Hello reader. My name's James. You are going to be reading my extraordinary story. My story starts off when I was only twelve, and I'm now seventy-odd, and yet, I can remember it as if it was yesterday. So here goes. When I was twelve, I kind of remember myself walking up the path to the old, creepy, tumbled down library. A long time ago, way past the memories of the oldest people living in Old Town, the library had been a house, but 100 years ago, there had been a horrible, ghastly murder and it's been said that a ghost still roams the library wailing the name of its murderer. Or so the old legends. They also say that a wizard and a spirit had a duel and the spirit turned into a woman ghost. Then from what I'd heard, the wizard came back and turned the spirit into a proper woman, whose name I've forgotten. So you can imagine the look of terror on my face when my mum said for me to go to the library on my own to get her a stupid, boring gardening book.
"But mum, there's a grotesque, demented, and tormented ghost haunting the library, and you know that from all the legends!"
"Well if you're a little baby, then you can take your friend with you," my mum sarcastically said, trying to mimic my voice, but miserably failed.
At the sound of these words, I shot out of the house like a bullet out of a gun to my friend's house just down the road from me.
My friend was called Leo, and was the same age as I was, and he had only one hobby. That was eating. He ate what ever he could lay his grubby, piggy, little hands on, whether it was burgers, ice cream, or chips. You name it, he ate it. Sometimes all three at once. But anyway, after I met up with him, we ran like lightning to the library.
A couple of minutes later, I had found the book I wanted. The book was called: 'Horrible Histories, Deaths in the Library'.
"Have you found the book yet that you wanted?" Leo asked, voice muffled by the massive burger bun in his mouth. He had loads of tomato ketchup running down his face like the Angel Falls. Sometimes, he's so sick, you can be physically sick just by looking at him.
"Yes I've found it. It's called..."
"Hey don?t close the door on us!" Leo bellowed and ran as fast as his fat, piggy, little legs could carry him. But it was too late; the great, old oak door closed in his face and he banged into it, and rolled around the floor because he was a fat ball of fat.
"I don't believe it; we're locked in the haunted l-library with the b-b-blood sucking, horrible semi-transparent g-g-ghost who could attack us at a-a-any minute!" he spluttered in a shaky voice. He was scared, but I somehow managed to stay calm.
"Hey, hey, hey, calm down, we're going to try and find an exit, and we'll be out in no time. I promise you that o.k.," I said encouragingly to him. That calmed him down, and he even smiled, despite the current situation we were in. I thought this was slightly odd, but I just ignored it. "But before we can do that, we have to try and get rid of the ghost that has killed people, just by cursing all the books, or so all the legends say anyway."
"You must be kidding!"
"Well, it's not as is we have much of a choice is it. So are you with me or aren't you?"
"O.K, let's do it."
"That's the spirit. Now to start off with, you start over in the far corner and I'll start here. Try to press every panel you can see to see if a secret door will open or something."
We were near the end of the library. We had to push aside big, thick, disgusting cobwebs, which smelled of long forgotten mothballs, to look for an exit out of the library. After roughly 10-15 minutes, Leo sat against the wall, apparently exhausted by the amount of ?exercise? we did. Then suddenly the wall opened when he lent on a panel.
"The wall opened up when I lent on it!" he shouted in a very sudden, loud voice.
"Well, come on then, let?s see what's at the end of the tunnel," I replied in an encouraging voice.
The tunnel was very dark, very spooky and very mysterious. We couldn't see our hands in front of our faces because it was so dark. It was so dark that we could almost taste it. Leo was now back to trembling from head to foot like a jelly at a little kid's birthday. A few minutes later, Leo said he thought he could hear something just ahead.
"Hey, can you hear anything up ahead that sounds like a plant that moves in the wind?" he asked.
"Yes, I can hear something. Let's investigate it!" I replied in a confident voice.
"I don't want to, I just want to go back to where I know we'll be safe from any harm," Leo suddenly whimpered like a bratty, scared kid.
"So you're a chicken then? Cluck, cluck, cluck!"
"Stop it, already. I'll go, I'll go."
"That?'s good, because you've got no choice in the matter."
So we marched onwards, after this little argument, until we came to a chamber filled with tropical plants of all shapes and sizes. Some were tall and thin, whilst others were short and fat. The one thing they all had in common, however, was they all had some sort of mouth, which was causing the moving in the wind sound, and they also looked remarkably human in appearance. The whole area smelt like a cheap compost heap that hadn't been cleaned in two to three years, and the place was lit up by a dim light coming from the ceiling skylight, casting a soft glow over everything in the area.
"They look furious with us for some reason," I said in an almost calm voice, but on the inside, I was almost as scared as Leo was as this minute. But I was hardly going to admit that after just making fun of him for the same reason.
"Do-do you think they'll at-t-tack if we try to get a-a-across?" stuttered Leo in a low whisper.
"Well, lets see if they do attack us! I don't care if they do or not!" I bellowed in a loud, stern voice to try and show some authority.
