Okay, so I didn’t actually mean to stumble upon that book, but I knew it was there. Always there, watching me, waiting for the right time to strike. And no, I’m not exaggerating.
My name is Emmeline Whistle, and I am a detective. Well, sort of anyway. Ever since I was a baby, Mummy and Daddy said they could see that some day, I was going to do something wonderful. And I am, I mean, I will… It just hasn’t happened yet. Mummy says it might happen when I’m older, but I’m twelve years old already! If it doesn’t happen now, then it never will. This is why I decided to ‘stumble’ upon that book in the school library.
It started like this:
Everytime I’d gone into the library, there was this book lying under a chair. I took it to Mrs Goliovac, the school librarian, the first time I saw it. She’d had a fit and yelled at me to put it back. And I did, with the rest of the school watching me. After that incident, I’d just left the book where it was. I’d glance at it from the corner of my eye every time I went into the library. I don’t know why, but I would always walk straight to that book, just to make sure it was still there, still safe. I’d felt like I had some sort of connection to the book, like my fate was somehow intertwined with its.
I hadn’t wanted Mrs Goliovac to catch me taking the book, so I’d snuck in after hours. The strange thing was that Mrs Goliovac had been there too- after hours I mean. I’d seen her dark shadow make its way through the library. The door had been open, so I’d sort of just snuck in. She’d definitely been searching for something, so I’d made up my mind to be quick so that Mrs Goliovac didn’t catch me in her search. I’d quickly but quietly tip-toed to the chair where the book had been.
It was gone.
The book was gone and I wasn’t sure what to do. There wasn’t much time until Mrs Goliovac would catch me. I looked up, and there she was, standing over me with her arms crossed over her chest and her scowling face looking down at me. But she wasn’t looking at me. I followed her gaze, she was looking at…
How had I missed it? It hadn’t been under the chair, true, but it was lying right next to it. It’d been moved, by whom? I don’t know, another mystery to solve I suppose. Mrs Goliovac started leaning towards the book. I couldn’t let her have it though, so I snatched it up and dashed back through the library. The alarms went off. Why wouldn’t they have gone off before when I’d come in? Another mystery for another day perhaps. I ran through the streets, avoiding being hit by falling bricks. Wait, falling bricks? I sprinted through the town at the speed of light, dodging the crowd of masked criminals around me. Masked criminals? Someone, get the police!
At last, I reached my house and entered through the back door using the key hidden beneath the mat outside the door. I wiped my feet hurriedly and walked in, locking the door behind me. Only then did I look at the book.
Yes, I had seen it enough times under the chair, and glimpsed it when I’d gone to give it to Mrs Goliovac, but I hadn’t really looked at it, if you know what I mean.
It was a dull shade of red with a big serpent-like creature winding itself along a hemisphere in the middle of the book. I went to open the book, but it wouldn’t budge. I went and got a screwdriver to try and prise it open, but it still wouldn’t budge. Frustrated, I threw the screwdriver at the book, it hit the hemisphere square on. The hemisphere twisted and the book opened to page one hundred and eleven.
‘How to Save the World.’
My eyes lit up, then dimmed as I realized the rest of the page had been torn away. Then my attention was drawn to a little piece of paper that had dropped out of the book as it had opened. It was a letter. I slowly unfolded it.
It has been a while since I’ve last seen you, and I miss you very much. Are you still working in that library? The one where we first plotted our revenge on the world?
I have come to realize that the world is one full of darkness. However, the sun still shines and the moon still rises at night despite this darkness. My dear Genevieve, I ask that you stop this evil plot, for I know I have come to my senses at last and have realized that it is wrong to kidnap children. Ever since the night our dear child died at the age of twelve, you have been keeping all twelve year olds that walk into your library captive inside the tower which you can only access through your attic walls. Dearest, if you are still continuing on with this tretchercy after all these years, then I beg you, please stop. If you have already repented for your crimes, then please ignore this letter. My dear Genevieve, I hope to see you again soon.
Someone was keeping twelve year olds locked up in a tower? How old was this letter? I was twelve! Would I be kidnapped too? I turned over the letter to see the post address.
‘Genevieve Goliovac, 5 Shadow Crescent.’ The rest was blurred, but my eyes were already opened wide in horror. ‘Geneieve Goliovac,’ the letter read. Mrs Goliovac, the school librarian! She was a kidnapper? I closed my eyes and prayed a silent prayer, then I got up and peeked out the window.
Mrs Goliovac was walking towards my house holding a flashlight and a giant bird cage, it was so big that I could probably fit inside it. And that was what she would most likely try to do.
I turned off the light I’d been using to read the letter, and hid under a couch. I heard the breaking of glass, and I shrank further back into the shadows. Mrs Goliovac crept slowly around my house, stopping once or twice to itch her big nose. A fly flew in front of me, and I tried to shoo it away. As I did, I knocked into the leg of the couch, making a loud noise. I froze. Mrs Goliovac smirked and walked right over to me. She lifted up the couch I was under using only her pinky finger. I screamed as she reached out her bony hands to grab me. Then her attention was drawn to something else. She loosened her hold on me just enough so that I could pull away. I glanced at what Mrs Goliovac was looking at, and I realized that it was the letter I had been reading before. She picked it up carefully, and read the letter. A tear rolled down her check.
That’s when I made a run for it. Mrs Goliovac seemed startled as I tried to run. She frantically tried to grab me, but I kept pulling away. Soon though, I felt her hand on my shoulder and I turned to face her. “Where did you get this?” She asked me. I felt something in me shift towards this woman, I felt almost sorry for her.
Then a light turned on, and there stood Mummy and Daddy in their pyjamas. “Let go of my daughter!” cried Daddy, lunging at the frightened Mrs Goliovac. She clutched the letter tightly to her chest as she made a dash for the door. But Daddy was on his phone, calling the police. Mrs Goliovac ran outside and straight into a policeman.
“You’re coming with me.” He said.
Mrs Goliovac nodded. Only she and I knew what she was thinking. She was thinking about this ‘Charles’ guy on the letter, and about the kids she had kidnapped. As she was being bundled into the police car, she suddenly whipped her head around at shouted something at me. "You'll free them?"
I, too shouted my reply; "Yes! I'll free them for you!"
But my thoughts were interrupted by a thump on my shoulder as Daddy reached out to make sure I was okay. “Are you hurt?” he asked.
I shook my head and walked inside.