Return to The Books of The Dark Library

Book of Motion

She sighed. Even in the darkness, the halls of the library now seemed all too familiar. The many tomes that lined the shelves seemed tired, whispering their lure without enthusiasm. She stopped and turned to him, without meeting his eyes.

"We've been here," she said, "We've been everywhere. Is there anything new left?"

Through the candlelight, he looked at her, pondering. "There is always something new. Sometimes you just need to move on to see it." Then he reached out to a shelf and pulled out a book.

"What's this?" she said as she took the leather-bound volume from him.

"The Book Of Motion," he said. "It might help."

She flicked through the first pages of the book. Black lettering proclaimed, "Motion, n.: The act or process of changing position or place." And then, further on, it read, "When observing motion, it is often incorrectly considered important to keep in perspective which object it is that moved."

She sighed again, met his gaze and said, "I don't get it. Why is this useful?" And then, before he could reply, she closed the book with a thump.

The air, previously still and calm, was suddenly alive and moving, rushing past her. She closed her eyes against the wind as it took hold of her hair, trailing it out behind her. The feeble candle was snuffed out, plunging them into darkness, but as the light vanished the wind suddenly stopped.

In the pitch dark she heard a scrabbling sound, and then the flare of a match being ignited cast fearsome shadows across the librarian's face as he lit the candle. And then the pale yellow light settled into the library.

"What was that?" she asked, reaching out to replace the book on its shelf. It was then she realised the shelf was gone, replaced by a table. The other shelves and even the very corridors themselves also seemed different, taller, wider, darker, rougher, sloping oddly, angled in unfamiliar ways. She took it all in, then asked him, "Where are we? It's all moved, or we've moved, or... what? What happened?"

Smiling, he took the book from her and placed it on a new shelf, slightly higher up than before, just a little to the left.

"Remember the book," he said. "Does it matter what moved?"

"Well," she said, looking around again, "I guess it's new whatever happened."

"Exactly," he said, leading her onward with a smile.

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