Zymura Chan

How to use a magical library



“Can I help you ladies find something?”  A low male voice, definitely older and full of authority, rasped from behind Lilly.

Startled, she jumped and whipped around to locate the source of the voice.  The man’s stern gaze made her feel guilty, though she knew she’d done nothing wrong.  “Um….”

A slight smile twitched at the corners of the man’s narrow mouth, and then his face grew serious again.  Tall and pale, he wore an ill-fitting, out-of-fashion, black mourning suit, which hung from his shoulders like wool over bones.  “Well?” he asked with a grimace and began tapping his foot.

Zymura answered him quicker than Lilly could, “Hi, Professor Banks.  We’re looking for our parents’ yearbooks.  I know I should remember where they are, but the shelves look different to me.  Did we come in through a different door?”

“For the students, there is only one way in or out.  The reference section you are looking for is over there today,” he said with a slow sweep of his long, bony fingers.  “Please, try to ignore the books being out of place.  I haven’t yet found the time to put everything back in order.”

Zymura frowned up at the professor.  “What happened in here?  Did someone play a prank?”

“The library had a spasm,” he said, as if that explained everything.

Zymura raised an eyebrow.  “A what?”

“A spasm.  The library heaves and twists occasionally, rearranging the materials.  When that occurs, I have to find everything and put it back where it belongs.”

Worried the library might spasm with her in it, Lilly glanced around warily.  “Why does it do that?”

“About three hundred years ago, someone who despised tidiness and order enchanted this wing of the school.  It’s been rearranging itself ever since,” he explained with a bored sigh and a slight grin that quickly vanished.  “The library only spasms at night when it’s unoccupied,” he added in a tired, long suffering voice.  His gaze had remained fixed on Lilly the entire time he’d spoken.  “Who’s your friend, Zymura?”

“Professor Banks, this is my roommate, Lilly Noble.”

Recognition lightened the man’s solid black eyes.  He bowed slightly from the waist and straightened.  Sadness softened the sharp edges of his corpse-like features.  “Geraldine Saint James and Randolph Noble’s girl.”  It wasn’t a question, which he made more obvious by the way he continued to study Lilly.

Growing increasingly uncomfortable under the man’s close scrutiny, Lilly could only nod.  At her throat, whatever it was that lived inside her locket twitched and hissed.

Suddenly, behind her, the air unexpectedly thickened with an anxious tension.  Change tingled at the edges of her awareness, forcing her to focus her attention.  Though she couldn’t tell exactly where the odd energy was coming from, she could certainly feel it.  Something was going on in this room, and it felt seriously wrong.  Lilly’s mind worried about the library having another spasm.

“Miss Noble,” Professor Banks said, gently gathering her small hands in his big gnarly ones.  “You look so much like your mother.”  Though he never stopped looking at her face, the expression in his eyes grew nostalgic and distant, as if he were remembering something from the past.

Though his damp, chilly touch felt unpleasant, she said, “It’s nice to meet you,” and hoped he didn’t hear the uneasiness in her voice.  Despite the creepy tension growing in the library and the professor’s clammy grip, she still managed to successfully fight the urge to snatch her hands free and wipe them dry on her clothes.

“We were friends once, your parents and I.  All of us were that year,” his tone betrayed both familiarity and contempt.

“You went to school with my mom and dad?” Lilly asked, instantly curious.  This was hard to believe.  The professor looked so much older than her parents.  Suddenly, the man tightened his squishy grip like a vise.  Lilly winced, but quickly decided letting him hold her warm hands in his clammy ones was worth it if she learned something about her mom and dad.

Then, he released her.  “Your parents weren’t your average overachievers,” he said, sounding bitter.  His gaze shifted back, signaling his return to the present.  “Everything was a competition with your father.  No one else stood a chance against him,” he said bitterly.

He’d known her parents and, for some reason, that really bothered him.  Maybe the yearbooks would yield a clue.

Suddenly all business, he gestured to the stacks with a quick flick of his wrist.  “Lucky for you, I located the yearbook section earlier this afternoon.  You won’t have to track it down yourselves.  Follow me,” he said, leading the way.

After walking a short distance, he stopped without warning, causing Lilly to bump into the back of him.

“Oops, excuse me,” she mumbled.

