Gears and Heart Part Nine: The Haunted Library

Written in response to: Write a story about a librarian that doesn’t fit into the common librarian stereotypes.... view prompt

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Adventure Fantasy Science Fiction

Our wagon sat on the edge of town, Vinci loading up the last of our needed supplies.  A grave look perched on her face, her lips pressing together tightly.  Concern flashed in her eyes, a sad smile dimming her lively face.  

“I wish you didn’t have to go.  I actually really love your hair.  It is so fresh to see.” She whined softly, taking my hand. “Avoid the haunted library.  The legend is that the last librarian burned it down, or so they say.  Regardless, many have seeked a certain book in the wreckage and never returned.  Just promise you will visit again, my dear.”  A lump formed in my throat, a nervous grin dancing on my face.  Her hand cupped my face, her lips pressing against my forehead.  Viktor shifted uncomfortably next to me, a hint of jealousy in his eyes.

“I promise.” I exclaimed oddly, running my hand through my hair. “Thank you for the dresses and everything.”  She tilted her head, and turned towards Little Lottie.  She played with her sunshine blond hair, Lottie shooting a strong look of disapproval.  

“We have the best dressmaker in the world!” She mused, turning back towards me. “We used to sew outfits for the Lady of Light, in fact you kind of remind me of her.  You are both graceful and beautiful.  One more thing.”  She pulled out black ring with a red stone, the stone glittering in the chilly morning sun.  The metal felt cold, but was it metal? 

“Are these your scales?” I inquired gently, her lips beaming ear to ear. “It is the most beautiful ring I have ever seen.”  Giggling to herself, she covered her lips.  My companions glanced over at us, her eyes glinting excitedly.  

“Oh, yes it is.” She babbled happily, pulling a matching necklace from her lovely black silk gown. “This will allow you to call me whenever you need me.  Don’t hesitate, ‘kay.”  The ring slid on my smallest finger with ease, her eager eyes waiting for my response.  This felt awkward, really awkward.  

“I love it.” I stammered, relief washing over me. “I appreciate every gift I receive.  See you later, alligator.”  She waved goodbye, our horses trotting away.  The forest was quiet, deadly quiet.  Not one bird chirped, no bunnies hopping across the path.  A strange fog hung heavily over twisted roots, dead trees lined the dirt road.  A couple of hours passed, a decaying building reading library loomed to the right of me.  Voices called out to me, Viktor turning to face me.  

“Okay, we can go in.” He swore to himself, rubbing his forehead. “I already know you want to go in there.  Who am I to stop you?”  A childish grin lit up my face, my eyes twinkling excitedly.  Lottie giggled like a child, Boran nudging her shoulder.  William hopped out of the wagon, the dirt crunching underneath my boots.  A gust of blustery wind blew up my new black silk dress, the collar all the way up my neck.  The white lace fluttered about, the worn red door swinging open.   

“I suppose we should go in.” William announced cheerfully, placing his hand on my shoulder. “Adventure awaits.”  Viktor shot him a dark glare, his hand instantly moving off of my shoulder.  Sighing deeply, our feet crunched on the dirt road to the crumbling stone steps.  Taking a deep  breath, my feet crossed the threshold.  The door slammed shut behind me, leaving everyone outside.  Wiggling the door handle, it was locked by magic.  Great, my aid was locked outside and I had no clue what I was getting into.  Their voices boomed on the other side of the door, Viktor banging aggressively.  

“Let us in!” Lottie shouted, over the banging. “We want to help.”  My lips parted to speak, the floor giving out underneath me.  Stale dusty air blew my dress up around me, books sliding around me as I landed roughly.  My phoenix appeared next to me, his flames lighting up the darkness.  Wonder illuminated my eyes, rows and rows of books sat all around me.  Childish joy washed over me, a bunch of voices taking me out of my trance. 

“Hello.” A small child’s voice called out in the dark. “Help us!  We have all been trapped for a long time.”  Looking around, my eyes fell to a trap door beneath my boots.  An antiquated lock jammed into my toe, a shock wave of pain running through my body.  Key, I needed a key.  A flash of white passed behind me, cold hands tossing me into the wall.  

“Are you here to return your book?” An icy female voice asked, the spirit of a librarian appearing in front of me. “Or are you late on your return?”  A diamond glinted in the top of her hand, a small blotch of darkness meeting my eyes.  Shoot, she had been corrupted.  Her white hair floated around her, her tattered dress growing more stained by the second.  The diamond was growing darker by the second, inky blackness dying her eyes.  Rows of sharp teeth greeted me, acidic spit raining over me as her mouth opened.  Horror gripped my body, her once kind hands turning into aged skeletal hands.  Blood dripped down the back of my head, a corner of a book jamming into the back of my head.  Her hand wrapped around my neck, her bones creaking as she gripped tighter.  Breath grew harder to take as my lungs screamed for more air, an unnatural screech exploding from her lips.  Fright paralyzed my body, my friends still screaming outside the door upstairs.  Her head tilted up, a creepy grin dancing across her bony face.  Panic widened my eyes, my hand feeling for my sword.  Nothing, I had nothing. The red gem in my new black ring glowed brightly, her evil eyes shirking the light.  Dust snowed around me, my body landing on another pile of books.  The Phoenix flew down at her, one touch of her bony fingers freezing him in place.  Looking around, a letter opener shone in the distance.  Its ornate silver handle stuck out to me, the snake curling around the handle.  Cold sweat dripped down my forehead, the ceiling crashed down.  My friends, and Vinci leaping down, Oakley floated Lottie, and Boran down.  William whispered a spell, ice forming under my feet.  His eyes glowed blue,  Vinci’s dragon claw swinging down at her head.  