So I ran quickly to one of the closer plants, and almost immediately the plant attacked me with one of its long, thin, straggly branches, nearly knocking me unconscious.
"Hey, just then, before I got hit, I thought I heard it say that you have to answer a riddle of some sort, to get pass them." I told Leo. Well, at this point, I really thought I was going mental because of the bump on my head caused by the branch hitting me. After all, how many talking trees do you hear and see in normal life.
"How are we to get past you?" demanded Leo in his obvious O.T.T. voice, to show that he thought he was the big boss around here. At this point, I also thought my best friend was becoming a lunatic as well as me, and he wasn't even hit with a branch. And stupid. I just said how they would let us pass. Seriously.
"You have to answer a riddle of great difficultly. If you guess correctly, then you can pass. But answer incorrectly, then you'll die a horrible death," the plant suddenly said in a slippery tone:
"First think of the person who lives in disguise,
Who deals in secrets and tells naught but lies.
Next, tell me what the last thing to mend is always,
The middle of middle and end of the end?
And finally give me the sound often heard
During the search for a hard-to-find word.
Now string them together, and answer me this,
Which creature would you be unwilling to kiss?"
Both Leo and I were thinking hard about the riddle, for about 30 seconds, when suddenly Leo jumped up and shouted in an excited voice "I've cracked it, the answers a spider." He always seems to get riddles quickly, despite the difficulty of some of them.
"Yes, that is the correct answer; you may now go on into the next chamber. But let me give you a bit of advice,"
the plant said softly and evilly "You'll need a very sharp eye to help you," then he laughed softly, but there was nothing to amuse him in the dark dismal chamber.
"Thank you for helping us," we said together happily. I didn't realize it at the time, but this advice was to help me recognize friend from foe. In time.
Just as we were about to set out, Leo suddenly said, "James, can I speak to this plant very quickly?"
"Why the hell would you want to do such as stupid thing?!"
"To make it apologize for hitting you earlier."
"It doesn't matter. I'm fine now anyway."
"No really, I insist. So, if you go on ahead, I'll catch up with you."
"Well, O.K, if you're absolutely sure. I'll meet you behind that curve down the tunnel." So I went on ahead, then I waited for him once I got to a fork in the tunnel. At this point in time, I thought it was strange that he wanted to talk to a plant that he was absolutely petrified of. A few minutes later, I met up with Leo and we began to walk down endless tunnels.
For some hours, Leo and I had been walking along the new passage until suddenly someone jumped out of the shadows, scaring the living shit out of us.
"ERYN! What are you doing down here all alone?" shouted Leo in shock. Eryn had been his girlfriend when he was younger, but she strangely disappeared without a word to anyone, not even Leo, about 8months ago.
"Same reason you're down here. To get rid of the ghost that's been haunting this library for years. That's why I disappeared all that time ago, and that's why I didn't tell anyone where I was going or what I was going to do."
"Yeah, well, that kind of backfired, didn't it," I sarcastically replied. But she wasn't listening to me.
"You could have told me,? Leo replied angrily, "after all, I was and am your boyfriend, am I not!"
"You may be, but I knew you would try and stop me."
"Come on; let's just get this over and done with." I said in a rage. Don't you just hate it when people talk about things you can just say as easily at home?
So we carried on for a while, until we came to a sky-high, never-ending chamber filled to the top with all kinds of exotic birds such as parrots, toucans and tacos. In fact the entire world's species of birds seemed to be in this one room. But they all had one thing in common; they all had keys attached to one of their legs.
"Right, we've got two problems. A) We can't get to them because we can't fly up to grab them, obviously, and B) there are so many that we don't know which key opens the door!" Eryn shouted loudly over the noise of squawking and flapping of wings.
"What! I can't hear you over all these bloody birds!" I shouted in her ear. So she repeated it again. Whilst this was happening, Leo suddenly spotted a hunting rifle and some ammo in the dark corner of the room, and then he knew what we had to do.
"Who here has got a sharp eye and is fantastic at shooting?"
"I'm excellent at killing stuff!" shouted Eryn.
"Well, look for a key that fits the key hole," Leo whispered loudly in her ear. Obvious when you think of it, isn't it.
So Eryn took a whole minute just to find the key, then I can't blame her with the amount of birds there were, but once she did manage to find it, she took a quick aim and fired.
"Well done Eryn, you're a bloody good gunner. You've killed the bird right in the heart," Leo cheered loudly and joyfully. He's so sickening sometimes that I forget how and why we even became friends in the first place.
"Come on; let's get out of here quickly. These birds are giving me the creeps." I mumbled to myself.
We'd been walking for only a couple of minutes, or a couple of hours, I lost track of time ages ago, when we came to a chamber that had lights so bright that we had to cover our eyes for a while before we could see properly, after the great darkness of the tunnel. When we could finally see, we choked in shock at the sight.
We were standing on a chessboard that was so large, you could put my whole house on it, and still have plenty of room to spare, and three immense pieces, as tall as the tallest person ever, were moving away so we could play our way across the room to the door.
