March 25,2014 Prompt–a pile of papers

I wrote a fresh book about crime capers.

Is it any good or just a pile of papers?

By Mike Morrell

*****

A Pile of Papers

I woke with a little jump. Outside it was dusk, the streetlamps just starting to come on. Inside, the lights were all off except for those security lamps which make a sort of half-light that shadows monsters love. It was a wonder no one had woken me. Sure, I was kind of hidden back in a little alcove by a window, but you would think someone would do a last sweep to check for stragglers. I left my chair to return my books to their spot on the shelf, my belief in ghosts suddenly fortified by the towering dark forest of shelves. I had always loved to be surrounded by so many books. Not even to read them, just to be near them. Sometimes it felt like they had souls and if you closed your eyes and pretended you weren’t there, you could almost hear them talking to each other. At night, suddenly I was sure it was true, and my ears strained in the silence for the voices I thought were just beyond hearing, the dusty, raspy little whispers frightening rather than comforting.

I hurried down the dark aisle clutching the books to my chest. It took me a few minutes to find the right aisle, and then the right shelf, and I almost just put them wherever there was a spot just to get out a little faster, but part of me was a little ashamed to be scared of the dark still, at my age. Also, books out of order make me crazy.

I walked a little slower when I got out of the shadow of the shelves. They seemed to stretch across the floor in bizarre shapes to try to grasp my ankles, but I sidestepped the exaggerated corners. I thought the whispers receded just a bit as I approached the doors. I pushed, and the door didn’t move. Panic. I pushed harder, still nothing, and my heartbeat filled my ears as I abandoned dignity and all but threw myself against the door.

I felt so stupid when I noticed it said “Pull”.

By Abigail Eskew

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