This is a story about a librarian. A very special librarian at that because little did she know that she could immerse herself in a book and live the life of anyone in the story, and even change the story. Her final power that she would discover is the ability to bring the powers of the people in the book to reality. This librarian’s name is Edna, Edna Stone. Her daughter had moved out years ago and her husband passed away just after Edna’s daughter left. She lived a very moderate life in her loft on the eighth floor of an apartment complex in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The day she first discovered her talent had actually started as a lousy day. For starters, she woke up late and forgot her glasses. Then when she pulled up to the Starbucks drive-through, and spilled scorching hot coffee all over her dress. After that things got a little better when she arrived at the library for work. She went through her day normally; time went so fast that she almost didn’t realize it was 5 minutes from closing time. One of her favorite traditions to end her working day was to read a chapter of a random book before she headed home. So, she headed to the rows of fiction books, picked a random aisle, and grabbed a book off the shelf.
Edna had grabbed a copy of The Hobbit, which happened to be her favorite book, and she sat down in the middle of the aisle and began reading. As she read she was instantly immersed in the novel. Then something rather peculiar happened, the center of the book started to spin and the letters were sucked into a spinning vortex of pages. Edna gasped fearfully and threw the book on the floor, but quickly apologized because a good librarian must always respect books! Never the less, she braved herself and reached out to grab the spinning book. Within seconds of holding the book, she was sucked in and she suddenly landed with a THUD on the ground and passed out. When she came to her senses she was lying on a patch of grass with an oak tree shading her from the sun. Edna groaned and sat up rubbing her head and looked at the scene around her. Standing no more than twenty feet away was Bilbo Baggins welcoming the plethora of dwarfs that knocked on his door. Edna stood there staring at what was happening for nearly five minutes.
Finally she decided that she had a heart attack and that she must be hallucinating. She decided that if she was hallucinating she might as well enjoy herself and join in with the dwarfs. She advanced to the door and knocked just like the other dwarfs did. When Bilbo answered she said that she wanted to come in and have something to eat. Bilbo was a bit confused by her way of dressing and speaking but despite that he responded the same way he did to the other Dwarfs and welcomed her in. She laughed and drank all through the night and none of the dwarfs noticed that she was different at all. When it was time to rest Edna ambled over to Bilbo’s bookshelf, fulfilling another tradition of reading before bed, she picked a book off the wood shelf. She was astonished to see it was The Hobbit, because she was at the moment hallucinating about being in the setting of The Hobbit. She opened the book and the swirling reappeared and she was quickly sucked backed to reality.
She was standing smack dab in the middle of the aisle where she was at when she first opened the book and saw the spinning vortex. She looked at her watch and was shocked to see that no time had passed. Then a janitor came in with a broom and asked her to leave so they could close up. She gathered her things and rushed home. When she got home she stormed in without greeting her cat, which was very unusual, and ran to her bedroom. She grabbed one of her books and threw it (lightly of course) onto the bed and just stared at it. For the next ten minutes Edna inspected every page front to back to look for anything weird. She started to fantasize that perhaps what happened earlier wasn’t a hallucination and that it might be possible with other books. She had read so many fiction books in her life and she often wished she could be one of those exciting characters in a book, and now it seemed like she might hold a special power.
She grabbed 1984 from the shelf and did the same thing she did at the library. Once again she was sucked into the book. Right away Edna found a copy of 1984 to warp back to reality, and began to experiment the whole night. Again and again Edna hopped in and out of various titles, never staying longer than a week in the story timeline. She had gone on so many adventures, although no time in real life had passed, and now she had a splitting headache and a ravenous appetite. Edna jogged to the kitchen and popped a freezer dinner into the microwave. As she waited for her mac and cheese she began to think about her mysterious power. This was really happening to her? She was deep in thought when the microwave beeped. She took out her supper and placed it on the table and began to dig in. Edna concluded that she would go to bed and think about it with a fresh mind. She tromped to her bed and collapsed.
