Confusing shelves line the walls from floor to ceiling, dividing the floor in to a twisting labyrinth filled with useless volumes of lore. I wander the halls of the dark and empty library, wondering where everyone had left. It seems strange that everyone is gone, but I carry on.
“Hello?” I call walking up and down the stacks hoping to get a glimpse of another living soul.
“Damn,” I mutter to myself wondering why I had insisted on studying on the fifth flour of the library. Groping along the massive shelves I strain to see by the street lamp light that filters through the window. I have no clue which section I’m in, and how to get to the stairs, but I do know I will never fall asleep in a library again.
After third table I bump into I take off the bag I have slung over my shoulder and begin to rummage around for my cigarette lighter. Finally, I manage to grab it. After, one, two, three tries, it finally lights, not giving me ample light, but giving me enough to see where I am going. Finding the stairs, I feel a weight roll off my shoulders. I can finally leave this bloody library!
I stop myself from running down the stairs, there’s no use in falling down the stairs and the lighter catching on me. The orange flame only illuminates a small portion in front of me, bouncing off only a few of the stony steps spiraling down the tower. In the light of day, I never think of the library as anything strange…but now in the dark quiet of the ancient tower, I am aware that the school used to be a medieval keep, filled with terror and grief throughout history. Who knew what ghosts may lurk here.
Just as I entertain the thought of long lost spirits, druids and fey lingering from the darkest parts of history, a high-sung melody that calls to mind the singing of a siren echoes through the night, making me leap from my skin. A moment passes and I am too frightened to move, frozen as the blood drains from my veins, and my heart pounds fiercely in my chest, threatening to burst it.
A moment passes, and it is once again silent, the echoes off the stone walls no longer carrying the great cry. I catch my breath and allow myself to move, shaking out the folkloric superstitions that I came here to learn. A novelists’ worst enemy is her own imagination, I tell myself and force my feet to move each step downward.
A chill runs down my spine as I feel a cold breath of air tickling the back of my neck, I even hear the soft breathing by my ear. I turn around and see a silhouette of a tall woman with long dark hair, but as the light hits her face…she vanishes.
I shudder, and turn to hurry down the steps. The sooner I leave this library the sooner I can feel safe. Soon I reach the bottom the steps and my light catches the train of a white dress turning the corner to proceed down to the basement. Against my judgement, I go down and follow her down into what was once a dungeon.
I open the door and find the woman once again has vanished. But a faint blue light glows beyond the furthest bookshelf, where the door to the untouchable manuscripts were kept. Books and scrolls so old, only the librarians are allowed to handle them. As I follow the blue wisps of light now floating through the aisle leading to the door. I reach the reworked wooden door, with the same blue light emitted from the wisps seeping out the cracks of the door and emitting from the key hole. I push the door open slightly and am shocked to see it is not locked.
I am even more shocked to see what is beyond the door. I walk through and find myself in a great garden, filled with trees, and flowers of every kind under bright star and moonlight. I feel the dew from the grass sweep over the tops of my feet, hear the sounds of owls and crickets, and I am compelled to walk through the night garden. I walk among the isles seeing giant flowers and ferns I had never seen before feeling both intense fear and pure amazement. I continue walking until along the path until I hear the enchanting melody once again. I follow the music as mice to the pied piper until I find the source. A group of silver and black haired ghostly women joining hands and chanting in a circle around on orb emitting the same blue light among carved standing stones arranged in a circle.
I watch the women on the hill top and wonder…Where the hell am I?
I feel tears gathering in my eyes as I watch the beautiful dance weaving faerie magic throughout the land and realize, it doesn’t matter. For years I had wanted to disappear, and I finally have.