In search of Inspiration·Inkling Inspirations

The keys in the bookcase – Chapter 3

Where they continue investigating and dive into poetry

There was a reason they decided to go to Sara’s house. Her family had a library in their basement. Ben had gone to the public library earlier but considering the wings none of them wanted to bring Sara to a public place even if the wings disappeared. 

The contents of the basement library might not cover everything the public library covered but it still covered a fair amount. Sara’s parents introduced the three college students to the unintentionally created library when Conner forgot to do research for an assignment.

The basement library looked much the same as the first time the boys saw it. A wood shelf filled with westerns marked the odd collection of shelves off from the rest of the basement. Next to the westerns two tall bookshelves sandwiched a stout shelf. Plastic magazine holders cover the top of the short shelf. Metal shelves filled the wall across from the western shelf. Two more shelves filled the back wall, one painted with flowers and one covered in half scrapped off stickers. An old folded step ladder Sara’s dad repurposed into another bookshelf took up the corner. The top of the ladder met the wall hanging shelf.

Two double sided shelves bought from a bookstore going out of businesses sat in the middle of the space. Both were so tall only Alex could see over them without standing on his toes. One had been filled entirely with mystery novels, the combined efforts of Sara and her dad (though for the most part they kept to opposite ends of the spectrum of mysteries with very little overlap). Ben pointed to the other shelf.

“That’s the nonfiction shelf, right?” he asked.

“Yeah, for the most part,” Sara said, “The mythological books take up some of the left side, and there are some more on the other shelves, but those are mostly like travel books and manuals dad’s collected over the years. And the craft books are on another shelf but they’re not what we’re looking for.”

Conner looked over the plastic containers. “Anything useful in any of the magazines?”

“Um,” Sara looked over to the short shelf, “Maybe. The pink ones are for garden magazines and the green ones are for general nature ones.” 

The quartet broke up to different parts of the library. Conner pulled the pink magazine holders off the shelf. He brought them over to the table a shout away from the books. Conner went through each table of contents one by one. 

Sara and Ben ended up sitting between the two double sided shelves going through the mythological books. Occasionally Sara would show Ben a picture and ask him if that’s what it looked like. He would always say no and they would continue on. 

Alex found the small poetry section. The poetry books only filled a shelf and a half of the skinniest book shelves. First he skimmed an Irish poem book. Poems often feature myths and mythological creatures so he figured that it would be a good place to start. Then he noticed a leather bound book. The flower, the one Sara had said was a petunia, had been skillfully carved into the cover. 

“Garden weekly named petunias the flower of the month last June, did a special article on them,” Conner announced.

“That’s great,” Ben said.

“If they’re that common why didn’t you find anything on them?” Alex asked.

“They’re native to South America,” Conner read.

Ben pinched the bridge of his nose. “That would be why.”

“They can symbolize anger and resentment or comfort and hope,” Conner continued. He flipped a page, “And I don’t think the carving is a petunia.”

“What? It’s totally a petunia,” Sara insisted. Ben went around the other side of the shelf to see if he could find a book with petunias. 

“It looks similar but I don’t think it is.”

“There are plenty of different varieties of petunias, they probably just don’t have this one pictured,” Sara said.

“Yeah but they all have a similar leaf shape.”

“My grandmother had some growing in her yard. My great aunt got them for her, you know because of her name,” Sara said.

“Is it possible that your great aunt missed them, because according to this book,” Ben held the book he found over the shelf for Sara to see, “Petunias have oval leaves and the ones on the necklace are pretty round.” 

“I guess it’s possible,” Sara admitted.

“Was this great aunt named Clover by chance?” Alex asked.

“Yeah, why?”

“Cause I found this.” He leaned around the shelf to show the leather bound book.

“Great aunt Clover’s poetry journal?” 

“Yep, and one of the poems is about a sister lying to another sister about a flower.”

This is a chapter in a story that originated with a post on Tumblr. I wrote a post about how this story began and how it developed into a ongoing adventure, where Writerdragon4 and myself take turns in writing the story. If you want to stay updated on more stories, subscribe to my blog.

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