The Greatest Treasure
Written by loamlife :: [Friday, 31 March 2023 10:00] Last updated by :: [Monday, 17 April 2023 07:52]
Special thanks to Woodclaw for editing.
Mureil was sitting at her desk in the front when she was suddenly interrupted by a large crashing sound. The middle aged lady adjusted her glasses and got up to see what was making such a noise. Don’t these people know this is a library?! She thought to herself. Not that the branch she worked at was all that busy. She was used to directing patrons to the main city branch for more specialized needs. Not that she minded that much, it gave her more time for herself.
Muriel arrived at the commotion and found an entire shelf on the floor and two young boys stuck in the middle of it.
“Look what you have done!” she yelled.
They got up with a guilty looks on their faces. “We’re sorry, Miss Librarian!”
Muriel ordered them to leave at once and looked over the fallen shelf. I’ll have to deal with this tonight, she lamented.
The short 5’2’’ woman struggled to get the shelf standing up again. Being a librarian was not a job that benefited her physical health. After getting the shelf standing she began the long and complex process of getting every book back on the shelf in proper order. Her bad eyesight made things even more strenuous. I guess I’m going home late tonight. She thought. After a tiresome and arduous process, Mureil was pretty sure that every book was back in order. She glanced at the window and saw that the sun had already gone down. There was no one else in the Library. There goes my day, the exhausted woman thought to herself. At least she had found a book that didn’t belong on the shelf. I don’t know how it was misplaced but at least those boys did not completely waste my time.
Mureil took the book back to her desk and found its proper shelf in the computer. To her dismay it was all the way in the back. Already exhausted, she mustered the resolve to put it back to its shelf. After the ten minute walk to the back, she put it on its shelf and, finally, managed to catch her breath.
Satisfied, Muirel was ready to close up when she noticed the door in the back. There was nothing special about it, except for the small fact that it wasn’t supposed to be there.
I've been here too long and now I'm seeing things. Muriel went up to it to find that it easily opened leading to a large spiral staircase. We don’t have a basement. Confused, the librarian carefully made her way down the mysterious stairs. They went deeper and deeper and she figured she was several stories underground. Finally arriving at the bottom, Mureil saw another door. Opening it, she couldn’t believe her eyes.
She was in a library unlike any she had ever seen. It spread out in every direction with shelves reaching the far ceiling, all completely full. She walked into what appeared to be the main hall and took a look around. The library didn’t seem to have a directory. She quickly went to a shelf and pulled a book off. It was full of indecipherable scribbles, apparently handwritten, in a language she couldn't recognize. Muriel put it back and grabbed another tome. This one was printed but it was still indecipherable. None of the letters matched those in the first volume. More searching produced the same results. Nothing there was in any language Muriel could understand.
At that point she realized she didn’t know where she had entered from. The building seemed endless and she couldn’t recognize her surroundings. Tired, she tried to retrace her steps, but to avail. She could almost feel the walls shifting. Lost, clueless and exhausted, Muriel sat down by a shelf. How am I going to find anything here?
At that moment, she noticed a book right by her on the shelf. It had no cover, just an elegant green binding and spine. It looked old, but not ancient like some of the other tomes she had seen. It almost felt like it was calling out to her. She grabbed it and opened it up. The writing was still unrecognizable yet it was as if something clicked in her brain. She was instinctively understanding what was written in the book. It contained details on the organization and storage of books. Muriel turned through the pages quickly, having no issues blazing through the fairly large book.
After just five minutes, Mureil closed the book and put it back on the shelf. She knew exactly how the library was organized and where to find what she was looking for. Knowing how to get to the entrance, Mureil got up and took a deep breath. She was still exhausted. As soon as she thought about climbing the stairs back, another book, with a gold spine, called out to her. Mureil grabbed it again and opened it up. Once again she was able to process its contents without being able to read the writing. The book contained some basic tips for exercising and stretching. Closing it, Mureil suddenly felt better. She tried one of the exercises and stretched herself out. All of her fatigue was gone. Now she felt that she could go for miles.
