Being a bookworm is fun. As boring as it sounds, it’s actually fun. I’ve loved to read ever since I learnt how to read. Now, you’re probably thinking that I’m an introvert and not that social, let me tell you, boy were you wrong! I am the exact opposite. I love to learn new things, love to help people, love to explore and discover. I’m a very outgoing person, not to mention that I’m a prankster! That still doesn’t change the fact that I’m a total bookworm.
I woke up to the most annoying sound in the world: my alarm. I growled as I turned it off and ripped the sheets off of me. After getting myself ready for the day, I took my book, and ran down the stairs, and of course almost tripping and falling to my death! I walked into the kitchen, placing the book on the table, and turning the kettle on. I made myself a cuppa before sitting and down reading the book. Before I knew it, I had already finished it. I ran back upstairs and into my master library. Yes, I did make the master bedroom into a library instead of making it my room! I looked over to the part where I kept the books that I have yet to read, to find nothing but little sparkles of dust. I pouted as I headed back downstairs. Putting on my flats and taking my purse before walking out of the door, locking it behind me. After 5 minutes of walking, I finally got to my favourite bookshop. I’ve been going to the same one for 11 years now. It’s a fairly big bookshop at the far end of town. Two thirds of it is a bookshop, the right and middle, the far left side of it is a library. But there’s this one thing that makes it somewhat suspicious; the very last aisle in the left side. It’s got tape across it, denying access to anyone. Not a single soul of the public knows what lies in there. When someone asks about it, the answer is always the same: it’s for us and only us to know.
I pushed the doors open, the welcoming smell of new books and pages filled the air surrounding me. After walking along the book filled aisles for what felt like eternity, I finally chose five books and payed for them. I decided to leave the books to read at home, and read a book from the library instead. I was friends with most of the staff. They’ve been the same since I started to go there: Tamara, Tiffany, Ellie and Emma. Tamara though, had always had a suspicion that I’d sneak into the forbidden aisle. She always kept a close eye on me; making sure that I wouldn’t go there. You see, the problem is that all the good books are stacked in the aisle that’s right next to it. And I may or may not have been caught trying to sneak into the forbidden aisle a few times, so I really don’t blame her. I just really don’t understand what’s so precious to be hidden in there, other than books of course! After picking out a book, I sat down in the aisle with my back leaning against the bookcase that separated me from the forbidden aisle. After a few minutes of reading, Tamara showed up.
“What are you doing?” she asked, I just held up the book that I was reading to her.
She clicked her tongue before speaking again “well, don’t try anything. I have my eyes on you!” she warned before heading back the same way she came.
I still sat there reading and reading until I finally finished the book at 2:30pm, so I still had time to do some other activities. As soon as I stood up, it felt as if time had stopped. I could hear crying coming from the forbidden aisle. It felt as if everything was moving in slow motion, as I slowly made my way out of the aisle I was in, and started to walk to the forbidden aisle.
“HELP ME!” the voice screamed, I flinched as the loud voice boomed around me. I was just about to walk into the forbidden aisle when I was cut out of my trans. There stood Tiffany, eyebrows furrowed and her eyes full of worry. I looked around me to find that I was still sitting in the same position as I was a few hours ago, and the book that sat in my lap was open on the very last page.
I looked up at her and gave her a warm smile, “are you ok?” she questioned.
I gave her a nod before standing up, “I’m fine thanks, just dazed out for a sec!”.
She, too, gave me a warm smile before walking with me down the aisle. When I got to the front of the aisle, my light brown orbs wondered to the forbidden aisle. I can only wonder why I had that daydream. I was cut out of my thoughts as Tiffany waved her hands in front of my eyes.
“What’s up with you today?” she asked, I shrugged and kept on walking.
“I just have a lot on my mind” I mumbled as I made my way to the door.
I said my goodbyes to Tiffany and promised to come over tomorrow too, gave Tamara a nod, and hurriedly ran out of the bookshop.
After I got back home, I put the books in the library and ran back down to my office. Ten minutes went by, and I was sitting there looking for a place to explore.
“FINALLY” I shouted, my voice booming through the entire house. I had found the mysterious farm house that I’ve been looking for for the past four years. Legend has it, that the dead body of Anna Henson was found there, amazing right?! (note the sarcasm!).
You’re probably wondering who Anna Henson is.
Well fret not, I will be telling you just that!