The next morning, she woke up early and grabbed a cup of coffee. As she sipped the steaming hot beverage she thought about what had happened the night prior. She decided to do some research on the topic. She headed off to work and when she was arrived she noticed there was almost no one at the library. Edna would have usually thought this was bad (and it is, a lonely library is a sad library!) but she was content with the thought of being able to travel book to book since she had even more options to choose from at the library. She placed her things on her desk and put a piece of paper at the checkout desk reading “Just ran to the bathroom, be back in five”. Satisfied with her note, she went back to the rows and rows of books. Edna hopped book to book throughout her work day.
She had an exciting day, she gathered her stuff and headed out the library’s front door. When she was leaving the building she noticed a group of interns chattering. She recognized them as the interns that worked in the lower level of the library building. When Edna strolled by she heard parts of their conversation. “Are you coming tonight?”
“It’s going to be so fun!” said one.
“I heard that everyone that works at the library is coming!” commented the next.
Upon hearing this Edna was saddened at the thought that no one wanted her to come but that made her determined to have a fun night without them. When she got home she raced up to her attic and flung open the door. After about an hour of fruitless searching Edna found what she was looking for. It was a box labeled “Library donations” when she peeped inside as expected she found a stack of old superhero comics. She fished inside the box and finally pulled out “Pokémon Adventure #1” and “Batman and The Joker”. She decided she would try something new this time, entering cartoon comics! Her first stop was the Pokémon comic.
She awoke to find herself on a dirt path with trees and Pokémon all around her. After catching a Bulbasaur so she can take its powers, which involve vines that can whip and suck energy from enemies, Edna’s next stop was the Batman comic. With the powers of the Bulbasaur she had caught Edna set out to defeat the Joker. When she found the Joker hiding in an alley she attacked immediately, wrapping him in the vines sprouting from her back and knocking his gun away. Slowly draining his energy Edna continued the struggle with the Joker. Finally he collapsed and onlookers cheered but something was wrong. As she inspected his body it split open revealing an empty carcass with no organs or brain. Within seconds of making this discovery the hollow shell-like body reduced to ash. Edna thought this was very strange and instantly she wanted to know more.
After Edna rose from the book, back to reality, and read the story to see if that’s really how the story ended. Not once did any of the characters die by collapsing and turning to ash. She went back to going in to books, and again, when she defeated villains their bodies were hollow and then turned to ash. At this point Edna was getting very concerned about this predicament, what did it mean?
At some point she must have fallen asleep because she woke the next morning and rushed to work to avoid being late. When no one was looking she took another trip into a book with a villain with intent to defeat him. And again the carcass collapsed and was hollow on the inside and turned to ash. But this time Edna noticed something right before the body turned to ash that she hadn’t seen before. Attached to the character’s arms, legs, and head was a thin piece of string connecting the body to something so high up she couldn’t see. From this Edna concluded that the bodies were merely puppets and that they were being controlled, but what concerned Edna the most was that she didn’t know who was controlling the puppets and why. After this Edna decided to go home but before she did that she decided to take a quick walk before heading home.
When she turned a corner her body was paralyzed and she stopped breathing. There among all the buildings in this random city was the Ann Arbor downtown district library, the same exact one she worked at. When she stepped inside it was completely empty except for one display that read “ancient prophecy written by: Unknown”. Edna tiptoed to the display and began to read out loud (she was very good at it in fact, being a librarian and all). It stated: When a hero discovers the darkness in the magic of scribes they will be attacked by dark forces never seen before and only if that hero has might and courage will they save the earth from darkness. When she read this chills ran down her spine she leapt out of the book only to discover that the book was replaced with the prophecy that she saw in the display. She tucked the weathered page into her desk drawer and crawled into bed but in time she realized that sleep did not come easy to her.
