I live in a normal two storied house with my parents and my naughty sister. Today is a special day for me because I am going to have some fun. Sitting in my bed, now I was absolutely ready for some nasty action. I have a big bookshelf consisting of many books of different genres. Usually when I go out of my room and come back, my books get misplaced. Some books which were in biography section go to comedy section. I never got to know how.

Now I was checking my list. Bugs are fitted: check; Cameras fitted: check; Monitor in the garage: check. I was all set and ready. Today, I would see who was behind this. My sister would be, I was certain but needed proof. I had set up my monitor and the cables in the garage, where no one usually used to come. I double checked whether the camera was facing the bookshelf. I had drilled a hole in my door and inserted the camera. The camera looks like an LED light bulb. I tried my best to be as normal as possible from my room to the garage, especially when I met my sister. She was grinning, which flared me with anger because her smile was so irritating, but with much difficulty and hesitation I smiled back. “Goin’ somewhere brother”, she asked.

“And why do you care?” I replied hastily.

This reply made her quiet and she quickly climbed the stairs. I thought she was going to my room. I ran to the garage full of excitement hoping to catch the culprit and switched on my monitor which was connected to the bugs and the cameras. I could not see anyone in my room but I heard a voice. A very heavy, cold, and dangerous sounding voice, “He is gone now”. I was scared out of my wits when I heard that voice. I saw in the camera and realized that the book ‘The Night Stalker’ had just moved.

This time I heard a sweet voice, “Oh yes! He is gone”, and the book ‘A phantom tollbooth’ not only moved but also fell down and stood back up! Something was seriously wrong. The books could speak! I was speechless and could not move. How was this possible? “You think master has troubled you all too much, but look at me, I am looking just perfect”, and the perfectly clean and properly kept book which I recognized as the book ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ moved. Was this all real? Or just a dream? I pinched myself too hard to find out. It was real! “Oh yes he has. He bought me 5 years ago and did not even touch me after that!”, ‘said’ a dusty book I remembered was ‘The weight of feathers’, and with a shock I realized that was true. I had bought the book from the book sale shop but never actually read it.

“And he thinks that I am boring. If he doesn’t pick me up today, I am leaving”, said the book ‘Elon Musk and the quest for a fantastic future’ in the voice of Elon Musk! Now I realized that the voices of my books were actually the voices of characters and the contents inside.

Some of the books fell down when the book ‘A phantom tollbooth’ started shouting and wailing, “Don’t ya speak like tha abou’ our master”. I was feeling very regretful and miserable now. And one of the book grew larger and larger and shouted, “He is a good master because he has read me twice but he has not read some of us which makes him unfair. Why don’t we just kill him if he doesn’t clean us today? Should we The Night Stalker?”, said ‘Devil in the white city’. His voice was as bad as ‘The Night Stalker’ who replied, “Yes…sssss, I would love to kill him at night when everyone is sleeping — the best time to murder someone.”

I was very scared… They were planning to kill me! Thankfully, the book ‘Winning Chess’ said, “There are more ways of tackling a worse situation than to kill the queen. We must wait and see for at least two more days. We have already waited 4 months since we got the magical powers of masters. Why not wait some more?” I did not complain that he called me a queen where as I should have been addressed as the king. ‘Devil in the White City’ started to reply but the ‘The Scholastic book of Quotations’ said in a robotic voice, “Our patience will achieve more than our force, by Edmund Burke, second quote on Page number 55, chapter Patience and Perseverance”

“But, come on”, said ‘The Night Stalker’.

And once again, ‘The Scholastic book of Quotations’ said in a robotic voice, “Patience and time do more than strength or passion, by Jean da La Fontaine, third quote on Page number 55, chapter Patience and Perseverance”

Now all the books were quiet. Even though most of them were quiet from the start.

“Okay, let’s vote.”, said the book ‘The theory of Justice’, “Those in favor of killing master, jump down from the bookshelf.” Many books jumped down. Even before I started counting, the book ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ said, “There are exactly 37 of us who want to kill master.”

“How can you say so fast?”, asked the book ‘The theory of Justice’. “No one can!” Even I was astonished. Even a human could not have calculated so fast. ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ angrily said, “Oh I can, I was written by a mathematician.”. I did not know that and had a feeling other books did not too! Then, the book ‘The theory of Justice’ said, “Oh! Ok then. So rest are in favor of not-killing the master. And how many of us are those, Miss Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland?”

“Exactly 99, so we won’t be killing master! Yay….”

Though I did not like the way some of my books thought about me but I was relieved. Wait! Do the books have brains to think? Are the books in my bookshelf the only books which can act as humans? I had no idea. Tension filled my insides when I heard: “Hey wait, I hear someone coming.”, said ‘The EAR book’ and all the books started climbing the bookshelves and adjusted themselves wherever possible. So that is why they get shuffled. “Kairav”, I heard mom say via the bug, “Are you there in the room?” I switched off my monitor and ran out of my garage. I vamoosed towards my room to ask mom what had happened. When I reached there, I asked, “Mom, did you call me? What happened?” Mom looked at me in a strange way and asked, “If you are here, then who is in? Cause I heard a voice”, she said opening the door. When she saw no one, she thought that she was mistaken and went back down. I went to my bookshelf and started cleaning all my books. One by one I cleaned all my books. I even had to skip dinner to do that. But I did not stop. One by one I apologized to every book, especially those thirty seven who voted against me.

I read the ‘The Night Stalker’ thoroughly to ensure that I would not be killed. But my real mind was somewhere else. I was in a big dilemma. Should I tell the books that I know they can talk or not? If I do, may be they would say, “Oh my god! But master how?” And then I will tell them, they would say I was eavesdropping and they will start voting again. If I did not, I would get to hear them talking about me all day. Not telling looked like a better option but I seriously wanted to tell them. In the end, I decided not to. I used to listen to them every day, until one day they stopped talking. I had no Idea why. I tried to listen to them every day but they would not talk. Then I received a letter with no address. I was confused because it said the following words:

Harry Potter 7, page 99, paragraph 2, word 1+s, and Percy Jackson 4, Chapter 2, paragraph 3, Last but one sentence, Word 29 and Trials of Apollo 3, Page 12, 6 paragraph, 3rd sentence, 8th word.

I was baffled at first. Then I thought that these were addresses of a word in a book. What should I do? I got up and checked.

Harry Potter 7, page 99, paragraph 2, word 1+s — ‘MASTERS’.

Percy Jackson 4, Chapter 2, paragraph 3, Second Last sentence, Word 29 — ‘POWERS

Trials of Apollo 3, Page 12, 6 paragraph, 3rd sentence, 8th word -‘GONE’.

I did not understand at first, but then I realized it meant

“MASTERS’ POWERS GONE”

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