He didn’t bother to turn around.  “Here they are.”

Lilly backed away from him and searched the spines of the books for the years they were published.  “Thank you, Professor Banks.”

Posted by Deborah McTiernan

Author of Lilly Noble & Actual Magic

Dares readers to believe in themselves and discover the magic within!

#ActualMagic #PhantomRush

image by business2community.com

Read more: <ASIN: 0989180700> or <ASIN: B00D0DD97U> (Kindle).

How to end a rude conversation with grace


A muscular boy with short blonde spikes entered the library.  He spotted Lilly and strode purposefully in her direction.  He raised his hand and pointed a short stubby finger at her.  “Hey, aren’t you that dimwit who fell off the ferryboat?”

Lilly turned and looked him right in the eye.  His voice sounded familiar.  It belonged to one of the boys who’d helped Murosky get her to the infirmary the day she’d arrived on the island.  “Why, yes, I am.  I never got the chance to properly thank you for getting me off the beach before the high tide washed me back out to sea.  Thank you!” she said politely.

The boy stared back at her dumbfounded.  “That high tide was weird.  And, for the record, I didn’t carry you off the beach, Ren did.  But you’re welcome, I guess.”

“It couldn’t have been a high tide.  The moon wasn’t full,” Murosky argued.  “I told you that.”

With an even gaze at Lilly, the blonde-headed boy’s expression downshifted to mean.  “Nice to see you admit to being a dimwit,” he said scowling at her.  “Only a true dimwit would admit to doing such a stupid thing.”

Murosky’s face went purple.  “Aptos, I’m warning you.”

“Warning me about what?” Aptos countered, standing his ground.

“Keep it up and you’ll find out what,” Murosky threatened.

“Lilly!”  Zymura’s shout cut into their conversation.  Her voice came from the yearbook section.  “They’re not here!”  She sounded frantic.

“It’s a pity I’ve got to leave you boys now, but it was lovely chatting with you both.  Hopefully I’ll get to meet Ren sometime soon,” Lilly said before turning in the direction of Zymura’s voice.

Posted by Deborah McTiernan

Author of Lilly Noble & Actual Magic

Dares readers to believe in themselves and discover the magic within!

image from girl.com

Read more: <ASIN: 0989180700> or <ASIN: B00D0DD97U> (Kindle).

Conquer Claustrophobia


Rounding the corner, they proceeded down a long, narrow, dimly lit corridor.  The farther they walked, the narrower and darker it became.

Concerned, Lilly slowed her pace.  She knew there were good reasons for rules.  And even better reasons to follow them.  “Maybe we should head back and go the long way around.”

“It’s okay, we’re almost there.”  Zymura pressed forward and encouraged Lilly to follow.

Even with the shortcut, Lilly knew they couldn’t possibly be close to the library.  Not yet, anyway.  “Almost where?”

“To the first classroom we have to cut through to get to the library.”

As they continued to travel along the darkened hallway, claustrophobia closed in.  The narrow corridor was starting to feel more like a mine shaft than a hallway.  “Oh,” was all Lilly managed to say.

A windowed door revealed a series of darkened classrooms.

Compared to the nearly black corridor, at this point, Lilly decided she’d pick a restricted classroom over this passageway.

But instead of going through the windowed door, Zymura continued moving forward, pressing deeper into the shadows.

“We’re not going through these rooms?”  Lilly whispered, not really sure why she was keeping her voice down.

“We don’t have to.  We’re almost there.  It’s just a little bit farther.”

Zymura stopped suddenly.

Lilly bumped into Zymura’s back.

“See.  We’re here.”

The darkness was complete.  “You can see?”  In the pitch-black, Lilly couldn’t have identified her own hand in front of her face if she tried.

“Of course, I can see.  Can’t you?”

“No!  I can’t see a thing.”  Lilly heard what sounded like a knob being rattled.  “Zymura,” she said nervously, “is that you making that noise?”

“Of course, it’s me.  Who else would it be?”

Posted by Deborah McTiernan

Author of Lilly Noble & Actual Magic

Dares readers to believe in themselves and discover the magic within!

#ActualMagic #PhantomRush

image from englishbaby.com

Read more: <ASIN: 0989180700> or <ASIN: B00D0DD97U> (Kindle).