Max and the Christmas ghost

Hello. My name's Max, and I'm the caretaker in the old library.

I'd like to tell you about something strange that happened to me a few years ago at Christmas.

It was Christmas Eve and the library was closing early for the holiday. The customers all left at 3pm and I locked the main door. Shortly afterwards the staff left through the side door. I saw them all out and wished them a Merry Christmas. Then I locked the side door from the inside.

As usual I started to walk round the library making sure all the windows were closed and nobody had been left behind.

As I was climbing the stairs I heard the sound of a whistle or a flute playing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas". I was surprised as I was sure the building was empty, but I thought maybe somebody had left a window open and the music was coming from outside.

I checked every window, but they were all shut tight. It was starting to snow and when I looked outside the streets around the library were all empty.

I checked every corner of the library, but no one was there. The music was still playing, but now it had changed to "Away in a Manger". I thought maybe somebody had been shut in one of the toilets, so I checked them all, but they were all empty. Now I was hearing "Silent Night".

I began to feel a little scared so I hurried to my office to get my coat to leave.

There on my desk was a piece of Christmas cake on the most beautiful white plate. I wondered who might have left it, but it looked so delicious I couldn't help but taste a piece. It was lovely. The best cake I have ever tasted. It was so good I simply had to have another piece, and then another, until it was all gone.

The Christmas music was still playing so I decided to put my coat on and go home. The washing up could wait until we opened again in three days time.

And so I went home and forgot all about the music and the cake.

Three days later I returned to the library at 6am, ready to let the cleaners in. I went to my office to take my coat off and much to my surprise I found the white plate had gone. The strange thing was I had the only key to the library and nobody had been there for three days.

When the staff came in I aksed them all if anyone had left me a piece of Christmas cake, but nobody said they had.

But when I asked Rosemary she remembered that when she started at the library many years before as a little girl there had been an old librarian called Miss Appleby. Every Christmas she'd given a piece of Christmas cake to all the staff. And she'd always served it on the most beautiful white plates.

Next: Neighbours