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Night of the Unread

In the darkest of libraries, where solid book and stack seem to sway and quiver in the half light their waits . . . .
Go to the front desk and find Tell Tale card on the monitor?
Chapter one

The Stacks

In the next isle you crouch to see the larger printed books on the lower shelf, they have great titles like

Matchbox Robots - how to make an army of nano-bot robots to control the world, and A Gravy Boat to Ganymead, which is subtitled a sci-fi cooking exploration!

But then you spot The Button Collectors' Journal - the story of a curious woman obsessed with snipping off other peoples buttons without them noticing. She then stitched them into her journal with detailed information about who where and why they were collected.

The first page quoted

'black waistcoat front, no 3 of 6, Post Office queue'


'left sleeve pocket - single, elderly gentleman who fell asleep on the bus. '

You slip the book neatly back into its slot on the stacks and the hours draw on as your peruse further and deeper into the world of paper and print.

The noises of the library are different at night, this hush has a strange depth and texture without fidgeting children all about. Where was the bustle of librarians with their trolly wheels dragging on the carpet, the whir of the photocopier, the bloom and whoosh of the electric door. All friendly comforting nosies, now all strangely absent.

But then the silence is broken.


Was that the sound of a large book hitting the floor just two isles over!

Are you really alone!
Chapter two

The Awakening

How you managed to dose-off in the library and nobody find you under the bean bags in the story corner is neither here nor there. You are stuck, the doors are locked, everyone has gone home and here you are, trapped inside the library until dawn.

But the fear slowly subsides as you realise just how cool this is, locked inside with 10,000 books (at least!) each a world enticing you to pull them off the shelf and dig inside.

So you slowly shuffle down the isles, running your fingers along the spines in the half light, letting your eyes drift from spine to spine.

The Bideford Bansky, Destination Dulverton, The Last Byte which appeared to be a digital vampire novel!

But the first book your fingers settle on is called The Shrinky-dink Tinker, you pop it open and begin to scan the large print. The book appears to be about a elf sized travelling man who travels from door to door on the back of a red squirrel repairing pots and pans.

You put the book back and continue to peruse...
Go to the fiction section, behind the letter C for the next Tell Tales card and keyword.
Chapter three

The answers to questions unasked

On the floor you see a large, green book. The words written on the book are embossed in gold ink. But the green had a felt feeling. You pick it up and start to read from the first page.

People wonder, why do we die? why do we live? why do we need food and water? Well I will tell you most of the answers to these inquiring questions.

Jack woke up in the morning, mourning. Why you ask, because it was another one of these dreadful school days. He came downstairs to eat and there was no food except the toast his mother was burning in the toaster. So he was sad, because now he had to go to school hungry and he was angry because there was no nourishment accept the breakfast his mother just burnt. He went to pack his P.E clothes but guess what? They were wet and damp as they had not been put in the dryer. Could his day get any worse? You just wait.

When he got to school he realised he had P.E first lesson so he had to play football in his wet and fusty kit. The bell rang for the children to go to tutor groups,so he went to the classroom and sat in his seat. The register was due but there was no teacher arrived
Order! One of his sillier classmates stood on the table and Stomped . .


You heard another book fall onto the floor somewhere near the reference
section and you went to have a look for it.
Go to the crime section, behind the letter J for the next Tell Tales card
Chapter four

The Story Of The Unusual

On the floor you see a thick, heavy book, with a hard-back cover. It has a black and white picture of a half-penguin-half-human. It was called ‘The Story Of The Unusual'. You start reading the amazing looking book ????...

There was a person who stood in his garden, but he was no ordinary person he was half-penguin-half-human! He was holding a extremely sharp axe. His garden was full of ice. He HATED ice (full stop!). He broke an ice tile, (it was very cold) and a gleaming thorn popped out. He held it up to his eye, it glinted in the sun with a twist of silver and then he heard someone's foot stamp...


Back in the library, you stop reading and you look around, there's nothing there, not a mouse not a squirrel, nothing. You pick up the book, it lay down on it's side, open on the first page. It hasn't been borrowed in two months and thirty days. Your ready to fall into an amazing story once again.....

