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  • Writer's pictureSam Palmer

A Haunting In The Library

I walked into the dark library, pulling my lock breaking mechanism from the door and then closing it quietly behind me. Passing the librarian’s desk in the entryway, I paused just outside of the grand archway entrance of the right wing. My hands dangling at my sides I looked up in awe at the the moonlight pouring in through the giant skylights, gently illuminating the rows of wooden bookshelves and empty desks separating the aisles. The library was a beautiful one, a point of pride for the small town. The architecture, the detail carved into the wooden bookshelves filled with classics and modern literature, the artwork hanging on the wall in their gold frames. Not bad for a quaint midwest town most people have never heard of. But at night, when everyone else was long gone, this place felt magical.

I exhaled slowly and noticed my breath was visible. A white cloud against the dark shadows of the large room. My lips pulled into a smile and goosebumps sprung up my arms. The hair still clinging to my neck, wet with sweat from the energy it took to pick the lock in the heat that still lingered long after the summer sun had gone down, I knew that the chill I suddenly felt in the air could only mean one thing. You were here.

With a sway in my hips, I began walking down the long aisle that cut down the rows of shelves. Trailing my fingers along the surface of the desk as I walked. I felt the ends of my summery chiffon dress brushing against the backs of my thighs as I sauntered. I bit my lip slowly, letting it ease out from between my teeth. An attempt at hiding my excitement and stifling the smile that was still playing on my lips.

"I know you're here." I stopped walking and let my index finger rest on the corner of the nearest desk. Pushing my bust out, I sighed and pouted slightly. Letting my bottom lip protrude slightly while I looked down at my finger, the plum polish looked nearly black in the dark library.

"Why won't you come out?" I looked up and surveyed the room. It was so quiet.

I smiled and shook my head, continuing my walk. I knew this game of yours. We'd played it for a long time months ago, before I was let go from the library. It had started innocently–– tapping noises when I was restocking books, footsteps at closing when nobody else was around, the feeling of someone gently swiping the ends of my hair when my back was turned. I had been terrified, of course. I'd never had a paranormal experience in all my 20 years, and the stories or movies I'd seen on the topic had given me a false illusion of what to expect.

Of course, as sheltered as I had been, I still knew of the rumors of the haunted library. I hadn't believed any of it. Being raised by two devout and by all accounts, pragmatic, christian parents, it wasn't in my nature to believe what was so easily chalked up to bored townsfolk legends. Even those first few weeks, I sensibly explained all the small tricks you played on me. But soon, you made sure I wouldn't be able to ignore you.

"Do you remember the first time?" I called out, no longer trying to hide my smile. I stopped in a shaft of moonlight spilling from the checkered panes of glass above. I ran my hand down the side of my dress, pressing against the natural curve of my hips as I tilted my head back with eyes closed and lips parted, relishing in the memory.

I had opened that morning by myself for the first time since I'd started work here. I was eager to impress Ms. Chattersley, as I had suspected she thought of me as a naive and relatively incompetent young local girl. I went through the checklist in my mind over and over that morning on my walk to work. I unlocked the big green wooden door, being sure to take the key out and place it safely back in my purse as I entered the library and relocked the door behind me.

With 30 minutes left until we were officially open, I stowed my belongings under the librarian's desk, fired up the computer, and then made my way down the hallway. Near the bathrooms, behind a door marked "Employees Only" was the electrical panel to the lights of the entire library as well as a small table, chair, and metal shelf with cleaning supplies. The sun was bright and pouring in through the many large windows and skylights, the lights were hardly necessary this time of day, but it was policy. One by one I flipped them on, being sure not to forget any. And that's when I felt you.

I didn't notice it at first. Likely thinking it was just a shift in the material of my skirt brushing against my backside as it fell back into place. But a few moments later, the breath caught in my throat and I froze. There was no mistaking the feeling of hands running down my body and then back up again.

"I was so scared." I whispered, with eyes still closed. I could feel you near. "I thought I was going to die there in that storage closet. Your icy touch against my skin, the air getting thinner. I could hardly breathe.”

I opened my eyes and looked around me, my breath coming out in ghostly white bursts as my eyes hungrily searched for a sign of you.

"But you weren't death for me, were you?” I laughed. “You were life. You were icy hot breath that flowed through me and buried itself deep... so deep.”

I hoisted myself up on the desk, pulling my dress up and exposing my thighs as I spread my legs wide. Leaning back onto my sweaty hands, they began slipping slightly against the smooth wooden surface of the desk. My chest rose and fell with quick breaths, my eyes searching all around the room until finally I heard the low growl of you. The sound surrounded me and I felt the vibrations in my core. A laugh bubbled out of me as the growl grew louder and louder. I could hear the desk lamps rattling, their gold chains clinking against the green glass. I felt you in the palms of my hands as you grew stronger, coming closer to me slowly.

I knew what was coming. It's what we'd done several times over the few months I worked here. I didn't think about the rumors of insanity or the hushed whispers of the ladies at the church. I didn't think about Ms. Chattersley looking over the rim of her thin glasses at me as she told me I wasn't a "good fit" at the library while sliding my last paycheck across her desk. I didn't think about the police escorting me off of the property after repeated visits to the library everyday. I didn't think about the court dates, therapists, or restraining orders. Or my parents quietly talking when they thought I was out of earshot about their concerns of my mental state.

I only thought of the ecstasy. Of your strong, invisible grasp around my waist. Your purposeful tongue in my mouth. Your knowing fingers on my skin. And finally, the moment where I would lose myself completely to you. Whatever you were, whatever this was, I surrendered to it completely.

The growling stopped suddenly. The room becoming silent and still once more. Leaving me panting in the moonlight of the dark library. You tease.

"You thought you would haunt me,” I yelled out, my voice echoing in the large room. "But I think I haunted you instead.”

The sound of thousands of books exploding off of the shelves and slamming onto the ground erupted all around me. I laughed again, unable to stop myself as I watched with delight as you turned the pristine library into a war zone. The air was hot now and thick with our energy. I could feel your breath on me and still laughing, I laid myself back on the desk, ready for you.

We haunted each other until the sun came up. Ms. Chattersley's scream pierced through the air as she stared up at my suspended body writhing in pleasure among the wreckage of the library. She couldn’t have been more wrong. It seemed I was a perfect fit.

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