Welcome To The Trails Of Laughter

Submitted into Contest #91 in response to: Set your story in a library, after hours.... view prompt

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"Welcome ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls to the grand opening of The Staffway Library!" That's what master had said. He was always silly like this. The crowd of people clapped and cheered though I could see who wasn't with one eye closed and the other one half blind.

Master had laughed his hearty laugh. The kind of laugh that filled up a room for years. All but gone now. Missing.

"As you know I'm Izander, Tad." Master said. He would come up with such funny names. The crowd nodded in agreement. Bobbing their heads up and down.

"You also might know me as the man who you told your kids was a tad odd." Master said. Ha, word play. The crowd laughed too but it could never match Master's laugh. Never hit the perfect note. Never refill the empty room.

Master had smiled, slightly, but smiled. A feat that seemed almost unreachable until that moment. It was a nice smile too, subtle but charming. Rare but wonderouse. Sloppy but perfect. Forever but forgotten

I could never replicate that smile perfectly in my mind no matter how hard I tried. There were so many layers to that smile, that smile that I miss dearly. That smile that disappeared along with him.

"Now drumroll please." Master said holding up a pair of scissors. The crowd fell into a hushed silence.

That was fifty...no...seventy years ago. The thing about the good old days is, you never know when they are until their gone. My good old days was when the library was open.

By day I was helpful to the guests. Help them get books. Helped them find their way around the library.

By night I was a guard for my master. I would shoo away intruders. I would snap at the wind and make Master laugh. One night though...Master coughed and coughed and barley mabe out words let alone laughter.

I stayed with Master. Stayed with him when he laid down in bed. Stayed with him when he refused to go to sleep. Stayed with him when he finally did go to sleep. Stayed with him when his body grew cold and stiff. Tried to stay with him when the people came and took him away.

I haven't seen Master since. But as the loyal creature that I am, I will wait. I have been waiting. I have been waiting for Master.

Waited in the bed that cold empty night. Waited when those people put yellow string around the library. Waited when the dust began to gather. Even waited when my library, my life, crumbled around me. Waited when that dust settled too. Waited when I saw there was nothing left to wait for.

Welcome ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls to the grand opening of The Staffway Library. Oh, how funny Master was. Oh, how wondrous the library was.

I would give tours from eight to nine. I still do. Welcome to the library. There is where a statue of a funny man used to be. That's where the fantasy books once sat. Here is where Master opened the library some seven decades ago.

I still trail Master's laughter through the library. Run around trying to pin it down. Turning corners in hopes of catching a glimpse of him only to find a creaking door or an open window.

I still see Master's smile. In every withering book. In every laugh of the wind. In every moment I remember him.

Once I thought I heard the door opening. Thought I heard Master calling to me. Thought I saw his beautiful smile...but, no. Just the creek of the door. Just the tricks of the wind. Just the hope of getting a second chance to keep him with me.

The wind likes to mess with me. Likes to mickmick Master's laugh. Likes to copy Master's hand on my head. Likes to bring me replicas of Master's smell. Stupid wind, stupid but sweet.

Though the wind aggravates me beyond words, it's so much like Master. The wind gives me pain yes, but at the same time it gives me hope. Hope that Master isn't truly gone.

Master would read to me sometimes though I hardly understood it. I remember Master would scold me for messing with the books. Master loved those books, a love I'll never understand. I don't need to understand it though. Whatever Master loved is perfect enough. Whatever Mastor favored is what should be favored.

I sometimes knock a book off the shelf in hopes that Master will come and scold me. A terrible hope but the only one I have. A rancid thought but the only one that doesn't slip through my grasp. A disappointing wonder that I can't seem to let go.

I miss those nights when Master would have me sit down and watch movies. Silly movies where the people made no noise and where symbols appeared after every scene that Master would laugh at. I had seen those symbols in books before. Master called them letters, what a silly word. I miss Master's silly words.

I don't get much sleep but I don't need it. But lately I've been sleeping more and more often. I find it's the best way to find my tinted old memories. Though they are more forgotten then a black and white photo.

Master had once made a terrible joke that I loved either way. What's black and white and red all over. He had said a news paper but I believe I've come up with a more fitting answer. My heart.

It's full of these tinted black and white memories that it's trying hand to not let go. And yet...it's also stained with pain and every bloodied wound I've gotten even if their long faded.

I hear the hushed silence of the crowd one more time before I finally reach the end of my memories and in my haste restart the roll. "Welcome ladies and gentlemen..."

April 29, 2021 17:23

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1 comment

17:30 Apr 29, 2021

I cried while writing this story.


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