Air.

The door to the library. Tall and dark, it stands with spectacular authority. The wood is woodworm ridden and musty, and the knob a dusty gold. It is grand, yet humble and concealing, for behind it once lay a kingdom of knowledge.

        Of course, though, a library brimming with memories is not unknown to mystery nor nostalgia. And a young girl seeking refuge in the violent silence of a library, would neither be unfamiliar nor uncomfortable with the secrets that lie within.

         Creating tiny fingerprints, she turns the doorknob, slowly but scarily lacking caution or hesitance. Her terror intact, a lock clicks. A deep click, illuminating the silence, jolting the dust, and with a sore sounding creak breaches an entrance to a world of dust, radiance and silence.

         The clouds of dust float on sunbeams, she thinks, stepping into the haze. A rainbow of antiquity, and a spectrum of sepia greet her and embrace her familiar body. But what is a body without a spirit?

          On the floor rests a collection of yellowing papers, the writing bleached into unrecognisable smears by the floods of light, but she remembers what they say. She was there. They crunch as she steps on them.

         Billowing into a softer haze under her feet, they shift slightly with each step. She makes no effort to move them, to avoid them, nor to remind herself of their content. This time things will be different, she thinks.

        Touching the filthy books, she blows the dust away, fingering the lettering of a picture book on a shelf. It merges with the brown rainbow of library and dust and silence. This time things will be different somehow, so she rises slowly, blank faced and cold, facing the window. A pale beauty in the morning light.

         Grime climbs the outside of the window, and yellow filth inhabits the inside. She steps carefully up onto the window ledge, knocking a few sheets of paper and a candlestick holder to the ground. The silence stirs, and she glances coldly behind.

          A wave of paper spews clouds of dust into the library, and she faces the window. She is but a child woven into a tapestry of tragedy in a library of dust. And ear splitting silence.

           She runs her finger over the window frame. It is rusty and cuts her. She lets it bleed onto the paper. A beautiful flower, she thinks, and continues to gaze out the window. A sea of garden. An expanse of beautiful chaos.

            The weeds weave into knots of embroidered anarchy, each important to this gloomy garden.

             Unlatching the handles of the window, she hurls it into the morning sky. The pane murkily frames a wispy cloud and two pigeons eloping to the heavens, and a breeze freezes the silence.

              A gentle wind kindles loose hair to her face. She makes no effort to move it when it falls into the side of her mouth and the wind grows. The garden sways and dances in the fresh autumn, but it’s not this that ignites a smile from this child.

               A great gust causes the piles of paper to flutter around the library and a wind to change. Thousands of dust speckles float and sparkle and settle differently on different sheets of paper, and the silence to recede. She breathes.

               Leaning on the window frame, her hair hangs loose and light and waves in the breeze. The sides of her mouth twitch, a smile sneaks up onto her face. Air, she smiles, beaming.

The End

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