The Library #4
Johnny’s sight went black with fear, or maybe white, like the contrast-grey of a television as the power shuts down. He stumbled back landing on his ass and hands, the stinging pain to his tailbone giving him the extra burst of adrenaline his body needed to see again. As the world returned to his mind’s broadcast he quickly remembered his situation. His eyes darted to the shadow behind the door. There was nothing there.
The lights in the hall flickered creating pockets of shadow along its walls and corners and Johnny’s adrenaline-fueled tunnel vision created a stark vignette zeroing in his sight to the corner where he had seen the reflective eyes.
His hands inched back, his feet pushed him back and he repeated. Inch by inch he started scooting back down the hall, back the way he came. Each slide stinging his probably bruised coccyx. He knew there was pain there but in the moment it was easy to ignore.
With a heavy compression, the silence was drowned out by the buzz of the fluorescent lights and the white noise of the room, but in it, in the silent din, he could hear scratching. He looked at the corner and quickly found his focus pulled back to where he saw the eyes, but the scratching, the scratching was closer now. He looked to the other corner, he looked to the closed bathroom door. He saw nothing as his focus darted between shadow pockets and the black shadow at the back where the initial visual trauma occurred.
As the light flickered more and more the strobe of the quick change from light to dark started to burn the light spots into his vision. A black corner line across the ceiling and walls where they met, same with the floor. A flickering bulb above him leaving an almost paisley shape of light engulfing him and his feet, the paisley light tail swooping out in front of him. And again that scratching noise. He used his feet as a focal point. Every time the light would flicker he would survey a different shadow, then return focus to his feet and push back another inch, the odd panic moment of fight and flight. A second to look for danger, a second to move away.
The left wall corner, back to his feet, the right wall corner, back to the light on his feet, the back wall, his feet, the door, and his feet, but they were different. His feet were no longer in the light, there was a shadow cast upon them.
Instinctively he pushed his legs out sending him sliding across the tile floor as the librarian dropped from the ceiling landing on the ground with a cracking sound as her knobbed, blackened knees knocked together.
She stood there, looking at him. She looked confused, partially trembling, her body looking like a ragdoll with a stick in its ass, like a dead person in a coat, both of which had been hung on a coat rack.
She started to walk toward Johnny, her face still confused, but her black reflective eyes looking right at him, her eyes almost appearing to plead with him to help her, but her teet and jaw were grinding back and forth. Johnny knew what the sound was. She was grinding her teeth. Her veins bulged and pulsated as she walked toward him, her once freckled white skin tainted by and engulfed in veins that flushed from red to black. She was silent other than the grinding of her teeth and the occasional knock of her knees as she walked.
Johnny started to crab-walk backward in a panic, stumbling back to his ass as he went.. The librarian moved toward him. She seemed to be in a struggle as if half of her body wanted to move one way and the other half wanted to move another. Johnny wanted to believe that the woman was in there somewhere, struggling to gain control, struggling to free herself, struggling to not hurt him, but he couldn’t believe that. The look of confusion had been replaced with a look of terrifying joy. While it did appear that she had two faces struggling for control, during each moment that a particular face won the control battle, it had its own grimace of happiness; happiness that it was going to get Johnny.
Johnny got to his feet and ran.
There was a lot of talk on the campus that day and the days that followed. Talk of the band that had come to Altre Deorum, talk of the weird band members, especially the one that appeared to have a crush on the lunch lady. Talk of strange happenings behind closed doors, questionings as to if The Canticum Dea really had ever taken place before… and on top of that, there was the hilarious story about the Asian guy in all black that went screaming through the library claiming to have seen a “fucking monster”.
Next on Of Eons and Stars: Father Pleasant and Professor Whateley Revisited
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