Finding Anna

Anna Matthewson practically lives at the library. It's her safe haven, her calm place. But what happens when one normal day, one book on a shelf exposes her to a whole world she never imagined could have existed? And what happens when she meets a boy that is much more dangerous than he seems? Follow Anna in her journey through the land that lies just under the stairs.


2. The Library

"Another dead." Mrs. Swanson sighed and put down her paper. Mrs. Marie Swanson was the librarian of the Ewell Memorial Library, practically my second home. Her typical smile was wiped from her face as she read the headlines from today's paper. "Did you know him?" She asked me, pointing her painted fingernail to the picture in the center of the paper.

I frowned, thinking. "I think he was in my history class." I closed the research book I had been using. It honestly hadn't helped me all that much anyways. "How'd he die?"

Mrs. Swanson flipped through the paper. "It's a mystery. He's the third one dead this week." She cringed. "They find their bodies all mangled up and torn to pieces. What could possibly kill someone so horribly?"

I bit my lip. "Disgusting." I stood and  walked to the encyclopedias sitting on the shelves of the research section. I'd nearly memorized the whole library, as I was there so frequently. I'd been offered a job as assistant librarian, but I turned it down, as I'd much rather spend my time reading the books, as opposed to organizing them.

"What's the project this time, sweetie?" Mrs. Swanson asked, looking up from her paper as I returned with yet another book.

"No project," I smiled. "Just interested in a topic, so I'm writing an essay for a contest."

Mrs. Swanson turned the book in front of me around, so she could read the label. "The History of Egyptian Princesses?"

I nodded. "It's interesting!" I laughed when she gave me a look.

She then pulled back the sleeve of her sweater and examined her watch. "Oh dear." She fished something out of her pocket and dropped it on my book.

"A set of keys?" I frowned, tenderly picking up the awkwardly shaped jingling pieces of metal.

She nodded and slung her bag over her shoulder. "I think I can trust you to watch over the store and lock up when you've finished?"

I nodded. "Okay."

"Back door, front door..." Mrs. Swanson trailed off, thinking. "Oh, and the basement."

"Basement?" I asked, sliding the keys on the hook.

"Yes." Mrs. Swanson made a face. "It's creepy down there, no one ever goes down there, but the owner makes us open it up anyways. God knows why." She turned on her heel. "I've really got to go, I promised John I'd be home by eight." She glanced at her watch again and let out an aggravated sigh. "I'm going to be so late." And with that, she disappeared into the snowy blizzard outside.

I pulled my coat tighter around my shoulders as the cool December air chilled the room. My teeth chattered slightly and I exposed only my hand, just to turn the pages.

"You look... cold." Warm breath trickled on my neck. I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

"Who's there?" I asked, standing. I grasped my hand under my coat, which now served more as I blanket, hanging over my shoulders.

"I just said, you looked a little chilly." The voice came again, it was almost a hiss. Almost not... human. "Let  me warm the place up a little, may I?" I saw no one move, but the fireplace next to the lounge chairs lit up, warming the library. "Better?" The voice was definitely male.

"Show yourself." I commanded, but bit my tongue after. What was I doing? I couldn't just yell to a stranger. Did I really want to see this mysterious visitor anyway?

"You want to see me," the voice whispered, from what seemed to be just behind me. "Here I am."

A scream escaped my lips, followed by a laugh from the voice. Then the lights went out.


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