Anna Henson was one of the most wanted criminals in our country, she was known for stealing mostly, but she was never a murderer. She died about 12 years ago after she mysteriously disappeared. Everyone said that it was suicide, but I thought otherwise. You see, when you look into her case, you’d find that she was shot in the head right between her eyes. But there was no gun found at the ‘supposed crime scene’. Therefore, I personally think that she was murdered, or at least there are more questions than answers in the case. Anyways, after putting on ‘explore appropriate’ clothes, I put my trainers on and headed to the location using my phone.
It took me about 15 minutes to get there. It was bigger than I had expected. After spending a few hours there, reading, writing and taking pictures (for the gram!). The sun had started to set and the sky was then beautiful shades of red, orange, yellow and purple. I headed back home and went to sleep.
I was once more awoken by the torture device you tend to call an alarm. Almost smashing it on the floor, I turned it off. I got up, got myself ready and headed out to the bookshop. It was like I worked there, you’d mostly find me there whenever. Before settling down in the library, I said my greetings to the staff. Five books, I read five books and none of them had me interested. Taking the risk, I walked to the aisle next to the forbidden aisle. Skimming my fingers along the book covers, until one of them caught my eye.
But before I can take it out, a voice spoke from the forbidden aisle, “the books in here are great, you should come read: The Criminal Who Was Murdered. It’s amazing. You’ll love it, I promise”, the voice spoke.
I slammed my eyes shut and concentrated on the given task.
I will not go there. I will not go there. I kept repeating to myself. I walked out of the aisle with nothing in my hands to find Tamara, her arms crossed, foot tapping impatiently on the wooden floor, and her eyebrow was about to collide with her hair. “What were you doing in there?” she quizzed.
“Is that trick question?” I replied.
“Don’t reply to my question with a question” she warned “now tell me, what were you doing in there?” she asked again.
“Looking for a book like all people do in here” I replied.
Making my way around her, picking up my stuff from the table and making a dash for the door. Before I can put my had on the door, Tiffany called my name.
Looking back at her with a smile on my face, “what’s up Tiff?” I questioned.
“It’s almost the annual anniversary for the bookshop. Can you help with the decorations?” she requested.
“Of course, what you do you need me to do?” I accepted.
She gave me a few tasks to do. I walked out of the bookshop to realize that it was now 9:30pm, the sun had already set and dark blue coloured the sky, dotted with bright white stars. I went straight to sleep after I got home.
I was back at the bookshop. No one else was there, just me. it was dark, the illuminating light of the moon was the only source of light, spilling in through the windows from outside. I walked amongst the book filled shelves, looking for something, someone. I had no idea what was going on. A voice boomed around me, filling the silence that I was in. Looking around me, trying to find the source of it, to find no one there. I ran and ran, until I found myself standing in front of the forbidden aisle. One thing caught my eye, the tape that blocked the way before, was now gone. Slowly approaching it, step after step, until I was inside it. There was someone crouched in the corner of the aisle, “hello?” I spoke hesitantly. I stepped another step, edging closer to the anonymous person that was crouched. Before I could take another step, the figure stood up before letting out a chilling, blood curdling scream that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Before I could react, everything around me faded and I was falling from an unknown height. My back hitting the mattress. Sitting up, droplets of sweat made their way down my face. I checked the time, it was five to six am. It’s the first time I’ve woken up at such a time in ages!
It was the 100th anniversary for the bookshop. Yep, you heard, well read, right. It was the 100th anniversary. “Why start preparing for the party now?” I asked Tamara that sat there watching me closely.
“It’s the 100th anniversary” Tiffany piped in, as she took a seat next to me. Tamara just rolled her eyes before taking her phone out and started tapping furiously on the screen. “You’ll break the screen if you don’t tap more gently!” I muttered under my breath.
Tamara’s head flew up as her eyes widened, shooting daggers at me, her eyebrow rose that it almost met her hair line, and her face turned red. Tiffany, on the other hand, just snickered as she took another pair of scissors and started cutting out an H. “It’s my phone, I can break it if I want to” Tamara roared at me, as she backed her chair, that made a loud and annoying sound (I just described Tamara in two words) against the ground, and left.
After Tamara left, Tiffany’s head lifted as she threw her head back and went into a fit of laughter, before raising her hand signalling for a high five, that I gladly gave her with a wide grin on my face.
