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Fantasy Fiction Mystery

The regulars at Gem Port Library adored the librarians there. They were triplets by the names of Peter, Estella, and Ellie. And why wouldn't the visitors be enamored with them? They always knew the perfect book recommendations to suit your every need. Peter always had clever wording and puns, Estella had a way to make every story seem interesting, and Ellie knew all the best sources for studying any and every subject.

There was a quiet regular whose name was Carnelian. She came in more often than most, borrowing every book on holidays and festivals she could find. Oddly enough, they never seemed to run out. The section only seemed to change as needed every time she finished reading the material in the section. They were all in such good condition, too.

She arrived as she always did, approaching the three librarians with the books she planned on returning.

"Did you like it?" Peter asked when he noticed the "Poetry of Festivals" book. He flashed her his famous, unintentionally flirty smirk, making her blush.

"Y-yes," Carnelian stammered. She tugged gently at her head covering, avoiding looking directly at him.

"This one too?" Estella held up a "Holiday Fairy Tales" book, which Ellie quietly yanked from her to put in the system. Estella flashed a glare and annoyed pout in Elli's direction, but she didn't seem to notice.

"Anyway," Carnelian all but whispered. "Thanks for the recommendations."

There was a moment of silence as Ellie finished up, returning Carnelian's library card and book basket.

"Thanks."

Peter and Estella set Carnelian on her merry way, and she set off to her section of choice. The "Hall of Celebration" section was labeled in large words written in cursive across a tacky banner pinned to the wall above one of the bookshelves.

Carnelian smiled. If home was anywhere, it was here amidst the smell of old books and a faint lingering of whatever perfumes Ellie wore. She closed her eyes and breathed it in, letting out a relieved sigh once she held a book in her arms against her chest.

She went about her business, going through book after book and wondering in the back of her mind how they kept replenishing this precious treasure trove she loved so much

"Sorry," she heard Ellie say softly. "I have to come in.”

Carnelian looked up at Ellie, quietly nodding before taking a seat on a seat and reading one of the books she's picked out. Normally, she ignored Ellie and sometimes Peter or Estella coming into the staff room through that section of the library. But for whatever reason, she couldn't help but look from the corner of her eye as Ellie pulled out a book to the door.

The inside of the room didn't seem like a normal staff room, that was the first thing Carnelian thought. The second, an unquenchable urge to see what was inside. She always had wondered exactly what it was like to be in that room she always read beside. Ellie came out with an arm full of books that Carnelian recognized hadn't been there before, and they were rather beautiful books at that.

As soon as Ellie had left and returned to her post, she went to see the book she'd held up to the door and returned to the shelf. A shelf less than half her height, where the librarians came to leave books for reasons Carnelian never knew.

The book itself was a myth and folklore collection from the country they lived in. She held it up to the door and heard a click. Hesitating and letting out an excited sigh, she went in.

The room looked like a painting she'd seen of the Great Library of Alexandria. It was warm and teeming with the energy and smells books always gave off. Some desks were strewn about the first floor of at least ten, and she couldn't see the end of the endless halls of books. The whole place seemed to be made of the loveliest of red wood, rose gold and clusters of amethyst. She could hear soft classical music and what seemed to be distant moving bookshelves. And in upper distant levels she could see an eclectic array of unusual looking people in all sorts of fantasy looking outfits and jewelry. The people did not seem to notice her, nor did they speak with one another.

What was this place? Was this the staff room? Surely it couldn't be, but it suddenly made sense why they always had so many options. That aside, she felt like she'd just entered another world altogether. All the weight of the world she knew melted off her shoulders, and any fears and insecurities she walked in with melted right along with it.

Carnelian's gaping awe lasted for what seemed like hours, until she heard a clearing of the throat, looking over to see the Peter and Estella looking rather upset alongside Ellie looking defeated and guilty. The door was closed behind them, and she was trapped someplace she wasn’t supposed to be. What was going to happen to her?

"S-sorry," Carnelian held out her hands defensively. "I was curious, this is a really cool staff room. I've always wanted to see..."

Peter sighed. "We haven't had to do this in years, Ellie," he said quietly.

"I know, I know," answered Ellie, looking even more ashamed.

"Do what?" Carnelian asked with a terrified tinge in her voice.

"Your memory," Estella responded with a loud dramatic voice. "We must take it."

"Huh?" Carnelian seemed both bewildered and horrified all at once. Wipe her memory? She didn't want that. She just found this place. It was the most wonderful place in the world. Or perhaps, not in the world at all.

Peter approached a desk by the door, digging around in the drawers for something or other.

Estella lit up. "Since you're going to forget, that means I get to tell you!"

Peter chuckled under his breath as his sister launched into her explanation.

Estella beamed, clasping her hands together happily despite Carnelian's clear upset. "This is the Great Library of All. It's used by deities and spirits to store everything ever written. Ever."

Carnelian softly gasped. It made so much sense. She took a moment to glance back at the library, and it seemed even more majestic this time around.

"To clarify," Ellie interrupted. "When we say deities, we're not talking about gods. Gods are a species. Deities are high vibrational supernatural beings."

Estella rolled her eyes. "Anyway, we're the gods of poetry-" She gestured towards Peter, who was still digging around. "Storytelling-" She gestured to herself. "And study." She gestured towards Ellie. "We watch over this place."

"This isn't the first time Ellie's let someone in by accident," Peter curtly added. "Or the second, at that."

Ellie glared at her brother.

"Oh, come on, you two," began Estella with a frown. "If she wants, she can be my pet."

Carnelian's eyes grew wide. "Can humans..." she began quietly. "Be the gods' pets?"

"She doesn't mean it like that," Ellie began with crossed arms and a frown. "She just wants to have you guard the room and live here and keep her company and she'd feed you and... Never mind, it doesn't matter."

Carnelian's voice lowered to a whisper. "I'd do anything to be able to stay here."

"Well!" Estella began. "Since I'm the only one who hasn't let anyone in..." She gave a blushing Peter a knowing glare before returning to her smiling self. "I get to make the decision. I've had my eye on you for a while, and we've been needing the extra pair of hands."

Carnelian's eyes opened wide again, her heart racing with hope, and both Peter and Ellie furrowed their brows at their sister.

Estella continued. "So, if you're willing to have a spell of silence put on you and take an elixir of life, you can become a keeper of this place. It's a divine role, so you'd basically become a deity. If not-" She gestured to Peter, who'd finally found the device he'd been looking for. "We wipe your memory."

"I'll do it!" Carnelian yelled out without thinking. Some people from upper levels glared down at her but said nothing. She lowered her voice quite a bit. "I'll do it! Please let me."

And so, the god librarian trio got their extra pair of hands, and Carnelian became a keeper of the Great Library of All.

April 23, 2022 02:19

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