The Visitor


It was the same every year, numerous hopeful, eager faces disturbing the quiet, of his library. Some of the faces he knew would become very familiar to him, for good or ill. A few might even come to recognise him, of those most would only meet him once and flee never to return, upon him making them aware of his presence. Of the others, who would come to recognise him, they were all unusually observant, for even many of those who knew of his presence, and actively sought him out, never caught sight of him. There were others, who despite never seeing him, received the boon of his aid in the library’s labyrinthine stacks.

There were at least two, in the current group of freshers, that he was shadowing, who had attracted his attention by their actions. As the senior librarian guided the group around the dark but not musty old library, the one who was watching them was distracted by the rattle of a chain. Chains rattling in the old library, meant to the watcher that there was someone reading his private collection, so he glided to the chained library by the shortest route. Upon reaching there, sensing that the interloper meant no harm to his magnificent charges, the watcher settled into a shadowy corner to watch. Having noticed what book the bookworm was devouring, the watcher returned to patrolling the old library, instead of warning the bookworm or others about the book that was being read. When he first had charge of the magnificent tomes of Bellham University Library, he would have at least been concerned that someone was reading such a dark and dangerous tome, but as the years had passed he had come to be only concerned to protect the priceless unique tomes that were his only true love. In the many years he had had cause, on numerous occasions, to protect individual books from damage or theft, there had even been several occasions when had had saved the whole library from being damaged by a flood or even worse destroyed by fire.

On leaving the chained library and returning to the main floor of the library, the watcher spotted one of the few students that he made a point of aiding, with their studies. It was not even as if the student in question had ever even acknowledged his aid, let alone thanked him for his assistance, for the student never had done so. There was only one reason the watcher ever choose to aid a student and that was because of the way they treated his beloved children, who populated the library’s shelves. After glancing at the students work, the watcher preceded the student to the shelves and made sure the most useful books were obvious. This he did by positioning them so that their spines were level, with the edge of the shelves. As he was doing this, the chief librarian saw him and smiled distracting those who he was guiding around the library, so that they would not notice what the watcher was doing.

When it came time for the library to close, for the night, the watcher checked to see that everyone had left before informing the head librarian, with a nod of his head, that he could lock up the library. After the librarians had left, the watcher returned to the chained library to await his nightly visitors. For once they arrived early, or so he thought. Seconds after the arrival of that night’s first visitor, the watcher knew, by the lack of accompanying discord, that it was not who he was expecting. Out of concern for his multitudinous wards, the watcher flew to investigate the unscheduled visitor, only to watch from the deepest of the shadows, when he saw who his visitor was.

There were only a very few who would have questioned the right of his visitor to be there, of which the watcher was one. Of those, who would have questioned the visitor’s right to be there, only the greatest of fools would have ever challenged it. Foolishness is one of the many properties, including substance, that the watcher had not possessed for many a long year. As the watcher hovered in the shadows, the visitor looked around the room, only to fix his gaze upon the watcher, “Come Here!”

Silently, the watcher floated across the room, towards the speaker who looked right through the watcher, “We have to talk! I am getting sick and tired of you giving students the answers to my questions. Do not deny it!”

“Who was it, who defaced the books, in the first place? I just make the best books obvious to them. What can I do if some juvenile vandal scrawled the answers, to HIS questions, all over them, when HE was a student.” With the visitor finally staring at Him, the watcher continued, as numerous books formed a pile aside of his visitor, “See for yourself. It is you, not I who give your students the answers.”



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