In the small town of Fiery Creek there is a library. Its name is Fiery Creek library, and you can find it in front of the Town Hall. In order to enter the place, you have to descend 7 stairs, then go back 3 stairs without turning around or looking down. This is very important: if you look down, you will be fulminated instantly by a death ray. You have been warned.
Now comes the tricky part. You will need a single maraca and a sonnet about the week’s topic, which is announced in the notice board outside the library. Don’t worry, the sonnet is always about death in non prime days. You can use the same sonnet as many times as you want to, so long as the subject matches the topic, and so long as it is written in Alexandrines. You have to write the sonnet yourself, and any form of plagiarism is punished with the death penalty, and in some extreme cases, even indefinitely expelling you from the library.
In the unlikely event that you manage to fulfill all of the above conditions – today is a prime day, and the subject of the sonnet is alternative splicing -, you have to recite the sonnet first, followed by playing the maraca to the tune of Like a virgin. You are allowed to sing the song, but be warned that the librarian will record your entry and make fun of your flat Bs.
This will teleport you to the library. This teleportation involves destroying all of the matter in your body and reconfiguring it back in place. If you are afraid that the clone might not be exactly you, just take it easy. Same thing happens every time you go to sleep. Also, if you happen to be compatible with a patient of Mexican-Japanese heritage you might lose a kidney in the teleportation process. You have two, don’t you? Why would you need double of something? We all know that having too much of anything is bad!
Once inside, you will be confused and trying to get used to your new body. It’s okay, let the feeling that your flesh is mortal sink in. You won’t live long, anyway. Now that you’re inside, you will, once you calm down, notice that you are in a large hall. The library desk is in the left, access to the library is right in front of you, and in your right you will notice that there is a giant seven-headed hydra protecting the access to the toilets. Don’t worry about the hydra, you just have to fight it if you need to use the restroom. Just walk to the library desk.
The Fiery Creek library has only ever had one librarian, Ms Erin Pyp. She was destined to this job, and she will do it until the day the library gets destroyed to build a new ice cream shop in late 2018. Then she will have to go to the unemployment office, where, considering her extensive experience, she will be offered a job as a Museum Piece in the Fiery Creek History Museum. Unsatisfied with this job, she will quit after a week and retire to an island in the Caribbean, only to return when the library is rebuilt. If I were you, I would book tickets to see Ms Pyp in the History Museum now.
In the last 193 years she has never failed at her job, and she will always greet you with a half hearted smile. If you have the library card, you can access the library directly. If you do not, you will have to go to the library desk, greet her and wait until she finishes sorting some papers. She will then ask:
“Good morning, can I help you?”
And you will answer “Good morning, I would like to get a library card. This is my first time here”.
“Of course” she will say, “Let me look for the form”, she will add, as she reaches for a stack of forms right next to the printer. “Here you are” she will say, giving you form copies 5 and 6, which have been printed explicitly for you through arcane printing magic that has not been modified since 1969. She will suddenly look at you and warn you “Oh, don’t use a blue pen, please. The Scanner that the form is fed into is quite emotionally repressed, and only reads black and white files. The last person who fed it a coloured file died a horrible death”.
You look at copy number 5, which you have already started filling in blue, throw it into the trash can and, noticing that you do not possess any black pens at the moment, you reluctantly ask the librarian for one. She gives you a Bic pen that has been sitting around for a while, the one everyone is disgusted by, which is also the one that, somehow, everyone ends up biting.
You write down your name and your surname, your date of birth and your address. Then you see the rest of the form, look at the librarian and ask her “Do I have to fill all of this data in?”
“It’s a requirement” she answers. “I don’t make the rules around here”.
You think to yourself that, having worked in the library for the last 193 years, she must have some sort authority, and you try not to think about her progenitors. You subconsciously bite the pen, realize what you are doing and put it down in disgust for a second. Then you start filling the form, as it asks you:
“Religion(s) to which you subscribe?”
“Preferred reading styles?”
“What uses are you going to give the library?”
“Planet of origin?”
“Does any of your religions praise long dead gods?”
“Did you pay the tax return last year?”
“Have you ever shown that corpse you hide in the basement to anyone?”
“Have you ever used any sort of illegal substance?”
“Did you ever summon Satan to this plane, in an attempt to doom humanity?”
“Were you successful?”
“Are you planning to produce meat instruments with the flesh of orphans?”
“Have you ever even considered faking your tax return?”
“Are you an illegal immigrant?”
“Are you planning or have you ever planned to resuscitate a long dead god?”
“If so, which one?”
“Are you an illegal time-traveller?”
“Have you had any extensive training and/or experience dealing with giant regenerating beasts?”
“Have you ever played a meat organ?”
“Have you ever bathed in the blood of the innocent?”
“Are you considering world domination?”
“Would you take a bullet for Satan?”
“Are you left handed?”
And another 172 questions. You answer them all, much as you know that only question 144 counts, because it says so in the top of the form. Ms Pyp then guides you to The Scanner, while talking about a fling she had with me some time ago. She tells you about the courting – it was another time, the early 1870s, and we were both young -, and then proceeds to tell you about all of the fond memories, but never tells you why it didn’t work out. As you get to the front of the machine, you distractedly wonder what might have gone wrong.
The Scanner startles you. It is a wondrous machine. Erin moves to the side so that you can stand alone in the Circle of Judgment, and you place the form into the slot right in front of you. The machine works through all of your responses, trying to decipher the truth of your responses. I hope you didn’t lie in that form. You cannot lie to The Scanner. After a few seconds of silence, all light goes off, and only the Circle of Judgment is visible.
“You lied” the machine utters, dryly. “You lied in question 178”.
Erin gasps. She knows all of the questions by heart, after 193 years working as the librarian. How could you possibly have done that? That is a horrifying sin. The knowledge is unbearable, but Erin can hold herself together and continue with the ritual. She then presents you with a cursed dagger, a dagger of blue and green, much like the sea and much unlike the sea. But what do you know about the sea? You were born in the middle of the desert.
As you hold the dagger, the cursed seal wraps your body, and a library tattoo appears in your arm. You are now officially a member of the library. You can now access the secrets and dangers hidden inside. But that’s another story.