Go to the arts and crafts for the Tell Tales card
Chapter five

Anatomy of Dreams

On the floor you see a heavy dusty old book lying with it's pages sprawled open, it has fallen from the Arts and Crafts section, peering through the gloom you reach out to drag the weighty tomb towards you and you turn it to reveal the title, 'Make your own Dream Quilt' Leafing through the pages,each one with beautiful colourful and intricate patterns,
You turn to the back to first and sub-section and read......

How to sew your own dream.....stifling a yawn.you begin to drift off ...
As the dark gloom begins to lift you are magically transported...
Sharp shards of light stream in through the slatted window screen of the door.
Outside there is chattering laughing noises singing dancing and the steady repetitive beat of a drum it sounds like of a celebration of some sort.
Venturing out into the cobbled street met by the scorching heat of the sun,the thong of lively folks in carnival costume mix with the strips of shade cast by and the colourful patterned Quilts hung over-head across the street flapping in the warm dusty breeze it's a heady mix for the senses,Festival of St Vincente has begun
Weaving through the crowds,in a trance like state everyone begins all snaking up the winding road, in a long procession toward the little church.
Along to the top of the Rocky Mountain cliff the sound of the drum is becoming ever more intense and as the party climbs higher.
Across the vista you see the most intense turquoise blue sea stretching all around as far as the eye can see this must be a remote desert island in the middle of a vast ocean the perfect hiding place for most precious of things
The book that holds all the patterns and the colours in the world,the key the your dreams the drum beats !

Thump !

You are awakened by the sound of your own heart like a shot going right through you
Go to the jigsaw stick and look for the Tell Tales card
Chapter six

The Healers Wake

Nobody, no cat, no squirrel, just a book lying on its side, a little askew as if it had thrown itself off the shelf in a suicide motion from the top of the stacks to snap its spine on the ground with the index page showing. The date was not recent of the last borrowing and there weren't many stamps either, but you open the book and begin to read.

The Healers Wake

All told, there were three siblings in the croft, a tiny house part midden, part mire all decaying around our ears, and to think this was the place we called home. We slept in the old cot tight as ticks to each other as father would stamp . . . . .


Back in the library your reading joy is once again broken as you hear a noise, what was that!

But this time, quick as a quiver you jump up and run, the last sentence still playing through your mind, with the word 'stamp'.
Go to the scanner.
Chapter seven

The Front Desk

It was no surprise to find the front desk unmanned, how, where, who was making all the noise tonight? There on the desk by the light of the book scanner, is an open ink blotter with a simple date stamper, the numbers had already been set for the next day, ready for the first borrowing approvals to be made. You notice that is the first of the month and in a calendar on the librarians desk close by has the date ringed in red, double underlined and the words 'Weeding Day'.

Weeding you think, what on earth is weeding, surly that refers only to gardening but then beneath the title it says 'instructions for library team - collect and remove all books not borrowed within the last 3 months.'

It is not about gardening at all, it is about removing old books from the library!

At that very moment you know exactly what is being asked, exactly what has being requested of you by the books themselves. So you begin to collect all the volumes which have thrown themselves into the isles (and a few more which are twitching anxiously as you walk by). You bring them all back to the front desk which takes several trips, then finally with stacks of books waiting you begin.

First you tentatively lift the stamp by its worn wooden handle and gently massage it into the ink block to gather as much ink as you can. Then, with one decisive down ward strike, you stamp the first book. Their is an audible sigh from the books (which sounds like the rustle of pages!) you then take each book to the scanner which detects and catalogs each with a satisfying ping sound.

The book is now saved.

One after another you stamp and scan, saving them from the recycling bin, putting each back on the shelf in turn. As the dawn light shows through the windows the final tomes are slid back into place on the stacks.

The last thing you do, before sleep consumes you, is slump down on the bean bags in the children's corner and fall fast asleep. The pillows slide across you and as the first librarians arrive to open the library, nobody notices you at all. When finally you do wake, you find there is one final book waiting at your feet, it is called 'The Night of the Unread'. You pick it up walk over to the machine and scan your card then check the title out before walking out the library doors with it neatly tucked under your arm.
Chapter eight


By Annelise, Quinn and Rosie. xxx

And me (Christopher Jelley)