When she woke the next morning Edna had enough time to go to the Starbucks drive through. As she pulled up to the window to receive her piping hot coffee she notice something very peculiar, the man who was giving her the coffee appeared to have strings attached to his head and limbs. Of course this gave Edna quite a fright but she blinked her eyes and shook her head and the strings magically disappeared. Soon, Edna began to see the strings attached to everyone and they wouldn’t go away. As she drove to work in a panic she saw a car accident, and next to the broken down car there was a man lying on the ground with half of his body exposing it was hollow inside. When she burst in the lobby door it was crowded. All the people had strings attached to them that rose up high.
Standing in the middle of the room was a display with a scroll and it read: When a hero discovers the darkness in the magic of scribes they will be attacked by dark forces never seen before and only if that hero has might and courage will they save the earth from darkness. It was that same feeling before except for the fact that she was in the real world. Edna rushed to a nearby broom closet, threw the door open, and cocooned herself inside. Edna was freaking out, she was trying to think of a solution but couldn’t find one. She mustered all he courage and stepped out of the cramped closet. As soon as she did that the air got cold, everything seemed to get darker, and it was hard to breathe. She whipped her head to look outside and there in the middle of the street was a black cloaked man who was holding a wooded staff and looking her dead in the eye. Seconds after this happening the figure faded away and the winds seemed to whisper “the dark one is coming”. She knew she had to act fast because all over town people where just falling to their knees in a trance as a mysterious pitch black flew over them.
Edna ran to the people falling on their knees and saw that their eyes were glazed over and they didn’t respond to anything. At that point she knew that she had to fight, not just for her but all of these people around her. She searched for the source of the darkness and at the top of the tallest building there was a giant, swirling, black cloud. In order to fight this evil Edna needed to first get some powers, so she hopped into every book she could think of and obtained powers from heroes and villains. She needed a way to get to that tower fast, Edna found an idling car, hopped in, and sped off. As she got closer she felt an energy trying to push her back like it didn’t want her to be there. When she reached the tower realized that all the towns’ people had slowly surrounded her so even if she wanted to go home she couldn’t. She marched into the building and up the stairs and along the way she encountered a plethora of villains she had to fight to reach the top.
When she had finally reached the top the hooded figure stood there staring into her soul. “Welcome.” it said “I see you wish to battle me but your attempts are going to be futile.” Edna charged at him but was knocked aside by a powerful force. “Now to take away your precious powers as well.” The thing sneered. Edna was astounded when every single power was gone and she couldn’t fight the evil whatsoever. Then, she heard a little voice in the back of her head whispering “focus, you could fight him with…!” following the voice’s advice she focused on a sword. Like magic, Edna pulled a sword from her hand but instead of being a normal sword its blade seemed to be made of light. The figure filched at the light and roared in pain. Edna sprinted towards the figure and kicked the villain to its knees. She held the blade over its chest ready to attack. Just before she was about to kill the beast someone said “Stop!” She slowly turned around and saw all her loved ones, her friends and family. Her daughter walked up to her and said “Mom please don’t kill them.” As her daughter said this everyone formed a circle around her pleading her not to kill the figure but as soon as Edna saw her deceased husband she knew it was a dirty trick. Tears in her eye, she lifted the sword high above her head and plunged it straight into the chest of the figure. The figure shrieked and disappeared in a flash of light.
After that, Edna woke up in her bed with the sun shining and the birds singing. She didn’t feel like going to work because she didn’t want to risk confronting the world until she knew the darkness was gone. Nevertheless Edna pulled herself out of her bed and did her morning routine. She looked around to see any strings attached to limbs or hollow bodies on her way to work but saw none. Satisfied, Edna reached into her book bag and realized there was an old book that she had never seen before. The title was “Protectors of Writing” and it documented past people’s adventures with the book, and was the source of their powers, as well as hers. She was surprised that this book had somehow slipped into her bag and had been with her this whole time. She flipped to the front flap, it read “once you have completed your job pass the book along to someone else” (Edna could only read this because she had absorbed the powers of someone who could read Latin). She stepped into the lobby, set the book on a random bookshelf, and watched a child grab the book and begin to read…
Who knows reader, you might just be the next protector.