The eyes of a single person flicker open and stare upward groggily. There they are, laying on a wooden floor with not so much as a pillow holding them up. Their bones ache slightly, a reminder of the hard ground they had awoken on.
“What… What is this place? Where am I?” They ask, still unfocused and dizzy.
Finally cognizant enough to sit up, they survey the large room they’re in. Situated on the first of three floors, the person scans the ornately decorated walls and pillars reaching up to the sky. The walls are lined with shelves upon shelves of books, bound in leather and as heavy as bricks. The ceiling reaches up about fifty meters, made of carved and detailed wood. The spiral staircase in the center of the room leads up to the second and third floors. It, too, is intricately decorated.
The person blinks a few times, trying to make sure they are seeing correctly. This library… It seems oddly familiar. As if they had been here at some point, a long time ago. They eventually gain the strength to stand and walk. The air in the library is laced with the smell of old paper and fireplace smoke. They make their way over to a window, thinking it could give them a clue as to where they are. Instead, they are met with a hypnotizingly colorful kaleidoscope. The colors churned and spun for no rhyme or reason, completely at random.
“What is that? Seriously… where am I?” They ask once more, as if expecting a spirit or voice to guide them.
To nobody’s surprise, they are met with nothing but the crackling of a fireplace. A feeling begins creeping into their head, though it isn’t one of dread or fear. Instead, a desire to read the books is what they feel. It could lead them to some answers, or maybe just give them something to do. Either way, they are… shall we say, interested?
Deciding to start from the top rather than the bottom, they slowly amble up the stairs, sliding their hand up the elegant railing. They follow the stairs upward, counting twenty-eight to the top. On the shelf directly in front of the staircase, they spot a few books that look like a good place to start.
Now, this is where our story takes an interesting turn. They, in their unnamed glory, are not the main character of this story, and they are not the one stuck in this labyrinthine library of mysterious books. That character would be you, reader. So please, do choose carefully which book you start with. Enjoy, good sir or ma’am, my Timeless Library.