Sarah O'Connor

Writer – Playwright – Cannot Save You From The Robot Apocalypse

Me actually being prepared again for this odd challenge? It’s more likely than you think!

The spell book looked like any other book in the back corner of Mr. Linden’s Library. It was old, dusting, and had been misshelved between a copy of Homer and A Tale of Two Cities, which had also been misshelved some time ago. Mr. Linden had grown older and wasn’t as organized a man as he had been in his youth. He had managed his own personal library for many years and hated to admit that it was getting too much for him now. No, instead he told himself he just needed an apprentice, like the olden days, a student to teach and molds so that they may one day create their own library for the masses, not take over his (no, that would never happen). Even he found himself forgetting where he shelved the books which was annoying to both him and his customers (but moreso Mr. Linden). So he put the “Apprentice Needed: Board Included” sign in the window and was done with it, let fate do what she may.

Mr. Linden’s Library wasn’t an ordinary library, it appeared to those who needed it. For a tiny building it had every book one might expect in an ordinary library as well as stories no one had ever read before, ideas that hadn’t been thought of yet. The library appeared and the books went out to the customer’s who needed them and while many of his customers were very loyal and trustworthy and did return the books back some did have a habit of disappearing. They usually found a way back to him in some shape or form, but it would be nice to have an apprentice deal with that and give Mr. Linden a moment of rest.

It was Lenore who saw the sign, with her backpack stuffed to the brim with what she thought was important, hair greasy and body grainy from weeks of sleeping on the streets. The sign didn’t say much more, and seeing that it was about to rain and out of options for herself, she wondered what could possibly go wrong by getting a job at a book shop?

Lenore would find out, but she wouldn’t know soon. Mr. Linden proved to be an odd man, gruffly telling her that she was late and telling her she could leave her items in the back room where she’d be living. She put her stuff in the back and waited for Mr. Linden to tell her what the job entailed, but since he already assumed she had it she didn’t argue otherwise.

He told her to start dusting and reshelving the books and gave her a rickety cart and stained rag to start with. Lenore had never sneezed so much in her life, but she enjoyed the warmth of the library and that she was now employed, even if the man was eccentric he wasn’t any worse than some people she’d met on the streets.

When she happened upon the spell book it sparked in her hand. At the moment she thought it was simply static electricity built up from the dust and the books on felt cover. She pulled it out and seeing no writing and that it was all blank inside she debated throwing it away but it seemed to cling to her hand as if stuck there. So she hid it under her shirt and when she was finished her shift (which she decided, Mr. Linden had disappeared but could be heard snoring somewhere within) she went to her new little room with a white sheet and after unpacking what she had starting flipping through the book wondering when she’d find something.

She fell asleep with the book open beside her and that was when the words appeared in a language not of this world. The ink bled out green and slowly vines and leaves grew out from the open pages. Unknowingly, Lenore had cast her first spell.

(Inktober Prompt List found here. Image found here.)

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