School had never been the most exciting of places to be. I'm sure this could be applied as a general rule for life for most people, but my perspective would change eventually. It would have to. I doubted school would be the cause, however.
Mine was one where every subject was taught in a single classroom throughtout the day. To make everything just a little more boring, my class had no windows, the overhead lights beamed 100 watts of pure white, and the desks were laid out in a perfectly square array. If they moved, class stopped while the teacher moved it back. This was used by the majority of students as a way to make the teacher forget what he was saying. It worked with almost perfect efficiency.
"This report must detail every aspect of your book, from its genre, to why the author chose the words they did. This will be due on the first day of class, next year." He flung the stack of papers he was holding about his person, gesturing wildly and perhaps without knowledge of his actions. "It had better be twenty pages maximum. I want detail, but don't just fill space," he crushed the papers in both hands. "So help me God if any of you just fill space," he growled at no one in particular.
I stared at the walls, white, and occasionally the floor, also white. The clock moved at an agonizingly slow pace, but in sharp contrast to the rest of the room, was bright blue and glowed in the dark. There were many rumours for why this was. My personal favorite was one involving aliens, but the most common story involved werewolves. Neither were very likely, but at least aliens might exist.
The bell would only ring once this clock reached precisely 2:39 p.m. and forty-two seconds, despite the fact that school actually ended at 2:40. Mr. Kuberick insisted his clock be in perfect alignment with his watch, and apparently some government satellite controlled the time on his magic watch of almighty power.
"You must email me your book choice and get it approved before you begin, and if you do not and turn in a report anyway, you get an 'F.'" He paused to think. "Minus!" he shouted, finally losing his grip on his papers, fliging them across the first row of students. The bell chose this time to ring, using its power as the only thing able to shut him up. Students eagerly shuffled their way out of the building, some more intensely than others.
I skipped the buses, heading straight for the library to get my report done and actually enjoy some of my summer.
The library was always crowded. I had grown up thinking it was very popular and cool to read books for entertainment. Only when I was twelve would I find out it was definately not. Game systems and the internet had taken literature's place as best entertainment sometime between 1980 and 2000. They remained unheard of in my town.
No books in the fiction section looked repart worthy, the same being said of the non-fiction books. I was ready to admit defeat and either pick a book I had already read or wouldn't like or even just wait for a better book to be returned to the library when I found the uncategorized section.
The uncategorized had been created as a joke by the library's founder, Mr. Root. His wife had argued that the bible would go in the non-fiction section, but his son thought it was fiction. As a way to shut them up, he made the uncategorized section and put the bible there, along with other religious texts. Soon, he had been putting stories of authors he didn't much care for into the section, and thus bias was born in the library. Hated authors included but were not limited to John Steinbeck, and Stephen King.
No one knew why he hated Stephen King. Many people had asked him about his unhealthy hatred for one of the most famous authors of our time, but Mr. Root only grumbles.
I had never been in the section, so, curiousity getting the better of me, I ventured in. The books were of equal quality with the rest of the library, excluding one simply titled the black book. It was, naturally, black, and gold lettering lined the binding, spelling out the only display of the title. The book spewed dust upon removal from the shelf. It seemed far older than any other book I had seen, probably older than the library itself. I brought it to the front counter.
"I'd like to check this one out," I said. The librarian seemed confused.
"I don't recognize that one," she said, grabbing it from me. "It doesn't even have a title." More dust came out of the pages as she ruffled through the book. "It's blank, kid." I took it back from her, flipping through the pages myself. It most certainly was not blank.
Every page boasted words hand-written with excruciating neatness and consistency, every picture drawn with painstaking detail, all of it in black ink. I noticed the occasional flaw in penmanship, the author's fountain pen running out of ink, or their hand becoming sore from writing for too long, the letters moving closer together to provide relief for an aching wrist.
"I'll take it back for you." The librarian reached over the counter, gesturing for me to give her the book.
Mr. Root's grand library recieved almost daily shipments. Unfortunately for him, delivery men did not like coming to the library, and so a new one arrived with every new shipment of books. Usually, this new person also happened to work for a different delivery company, one that didn't know about Mr. Root's preferred authors. Today, Mr. Root would plot yet more revenge against his greatest enemy.
"Stephen," he grumbled while sifting through the boxes and boxes of books. One book he could take, even two, but this entire box just so happened to contain the entire works of one Mr. King. "Stephen!" he bellowed, throwing the box into the air, and onto the new delivery man of the day.
Books tend to be heavy, and the delivery man's leg did not take well to many of them being suddenly forced onto it. All the currently working library staff members went to help him, everyone doing their best not to get sued.
Not wanting to be stuck in the library for the rest of the day waiting for the commotion to end, I left, taking The Black Book with me. No one else would want it anyway.