It was a dark and stormy night (well, that is how stories normally begin, isn’t it?) in London and the British Library was closing. The staff were busy ushering late people out of the doorway and the security guards were donning their night vision goggles.The great Library was quiet, oh so quiet, the only sound being the footsteps of the guards and the slurping of the warm cocoa they were drinking.
Oh, and the sound of something sinister slithering along the floor. None of the security guards heard a thing, saw a thing or even smelt a thing. Maybe, this was because they were dead. If the guards had been watching more closely before they had died, they would have noticed that there was unexplained slime on the floor. They may have also noticed the poisonous spikes that had been shed in their cocoa. The mysterious, sinister thing that had shed the spikes was slithering along the floor, up the section “A” bookshelf and into the first book, which was entitled “A
or An? When to use them”…
Next morning was nice and sunny.The temperature was a good 25°C and London was as busy as ever. The curator of the British Library happily strolled to work in his office at the top of the magnificent building. He walked up to the grand doors of the Library and opened them.The first thing he noticed was the fact that all the guards were slumped against the pillars and their cocoa mugs were lying broken on the floor. He thought that he might call the police, but decided to call an ambulance, as nothing obvious had been stolen. After dialling 999, he went to section “B” and took out one of the books to check it was still safe.The punctuation was gone! He fainted.
“Mr Curator! Wake up, Mr Curator!” said a voice.The curator sat up. He saw his assistant, Lai Berry, in front of him. He was sitting on a chair in his office. For a second, he wondered if it had all been a bad dream and his precious books were safe.“Hey! What’s the meaning of this?” yelled a man from behind the door.The curator walked to the door to find a red-faced man in a suit standing there.“I took out a book, and it had no punctuation in it! Not a single full stop!” he bellowed.“If you don’t do something about it, I will sue you because I am a shouty businessman and that’s what I do!” he added.The curator fainted again. One hour later, several paramedics were standing around him and downstairs, the police were searching the books. Only seconds after the curator recovered, a policeman rushed upstairs to tell him that almost all the punctuation was missing from his books. He was about to faint yet again, but suddenly, there was a “whoosh” behind his back. He turned around, but then there was another “whoosh” coming from where he had been facing. A final time he turned around, and there was a man standing there. He was not exactly the normal sort of a man who goes to the British Library to check out a book from its extensive collection. He dressed in a dark purple bandana, a dark purple belt and generally dark purple everything. All of these clothes were covered in full stops, exclamation marks, question marks and all sorts of punctuation. Then, he spoke. “I am the Punctuation Ninja. Silent as a full stop, surprising as an exclamation mark.” At this point, he did a stylish-looking move for no reason in particular.“I was summoned to save the punctuation in your library and I will, by the Power of Punctuation!” he said to the curator.
“Err…” the curator, paramedics, shouty businessman, Lai Berry and policemen stuttered in unison.
“Well, if you’re looking for that punctuation thief, you should try the only book still in one piece, “Zebra Spotter’s Guide”,” said the policeman. Before he could say any more, the Punctuation Ninja was flicking through “Zebra Spotter’s Guide”. He turned to the last page and found a spiky, green stick. He wondered for a few seconds why a spiky green stick was stuck on the last page of a book, but then he saw that there was a full stop on the end of it. He looked closer and found that the stick was EATING the full stop! The stick began to grow, and grow, and grow, until it was the same size as him! Now, the Punctuation Ninja dashed down the corridor, but an alarm went off.“Unauthorised personnel in the area! Activating defences,” blared a speaker. Several spikes flew down the corridor. The Punctuation Ninja leaped over them. He carried on running down the corridor, until he came to a corner. As he turned the corner, he came into a long, wide corridor with spiked walls and a door at the end.The floor was built of grey stone. As he ran down the corridor he had unknowingly trodden on a pressure plate. CRUNCH! The walls began to close in.The Punctuation Ninja zoomed down the corridor. He got to the end and went through the door. Through the door, there was a pillar with a small, spiky pebble. “This must be the Spiny Stone,” thought the Punctuation Ninja. He took the stone and ran back out before any more traps could get him.
Outside, the Bookworm was blocking up the door to the Cactus Vault.The Punctuation Ninja punched a hole through the door and threw the Spiny Stone into the beast’s armoured belly. Cracks appeared in the plating. Spines shattered. CRACK! All of the Bookworm’s “indestructible” spiky shell came off and it died instantly. It spat out all of the punctuation, which dropped to the floor at the Punctuation Ninja’s feet.The curator came down from his office to congratulate the Punctuation Ninja, but he had already put the punctuation back into the books and was gone.