Time, space and novels

Basically had to write the 1st chapter of a story for my English coursework when I was 15 and decided to continue it on. It's about a girl who finds a library where all is not what it seems...she goes on a journey with none other than Long John Silver and discovers her destiny. Just so you know, I hadn't even heard of Inkheart before I wrote this, but the main idea with the books is quite similar. I did not steal it, it is a genuine coincidence!

Chapter one


The house was dark and spooky. It was large, musty and full of cobwebs. It sat upon a large hill overlooking a small village in the southern part of Ireland. Stretching out from around the house was a cemetery, the headstones old and fractured, each one looking worse for wear than the last. The crypts were covered in moss and small patches of grass that grew from the cracks. Spiders and ants ran free around the graveyard, and birds could be heard coming from the woodlands that surrounded it, each gargantuan tree covered with the poison ivy that crept up their trunks. Beyond the woods was a large driveway, the concrete cracked from years of use, and with bushes and foliage on either side. Halfway up the drive was a large iron gate, with ugly stone gargoyles on either side, their faces contorted into gruesome expressions that had been worn with time, only to make them all the more hideous. Beyond the rusting gates, the house stood, an ominous sight to anyone who passed it on a dark night. The bricks used were grey and worn, with moss and foliage creeping out from the cracks. The windows were boarded up, and the door had been kicked in. Huge ravens perched on the chimney and roof, their caws echoing into the night. Inside the house, bare floorboards and wooden panelled walls stretched out along the corridor, all the surfaces covered with a thick layer of dust. In each of the rooms, all the furniture was covered with old and dirty white sheets. Tiny beams of sunlight streaked in through the windows, casting light over the ants and cockroaches running across the floor. There were old paintings hung on the walls, of strange looking, old fashioned people, who seemed to stare at you with their piercing eyes. Tall suits of armour leaned in as you walked by and small birds chirruped and flew from the rafters above. In the middle of the hallway there was a large staircase with a deep red carpet, and upstairs there were several bedrooms. The dust-sheets could be pulled back to reveal large four-poster beds and dressing tables, the décor of the room very old fashioned. The entire house was huge and decorated in a Tudor style. That was before.


Now the house was empty, with freshly painted walls. Bright sunlight shone in from the newly paned windows, and the old furniture that once graced the rooms was now replaced with new items, a television, a sofa and a hi-fi system. The once bare floorboards were now covered with wooden flooring that gleamed in the light, and was slippery to walk on. The suits of armour were gone, auctioned off to antique collectors, and the paintings that once hung on the walls had been replaced with photographs. The red carpet on the stairs was still there, but it had been washed and vacuumed. The bedroom had been decorated; the walls now painted a shocking pink, with lime green curtains. The sheets on the four-poster were replaced with a green duvet, and a heap of soft toys sat at the end. A computer sat in the corner, next to a large stereo and a full length mirror. There was a modern looking wardrobe and chest of drawers, with bottles of nail polish and makeup scattered on top. It had taken months to finish the house, and there it was. But I still felt a sense of foreboding as I walked inside, as though something bad had happened there many years ago. The house scared me slightly. I didn’t like it at all. Which was a shame, because it was my house.


I had moved a few days ago with my father, intending to make a fresh start. New house, new job, new country. I had flown over to Ireland from southern California. I still missed the beaches, the bright sunny days, even in December. I missed the palm trees and the pool in my back garden. I missed my friends and my teachers. I missed my house, so unlike this one. But most of all, I missed my mum. She had only been 36 when she died. She was always happy, and was really cool, for a mum. She had auburn hair that shone in the light and green eyes. She was slender and tall. They never found out who hit her. No-one had seen the car, because it was on a bare stretch of road. She had been out jogging. After a few months, the case was closed. The police forgot about it, and went back to their ordinary lives. I however, could not. So my dad decided that we should move, back to Ireland where I had been born. My mother had originally come from Ireland, and my father was English. We had moved to America when I was 8. I never picked up the accent in the seven years that I lived there. I was always ‘the Irish girl’. I didn’t have many friends at school. I hung out with the geeks and brain boxes, the ones who watched ‘Doctor Who’ and collected ‘Star Wars’ action figures. We all got on really well, united by our deep hatred of the jocks and cheerleaders. Now, to move back to Ireland after all those years, it was unnerving, to say the least. I had this strange feeling that something bad was going to happen, but I shook it off. Nothing could possibly go wrong. How very wrong I was.


