The Second Room On The Right

Since late afternoon I had been exploring the slightly drafty corridors, staring open-mouthed at the marble statues and other splendor in the hallways. Was this really happening? How come this castle was kept a secret in our family? This was not real, this was like living a fairytale. But even fairies get tired and cold and I had just decided to head back down towards the residential kitchen, when I stumbled upon a narrow stairway. A wooden banister lead me up to the next floor, where I found myself in a dimly lit passage with doors on either side. Hesitantly I reached for a doorknob and tried to turn it. When it wouldn’t budge, I walked towards the second door on the right. This one opened…

The first thing I noticed was the unique warmth of an open fireplace. Wood was crackling softly, inaudible whispers of heat and comfort. There was an occasional pop when hidden amber resin alighted in a miniature explosion. A charred block collapsed and caused a small avalanche of red glowing embers, sending tiny fire flies up the chimney. My whole being was drawn towards it and I stepped into the room.

The fire only just managed to chase away the darkest of shadows. In wonder I stopped and gazed at what my eyes confirmed, but my brain was yet unwilling to acknowledge. BOOKS. There were meters of books, rows upon rows of books, TONS of books. They breathed their slow paper life into the room, hinting at secrets, at romances and tragedies. Gave insights in psychology and geography. New books and old ones, that hid on the top shelves, almost out of reach. A wooden ladder was resting in the corner, its head snuggled against a railing that embraced the whole library.

The candle was a lone survivor in a pool of wax, flame dancing in harmony with the hearth’s living fire. My feet hesitantly found their way towards the couch which was begging for company. Cradled in leather, my shivering gradually slowed, then stopped. I felt the room breath again and shift its perception towards me. All of my senses opened up as I reached out my arms to the ghosts of my ancestors…