Banned Library Building Tour:
You find yourself standing at the bottom of an old stair case. To your left is a small desk with a computer and random office supplies, decorated with colorful artwork. No one sits behind the desk.
You put your hands in your pockets and find three pieces of pocket lint.
As you walk up the stairs, the steps groan and creak with the sounds of age. Two lines of wear lead the way up, worn down by years of people walking up and down the steps.. You stumble a little near the middle but grab the railing. The railing is also smooth from years of use
You cannot look at the stairs. You examine the stairs and see one step is slightly taller than the others and the board on top is loose. You cannot open a step. The step creeks, but you cannot pry it loose with your hands.
A small drop of red liquid is on the top stairs. You examine at the red liquid, but nothing happens. The red liquid feels like red liquid. Why would you want to smell or taste the red liquid?
Next to the top of the stairs is a desk with two drawers. The desk seems recently cleaned, with no papers or signs of work. On top of the desk is a small desk lamp and a computer with a viking helmet on top of it. When you examine the viking helmet, you see many scratches over the two horns and the wooden bowl cap. You attempt to lift the helmet, but it feels tied to the desk. When you lift harder, a small click is heard in one of the drawers.
You open the top desk drawer and find various pens and post-it notes. You open the bottom drawer and find various pads of paper and a partially open secret compartment. Opening the secret compartment reveals a small bell, a battle axe, and pocket lint. You pick up the bell, the battle axe and the pocket lint.
Moving past the desk you see the elevator on the back wall and an open balcony area that looks down on the first floor. A wooden banister rings the open space and a pyramid shaped skylight allows the midday sun to stream into the building. Looking down you can see the quilts hung by the Daughters of the Revolution of Banville. You can now see that each quilt depicts a war scene from Banville history, from the “Battle of Jeff’s Front Lawn - 1832” to the more recent “The Last Scrabble Tournament - 1996.”
To your left are two dozen shelves of books. At the end of each shelf is a plaque telling what is down each aisle. You read the first plaque. It says “A-Be.” From this, you surmise that these shelves are the fiction section, organized by the author’s last name.
To the left, beyond the desk and the open balcony are two dozen more shelves of books. Each of these shelves also displays a plaque, these with numbers from 000 to 999.99999+. From these numbers you deduce these shelves are the nonfiction section and the numbers are the Dewey Decimal System. Then you notice a paper sign tacked to the last set of shelves against the far wall.
You walk to the last shelf and read the paper sign tacked on the shelf: 1000.
“We started a new category, Brenda and I,” a man says behind you.
You turn around and see Dave from Tech Serv standing behind you.
You cannot kill Dave with the axe.
You ask Dave about Brenda.
“Brenda was the last reference librarian. She was a brilliant woman and formidable. Brenda practiced many arts thought lost to the library science. In her fever for the truth, she dug too deep and became lost to us. The axe you are holding was her personal weapon against the darkness. We were working on bringing the truth to the library.”
You ask Dave about the sign.
“We put the sign up as a designation for the new category of the Dewey System we were creating, the 1000s. Had this library followed the Cutter system, it would not be necessary, but there you have it.”
You ask Dave about 1000s.
“The 1000s begin a new era for the library system. These books will be the collective knowledge from beyond our world, either from within the world of the supernatural or from other places,” Dave said, looking up, “We thought about using 001, 130s or 398, but that denotes either too general a category or suspicion on the validity of the information. Brenda wanted to put them in the defunct 216 category, but not all the otherworldly are evil. She was a warrior, dear girl, but a pragmatist that understood her role was to collect and battle the not so benevolent forces. It was not her place to judge others. I am sorry, speaking of her pains me and I must return to my duties.”
Dave turns and walks away.
You walk to the end of the aisle and look at the books in the 1000 category. Of the three shelves, many of the titles on the spines are either unreadable or in languages you do not understand. Of the few titles you can read, you see Tobin’s Spirit Guide, Necronomicon, There and Back Again, Poems and Rhymes Around the World, Travels With My Cats, and Encyclopedia Galactica Vol. I, A, 1, a, A-Aa. You reach for a book with a language of mostly dashes and dots when you see a pair of eyes staring at you from the other shelf.
“You have my gold coin,” the homeless man said.
His arm bursts through the shelves, knocking books to the floor. One of the thicker tomes falls open and a low hum begins to fills the room. You dodge the grasp of the homeless man as you fall back in surprise. Grabbing and closing the humming book, you run down the aisle toward the stairs.
Thumping steps follow you as you run down the steps, taking them two at a time. You stop at the bottom, hefting the axe. You wait, but the homeless man does not follow. Thinking about the coin, you go to the children’s librarian’s desk next to the stairs.
You try to open the desk. You cannot open the desk. You open the top desk drawer. Inside it you find a gold coin and some pocket lint. You take the gold coin and the pocket lint.
Looking around, you see Dave standing at the door to Technical Services. He is pointing toward the back of the library.
You walk to were Dave is pointing. There are two doors and an elevator. The first door is labeled “Exit.” The second door has the label: “Computer Lab.” You open the door and see a set of stairs leading down. Each step has a drop of red liquid on it.