Tag Archives: primary school

The Mystery of Shelf 12 L pt3

 

Continued from here

Ada opened her eyes slowly, trying to get used to the bright light in the room. She rubbed her head and swayed on her feet. The slide down the twisted tunnel made her head spin. It was worse than a roller coaster ride, she felt like she had been tossed around over and over again in a giant blender.

Slowly she made out the shape of a boy in front of her. “Who are you?”

He was about her height, he wore square glasses and he was completely bald, like a chicken without feathers! He just stared right back at her. She rubbed her head again and looked around.

“What is this place?”

It was much like the library upstairs, but the books were older, browner, bigger and the room was brighter, dustier, deserted.

The boy with no hair smiled. “This is the Room of Knowledge”

He took her hand pulling her towards the center of the room. “You wanted to learn about waterfalls right? Come, I’ll show you”

He stopped at a shelf labelled W and he pulled an old dusty brown book from the stack of books on one of the rows. “Come, help me”

Ada held one end of the book and together they pulled the large book off the shelf and onto the floor. The boy sat cross-legged in front of the book and tapped the space next to him. Ada looked at him and then the shelf and then the mouth of the tunnel.

“My name is Zigi. Break will be over in 30 minutes. If you want to see the waterfalls, sit down, we don’t have time”

She sat.

Zigi flipped the pages of the book. All of a sudden, sounds of thrashing water filled the room. Ada sat up and looked around but Zigi kept flipping the images.

“Can’t you hear that?”

“What?” He looked up and looked around, his large eyeballs turning in his face. They heard nothing. Ada was confused. He flipped another page. The sound came again, louder this time.

That!”

“Oh, that!” Zigi smiled and turned back to the book. He kept flipping pages until he got to the page he wanted. “Now look”

Ada jumped up “You heard it right? What’s happening?”

“Look!!!” Zigi shouted pointing at the book.

Then Ada looked at the book. There were pictures of huge waterfalls splayed across the pages.  Ada stared at the book, then at Zigi. The sounds seemed to be coming from the waterfalls in the book! She shook her head and took two steps back.

“Zigi. What’s that? What kind of book is that? What is this place? I want to go”

Zigi smiled and flipped the pages some more. More pictures of waterfalls came up and the volume of the sounds that filled the room, seemed to rise and fall depending on the size of the waterfalls on the pages. “These waterfalls are in Nigeria! There are so many and this book shows all of them. It tells you everything you need to know about all of them. But do you know the best part?” he stopped, looked at her and smiled harder. “It takes you to all of them”

“What do you mean?”

Ada took a step forward and stared at the strange book. The pages seemed to come alive. She stared at the waterfall closest to her. It was called Agbokim Waterfalls. It was beautiful she thought. She could hear the sounds from the waterfall. A gust of wind flung her plaits across her face.

“Touch it” Zigi said “Touch it”

Ada looked at him, then the book. Slowly, she walked towards Zigi, she knelt next to the book and touched the page. Suddenly a hole appeared where her finger had been and a violent gust of wind rose from its mouth and sucked her into the page!

to be continued …

see you same time next week …

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The Mystery of Shelf 12 L pt2

 

Continued from here

It was the biggest library she had ever seen. Rows and rows of books from the floor all the way up to the ceiling. Just books! Small books, big ones, flat ones, thick ones, old ones, new ones, hardbacks, paperbacks! She had never seen so many books in one place at the same time. Her old school’s library was a small dark room with two white plastic tables, six white plastic chairs and twenty-three old books. Ada stood on a spot and spun, staring at all the books in the topmost shelf, her neck bent backwards so much that it looked like it would break. Then she looked down at the rest of the library. Where was her mystery writer, Z? She looked around. There were so many shelves, she didn’t know where to start from.

How can anyone find anyone in this place? she wondered. She looked at the note again. It didn’t say where she was supposed to meet Z. She started walking through the shelves, looking at the letter boxes at the top of each shelf.

“A .. B .. C .. D .. ”

Four shelves and four minutes later, no one walked up to her and no one had said anything to her. Ada looked at the note in her hand again. This time, she studied it wondering if she had missed something.

“Hmmm. Why are the 12 and L darker than the other letters?”

She looked up at the huge clock on the wall. It was 11:58 am. Just beneath the clock, there was a huge chart with the alphabets and numbers 1 -20. Suddenly, Ada’s eyes popped and she knew where she was supposed to meet Z.