Muriel then did a quick dash down the row and quickly came to a stop. She felt great! Unfortunately the feeling was interrupted by the knowledge that she had left her glasses back where she started. She got ready to go back, carefully, with her blurry vision, but a red book called out to her. It contained detailed information on the human eye. I didn’t know our brain reads the image upside down! As soon as she put it back, her vision cleared up. She could see everything with perfect clarity.
With her improved eyesight, Mureil was better able to take a better look at the books high up on the shelves. She wondered what was inside of them. Unfortunately she couldn't reach and saw nothing that could help her. On que, a purple book caught her eye and she read its mysterious contents. This time it was on the evolution of human anatomy. It was a bit denser, but Mureil managed to get through it quickly. She was getting faster at reading. Putting the book back, Muriel stretched and found the higher shelves easier to reach. Her sleeves didn’t seem to reach as far as they did previously.
She grabbed another book and paged through it. Understanding the material was getting easier and easier. This one covered the history of the Iberian peninsula. Muriel easily parsed the contents and put them to memory. When she finished she was even fluent in spanish.
At this point her mind had grown sharp enough to fully understand what was happening. She started reading every book around her in short order and, soon, she was able to get through each of them in less than a minute. Books upon books started to pile up on the floor. Not wanting to make a mess Muriel gestured and all the volumes levitated and returned to their proper locations.
After finishing everything she could easily get her hands on, she turned her gaze to the ceiling shelves. Remembering what she had read on birds, Muriel left the ground and quickly ascended to the top. Books flew off the shelves and ordered themselves in front of Muriel. She went through them all at blistering speed.
After finishing, Muriel took a good look around from her vantage point. The library went on for miles, someone could spend a lifetime in it. She contemplated the thought but decided that she would have to leave eventually. She did have a job after all!
Muriel spotted where she came in and slowly fluttered over towards it. Along the way several random volumes floated over towards her. She quickly read them and then sent them back to their proper places.
Landing by the door, Muriel became fully aware of how ill fitting her outfit now was. Thankfully I read those books on fashion. She made a gesture and suddenly was wearing something a lot more comfortable. She went through the door and flew back to the surface. As soon as she exited the mysterious door vanished behind her.
Muriel took no heed. She knew how to find it again if she needed to.
After returning to her local branch Muriel was almost taken aback by how small it was. This is something that will need to be corrected. And she quickly got to work.
The next morning people were gathering around the new building that replaced the local library. It was 20 stories tall and had a sleek and modern aesthetic. At 8:00 am on the dot, the front doors opened and people started walking in. They found a tall and welcoming entrance hall with stairs on all sides and a directory in the center. Full shelves covered every possible wall. All of this was almost overshadowed by the woman sitting at the directory.
She was titanic, taller than anyone else in the building even while sitting, and wore a revealing form fitting blouse with stretch pants leaving little to the imagination, including the true strength of her body, with tight muscles and visible abs. All that faded compared to her face, she was easily the most beautiful woman anyone had ever seen. Her features were sharp and elegant giving her an aura of superiority. Her eyelashes were long and perfectly done and her eyes were a mesmerizing deep green. Her hair was long and wavy, of a midnight black that looked like it had been shampooed multiple times.
She stood up and walked gracefully in her heels to greet the dumbfounded onlookers towering over them. “How can I help you?” her voice rang out like a soft melody.
She took a look at the man closest to her. “That will be in the technology section on the fifth story.”
He looked up at her dumbfounded “How did you know what I was looking for?”
“ It is rather simple!” She smiled, “I can sense your thoughts rather easily.”
She looked at the woman behind him. “You're looking for contemporary fantasy on the 10th floor.”
Muriel assisted everyone in short order and then sat back down at her desk. The library was quite busy that day. She helped a stream of people curious about the new building that had appeared overnight and the almost magical librarian assisting. Before last night, this would have been too much work for her, but now she handled it without breaking a sweat. She could tell that most of the people she was helping were more interested in her, but she didn’t mind. Taking a break, she sat at her desk. She could sense everything around her, like the fact that someone hadn’t put a book back properly on the 17th floor. Waving her hand, she sent the book back to its place. Her thoughts then turned to a ruckus on the 11th floor, where a young man was disturbing the other patrons. He suddenly found himself at a corner a block away. With everything taken care of, Muriel summoned a novel and began reading.