• Mr. Linden’s Library

    Amanda Adriano had everything she had ever wanted. An amazing house, four bestfriends, and her two amazing parents. Other than the C she got on math on her last report card, everything felt perfect. Now, all she had to do was spend the summer one more day ahead of her just as perfectly.
    When Amanda’s eyelashes fluttered open that Thursday morning, her spirits soared. “One more day till summer..”, she thought as she glanced to her bedside alarm clock that read “7:00 AM”. She ran up to her dresser. She looked like a mess; just the way she liked it. A cluster of red coppery curls clustered above her head, of course she didn’t bother to comb it out, she liked to look like a bed head. It just added to her reputation of not caring what people thought about her.
    She ran down the hallway to go to the washroom and snuck a peek out of one of the blinds on the enormous window expecting to see the usual view out onto the neighbours lawn. She gasped loudly. “No…” she whispered in awe. “Someone’s finally moving into the old Black creek house “ she thought. “MOM!, MOM!!!!!, HAVE YOU LOOKED OUT THE WINDOW ?” she yelled to her mother who was in her painting room as usual. Her mother came running out of the room looking like a mess. Terri Adriano had green and neon pink paint on her face. Purple paint on her arms, and bright red splotches of paint on her painting apron. “AMANDA! NEVER YELL LIKE THAT AGAIN!” her mother scolded. “Yeah, sorry mom. It won’t happen again, but you have to see what’s happening. Someone finally thought they can take on the big project of renovating that old mess.” Her mom sighed. “Amanda, its really none of our business to care why they are moving in. Maybe they haven’t heard the silly rumours about that place. Maybe, they had no clue that there had supposedly been a murder in it, but it’s just not our place to judge their decision okay?”
    Even though Amanda was usually the kind to put these stories into the category of “stupid”, she had to admit, her mother did look a little worried when she glanced out the window at the moving truck and boxes. “Amanda, stop daydreaming and get freshened up. You’re going to get late.” Her mother turned to leave, but looked over her shoulder and said “oh and don’t forget, your breakfast and lunch is waiting for you downstairs. Don’t let your breakfast get cold.” Her mother trotted back into the painting room.
    When Amanda finally reached school, she noticed her group waiting by the side of the school where all of the benches were. Amanda had chosen that spot in the beginning of the year because barely to no people went there at all. Now, at the end of the school year, everyone started hanging out there. Something had to be done about this. So Amanda jumped onto the bench in the middle of all the commotion and yelled: “HEY EVERYONE! Do you people think that just because I started hanging out here, y-“ she broke off mid-sentence. Who or what had she seen that made her stop so abruptly? Her eyes suddenly glazed over. “Amanda? Amanda? Are you okay?” Asked Hilary Edwards, Amanda’s best friend forever. “Huh? Oh, yeah im okay…” Amanda said as she slowly stepped down from the bench. Her eyes still looked as if they were a million miles away.
    Amanda was convinced that it wasn’t true, but then at last she had been forced to accept it. James Linden was back, and there was nothing she could do about it. James, well he was a very mysterious person. He always had been ever since senior kindergarten, until he very mysteriously left in grade 7. No records left of him ever having left Stony Brook, Connecticut. Now he was back.
    “Earth to Amanda! You there?” This seemed to snap Amanda back to reality. “Hey Hilary, did you see that? James Linden’s back” Only Hilary would be able to sense the slight amount of happiness in her voice while she wore that serious look on her face. It seemed as if Hilary hadn’t seen James’ beautiful golden brown hair flowing in the breeze as he stuck his head out of a black SUV. She looked very confused. “Um, Amanda, are you sure you’re okay?” Then, Hilary’s face twisted into something like a smirk “Because it seems like someone may have a little crush on someone all over again” Hilary winked at Amanda with a twinkle in her eye. Amanda’s face flushed. “No! Okay? I have never liked James as more than a friend. We were just really close okay? So please just hush.” Hilary’s face turned into something between a smile and a frown. Hilary had no reply to that so she just stayed quiet the entire day and followed Amanda around like a clone.
    Amanda couldn’t get James out of her mind all day long. Only she understood James inside out. Not even his parents knew as much about him as she did. Of course, how could they? James had foster parents because his biological parents died in an enormous fire that apparently burnt his house in Florida down to the ground. James was the only one who survived. The only memory James has of his parents is the huge red scar on his back.
