The Library of the Imagination

CA219079-8CD2-4D00-9863-7F19DE4DBF0B 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.

A Glutton By Any Other Name

9F1E3B59-329C-4376-AF99-50491D305F4CThe Uber driver showed up in a Nissan Cube, which was weird enough, I thought. But when I asked him to take me to the Plaza Hotel, I can only say that his reaction was one of anger. “Is there a problem?” I asked him.

He scratched his head and then picked up his copy of the local newspaper and pointed to an article about the hotel. “That place is a zoo today. There’s a big conference being held there of the world’s most renowned chefs, and the crowds are crazy. I can barely get within four blocks of the hotel without getting stuck in traffic for hours.”

“Get me as close as you can,” I said. “I’ll walk the rest of the way.”

“Are you some sort of gourmet?” the driver asked me.

I chuckled. “No, I’m more of a gourmand than a legitimate gourmet,” I said.

“What’s the difference between a gourmand and a gourmet?” he asked.

“A lot of people get those two words confused,” I said. “A gourmet is someone who knows a lot about fine food and drink and has refined tastes. He’s sort of an aficionado of high quality or exotic cuisines. A gourmand,” I continued, “refers to someone who is extremely fond of eating and drinking, often to excess. I call myself a gourmand because it sounds more positive than were I to call myself a glutton. But the simple truth is that I just really enjoy eating.”

“Well,” the driver said, “we all have the freedom to enjoy food, don’t we?”

“Yes, and that’s what I keep telling my doctor when he warns me to watch my weight every time I go in for my annual physical exam,” I said.


Written for today’s Three Things Challenge prompt from Di (Pensitivity101), where the three things are “anger,” “paper,” and “hotel.” Also for these daily prompts: Daily Addictions (cube), Ragtag Daily Prompt (scratch), Word of the Day Challenge (barely), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (gourmand), Your Daily World Prompt (legitimate, and The Daily Spur (freedom). Image credit: Georg Emanuel Opiz Der Völler 1804 from Wikimedia Commons.

The New Manager’s First Day

43FE191A-36BB-40D3-9E0F-29F27FAF4A45Millie put down the piece of chalk, stood back, and admired the elegant script she used to list the special salads on the blackboard for the hotel’s organic café. “Uh oh,” she said to herself when she realized she had failed to include “Under New Management” on the blackboard. That is not something she wanted to omit, given that this was her first day on the job as the café’s manager.

The previous manager had been fired when it was discovered that, in order to save money, he had used non-organic foods in the café. For example, he would fill bottles labeled as organic cooking oil with cheaper, non-organic oil. He was a cheater and Millie was bound and determined to make a good impression on her first day.

A woman stepped into the café and sat down at a table. Millie went to greet her, pointed to the blackboard, and asked her what she would like. “I’ll have the chef salad with oil and vinegar on the side,” the woman said. “And a cup of tea,” she added.

“Coming right up,” Millie said with a smile.

A few minutes later, Millie delivered the tea and the salad with dressing on the side. “Is there anything else I can bring you?”

“Thanks,” the woman said. “I’m all set.”

As Millie headed back toward the kitchen she heard the woman scream. Millie turned around to see her gagging. “Are you trying to poison me?” the woman said. She then stood up and literally ran out of the café.

Confused, Millie went back into the kitchen to check the ingredients used in the chef salad. Everything looked fine. And then she discovered the note from the fired manager. It read, “Ran out of organic salad oil, but fortunately was able to find a can of motor oil in the garage. Good luck on your first day, bitch.”


Written for Paula Light’s Three Things Challenge, where the three things are “black,” “hotel,” and “cheater.” Also for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (chalk), Your Daily Word Prompt (omit), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (oil), and Word of the Day Challenge (tea).

Return on Investment

B74D0A3D-933E-4CB4-9650-207B08D161CDAs David and Diane were checking into the fancy hotel, the bellhop approached them. “Sir,” he said to David, “I’ll take your baggage up to room 1614 for you.”

Diane looked up at David. “How did you afford such a ritzy hotel?” she asked. “It must cost a small fortune.”

“My greatest strength is finding great deals,” David said.

Diana snuggled up to David and said, “Well, I wouldn’t say that’s your greatest strength, babe. I hope you’ll demonstrate that for me later tonight.” She gave him a big hug and kiss and asked, “But seriously, how did you manage to get us into this place?”

“Okay, I guess I can tell you my secret,” David said. “I invested in one of those two-hour lunch things a few weeks ago. You have to sit through a lengthy sales pitch to buy into a time sharing vacation resort property.”

“Seriously?” a surprised Diana said. “Did you fall for that crap and buy into a time share?”

“Of course not,” David said. “But that two-hour investment of my time got me a free lunch and this bundle that includes two nights at this fancy hotel plus two breakfasts and two dinners at the hotel’s restaurant.”

“Sounds like you got a good return on your two-hour investment,” Diana said.

“Indeed,” David said. “Now take my arm and let’s head up to room 1614, where our baggage awaits us.”


Written for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (baggage), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (ritzy), Word of the Day Challenge (strength), and Your Daily Word Prompt (bundle).

Friday Fictioneers — Alone

8982DA0D-6588-4582-867A-CEA9A15517B4Dressed and ready for some coffee, Mark took the elevator to the hotel’s meeting room level on the third floor. He found the coffee station and poured himself a cup.

No one was around, which Mark found strange, given that the first meeting was scheduled to start in ten minutes. He took the elevator to the first floor and saw that not a soul was there. No guests, no one at the checkout counter, no doormen.

He stepped outside and saw that the streets were empty of cars and people. Totally alone, Mark wondered where everyone had gone.

(98 words)


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers. Photo credit: Yvette Prior.