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Daily Archives: September 25th, 2011

A Clash of Kings is done. What a way to follow the first volume, Mr. Martin. Well played. However, I’m taking a brief vacation from Westeros right now. That’s right. A Storm of Swords is on hold. If I’m not careful, I’ll be done with A Song of Ice and Fire before Halloween even gets here. Besides, my copies of A Storm of Swords and A Feast for Crows are in storage. I have friends I can borrow them from, but ideally I’ll be unpacking all of my stuff somewhere by the end of the week. In the meantime, volumes 2 & 3 of Read Or Die, Matthew Pearl’s The Poe Shadow, and the two most recent Artemis Fowl books are in the queue right now. Hopefully by the time I’m ready to get back into A Storm of Swords, I will be settled in my next home, and I’ll be ready to do some heavy-duty writing. In the meanwhile, I’ve been doing some tweaking to the arrangement of pages around here. Hopefully any broken links will be repaired ASAP. Peace!

For Sonia M.’s latest challenge, we were asked to write a fairy tale. In the spirit of building up the world in which some of my other microfiction pieces occur, I’ve crafted for your enjoyment a library fairy tale. Here’s “The Library.”

Once upon a time, there was a young girl named Ilyana, who loved to read more than anything else in the world. She’d heard stories about the library, but she’d never seen it in person until today. She’d expected something grand, and she was not disappointed. Towers soared upward, fingers reaching for the sky above. Tethered to one was a large airship, and she could barely make out the letters on its tailfin designating it “Bookmobile.”

The girl’s eyes were wide in amazement. Magic. It had to be. Electricity surged up and down her spine as she stepped timidly through the archway. Ilyana looked closely at one of the walls nearest to her and gasped in shock as she was struck by the realization that the entire building was made, not of brick, nor marble, nor wood, but paper. Millions upon millions of tomes, countless numbers of volumes of books, were housed here, within a structure made of their own kind. Spider-thin writing crackled across the parchment surfaces of the floors, columns, and ceiling, the words of long-forgotten authors lending strength to the library, binding the pages together with ink.

Nervously eyeing the guards who stood near the reference desk, she approached the wizened man and woman who co-occupied it.

“And what can we do for you today,” they asked her in stereo.

“I…I came to get a library card,” she whispered, barely audible.

“Ah, a new mind to fill,” the librarians replied. “We’ve been waiting for you, Ilyana.”

She gasped. “How did you know my name?”

“We are librarians, dearie, we know everything. We knew that you would be coming to us today, and we knew that you would be seeking this.” In unison, the two elderly librarians reached out, holding a small gilded piece of parchment between them. It had Ilyana’s name on it in a curved script, more beautiful than she’d ever seen it written. “You’ll want to go that way,” they added, gesturing to a long spiral stair.

“Thank you!” Ilyana grinned, taking the card and dashing off for the stairway. It seemed to go on forever, but the books and pages that composed it lent a spring to her every step. Finally, Ilyana reached the top of the stairs and found a single door, her name carved in the lintel. A small slot stood in the door, just at her eye level, the golden words above it reading “Library Card Here, Please.”

Placing her new card in the opening, Ilyana watched as the door slowly swung open to admit her. A voice from the books whispered “Welcome, Ilyana…” She knew then that this room was hers, and hers alone. She took in the walls and the books that covered the shelves. It was just for her. One book beckoned to her, and she opened the book to those first magical words. “Once upon a time,” it read, “there was a young girl named Ilyana, who loved to read more than anything else in the world…”