Writing Prompt: How were your travels?

Index Admin
By Index Admin May 17, 2012 16:02

One day, at your local public library, you are looking around the very back shelves. There is a particularly boring looking book there, but for some reason it catches your interest and you find yourself removing it from the shelf. However, as soon as you move the book, the bookcase opens in like a door, revealing a deep dark tunnel. Write this scene. Describe your journey down the tunnel and what you see on the way and also what you find once you get to the end of the tunnel.

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Index Admin
By Index Admin May 17, 2012 16:02
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  1. Susan Thornton August 21, 17:03

    The pungent odor of the aged cloth and leather was oddly comforting as I strolled past the children’s section that graced the last aisle of our local library. The quiet corner, with the two overstuffed chairs, was the brain-child of my father, Harold Bailey II, a bookish philanthropist who instilled the love of reading in me at an early age.

    Since his untimely death, two weeks earlier, I had found myself drawn to the shelves. Running my hands over the spines of the treasures he purchased was an escape from the slicing pain that had taken up residence just below my ribcage.

    The titles represented memorable journeys with my father. He would sit next to my bed reading while I nestled comfortably, clutching my favorite companion, a brown stuffed dog I called, Don. The colorful facades formed the mosaic of my childhood, each title transporting me to a specific time with Dad. As I passed the name, E.B. White, I remember being introduced to Charolette, Dad had the most affable voice for Wilbur. A beautiful black horse, a little girl with Longstockings, and a wooden puppet with an unruly nose were some favorite characters. Oz, Green Gables and the most magical Secret Garden I could imagine inhabited my dreams. All put there by Dad. How could he be gone? The next year held the promise of college and the dream of being a writer, how could I travel that road without him?

    As I ran my hands over my all-time favorite book, the reddish-brown, gold embossed curve of the March girls, Louisa May Alcott lead me to an unfamiliar surface. I thought I knew all books that lived on those shelves but there was a new resident. The book seemed out of place. A nondescript gray cover, devoid of title, it was a foreigner in my homeland. I couldn’t imagine what story hid behind the unfamiliar binding, so I pulled it out to inspect the intruder.

    A sudden vacuum pulled me off my feet and almost took my breath away as the shelves parted and revealed a cavernous, dark tunnel. I was immediately drawn to the pinpoint of light that exposed an opening. With each step toward the distant chamber, the pain I had carried around since my father’s sudden heart attack melted away and was replaced with an overwhelming sense of peace. I quickened my pace in anticipation of the opening and the relief it offered.

    The last few steps before the passage was revealed were taken on air, I had shifted to a transcendent state and was now floating above the scene. A voice I was conscious of, but couldn’t audibly hear, spoke in a soft but firm manner. The question was posed, “What is it all about?” The image below was me, working at a writing desk, and my father was standing over me. After a moment I turned to hug my father.

    I awakened hugging my old friend, Don, and heard myself give the answer, “Love.”

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  2. Kara Skinner July 15, 21:48

    The Bucksport Library is that favorite place of mine that I rarely remember unless I’m walking by it or I want a certain book that I’m not willing to pay money for. It’s how I think all libraries should be; quiet and almost completely devoid of life. Over a hundred and fifty years old, the tiny library still used the card system and had only two computers. You could check out as many books as you could carry out to your car, or you could just sit down in an aisle and read. The library would stay open as long as someone was reading.

    It was a place where Twilight was considered an adult book, and the YA bookshelves were decorated in cobwebs, but for some reason, that just seemed to add to its charm.

    I had graduated high school only a few minutes before, and for old times’ sake, I went to the YA section, fingering the spines of my favorite books over the years. I paused, finding a book I had never seen before. As far as I knew, the only additions to the library in the last twenty years were all popular bestsellers that everyone had already seen the movie of. But this book was a simple leather-bound book, barely an inch thick. It had no title, and I wondered if someone had forgotten their journal and the librarian had mistaken it for a fallen book.

    I pulled it out and then the wall opened up,revealing a dark and narrow tunnel that seemed to go on forever. I ran inside just as the wall slid shut behind me. There wasn’t any way to go but forward. So I grinned and started jogging.

    The tunnel behind me lit up,showing pictures and stories. Heartbreaks, victories, and lazy days listening to the Beatles. But the tunnel in front of me remained dark, except for the next step in front of me.

    Several times the tunnel split into forks and I turned, choosing on an impulse. I kept running into the unknown, memories lighting up brighter than stars behind me.

    At the end of the tunnel was a door, old and well-worn by hands and weather. I pushed it open and came out on a deserted highway. There was a lone sign telling me where I was, covered in dirt and partially hidden by evergreens: Leaving Bucksport. I stepped forward, my choice already made. I touched the sign for good luck and ran out of Bucksport, into the dark unknown, my path illuminated behind me.

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    • IAI Admin July 18, 05:13

      Thanks for participating, Kara.

      I enjoyed your story, which is 424 words long and qualifies you for 50 points towards an Amazon gift card. 😀

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