“Told you that I would help you if  you need, my sweet little friend.” She gushed, floating above me. “Where do we need to strike?”  Coughing up blood, Viktor tossed me my sword.  His gun shot out a ray of bullets at the ghost, her key dropping to the floor.  Crawling underneath the utter chaos above me, my trembling fingers grabbed the skeleton key.  The lock clicked, the librarian’s head snapping towards me.  My fingers ripped open the door, at least a dozen people piling out of the hole.  With a wave of her hand, the scene froze around us.  Her face grew more hellish, pure terror scrambling my mind.  Hollow eye sockets bore into my eyes, my hand reaching for my sword.  She flicked her finger, the sword sliding across the room.  Her hand wrapped around my shoulder, her icy breath on my face.  Panic gripped my face, my body desperately crawling away.  The letter opener was just inches away from me, her hand ripping off my necklace.  Unadulterated power surged through me, pain electrocuting my entire body.  A scream of extreme agony exploded from my lips, blood dripping from my eyes.  This was a new level of magic that my body was rejecting.  My vision blurred, my quaking fingers wrapping around the snake handle.  Her bones creaked again, the library shaking violently.  Lightning struck the librarian, the letter opener cracking her gem.  My breath grew shallow, the floors restoring beneath me.  Unnatural screeches tumbled from her thin lips, her horrible form shrinking to a much nicer looking lady.  Kind brown eyes hovered over me, my friends unfreezing.  The restored black and white marble cracked slightly as everyone crashed down around me.  Screams still poured from my lips, the freed librarian putting the necklace around my neck.  Relief washed over me, the pain subsiding.  Yet I couldn’t move, and everyone rushed over to me.  Horror twisted their faces, the blood still dripping from my eyes.  My body trembled with weakness,  Viktor wrapping his arms around me.  Hot vomit threatened to fly up my throat, my arms slapping him away.  The floor beneath me spun, sweet slumber taking me.  

The lady of Light hovered over my body in my black space of my mind.  Her usually kind eyes were twisted with conspicuous malicious intent.  Her hand melted into the Lord of Darkness’ armored hand, his helmet hovering over me.  His hand touched my head, the scene melting away to a field in the beginning of time.  A blond haired woman stood across from a dark haired man with kind eyes.  A yellow light was bathing the world, tears streaming down their cheeks.  The light bathed the field, their lips pressing together sweetly.  Once the light was cleared, there stood the Lady of Light and the Lord of Darkness.  Hot salty tears streamed down my cheek, realizing that they once were lovers.  The scene melted away to the dark of my mind.  

   “You loved her.” I sobbed, covering my face with my hands. “You sacrificed your love to save the world.  I am so sorry.”  He sat down next to me, his armored hands resting on his knees.  Tears fell from underneath his helmet, my heart breaking for him.  

“You can make us one.” He said numbly, looking into the black of my mind. “You need to break 

Gizmo’s machine, and peace will wash over the kingdom.  He created a spell that separated us, and only you can stop him.  However you doing the spell will certainly kill you, but the world will be saved.”   Understanding what  he was saying, I nodded my head.  

“And if I don’t?” I queried sadly, playing with my skirt. “What will happen then?”  His head tilted, his armored hand wiping away my tears.  

“The world will end.” He explained, a touch of pain in his voice. “You were born for this, and this has been your fate from the beginning.”  Shock contorted my face, a scream of frustration exploding from my lips.  

“WHY ME!” I bellowed into his face, my hands gripping the side of my head. “Why is it always me?”  Fresh tears flooded from my eyes, my mind picturing the sad faces of all of my friends.  His hand wrapped around mine, my hand slapping his hand away. 

“You were born with both darkness and light.” He commented gently, realizing why I was having a meltdown. “You can’t exist.  You are screwing up the world order.  The Lady of Light and I have more power when we work together to keep the world balanced.”  My hands clenched into fists, another scream of frustration pouring from my lips.  

“There has to be another way.” I pleaded, burying my face into my palms. “Please tell me there is another way.”  He shook his head and disappeared.

The blue moonlight bathed the bedroom I was in.  My eyes scanned the freshly restored wood, a kind spirit hovering next to me.  Tears welled up in my eyes, her long brown hair floating around her waist, a soft pink dress floating over her hourglass figure.  

“I am Evie, the librarian.” She introduced herself, bowing her head. “Thank you for bringing the light to this place.”  Timidly, she placed her hand over my head, probably feeling my slight fever.  

“I am fine.” I growled, feeling dismayed from my recent encounter with  the Lord of the Darkness. “I just feel a little down.”  She chirped like a bird, passing me a book.  The white leather was immaculate, a page bookmarked.  

“I overheard the whole thing in your head.” She offered, floating up to the ceiling. “This may be a way out for you, and the world being saved.  Don’t worry, I am great at keeping secrets.  After all, I am a librarian.”  She pressed her finger to her lips, a  small smile dimming my face.  I was about to open the book when all of my friends came rushing in.  Sweet joy warmed my body for just a moment as they all fussed over me.  I must never let them know, especially Viktor.   He would never let me sacrifice myself.    

April 19, 2022 14:16

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