    The school day was finally over and Amanda was glad. Her parents weren’t expecting her home till dinner, so that gave her plenty of time to take a walk around the neighbourhood and see if she saw James anywhere. Every black SUV that passed raised Amanda’s hopes, but every time she peered into the window’s, she would either see the blond head of someone she probably didn’t know, or a dark hear of black or brown. No sign of James. After around and hour and a half of looking around, Amanda accepted defeat. “I guess I’ll have to go home empty handed.”
    When Amanda got home, she looked at the porch swing and gasped. “Nice to meet you too Amanda.” Said James as he grinned hugely. “Eh, well I hadn’t exactly expected to run into you. I thought you moved.” Said Amanda nervously. “Well, I kind of pressurized my foster parents into moving back here. Sorry for getting up and leaving with no advance notice.” Amanda didn’t think James understood the fact that his records had disappeared along with him. Oh Well. “Hey I was wondering, do you want to come over today?” Amanda could feel her cheeks starting to heat up. “Uh, well I would love to, but I don’t exactly know where your new house is.” James burst out laughing, “I thought you would have pieced it together by now Amanda. Im your new neighbour.”
    This left Amanda completely speechless. She remembered all the sleepovers with James and all the scary stories they had passed on to one another about James new house. She would have thought he would flat out have said no to move there. “I know what your thinking Amanda. Why did I move there? Well, I wanted to see what the fuss was all about, so I moved in” Amanda couldn’t be more furious. She was half angry because she thought something bad would happen to James, and half angry because he was trying to be brave again. Show off she thought; why did James have to be so perfect at everything? “Amanda, calm down… Your face is going pale.” He remembered Amanda thought; she felt as if her heart had grown wings and was trying to fly out of her body but just kept hitting the walls of her body and falling back down. Only James understood what was happening to Amanda when her face would go pale like that. Whenever Amanda felt too many emotions at one time, her face would go whiter than a sheet of paper.
    Amanda found herself in the beautiful living room of James’ new house. “Okay so Amanda, I really want to show you the library my dad has set up in the basement. Its super cool, you have to check it out.” Amanda felt like she would fly away if her heart’s wings fluttered any harder. “Of course James. I’d love to.”
    Five minutes later, Amanda found herself in the most amazing library she had ever seen. There were arches and pillars and everything was painted the most amazing color of green. They had painted vines on the walls in a darker green. In the back was the most amazing sight. Rows and rows of book shelves filled with books of every size. Amanda finally felt the urge to break the silence, so she asked James the first question that came to her mind. “James, can I borrow a book or two from here?” When Amanda heard James’ response, she felt incredibly silly for having asked such a question. “Amanda, are you serious? Is that even a question to ask? It wouldn’t be much of a library if people weren’t allowed to borrow books from it, now would it?” If only the local library was as lenient as yours thought Amanda. “Well then you wont mind if I look around?” she half giggled. “No not at all.”
    As Amanda made her way to the back of the library, one book in particular caught her eye. This book was covered in gold engravings and had no writing of any sort on it. There were also pieces of moss and crinkly brown leaves on it. This made Amanda all the more curious.
    She returned to the front where James was waiting patiently for her. “this one, I want this one.” When James’ eyes fell on the book in her hands, he started to back away slowly and when he was at least five meters away from Amanda, he dared to speak. “K-k-keep that b-book away f-from m-me” said James stuttering. He also looked as if he were shivering. Amanda started slowly walking towards James with her hands placed firmly on the book. “Okay James, I know what you’re doing, and its not working. Im not getting scared, you can cut the act now.” James’ face went pale. “AMANDA, PLEASE STAY BACK. IM NOT JOKING.” That’s when something clicked inside of Amanda. She instantly threw the book as far behind her as she could, and started her way up to James. She threw her arms around him and he hugged her tightly back. She whispered in his ear, “it’s okay James. Chill out.” Amanda could hear James’ breathing starting to slow down. “That book, Amanda, please be careful with it. You can take it home but still, be extremely careful that you do not leave it anywhere dark.” “Okay James, anything to make you feel better.”
    Amanda lay awake that night with the book on her chest. Okay I guess I’ll finally get to see what’s in the book. The second Amanda opened the book, her mother walked in. “Amanda, its late. Go to bed.” And then, just like that, her mother flicked off the light switch. About ten seconds later, Amanda felt vines growing from the book onto her. Making Amanda the book’s prisoner forever. Amanda started turning to stone rapidly, causing her scream to get caught in her throat and never be able to come out again.

    Amanda’s parents had found her in her bed as stone, wrapped up in vines.

    “He had warned her about the book. Now it was too late.”