It had begun as a simple trip to the local library, and ended as the beginning of something new.
I walked into the ancient building decorated with stone statues of dancing children. A small boy holding a paper crane appeared to be looking at me with his lifeless grey eyes. I shuddered and looked away, hurrying into the entrance. The chill of the air conditioning, in contrast to the July heat, stung my face when I opened the door. I stopped at the threshold and drank in the scent of pages and pine wood bookshelves.
The library was composed of two floors, the first a large area lined with bookshelves on the left and right. The second was a balcony that circled the larger area. I liked the balcony section best, because I could spy on the people far below and observe the librarians at the large half-circle reception desk.
I gave a small wave to the librarian behind the desk. Her name tag read “Pauline”. She had long, shoulder-length white hair and icy blue eyes. The woman smiled at my gesture and continued to check in books. The machine emitted a shrill tone as the barcode passed beneath its red glare.
I turned and headed towards the staircase. My shoes didn’t make a sound as I crossed the dark maroon carpet. I wondered what had caused such a peculiar coloration to the material. I imagined, for a moment, a slaughter house with rolls of carpet drenched in human blood. I closed my eyes and banished the dark, morbid thought from my mind. When I opened my eyes again, I stood at the foot of the stairs. I shifted my book bag to my other arm and mounted them. I took them two at a time to make it quicker. Much like when I took medication, I mused.
When I reached the top, I plunked myself down into the nearest chair and took deep breaths to calm my beating heart. It took me five minutes to realize I was not the only one on the second floor.