A month went by, with me getting the same nightmare almost every night (me in the library, the crouched figure and the blood curdling scream), and helping the bookshop get ready for the party that was two days away. And that’s when I moved all the thoughts from my mind, and made a plan to sneak into the forbidden aisle…
The day that I’d been waiting for for the past 11 years finally came, my cue to sneak into the forbidden aisle. It was 7pm and people started to flood the bookshop. The books that were stacked in the bookshelves, were now gone and all the bookshelves were pushed into the left side of the bookshop. The entire right side was bright and colourful, as strings of different coloured lights and decorations were hung up everywhere. Everywhere except for that one and lonely aisle. Two hours later, the bookshop was a sea of people. Chatting, laughing and dancing to the music that surrounded them. I took that as my cue to explore. I made my way out of the crowed and down to the dark aisle. Once I was standing in front of the aisle, I looked to my right and made sure that no one was looking before I crept under the tape. The atmosphere around me changed instantly. It felt as if I was in a bubble. I could hear the noises of the party, but it sounded as if it was a couple of blocks away. Ignoring the weird feeling, I traced my fingers along the neatly stacked books, removing some of the thick layer of dust that coated the book cover. I was about to pull out the book Eat, Pray, Love, but the book next to it caught my eye. The Criminal Who Was Murdered, the cover read. I took that one out instead. Almost jumped out of my skin when the sound of something being dragged came from behind me. I slowly looked back to see a small open compartment in the wall. Looking inside of it to find a notebook and a pen. I took them out and sat behind a few stacked boxes; so if someone were to pass by, they wouldn’t see me. Sitting down and putting the book, notebook and pen in front of me. I opened the notebook to find nothing but blank pages. Not a single drop of ink, or dust for that matter, was on it.
“What is this?” I mumbled quietly to myself.
Suddenly, the pen picked itself up from the ground and started to scribble on the notebook.
“It’s my notebook” it wrote.
I stared at the page as a shocked expression made its way to my face. “Who am I talking to?” I questioned. Why did I ever ask that question! The pen started to scribble again before dropping to the ground.
“Anna Henson” I read aloud.
My eyes widened in both shock and horror, before doubt settled in my mind. It can’t be Anna Henson. What would the supposed spirit of the Anna Henson be doing in a library? I thought to myself. I am a big believer of the supernatural and all, but the spirit of Anna, in a library? Pft, never. I was about to close the notebook and dash out, but before I could do so, the pen started to scribble once more.
“I know you’re thinking that it can’t be me, but I promise that I’m not lying” was scribbled on the paper.
I huffed before speaking again “how did you die?” I quizzed.
The pen took off like a rocket scribbling words after words. “Everybody thinks that I committed suicide, but the truth is way beyond that. I was murdered and everybody still blamed me for it!” it read.
My heart ached at the words, but deep down I was actually happy, because I had always known that she was murdered, and her death wasn’t suicide. I didn’t know what to say. So I just sat there for a few seconds before the pen started scribbling again
“I was murdered right here, in this very aisle”.
And that’s when it hit me, that’s why this aisle had been closed off from the world for so many years. The spirit of the Anna Henson was trapped in here. But why were they so very scared from people finding out? I’m sure there’s more than the fact that she was murdered here.
“Who killed you?” I wondered.
The pen started to write ever so slowly and carefully “that’s for you to find out”.
And with that, the notebook slammed itself shut. I took the book, notebook and pen with me, before slowly creeping out of the aisle, and making my way back into the sea of bodies. After a long and fun night, I went home. Putting the book in my library, and the notebook and pen on my nightstand, before falling asleep.
I once more woke up with sweat streaming down my face. I did the usual routine, before heading out to the bookshop. I helped them clean and put everything back in place before having a little chat with Tiffany, Ellie and Emma. Tamara followed me as I got up, taking a seat in the library to read in peace.
“Where did you disappear last night?” she puzzled as she pulled a chair out and sat across from me.
I looked up at her before replying “I had some errands to run”, then looked back down at my book.
She just scoffed and took off. After I made sure that no one was looking, I took the notebook and pen out,
“how would I find out if what you said last night was true or not?” I asked.
The pen scribbled “look for a tape. It’s hidden somewhere in the bookshop”. My eyebrows furrowed in confusion. “where exactly can I look?” I questioned.
“It’s right under your nose” the pen wrote. I just huffed and put the notebook and pen back into my bag and continued reading.
