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Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

 There was the tiniest click.

The drumming sound of footsteps leaving across the carpet.

The stuffy room where books lined the walls and desks filled the floor began to get darker. Each desk had a barrier surrounding three sides and a shelf on top.  The runelamps shut off automatically at seven turns past noon.

Lux’s head snapped up.

He became aware of three things: the school library was very empty, it was completely quiet, and it was now almost totally dark. He closed his book and hopped down from the stool.

His neck was stiff from reading so intently. He gathered up his large pack filled with books and papers, and hauled the straps onto his shoulders.

“Hello?”

He rubbed his eyes. He had grown used to the lamplight and everything looked liminal in the murkiness now. Lux navigated around the skeletal outlines of chairs pushed out and the shapes of desks, dark against the slightly lighter bookshelves.

He began jogging to the exit of the room. As he tried to open the door, the handle won’t turn. He tried again harder. He realized that click had been a key in the lock, probably by the librarian. 

Lux pounded on the wood of the door, then louder and more frantically.

“Hey! Hey! I am still in here! Somebody! Come on!?”

No answer. No sound.

Why hadn’t he been paying attention? He continued pounding.

After a while, he stopped hitting the door. It was probably going to be a long night. He went back to the desk and got his book, but he couldn’t really read it in the dark, however hard he might squint. A candle wasn’t something he thought to pack in his backpack.

His parents might be worried.

At least it was quiet and it wasn’t too hot in here at night.

He paced around the room. He couldn’t get out and that was kind of bad. He needed to use the bathroom. Well… maybe he could hold it until morning got here. It was in the hallway outside.

Lux laid his head down on one of the softer couches along the wall.

He was asleep before he was even fully aware he was tired and his thoughts were becoming disorganized.

He slept soundly in the total darkness and silence.

Then…

Shuffling outside. Extra loud given how absolutely still everything was. His ear twitched and he drifted hazily back into awareness. Voices? Hushed words.

Voices meant people. People that were close enough to be heard.

Lux scrambled off the leather couch, running in the direction of the door. Memory led him true, and he began pounding on the door again.

“Hey! Hey, I am stuck in here!”

Silence again. He kept making noise. He strained to hear when his hand started to hurt.

“-do we do?”

“Shhhh. We don’t have a key.”

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Published by Watercolorheart

Artist, animator, painter, writer, aspiring musician. Working on short stories for an animated series called Sparse. Pen name Lyn Mitre.

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