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From "The Voice Within the Book" in Demonminds
Spring Edition
(c) 2008
It was calling to me.
At least that's how it felt. For weeks I gazed through the glass at the faded, yellowed pages and chipped cover. The title had been smoothed and faded from decades of hands caressing the cover. I didn't know what it held in its pages, but I wanted to find out. A hand on my shoulder made me jump, and I spun around. My boss, Luann Ramsey, stepped back from me. Her gray eyes held concern as she fingered the pendant that hung around her neck. Her silver ahir was pulled back into a loose bun and gray eyes looked at me through cat-eye glasses. She looked like a sterotypical librarian.
"Is everything okay, Matthew?" she asked. I nodded quickly as I picked up the pile of books that needed to be reshelved. Luann glanced behind me at the book incased in glass. "Are you sure?"
"Yes. It's just one of those days, you know?"
She gave me a look, the one that says she knows something is up, and walked back to her office. I glanced one last time at the book and walked over to the fiction section of the library. I loved it here. Randa Public Library was one of the best libraries that I had ever been in. Every time I walk through the library doors, the vaulted ceilings and thousands of books take my breath away. The library has two floors and a basement that had been remodeled into a periodical room. The first floor was divided into a children's room and a study area, complete with computers and large oak tables. I came on the the second floor, which holds the adult books. Every time I was up here I wanted to curl up into one of the many comfy chairs to read. If it wasn't for the fact that Iw as finishing up my community service, I would.
I turned a corner and just about ran into Phaidra Murphy.
"How much time do you have left?" asked Phaidra. Her messy brown curls were pulled up, her thick rimmed glasses sat crookedly on her nose. But she didn't seem to care about her homely appearance. Phaidra was comfortable with herself, a rarity with women nowadays. She was the only staff member here that had been nice to me.
"Only six more hours left."
"Out of how much?"
"One hundred."
Phaidra took a deep breath, as though preparing herself for something. "You never did tell me what you did."
I knew that if I decided not to tell her, that she wouldn't take offense. Some things were private, but this wasn't one of them. "I was foolish."
"How?" she asked when I didn't continue.