She folded the note, pushed it into her pocket and hurried towards the center of the library. Just as she stopped in front of the shelf marked 12 L, a loud bang shook the library! Ada jumped and turned away from the shelf looking around. Everyone else seemed calm, like nothing happened. Then the bang came again and again and again.

Oh! It’s only the clock she thought. It’s 12 o’clock!

She heaved a sigh of relief and counted with the clock.

“ … 7.. 8.. 9.. 10.. 11.. 12 ..”

Then from no where, two hands came out of the shelf 12 L, covered her mouth and dragged her into the darkness!

 

 

to be continued …

see you same time next week …

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The Mystery of Shelf 12 L pt1

Chapter 1

12 L

“A real waterfall? A real-life waterfall?!” Iphie jumped up, hands on hips, “It’s not true Ada or whatever your name is! There is NO waterfall in Nigeria! It’s only in America and London that you can find things like that! I’m going to another seat, Gennie! Bisi! Let’s go! I don’t have time to sit with people who are not intelligent!” She picked up her school bag and stomped away.

Ada stared at her, her mouth wide open. Suddenly she heard someone laughing behind her. She turned around to see a girl with nice chuku and colourful glass beads that danced as she laughed. She was shaking and wiping tears from her eyes. The name on her tag read ‘Joy’

“Close your mouth joor!’ The girl named Joy said. “Don’t mind her! She doesn’t know anything. She’s a stupid girl. Miss Suo said she’s a fool that doesn’t know that she’s a fool” she laughed harder.

Ada’s eyes opened wider than her mouth.

The girls in this school are mean. I don’t like this school. She thought

“Joy! Iphie is not stupid! YOU are stupid!” the one named Bisi shouted from the back of the class, pointing her forefinger at Joy. “Everybody knows there’s no real waterfall in Nigeria!” She had a huge scowl on her face.

Joy laughed harder. “Chicken Brain!”

“Who are you calling Chicken Brain?!” Bisi jumped up, hands on hips. Ada looked from one girl to the other.

Joy clapped her hands and laughed harder “No one! I’m just singing a song” and she sang to the tune of ‘Old MacDonalds Had a Farm’

Someone has a chicken brain, chicken chicken brain (2x)

With a cuckoo here and a cuckoo there

Here a cuckoo, there a cuckoo, everywhere a cuckoo

Someone has a chicken brain, chicken chicken brain

Everyone in the class burst into laughter. Bisi’s eyes immediately filled with tears.

“Girls are so stupid.” A boy sitting directly behind Ada said to his neighbour and they laughed too. Ada stared at the boy. His name was Osa.

They are all mean. They are all mean. They won’t stop insulting themselves. I don’t like this school

Suddenly the laughing stopped abruptly, and all the girls and boys sat up and faced the front of the class. The class was so quiet that you could hear the sound of Bisi’s angry breaths from the back.

Ada turned slowly away from Osa back to the front of the class. She looked at the classroom door. A woman stood there. She was a tall skinny woman with tight chuku that drew her tiny eyes towards her hair, lips that were so thin they looked like two lines drawn with a very sharp pencil and a pointed nose with a shiny tip. She was frowning so much that her eyebrows were almost touching.  She looked like a bird, a very angry bird.

“Good morning Ms. Emem” The class chorused.

“Stand up all of you, raise your hands, close your eyes and open your mouth! You’ll stay in that position for 10 minutes!”

Through half-shut eyes, Ada watched as the rest of the class quickly obeyed the teacher. Ms. Emem walked round the class immediately, her heels tapping hard against the floor as she slapped backs, raised hands higher in the air, making sure they all obeyed her instructions.

“My class is always the noisiest class in the whole school.” She muttered as she walked to her desk.  “Stupid children”

Ada squeezed her eyes shut as she walked past her.

I don’t like this school

Her eyes twitched and lips trembled. She didn’t want to cry, she knew the other kids would laugh at her. I don’t like this school. I want to go back to my old school. I don’t like this school. I don’t like it. 

“Sit!!” Ms. Emem barked from her chair and they hurriedly put their hands down and thanked her. When she sat on her chair, Ada felt something. It was a piece of paper. A note. She turned back and looked around. No one was looking at her, no one smiled. She wondered how the paper got to her chair and who put it there. Slowly she unfolded it and read:

 

There are waterfalls in Nigeria.

Meet me at the library by 12.

Don’t be Late.

Z.

 

 to be continued …  

 

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