A week went by, and I searched every last spot in the library. Searching in books, cabinets, under tables, literally everywhere you could possibly hide something. I got a lot of suspicious glares from Tamara.
She would always sneak up on me and ask “what are you looking for?”, my reply would always be the same: “I’m looking for a book!”.
Another week passed with more suspicious looks from the staff, and no luck with finding the tape. I sat as far away as I could from the forbidden aisle to avoid any further suspicions. I took out the book that I’d taken from the forbidden aisle in hopes of reading it, but much to my surprise, I found the tape sitting there. Blank pages were cut out in the middle, holding the tape. I felt my face drain from blood as shock flooded over me. All the hours that I spent on looking for this tape, while it has been literally under my nose, just like Anna told me. I scurried to my feet and headed to the door, only to be stopped by the voice of Tiffany calling my name.
“Going home so early?” she asked, “I’ve got a ton of things to do” I replied and quickly ran out of the building.
I got home and took out my old DVD player, that I’d gotten from my grandad ages ago, and put the tape in. It showed people walking in and out, reading, writing, texting, everyone was minding their own business. I started to fast forward until something caught my eye: a figure in a black hoodie and black jeans walked into the shop. No one was there except for the staff. The figure went to the now known as forbidden aisle and started to look through books.
The face was now visible, it was her, it was Anna Henson.
Someone came into view, their back facing the camera. They were pointing a gun to Anna’s head.
“You have no right to be here” the voice shouted, it was familiar but yet unfamiliar.
“Fine, I’ll leave” Anna spoke calmly as she put the book back into its place. Before she can turn and walk away, the voice started to speak again “not so fast”.
They wasted no time as they pulled the trigger to the gun, and put a bullet right in between Anna’s eyes. I shrieked and covered my eyes, before quickly uncovering them.
The figure turned around, now facing the camera. Showing a smirking Tiffany.
Her face showed everything but sadness. She walked away while saying “god, I’ve wanted to do that for ages!” my heart dropped, I just solved one of the biggest mysteries that roamed my city for the past 12 years. All I could think of was how could someone like Tiffany commit such a crime?
She could never hurt a fly, or could she?
I mean, I would’ve accepted this more if it was Tamara; seeming that she’s so suspicious and protective of the aisle, but Tiffany?
Never in my wildest dreams would I had ever thought of her being able to do such a thing. But there’s no denying the truth, there was tape evidence showing that she killed Anna.
I quickly ran out of the house with the tape safely tucked into my bag, and made my way to the police station. I showed them the tape and they watched very closely, asking me all sorts of questions such as how I got the tape. After explaining to them how I got a hold of it, they let me go. Soon, police cars flooded the town and surrounded the bookshop. A few police officers went in and came out with a flushed Tiffany. Tamara and the rest of the staff stood there with tears streaming down their cheeks.
After a few days, I went back to the forbidden aisle.
The notebook and pen yanked itself from my hold and the pen scribbled a “thank you”.
A smile made its way onto my face “it was a pleasure to help” I spoke.
The pen scribbled once more “take me with you” it pled, my smile got wider as I bent down and took the notebook and pen into my hold, “gladly” I beamed as I made my way out.
Even though Anna was a criminal, she was never a murderer. She deserved to be judged by the law and not by some person that worked in a bookshop!
I came to learn that Anna loved to read. It warmed my heart knowing that someone liked Anna loved to read. And yet lit a fire at the thought that she never got the chance to read the book that she held between her hands.
After I got home, I asked what was the book that she wanted to read, “Eat, Pray, Love” she scribbled.
My eyes welled up as I got up from my bed and headed to my shelves, grabbing the book and placing it onto the bed next to the notebook, “there” I offered.
The book cover flung open, Anna’s spirit started to read, as I watched amused and read a bit of my new book: The Woman in The Window. A few hours went by, and Anna finished the book. I was surprised at how fast she read it.
The pen scribbled a “THANK YOU” on the notebook, “no problem” I smiled. After telling her that there was now a movie of it, she insisted on watching it, and that’s exactly what we did. After finishing the movie, the pen scribble a goodnight, I replied with the same as I got comfy in my bed. It turns out that not all criminals are as bad as you’d think of them to be. Sometimes, the public can be worse than a criminal. All Anna wanted to do was to read, and all she got was a bullet between her eyes.
Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, DraculaWrite a Review