The Library, part one of two (flash fiction)

The Library

part one

I often go back and forth. One time I found myself in a small town. I wasn’t sure of the name, the country, or even the year.

On the edge of the town I found a mostly abandoned building that apparently was their library. When I walked in, the musty smell of books, and apparently the people that read them, confronted me. All the books seemed old and bound in leather. A few people were perusing the shelves. I went to the front desk. There sat a decrepit old man with long white hair. He looked up at me mystified.

“Can I help you miss?” He asked.

“I was wondering where you keep the really old books.” I stated. He looked at me surprised.

“What do you mean?” His perplexed face became a mass of wrinkles.

“I research the occult, and was hoping you might have something that would interest me.” He started nodding to my words.

“You should have a look in our vault. That’s where we keep those sorts of books.” He told me as he slowly got up. Due to his posture, he was slightly bent when standing. “You must follow me.” I followed and he led me to solid black door. He got out some keys from his pocket and slowly put a large key into the lock, his hands shaking all the while. After an indeterminable time of standing there waiting for him to try unlock the door, he finally managed to open it. Beyond the door were some steps leading down into darkness. He gave me a lantern, and then he went down the stairs, and I followed him again.

The further down we went, the mustier the smell became. He led me into a cellar that was lined with shelves of books mostly bound in black leather.

“Thank you.” I said. I placed the lantern on a table that was in the centre of the room.

“I’ll leave you to it.” He said, then he wearily went back up the steps.

I went over to look at the shelves. Some of these books were ancient. When I touched one, my hand recoiled, for I knew the feel of human skin, even after it had been turned into leather…

To be continued…

Joanne Fisher

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©️2023 Joanne Fisher


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