The library is a strange place at night, I am told. Filled with odd things, apparently. I hear that the ghosts of books flit around the shelves, mixing with each other. Talking. It’s been said that the shades of the characters spiral around, and that they know all the others.
I hear that the memories of Holms and Watson sit in a small, seldom-used corner. Holmes smokes his favorite pipes and smiles, amused, at the current generation of mystery-solvers. His cold grey eyes sparkle as they talk of murders, and Watson joins this silent amusement, sometimes. He mostly writes. He writes thoughts about cases that will never grace the ears of mortal man, or so I’ve been told.
Apparently, Captain Nemo and Wolf Larson don’t know what to think of each other. They stare at each other over tankards of sea-liquor. They stare at each other under their bushy eyebrows and over their bushy beards, both stiff with ancient sea spray. That’s what I hear.
Now, from what I’ve gathered, the four Pevensies wander around with a great golden lion, their hands in his fur and their eyes shining. Lucy loves making friends with the different stories, and will often stop to talk to the protagonist of some ill-known book. That’s what I hear.
Frodo Baggins chats with Tom Sawyer, Harry Potter casts spells to the delight of the younger shades, such as Pearl Prynne, and Jason Borne talks with Hercule Poirot about the annoyance of tangled problems. And, sitting above the glass doors of the entrance, a dark raven cries, “Nevermore!” That’s what I’ve been told.
To the contrary, from what I’ve heard, the Non-Fiction section of the library isn’t as crowded. Those books are about politics, pets, the puzzle of human existence. They don’t have a personality, they don’t come to life. But a few silver ghosts mingle around these shelves. They are the people from history, I’ve heard. George Washington sits with Martin Luthor King, Jr. Tolkien and the Inklings resume their meetings, which now include Solzhenitsyn and Shakespeare. The faint echoes of long-forgotten battles shiver from dusty books on the top of the shelves, and the music of forgotten cultures hums through the air.
Make of it what you will, but that’s what I’ve heard.