A week later, I was exploring the house, trying to find a secret passageway of some sort. Anything to stop me from being so bored. My dad had gone out, and there was nothing good on TV. I was walking along one of the corridors that we never used. I looked into some of the rooms. Most of them were empty, or full of boxes that we hadn’t unpacked yet. When I got to the end of the corridor, I noticed a door that looked out of place. It just didn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the corridor. The other doors had been painted over, and made to look modern. This one looked like it had just been avoided by the painters and decorators. I tried to open it, but it was locked. I pulled the hair grip from my hair, and used it to pick the lock. This was a little something I’d learnt from my brother Fred before he left for the navy. I opened the door and peered inside. It was a large library, with hundreds, no thousands of books on the shelves. There were even stacks of books on the floor and on the chairs and tables. There was a large window at one end, giving just enough light to read by. I walked over to the nearest pile of books and had a closer look. They were all classics; ‘Alice in Wonderland’, ‘Pride and Prejudice’, ‘Sense and Sensibility’, ‘Wuthering Heights’. There were also a few newer ones, for example the ‘Narnia’ series, and, wait a minute, I thought to myself, ‘HARRY POTTER’! Why was there a ‘Harry Potter’ book when the last people to own this house died in 1926? And ‘Narnia’? I knew for a fact that was published in 1956. No-one had been in here since then, and if they had, why would they leave a copy of ‘Harry Potter’? And lock the door behind them on their way out? I left the room feeling confused, and returned to my room.


I didn’t mention anything about the mysterious library to my dad at dinner time. Instead, I talked about normal things, such as how school was going and what I had done that day. I said that I had simply watched the telly all day.

“Ah”, my dad had said, “What did you watch then? I expect it was old re-runs of ‘Doctor Who’ or something, wasn’t it?”

“No”, I replied, “It was ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ in the morning, and when I watched that I saw ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ again.”

“You and your pirates” said dad, collecting the plates and going to wash them.

“Yeah”, I said, “I’m going to go and read a book or something. Goodnight”

“‘Night”, my dad said as I walked out the room. When I mentioned the word book, it reminded me of the strange library. I was determined to find out the reason behind the out of place books.


I went back to the library the next day. How could I not? I wanted to know why these modern books were in a house that had been unoccupied for over 80 years. Or had it? Perhaps a family of gypsies had moved here temporarily, or a young child who had run away from home and spent a few nights here. It seemed unlikely, considering the fact that the door was locked. When I got back there, I looked for more modern books, and was not disappointed. I found perched on the edge of a chair a copy of ‘Treasure Island’, and high on a shelf, for some reason, a Johnny Depp autobiography! I was still trying to figure out why these books were here, when my mobile went off in my pocket. I looked at the caller ID and saw that it was my brother. This was a rare occurrence, because he barely ever had time off from his duties. When he did have time off, he always rung me. I pressed answer.

“Hello!” I said

“Hi Smal” he replied. Smal was my nickname. It was short for Smalice, which was basically my name Alice with an S and an M in front. I can’t even remember why people started calling me that, but it had caught on and stuck.

“How are you?” I said

“I’m fine”, Fred said, “I’ve only got a few minutes break, so I’ll make this quick. I’m coming home!”

“Wow!”, I exclaimed, “That’s great news!”

“I know” he said, “Listen, I’ve got to go now, but tell Dad, won’t you?”

“Sure, I will” I said, and hung up. It was good to know that he was coming home after all these months. I’d been worried about him before. Then I remembered I’d never asked him when, or why he was coming home. Never mind. I could always ask when he got here. In the meantime, I thought that I would read one of the books .I picked up the battered copy of ‘Treasure Island’ and looked at the front cover. I could remember acting out ‘Treasure Island’ at school. I’d been Long John Silver of course. I always got the best parts, and I particularly enjoyed playing Silver. He was a funny character, and I liked putting on a ‘pirate accent’. It had been difficult at first to walk with only one leg, but I’d got used to it. I turned to page one and began to read.

                          Squire Trelawney, Dr Livesey, and the rest of these gentlemen

                         Having asked me to write down the particulars about                                                                                                                                                                        

                         Treasure Island

I let the words roll over me, and stifled a yawn. I realised that I was too tired to start reading now. I looked at my watch. It was 11 o’ clock. I decided to go to bed. I left the book on the chair, in case my dad asked me about it in the morning. I was about to walk out the room, when I heard a noise behind me. At first I thought it was my dad. I heard someone speak.

“Arr,” they said. “And who may you be?”

 I spun around, and saw a man, whose left leg was cut off at the hip, and who carried a crutch. He had a large red parrot on his shoulder.

“Long John Silver!” I gasped

“Yes, such is my name, to be sure. And who may you be?” he said.


And that was when I fainted.


The End

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