Just a Phase

May 28, 2014
By Grace Williams SILVER, Saint Charles, Illinois
Grace Williams SILVER, Saint Charles, Illinois
5 articles 0 photos 2 comments

The faint smell of old books and elderly women filled my senses. All that was left tonight was a section of historical nonfiction in the corner of the library. The library was huge, having three floors of books and resources. Today, I had dusted almost every single shelf in the entire library, besides the one that I was about to start. I always kept this part of the library last. I genuinely hated it. It was in the far back of the third floor and no one ever approached this room. No one worked at the desk, the books were constantly getting dustier and dustier, and all of it was just a collection of historical books. The bookshelf in the back was never touched, even when the library opened, but that was no surprise. The bookshelf was unnecessarily large, and made a curve shape. You had to squeeze into a corner of the bookcase to see it. I doubted that even half of the librarians knew that there were books on this side of the bookshelf. The only view alongside it, was behind you. A brick wall that was cold as cement. This room was the only room in the library that had brick walls. It was a cold and dark room with no windows at all.

I was going to leave the library after I dusted this last bookshelf and head home. It was a Tuesday night, and only two librarians were in the library besides me. They planned to leave a little later, as they did when they closed up each night. It felt eerie being with such a limited amount of people in a huge library this late at night. I decided to brush off the dust of this last bookshelf quickly so that I could head home. I lightly brushed the duster over the sides of the books when a book fell off of the shelf. I gently picked it up and tightly squeezed it into the line of books. Then, the whole row of books fell. I rolled my eyes. I barely put any pressure onto the shelf. I bent down to pick up the first book and grabbed it. I straightened out my legs and my back to come to the sight of an old woman staring at me. I could see her through the gap of the bookshelf. She was extremely old, and had a light blue sweater wrapped around her hunched shoulders. My voice shakes, “I’m sorry ma’am, we’re going to be closing soon. Could I help you find a book?” All she did we stare at me. I smiled at her a little. At this point, I was beyond scared and wished that I would’ve just forgotten about this bookshelf and went home. She grinned deeply to me. Her smile was sinister and sent chills down my spine. “I’m not sure that you would have the book that I’m looking for,” she answered. “What book?” I replied, “we have almost everything.” She was quiet for awhile. She took out a white slip of paper from her purse and opened it. “The Complete Walker IV by Colin Fletcher.”

I headed over to the unused computer on the desk and typed in the name. I typed in the author, the book name, all that I could find. Nothing. “I’m so sorry, this book isn’t available at our library.” She looked disappointed. “I could see if another library has it,” I told her. I searched up the book and author on the browser. A bright white page lit up on the screen. I was confused. Google never did this. Black words appeared on the screen. Run. The words said. More appeared. You will regret it all. I looked up at the woman. She was gone. I looked around in the hallway. I could have sworn that I just saw her shadow when I was looking down at the computer. “Ma’am?” I shouted. I felt a touch on my shoulder. It was her. She leaned in close to my ear. “Don’t wait until it’s too late.” I ran down the stairs. Everything was dark. All of the lights were off. I glanced up the stairs. The room I was in was dark and the lady was no longer there. I ran out of the front door, and grabbed by keys out of my pocket before driving home. I called my boss the next morning and told him that I couldn’t return and gave him no reason. I have never returned to that library since, and never will. Maybe it was all in my head, maybe it was just a phase.

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