Liz was on a business trip to a city she’d never been to before. Her meeting ended early, at around two in the afternoon, and as she was heading back to her hotel room she passed a public library. Carved onto a stone block next to the entrance were the words “The Library of the Imagination.”
Intrigued, Liz entered the building, and as a fan of historical fiction, she made her way to the section of the library that housed books of that genre and started browsing. One book caught her eye. She didn’t know if she was imagining it or not, but the book seemed to have a glow about it.
She pulled the book down from the shelf. Its title was simply, The Days of Yore. She didn’t recognize the author’s name, but she seemed unable to put the book down. She walked over to a comfortable looking chair, sat down, and slowly opened the book.
Suddenly Liz was no longer sitting in a chair in the library, although she still had the open book in her hands. She was standing outside in a field of tall grass adjacent to a wooded area. She heard a sound coming in her direction, the sound of a horse’s hooves pounding upon a grassy surface. Instinctively she tried to run to a tree to hide behind, but she was too late.
A man wearing unusual garb, mounted on a beautiful black steed, rode up to her, stopping directly in front of her. “Maiden,” he said, “this is not a place for a young woman to be out and about. It’s not safe and you are trespassing.”
Liz gathered her wits and responded, “I didn’t intend to trespass or to put myself in any danger. I went out for a walk and wandered afar and have gotten myself lost.”
“What have you there?” the man asked, pointing at the book Liz was carrying.
“This is just a book I was reading,” and Liz closed the book quickly. Just as she did, she was suddenly back in the library chair.
“Oh dear, I must have fallen asleep,” Liz said aloud to no one in particular. She looked at her watch and saw that nearly an hour had passed. She got up, took the book with her, and asked to check it out so that she could go back to her hotel and read it. She was given a guest pass and was told to return the book to the library in 48 hours.
Back at the hotel, she changed into casual clothing, ordered room service, and then moved over to the bed and opened the book once again. And although she was still in a bed, she was strangely no longer in the bed in her hotel room. She was in what appeared to be a large bedroom in a castle of some sort.
A young woman opened the the door to the room and walked in. “I see you are awake,” the woman said.
“Where am I and who are you!” Liz asked.
“I am Esmerelda,” the girl said, “and you are in Beltran Manor. The Lord of the Manor’s son found you near the forest and said you passed out, so he brought you here. Are you hungry?” Liz shook her head affirmatively. “I will fetch you something from the pantry and bring it to you,” Esmerelda said, “and I will notify the Lord’s son that you have awoken.”
After Esmerelda left the room, Liz looked around for the book, and saw it on a dressing table to the left of the bed. It was still open. She got off of the bed, reached over and picked the book up, and closed it.
There was a loud knocking sound and Liz heard a man’s voice calling loudly from the other side of the door. “Room service,” he said. Liz got up, looked around, and saw that she was, once again, in her hotel room.
To be continued….
Written for this week’s Tale Weaver prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. Photo credit: xetobyte at DeviantArt.com.