The Midnight Librarian

The night was warm, almost oppressively sticky, as Kathy worked. She wandered through the stacks in the basement, trying to avoid the heat by organizing the long abused non-fiction. The lights were dim down here, another victim of the age of the old public library. I should really come down and clean those one of these days. She thought, for the thousandth time, but she knew she could only escape down here so long before she would have to return to the circulation desk and the public who needed her. Kathy picked up a book, an older book that promised real results in improving your writing and she chuckled, shelving it with care. That was when she heard the steps coming down the stairs and turned. An older woman was walking down, a large stack of books in her hands.
“Returns for the shelves.” Said the woman with a smile.
“Of course. I’ll get them set where they belong. Don’t you worry.”
“I don’t worry a bit, dearie.”
Kathy took the books and gave the old woman a smile. There was something odd about the situation which she couldn’t quite place, but she just shook it off and went back to work. At least this gave her an excuse to stay in the cooler basement for a bit longer. It wasn’t until she had put the last of the books, a careworn volume of Shakespearean sonnets, back in its home that she realized what was wrong. No one else was on duty in the little library right now. She took the stairs two at a time back up to the desk but there was no one there. Everything was neat and tidy though…and the books had been checked in. Odd.

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