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Anastasia had been heading up the cleaning project for what had to have been at least a month. She had to devote most of her attention to managing the project, but she had finally carved out a day to do some digging. She had Siobhan use magic to disguise herself as Anastasia, in order to throw off any suspicion. She wasn’t sure how much Adara would approve of her poking around, so she had to be careful. Coombre had spent some of his downtime managing to locate what he called a secret section of the library. Most importantly they had both sworn to keep quiet.
Anastasia donned a hooded robe, and made her way to the library. She had been before, but it was still amazing. She had never seen so many books in one place. There were four floors, and all of them were packed with shelves so tall that you needed a ladder to reach the top. Anastasia was surprised that there were even this many books. She had perused some of them before, and there was every kind of book imaginable. They had fiction that she recognized, textbooks, and books in languages she’d never seen. Not all of it was books, some of it seemed to be research put in binders.
She found Coombre standing by a shelf of cookbooks on the first floor.
“Alright, where’s the ‘secret section’?” She asked. She didn’t see anything of note here, so she wondered what he was doing standing here.
“I found it while I was poking around. I saw a book that looked to be sticking out a little, and when I went to fix it…” He stretched up and pushed a book into the bookcase. The bookcase began to slide downwards, eventually revealing a doorway.
They went in, and saw a medium sized room, with about twenty bookshelves and a large desk in the middle. The desk didn’t have anything on it, except for the dust which had accumulated. Anastasia opened one of the drawers and found a menagerie of writing utensils, everything from charcoal to a normal pen. She opened another and found a bunch of scrolls. She wiped off part of the desk and unrolled one, but it looked to be blank. Another drawer had a collection of empty journals. They all looked handmade and unique.
She turned her attention to the bookshelves. They looked just about as dusty the desk. Many of them looked like they were in Arabic. She found one shelf that had a row of journals that looked like the ones she had seen in the drawer. She pulled one off, and placed it on the desk. She opened it and saw a picture on the first page. It looked old, She flipped it to the back and saw it was dated 1968. It was of Adara and a white soldier.
She looked at the journal itself and swore. It was written in Arabic.
“Hey, Coombre. You don’t happen to speak Arabic do you?”
He walked over and took a look at the book. He placed it back on the desk, and gestured for Anastasia to back up. He closed his eyes, and began to say something she couldn’t understand. After a moment, he opened his eyes again, and stood there for a moment.
“So, can you read Arabic now?”
“No, I just took-” He stopped himself and shook his head. “It would take too long to explain, but I know what the book says now.”
“Oh, wow. What does it say?”
“It is a journal. It tells of a young girl who found herself lost in a monastery when a green light hit. It tells of this as though it was something recalled from long ago. The monastery was in a different place. It says she spoke a little English and found a soldier who gave her some food. It seems that they may have had a romance. She lived in the monastery and he came to visit her, but then one morning the monastery was in a different place again.” He closed the book, and went towards the shelf. “Would you like me to read another?”
Anastasia was about to reply when she heard a loud noise. Her heart almost stopped. She span around, and saw Adara clapping in the doorway.
“I see you’ve been busy.”
“Adara-” Anastasia began.
“I’m impressed that you found this place so quickly.” She stepped in and looked around. She ran her finger along one of the shelves, and looked at the dust on her finger. “It’s been a while since I’ve been in here.”
“I’m sorry for poking around.” Anastasia bowed her head.
“It’s not a problem. Your thirst for knowledge knows no bounds.” She walked over to the desk and took a seat. “You had questions, and you sought out answers on your own, with no heed for consequences. I certainly didn’t expect you to actually trust Coombre and Siobhan to help you.”
“I knew I couldn’t find what I was looking for without help. I assume they told you?”
“I’ll leave that to your imagination, but have faith in your allies.” She paused. “So, are you satisfied? Are your questions answered?”
“Not really.” Anastasia shook her head. “I’m still not sure what the green light actually was, and how does Jean play into this? Was he the soldier?”
Adara laughed. “First you will have to make a choice. Your leadership skills are excellent, and your curiosity unceasing. If you want your questions answered, I would love to have you remain with me. We can unravel the mysteries of the universe together.”
Anastasia’s jaw dropped. She couldn’t believe that someone wanted her for something like that. She’d never been smart, so this was out of left field. She thought about it for a moment, but she had a suspicion that there was a catch. “Would I have to leave my friends?”
“I’m afraid every choice has a cost. You would likely never see them again.”
Anastasia’s mind raced. She couldn’t leave Paul, Jude, or even Vanessa for that matter. She had found friends who stood by her. She couldn’t abandon them now.
“Thank you for your offer, but no. I’ll seek out the secrets of the universe with my friends by my side.”
“Very well. You still have time to change your mind.” She got off the desk and moved towards the door. “Be sure to leave the monastery by sunset, or else you will have your choice taken away.” She stopped right before the door, turned around, and smiled. “Goodbye, Anastasia.”
I have my new stuff up and running now. WordPress has changed its editor too, so I’m also learning that. Please let me know if anything is off about this, or any of my other posts. I think I’ve worked out a new system, but can’t quite be sure. Anyways, hope you enjoyed!
(Art credit: WordPress Free Photo Library)