TITLE: THE BODLEY ARCHIVES
GENRE: Women’s Fiction
The Gothic buildings seemed eerily familiar, an inherited experience, the city’s charm and history, gargoyles and ghosts, all channeled through her enigmatic grandmother whose absence here shadowed the view. Julianne had never visited Oxford, nor England for that matter, merely listened to her grandmother, who’d artfully abridged her stories and now tasked Julianne with no small mission. A mission she’d warily accepted, and presently regretted.
She passed through the arched gate guarding the Bodleian Library’s quadrangle, a spectral world, where long-dead professors argued about physics and theology. Surely, they were all around her. Gargoyles, ghosts, Thomas Bodley—Julianne felt their many eyes on her now. A lifetime of honesty swept away in one visit. With the sun’s heat came a tinge of guilt, but she fanned it away, knowing it was all for her grandmother. She crossed the threshold, feeling as though she were entering a different time period, one where her ancestor’s indelible spirit lived on. Within these buildings, strata of centuries awaited.
The sudden need for sleep overpowered her. She leaned against a wall and, although she dug her thumbnail into the skin of her palm, her head nodded to her chest, the blackness heavy and unavoidable. A nudge to her shoulder woke her, but when she opened her eyes, no one was there. She massaged the back of her neck and glanced at her watch. The episodes were happening more frequently. What would be worse—keeping her secret from Gigi Dottie or watching her crumble at hearing the news?