Some of the larger tomes had runes etched onto their spines. I picked one out and, due to its heaviness, struggled to get it to the table only a few feet away. Opening it, I found it was written in Latin. It was obviously a grimoire of some kind. Somebody had collected spells and written them down in a neat hand. I put that book to one side with the intention for further study.
Another one I picked out had a strange symbol on the spine I had never seen before. All its pages were written in similar types of symbols. I wasn’t sure where this work had come from, though I had travelled far. Using my magic, I was able to interpret some of the symbols. It seemed to be a history of a civilisation I did not know of. On one page was a spell that opened a portal, maybe it led to this lost and forgotten society.
Some time passed while I studied these books. After a few hours I decided to head back upstairs to have a word with the librarian, and maybe come back another day. Once I got back up the stairs, I found the solid black door was locked shut. I was about to knock on the door, when I overheard some voices. One was the old librarian, and the other had a younger and sterner voice.
“Where is this witch now?” Asked the sterner voice.
“She went down to the cellar to look at the grimoires. I’ve locked the door, so she can’t get out.” The librarian replied.
“We need to keep her down there until I can round up all the others. Keep a watch on the door until I return. We need to find out why she is here.” Then I heard heavy footsteps walk away and go out the front door.
I wasn’t technically a witch, so I took offence with that term. My knowledge and power far exceeded what is generally considered witchcraft. I silently went back down the stairs. Once back in the cellar, I conjured up a bag and grabbed the tomes I had been looking at. Sadly I couldn’t take everything, as there was only so much space available and it was inadvisable to store too much in extra dimensional spaces, especially if it was magical. I looked regretfully at all the books still on the shelves knowing it was unlikely I would ever see them again.
Once I was finished pilfering what tomes I could, I went back up the stairs. I said a word, and the door before me exploded outwards. I walked through the doorway to see the librarian looking shocked. He stared at me in horror.
“What are you?” He asked while trembling before me.
Once he was dealt with, I walked to the front door. As soon as I had opened it, I saw a large crowd of people were already there. They saw me and surged towards the door, so I hurriedly closed it again and then barred it. I glimpsed a raised stake in the courtyard with a large amount of firewood around it and guessed what they intended to do with that. There were too many of them to deal with. If I had more time, I could have prepared something, but I was now in a hurry. Already they were pounding at the door and starting to break the windows. I retreated back to the cellar.
There were a combination of spells in the stonework of this building, which meant I couldn’t shift out of here as I intended. So I grabbed the tome I had been looking at earlier, and spoke the strange inhuman words to form a portal. Thankfully it worked, and a green haze began to form in front of me. As soon as I heard footsteps coming down the stairs, I walked through the haze and found myself in a pitch black circular room as if it had been hewed out of obsidian. I looked behind me to see the portal was gone, and so was the book I had been holding. Walking around this room I could find no discernible exit. Any magic I tried reverberated back to me in an unpleasant way. I was effectively trapped. Maybe this is what they had intended for me to do all along…
The End (for now)
Previous: The Library, part one
Not sure how I came to write this story. I think I just had an image of a library with shelves of old books. The main character intrigued me. Someone who may or may not be human who’s able to travel through dimensions searching for magical artefacts. I may write another story about once I’m able to devise a way to get them out of the trap I put them in…
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©️2023 Joanne Fisher
4 thoughts on “The Library, part two of two (flash fiction)”
I look forward the their liberation. Great story Joanne
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At this point, you have three easy ways out for your researcher. The enchantments on the stonework MAY not include up or down. There’s also the obvious portal in the book. 😉
Less obvious is reshaping the energy in the stones to her advantage. Energy is just like matter; change it’s structure (or vibration) and you change it’s very nature. Defensive runes might tend to push back though.
I had to giggle at that “superior to a witch” part also. Most Wiccans I’ve met consider their path the pinnacle of spiritual mastery. 😀
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Nice job! I can relate to your quandary with how to rescue your character. I’ve done the exact same thing with a science fiction short story! But, I have’t given up and years later a piece of flash fiction has grown into an idea for a novel. Now, all I have to do is write it!
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