The Library Ghost
by Jenny Adamthwaite
Have you ever had a conversation with a stranger on the steps of Lancaster City Museum?
Perhaps not… Perhaps you’ve seen the police there, or you thought it better not to engage… given the steps a wide berth.
But there are stories to hear from every person who settles there, and it’s the lady who has none that has the biggest one of all.
You’ve seen her. She keeps her head down and makes herself look small, moves timidly as if she’s unsure of her step… And her boots look like they’ve never been worn.
They haven’t been, at least not anywhere tangible. She’s spent years just sitting, waiting for her story to be read. But it never is. It’s been in the library for years, and the book plate has never been stamped. There’s a whole story in there, but she doesn’t get to live it unless someone brings it to life… and no one ever does.
They say she got tired of waiting – left to find her own story… Just slipped out of the pages and off the bookshelf, took herself past the borrowers, past the librarian, and into the street. But she’s not from this time… Her story is set many years ago, and this Lancaster isn’t one she knows. So she’s never made it past the museum, where she huddles on the steps, blending in with the others, listening to their conversations and imagining the different lives she could have lived.
There’s a book you could borrow that will tell no story because she’s not there to live it, and there’s a conversation you could have that could bring her to life.
Listen carefully… There are stories all around.
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