Happy Friday everyone!
This is a short story that I did for Camp NaNoWriMo. Sorry for it’s 1,500+ word length, I couldn’t find a good spot to break it up into two posts.
This is my first fan fiction. It didn’t start that way, but like many writers, I let the characters guide the story.
Enjoy and have a great weekend!
The Man in the Book
I once went on an adventure, and it only cost me $11.23.
That’s what I paid for the second book that I ever bought with my own money. MY MONEY. Not Mom’s, not Dad’s, not even Aunt Sue’s, who would buy me my own used bookstore if she could. She said that it was her job to help her eleven-year-old niece with her “addiction to reading” as she called it, though I thought that addictions were supposed to be bad things, and reading isn’t a bad thing. Every Friday after school, we would go to the local used bookstore and then the public library. While at the library, she would chat with the young librarian there, a young man with short blonde hair and eyes like the colour of a storm (or so she described, though I knew that was just a line from The Princess Bride).
He was cute, if you liked older guys, or in Aunt Sue’s case, much younger ones. He had to be at least five years younger than she was. She was twenty-five she once told me, though she has been twenty-five for at least ten birthdays now, according to Mom. She said that her sister will never really grow up, though I’m not sure if that’s really possible, unless she has some secret anti-aging thing like Wolverine. People always said that I looked like a younger version of her, all curly, brown hair and freckles.
Oh, and the book? I’ll talk about that later. As I said, that was the second book. The first book, that I bought earlier that day, has a bit of a tale too. It was, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume. It looked like an old book, and I probably paid too much for it, so Aunt Sue said, but it was mine, worn pages and all. Judy’s signature was on the inside, though the used bookstore owner didn’t seem to have noticed. I think that it means something when an author signs their books. I really don’t know why, after all, their name is on the front, so it’s not like we don’t know who wrote it. I think that it means that my book is worth more than I paid for it. I wasn’t about to tell anyone that though, ‘cause I don’t want anyone to get all fussy and stuff. Grownups are weird about stuff like that.
Like I was saying, we went and bought my first book that I got on my own, then went to the library. Aunt Sue talked to that guy again, while I went into the SCI-FI AND FANTASY YA section. It was way at the back, where the older kids liked to hang out ‘cause the librarians can’t see them talking and texting on their phones. Today was nice ‘cause no one was there, so I had the whole corner to myself. After looking around for a bit, I found a book by Erin Hunter called Warriors #1: Into the Wild. It was all about cat clans and society and battles, so I decided that I would give it a go. There were enough books from the series in the library if I wanted to read more.
I had just started to settle down when Aunt Sue came over and told me that it was time to go. She said that she had a date tonight, so she would have to take me home early. I think that she felt bad about that, but was too excited to show it. I bet that she has a date with that librarian guy.
I signed my new book out, scowling at the guy so that he knew that I wasn’t happy to have to leave early, but he never noticed. I sulked as we sat in the car. Aunt Sue noticed and apologized again for the change in plans. “Listen, how about I take you back to the used bookstore and buy you another book?” I know that this was a way to get me to forgive her for ruining my afternoon, but I said okay. We drove back to the store and went in, though I wasn’t going to tell the used bookstore owner about Judy’s signature, just in case he wanted the book back.
While Aunt Sue waited, pretending to be interested in something that the owner was saying, I wandered to the very back of the shop. It seemed like an area that a lot of people didn’t go to. It was messier than the front—and darker ‘cause there were no windows at the back.
I forgot to mention what the store looked it. It used to be an old house, like the type that you see in episodes of Murdoch Mysteries, which is an old-fashioned detective show that Mom watches. It was a bunch of rooms that used to be places like the living room, drawing-room, kitchen and stuff. Now, each room was filled with shelves of books. It was cool, and I liked exploring here even more than the library ‘cause there was no online catalogue to use or someone to tell where such-and-such a book was. You just had to go explore for yourself. Each room had shelves with a title on the top that listed the types of books that you would find, like Non-Fiction or Classics or Military History or Science Fiction. Sometimes you found stuff you liked and sometimes you didn’t. So, this time, instead of looking for books for kids my age, I looked for the grownup ones. I saw titles like Pride and Prejudice and How to Make Money Online.
Then I saw it, my second book. Now, I said that Aunt Sue told me that she would buy me a book, but I had money left over from earlier, and I knew that I wanted to use what I had left to buy this one myself.
It was called, The Doctor’s Tales.
It was a very pretty shade of blue. Not like a robin’s egg, or even the sky. It was a dark blue, and very plain. At first I thought that it was about medical stories, which I would find boring, but when I looked inside, I saw words like space, and time and soon find myself at the first story. It was called About a Man and his Box. The sticker on the inside of the cover said, $11.23*, which was a strange price for a book.
As I said before, I went to the back of the house, where there were no windows, or if there were, they were blocked by the book shelves. The light in the room was okay, but it hung right in the middle of the ceiling, and cast shadows on the words if I didn’t stand in the right spot. I looked around for a place to sit, but the best spot was right under the light, which hung down from the ceiling on a chain, with the lightbulb in a globe. It would look weird anywhere else, but it seemed to fit right in in the room.
As I read, I noticed that a shadow come up from behind me, blocking the light so that it was harder to read. I turned around and saw a man standing behind me, looking over my shoulder at my book. If he was trying to be sneaky, he wasn’t doing a very good job about it. He had grey hair and was dressed all in black, except for a white shirt. He had a very serious look about him, even though he was smiling.
“You know I wrote that book,” he said in a thick, Scottish accent, pointing to the open page. I looked down, closing the book and looking at the front and back covers, the places where the author’s name, and sometimes their picture would be. That’s when I noticed that there was no author’s name. At least not there. “No, you didn’t,” I told him. I didn’t like it when grownups lied, and it wasn’t nice to say that you wrote something when you didn’t. “I did too,” he insisted, then asked if he could see the book. I handed it to him, but watched him carefully. I liked the book and I wasn’t going to let him take it from me, even if he is taller and older than me. He opened the second page, the spot where the title was. “See there,” he said, pointing. I looked. The Doctor’s Tales. Written by The Doctor. “Doctor Who?” I asked. He gave a smile and sighed. “You know. I never get tired of hearing that.” I didn’t understand what he meant, and looked at him confused. “That’s my name.” he said. “The Doctor.”
“Well, what kind of name is that?” I replied, just a bit rudely. He was being rather silly. Who calls themselves just The Doctor? That’s like saying Hi, my name is The Teacher, or Hi, my name is The Garbage Man. “You are a bit of an odd child, aren’t you?” he said, though he didn’t seem to be rude about it like I was. “I like odd people. They are always so interesting. And odd people should have a chance to see odd places.”
“So, how about it? How would you like to go on an adventure?”
(*November 23rd (11/23) was the day of the first episode of Doctor Who in 1963)
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