The Library
By Kinsha Dave, Year 11, Sawston Village College

Dust-shot sunlight entered the Library through the windows on the ceiling and walls, as if vibrant galaxies had shattered in fragments and now adorned the sequestered archive. The rays seemed to brush every crack, every crevice, and caressed each book, each title in an affectionate embrace: an eternal companion, always providing warmth and hope.

Murmurs and whispers, quiet and intimate enveloped the shelves in the athenaeum. The susurration was unified, a sinfonietta flawless in pitch and tone. Books lined the ledges and racks, threatening to spill onto the floor, grumbling in low voices like the ancient and weary souls they were. Some even did, adorning the cracked linoleum in wavering piles, their bickering and consequent shuffling always prevalent. Some cowered behind table legs and beneath shelves, intimidated by broader tomes and volumes with their pompous vats of information. Some were nestled comfortably with their respectable counterparts (sequels, prequels, etc.) and floated in a tranquil slumber.

Rani’s hopeful jaunt in the rain had gone from abysmal to downright depressing. She had always cherished the monsoon — it was exquisite, being outside in the rain while everyone else fussed inside; it was her solo rebellion against the world. The rhythmic sounds brought calm to the chaos of her mind. Drops filled her hands and she forgot the report due last Thursday. Pearls landed on her eyes and her breathing slowed; the overwhelming scent of mowed lawns wafted through her nose, and her harried list-making and timekeeping halted.

Clearly, this was not the case today. The rainfall was the pitiful kind, indecisive even — the moment she thought it would transform to a soothing blast, it ceased. The rain fell in gasps and flutters: an unswerving impermanent state. Nevertheless, she powered on; she had reserved books waiting for her.

As she rounded the corner, a peculiar feeling overtook her, an uneasiness coupled with…curiosity? Abruptly, she stopped in front of the decrepit building. She squinted adamantly at it, as if it would reveal something more than a brick wall.

It was titled so simply: Library. Blankly, she stared at the generic word. Library. How simple, and completely innocuous. Library.
Curiosity boundlessly piqued, she pushed the rusted handle and slipped in.

The bell jangled sharply, and for the first time in eons rang its euphonious melody. The sounds reverberated across the Library like echoes upon echoes. These mellifluous layers awakened the dozing books and startled the arguing into a shocked silence.

The woman stood in silent awe at the scene, mouth agape, head swivelling all around the antique structure. Wandering through each aisle, she reached out and assessed each book, inquisitively, and leafed through the pages with care, consuming their words voraciously.

The books also regarded her collectively, investigating this human who had stumbled upon their age-old home. They relished her nurture towards them; and her mind was so resolutely perceptive. Enveloping her in a synchronous sigh, a gentle breeze flew through their crinkling pages, and they embraced her in spirited bliss.
Finally, the Library had found its Librarian.