“Eternal Darkness.” “Hunger.” “Darkness.”
Keera’s head snapped up, her breath coming in quick little gasps of fear. A heavy silence met her as she slowly looked around at her surroundings, trying to get her bearings. The fear that awakened her faded with her dream.
Yawning, Keera pressed the palm of her hands into her eyes, trying to rub away the last of her grogginess. She had been dreaming. What about? Dimly, she saw a large pyramid flash before her eyes. There had been a handsome young man with reddish brown hair and a gold bracelet.
She looked down at her own wrist and saw the book on Egypt still lying on the table. Standing, she slipped the volume back into its place. Stretching, she stifled another yawn and looked around. How long had she been asleep? She glanced at her watch, gaping at it in astonishment. Was it really that time already? Her parents were going to kill her. That thought jolted her into motion.
Ouch! Muttering darkly about her stubbed toe, she felt her way more cautiously through the darkness. The eerie feeling of being watched settled over her as she left the protection of her small alcove. She moved along the shelves carefully, occasionally glancing over her shoulder.
“Hello,” she called tentatively. “Hello, is anybody here?”
Silence answered her. And yet…glancing over her shoulder again, she shuffled a little faster.
“Okay girl, don’t panic,” she spoke aloud to dispel the thick quiet. Her voice seemed overly loud in the empty library.
“C’mon girl, get a hold of yourself.”
She felt her breathing ease as she finally came across a wall with windows. The soft blue light of the moon filtered through and cast a comforting square of light. Pausing, Keera tried to figure out where she was.
Oh great, she cursed silently. How on earth did I get to the children’s section? This meant she had to go to the opposite end of the library to find the stairs.
I must have gotten turned around somewhere, she mused, looking around.
As she stood pondering the best route to take to the stairs, she felt something move behind her. Whirling, she scanned her surroundings. Nothing but shadows.
It is fine, Keera, remember to breathe. Her calm self-talk didn’t help much when she heard a whisper of sound off to her right. Jerking her head in that direction, she once again saw nothing but shadows.
“I’m sure it’s just my imagination,” she told herself reasonably, while taking a couple steps backwards. Staring into the darkness beyond her patch of light, she could have sworn she saw something move. Not taking her eyes off the menacing shadows, she continued to move slowly backwards.
C’mon Keera, shadows cannot be menacing or threatening, they are just shadows. Her rationalizing didn’t stop her heart from pounding or the hairs on her arms and neck from standing straight up. The feeling of being watched intensified.
The shadows seemed to thicken and grow, as if they were trying to drown out the light. Her feet froze as feelings of hopelessness and a paralyzing fear rooted her, she saw something moving towards her but couldn’t think. In part terror, part curiosity, she watched as the shadows started twisting and elongating--coming ever closer to her little patch of moonlight.