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Library After Dark
A sigh escaped the librarian’s lips as he double checked the great doors. After securing their locks and taking care of the lights, he left. His footsteps fading as he left the library grounds. An eerie silence was left in the emptiness of the building. Moments passed until suddenly, one by one, books all over began to shiver in their place on the shelves, as if each had a cold. Their covers creaked and whined as they opened without the assistance of human hands.
From the section pertaining to horror, a less than normal sized raven wriggled free of the pages of a book by the title The Works of Edgar Allan Poe.
Clumsily he perched in the rafters above crying out, “NEVERMORE!” as he went, repeating it to himself every now and again as he shook dust from his feathers.
From the same book Roderick Usher of the story The Fall of the House of Usher sluggishly drug his feet to the edge of the shelf and began passing anxiously, while Montresor of A Cask of Amontillado plotted his revenge from its shadowed pages. From above the raven watched the tiny pale figure with his melancholy face pace. Down the aisle a ways, the Monster burst out of the pages of Frankenstein throwing books from wherever his hands met paper; then Ichabod followed by a headless horse man furiously tore their way from their book and continued their nightly chase that ceaselessly ended the same way, yet continued each night.
Across the hall in the section labeled ‘Science and Technology’, tiny philosophers and geniuses of time past, gathered to compare one another’s most successful experiments. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle frowned as they watched Einstein skillfully rewrite the Pythagorean Theorem.
Life hummed through the library creating a picture for each world in every book.
From the other side of the library other miniatures escaped from their pages. The clashing of the swords of Sir Lancelot and his opponent rang along with the fire of a volley of arrows from Robin Hood’s Sherwood Forest.
Just over the next shelf, fantastical creatures moseyed about socializing calmly as if they were all a part of a formal cocktail party. Satires hung about with the dryads and Fae, flirting and dancing as they strummed tunes on their mandolins and flutes. Dragons stood apart from the others dutifully guarding their jewels and other glittering precious items. Centaurs ambled along, heads high and chests out in pride. Fairies fluttered around touching shelves creating vines that wound up and around everything they touched, flowers with brilliant colors blooming instantly. A pair of sprites teased a butterfly that had wondered out of the ‘Gardening’ area.
From a book farther away in the ‘Historical’ unit, legions of tiny men poured into aisles bellowing as knights and their cavalry collided in their epic battles of The Crusades. Nearby, Sacagawea opened a large atlas, motioning to Lewis and Clark to take a look at what she had discovered.
The library filled with more life than it ever had during daylight, buzzed with miniatures singing, yelling, marching, and even sulking. The night continued as always, stories and characters clashing and bickering amongst themselves until the early hours of the morning. Finally, creatures, people, and others began drifting back to their assigned shelves. Characters sadly tucked themselves back into their pages or posed for their portraits. Outside, warm, bright yellows and oranges melted the deep blues of the nighttime sky.
A key turned in the lock of the main door as the first librarian made her way in. The few remaining miniatures scrambled up their shelves and into their stories, the fairies hurriedly making the vines and buds vanish rapidly. And just as the librarian entered drowsily, the raven darted from his perch in the rafters, disappearing back into The Works of Edgar Allan Poe where he belonged. A stray glossy black feather floated gracefully to the ground. The librarian, noticing nothing unusual so far, worked her way about, lighting everything up and unlocking the rest of the doors. As she passed the ‘Horror’ section she spotted the feather on her way to the front desk. She looked up and around suspiciously, then picked up the dark feather to examine it, without warning the word, “Nevermore!” echoed in her head as if it were whispered in her ear. The librarian flinched, goose bumps rising on her arms. Shaking her head, she tossed the feather aside glancing about uncertainly.