"What! Are we all going to have to be chess pieces to get across the room?" Eryn and I asked together. Thinking about it now, that was such a dumb question to ask because it's so obvious when you think about it. It really does just get worse, doesn't it?
"As you're the best chess players in the whole school, I think you should be in charge of directing us across the room Jamie," I pointed out to him. He managed to beat the former chess player in just 3 moves, somehow.
"Thanks very much for that compliment. Now Eryn, you are a castle on the kings' side, James, you are a bishop on the queens' side, and I'll be a knight on the kings' side."
And so we played. We lost quite a few pieces, but that didn't matter (I mean, it's not like they were alive or anything). And I still don't understand how he managed to get pass that enemy prawn that had him cornered. But towards the end, only Leo could see how to get us across the room, naturally, all things considering.
"James, Eryn, the only way to get across is to sacrifice myself, so you can checkmate the king then get across the room safely."
"Leo, no don?t do it!" Eryn gabbled.
"Eryn, I must. You have to destroy the ghost that?s been haunting for over 70 years now; otherwise people won't want to come to the library any more because of all the cursed books, and the fact it's haunted. Plus, it'll get you on TV! So if I sacrifice myself, you'll be one step closer to destroying it forever. So I must make my move...now!!"
And that's just what he did. He rambled towards the Queen slowly as he prepared to meet his death. The Queen turned against him, as she advanced, he shrieked like a little baby, naturally. Suddenly, she drew out a sword and stabbed him right in the heart. It might have been funny if it had been a movie, but it wasn't. Then there was silence for the longest time. Then Eryn and I started to cry.
"Please have made the right decision for all our sakes." I sobbed through all my tears. He may have been a fat pig, but he was still the best friend I had ever had, and the fact I'd practically known him from birth made it all the worse.
Eryn was just about to help him when I bellowed "STOP!! We're still playing," I reminded her, through all the tears that were still pouring down my face uncontrollably.
So I made my move, shakily, and managed to checkmate the king, so the king deliberately decided to murder himself on his own sword, and you should have seen all the blood coming out. Just like Leo. But it didn't make it any better that we'd got across the room.
I softly shouted "Hurray, we got past them. What's next?" I'd now managed to stop crying by this time, but was still shaky.
"We'll find out in a minute won't we?" Eryn replied softly. She was still sobbing quietly to herself. I guess I understood why she was so upset. I mean, knowing a friend for five years, being a girlfriend for two, and then having to see him die must have been real traumatic to her. So we had a one minute silence for him out of respect, we then cried again as me and Eryn hugged each other, then we had to move on.
So walking down the darkest, spookiest tunnel that we had been in since we first started this quest, we met up with some very malevolent 'things' which I couldn't possibly tell you about because they would give you nightmares about them for the rest of your life otherwise. So when it came to midnight (Eryn had a watch on) we decided to carry on in the morning.
"I wonder what our mums are thinking about us right at this very minute." I exclaimed to Eryn.
"Mmm" She was evidently still thinking of Leo. I could tell that straight away from her face.
We sat in silence for a while, thinking of what had just happened, then I asked "Eryn, I'm just wondering, but how long have you been down here, not including being with us."
"Well, I must have been down there for about 285 days, at least."
"God that?s a long time. But how did you manage to survive without food or water for that long?"
"Gosh," she exclaimed suddenly standing up and preparing to leave, "We better get going if we want to get to the ghost before tomorrow night."
"But you haven't answered my question, and why by tomorrow."
"What does it matter!" she suddenly snapped. She definitely wasn't acting normal, especially when your boyfriend has just been stabbed to death by a chess piece. Maybe it was just the stress, but I wasn't so sure.
"Sorry I ever asked," I muttered to myself.
But then, as we were getting up, something happened which made me quite uneasy. Eryn floated off the ground for a few seconds. It might've just been part of my very over-active imagination, but because of that, I had a startling thought. Eryn was one of the most dim-witted person in the whole school, only Leo was thicker then she was, hence how she managed to be his girlfriend for such a long time, so how could she be able to get past the riddle plants. After all, she probably would've been killed ages ago. For that matter, how did Leo manage to workout that answer? My superstitions were temporarily answered when she said, "I'll go on ahead to see what else we have to face."
"On your own?"
"Only asked because we don't know what's going to be around the next corner, so shouldn't really be going on our own."
"I'll just go around the next corner, and then I'll come straight back. I promise." Then for the first time in ages, I saw her smile her beautiful, golden smile. I instantly fell for it, the stupid bastard that I was.
"O.k." I smiled weakly. I must admit, for all her dumbness, she was very beautiful.
So I waited a few minutes, but she didn't come back, so I went along the tunnel for a little while, when, after a few minutes, I came to two paths in a Y shape. In the end I chose the left hand side path (because I am left handed.)
"Now I'll see if my theory is correct. Eryn should be some sort of spirit, and she should be down this path," I muttered to myself softly.
(Continued in next post)