed across the narrow ally until about halfway when my pant leg got caught in some wooden boards piled together. I reached down to get my foot untangled when I noticed light shining from one of the small cracks in the boards. I pushed all the boards aside. There was a hole… a little bigger than my body size…. With a ladder leading down about maybe seven or eight feet. I crawled down. It was dirt on all around on the cylinder shaped passage going down. When my feet touched the ground, I looked down and it was the same material the streets were made from… stone. The light shone through a black iron gate(It looked like a gate you would expect to be in a palace dungeon. With a key hole and everything!). I stuck my head in one of the openings and gasped! It was a rock-walled room filled with bookshelves of books galore! Books of all shapes, colours, and sixes filled the shelves with glory! There were so many, the genius of the world could not find a number that high!

In the center, there was the most peculiar looking man. His hair was gray and wild. He was wearing an odd grin as he looked up from the book on his desk at me… almost as if he was expecting me.

“Well hello there, young one! Hold on a minute and I will let you in!” the old man said as he opened a drawer and took out a key. He walked over and unlocked it by sticking his hand out an opening and turning the key in the key hole. The door creaked open towards me. I slipped through the doorway.

“I am Mr. Naylor… Kale Naylor. You may call me Kale or Naylor or Mr. Naylor or Odd Man,” he winked. “This is my library and you are the chosen one to take care of it after I’m gone. Then it will become your library for you and only you until you get to be my age and need someone to take care of it after your gone.”

“W-w-wait, WHAT?! You don’t even know me, yet you name me future heir of this library? That makes no sense.”

“You see, this was Mr. Aldo Linden’s library way back in the 1500s. Ever since then, this library had been passed down to the appointed person next in line.”

“There must be a mistake here, Mr. Naylor. I am no one special… just another Plain Jane in history.”

“So you are in fact Jane Aldelwyn, correct?” he asked ever so softly.

“How did you know m--?”

“There is a book. A book of all the people who have had this library in the past, and who will in the future. That book must not be opened until you are very much older… old enough to die. People die young, people die old, but you will know when you are dying. I have been here fifty-seven years,” he sighed. “I called you here because I am dying. Will be gone when God intends. I feel that will be soon. I was 17 years of age when I got this library… just a few years older than you, I assume. But if you open the book before you know you are dying, the book, as well as this entire library, will be taken into nature.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Mr. Naylor died days later. In those few days I had known the peculiar man, he had taught me everything he knew about that old library. The books were special and held secrets to illnesses, future technology, real letters from people in history, and anything you can imagine! The book that held the past and future librarians of this library, was in the center of the library on a stool. Light shone down on it. My curiousity almost killed me! But I would not want this precious place to be taken into nature. Never in a million years would I want this place to disappear! Already it held a special place in my heart. Every morning, I would wake up, make my way down and through the all, crawl down the ladder, and unlock the door. It became a routine.

I got to the point when I turned nineteen. My curiousity was getting the better of me, and I knew it. I decided if I thought I was dying, maybe nature would allow me to take a look into the book.

One night, I brought it home. I waited until everybody had gone to sleep until I turned on my lamp and opened it slowly... ever so slowly! Nothing happened. I turned the pages, reading and pronouncing each name to the best of my ability. I fell asleep reading the book.

The next morning, I awakened remembering about the book. I opened my eyes and there was not a book, but a pile of Ivy sitting on my bed beside myself.

“Oh boy. He had warned me about the book. Now it was too late,” I whispered. The library! I rushed to get dressed and ran out the door down the familiar streets and down the alley. I set aside the 8 or so wooden boards… there was no hole. I started digging. And digging, and digging until night fall. The next day, I dug. Same for the next day, and the day after that. There was nothing, nothing but dirt. Until I hit the spot where the room must have been. All it was, was Ivy. Tons, and tons of it. I tried everything to get through the ivy. Snipping it, burning it, anything you could possibly dream of! Nothing worked. It was all back by the next morning. It was hopeless. I had failed Mr. Naylor, and Mr. Linden, and all the librarians before me. Mr. Linden’s library was gone, and it was all my fault.

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