First Section: Monument
Chapter One: Class Trip
Anyone would have expected the library to be dark and silent at that time of night. However, there was some sort of activity occurring in the study on the third floor. The books that usually sat undisturbed on the shelves were now flying around the study due to the commands of a strange being.
This strange being was doing research to fulfill the task he had been assigned. Though, to an outside observer, it looked as if he was just standing in the middle of the study for no reason with an empty gaze. He stood perfectly still while the books flew wildly around him.
Even though there was no one to see him, he still chose to have the books dance around the study. It was an unnecessary performance with no relevance to the task at hand.
His eyes analyzed the books rapidly as they flew past him. Within seconds, he had read and processed the information in all of the books. The books were merely physical representations of data to him. Because he was capable of utilizing this extraordinary ability, it didn’t take him long to find everything that he was looking for.
The characters, the setting, the plot, and all of the other literary elements had been gathered in his mind. It took him only a few seconds to arrange them neatly and create the story that would be cast over the library like a spell.
Even though he had looked so inhuman a short while ago, a smile rose upon his face. He had gone above and beyond his assignment and was quite proud of the story that he had created. It was somewhat of a shame that only he would be able to see his story. A human author might be saddened by that, but this being was clearly something other than human.
The books stopped moving. They floated in mid-air for a second before arranging themselves neatly back on the shelves. The lights of the study shut themselves off and the entity was left in complete darkness. The lights had also been unnecessary for him.
He looked around and made sure that everything had been put back in its proper place. This study had been abandoned long ago, so the chances that anyone would miss anything were near non-existent. Even so he performed this last check before vanishing in a small flash of blue light.
The library was now completely dark just as it should have been. No evidence was left behind that anyone had entered the study since it was locked up many years ago. In the world of humans, it would be impossible to prove that he had been there.
So the scene faded away into the darkness. The truth faded away completely into the dark night and nothing out of the ordinary remained.
Cara opened her eyes and was immediately blinded by the sun. She quickly turned her head away from the window where she had been napping. The sun had warmed the window pane which had in turn warmed Cara and put her to sleep. Managing to fall asleep in such an unpleasant position was difficult to do, so she lamented the fact that she had woken up because now she wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep.
Fortunately for her, she could feel the bus was slowing down. She looked out of the window and saw a bright green forest outside. The trees stretched a fair distance towards the sky and deep green leaves covered the dark colored branches. It was clear that this bus had traveled far away from any town and was now deep in the forest.
Yet, as the bus rounded a corner, a building came into view. It was an old building, covered by gray stone, that had several floors. Surprisingly, this building belonged to the town of Greyville and was the town’s official library even though it was so far from the town itself.
As the bus came to a stop, Cara’s teacher began to give instructions. She looked up at him for a moment, before turning her head to look out the window once again. Cara didn’t really care for her teacher or anything that he had to say. He wasn’t a bad teacher, but he was a boring one and listening to him wasn’t going to help her to stay awake.
Why were they even on a class trip to the library in the first place?
Cara was still sleepy, but she really couldn’t remember the reason. As she thought more on the question, she realized that she had no idea why she was here at all. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t even remember having woken up that morning.
Somewhere deep inside of her she was probably starting to panic a little, but when she saw the majority of students had disembarked already, she forgot about it and quickly stood up. When she did, she stretched out her arms above her head and reached towards the roof of the bus. After that enjoyable stretch, she sidestepped out of her seat, into the aisle, and proceeded to leave the bus.
The air wasn’t as warm as she had been expecting when she stepped off of the bus. The sun had warmed the interior of the bus, but it hadn’t yet warmed the outside environment as it was still morning.
A cool breeze helped Cara to continue to recover from her drowsiness. She inhaled a breath of fresh air and walked forward towards her friends who had been waiting for her.
“How did you manage to fall asleep on a fifteen minute trip?” her friend Martha asked with a smile.
“I’m not even that lazy,” commented John.
“Hey, it’s still early in the morning,” she replied. “Why are we even-”
Before she could ask that question, her teacher yelled out to them.
“Cara, John, Adam, Tracy, and Martha! Stop standing around and get inside.”
This annoyed Cara, especially because he had called out each of their names individually. It was fairly obvious that he was speaking to them and, for some reason, her teacher’s unnecessary actions annoyed her more than it usually would have.
The group of five friends moved along the dirt path to the library. It was about thirty feet from where the bus had stopped so it didn’t take them long to reach the library’s entrance.
A few seconds later, they had all climbed the stone steps and entered the building. Their teacher closed the door behind them, moved forward, and stepped behind the reception desk to face the students so that he could address them.
Instead of listening to him, Cara looked around and noted that the library had an interesting design. After they had entered through the door, they were all gathered in a small space between the building’s two wings. There were bookshelves in rooms to the left and right as well as a flight of stairs in front of them that led upwards. Between the stairs and the students there was only the reception desk that their teacher was standing behind.
Because the library was laid out in this way, it felt very small and cozy. A large window in front of them, above the landing at the top of the stairs, provided more than enough light for the room. The wings to the left and right also had many windows and were very well-lit. It seemed like a pleasant place to be, so Cara found it odd that no one else was here besides them. Wasn’t it strange that there weren’t any librarians, staff members, or other ordinary people?
As her teacher started to speak, Cara felt as if she was going to fall sleep again. It wasn’t an act to get a laugh out of her friends, she was honestly being put to sleep out of boredom. So it wasn’t surprising that she didn’t notice at first.
The study at the top of the library was just as well-lit as the rest of the library. It was odd to imagine that the strange being was here again. A person who had appeared in the dark and silence of night had now reappeared in the warm and bright daylight.
Almost as if to address this very problem, he walked up to the window of the study and looked out onto the forest. His gaze was empty, as it had appeared before, because he was staring at something that humans wouldn’t be able to see.
Slowly, the bright sun that was trying to warm the Earth began to fade away. The man seemed completely unfazed by this so it would be natural to think that he was expecting this event to happen. Yet it would also be unnatural to think any being was capable of dimming the sun.
The world grew colder as the sun grew dimmer and eventually the sun disappeared altogether. The bright forest was now in complete darkness just as it had been the previous night. During the dimming of the sun, the lights in the library had been turned on by the same force. The transition from day to night would have been quite a beautiful sight had it not been so frightening to the students below.
The shouts of the students could be heard by this being, yet he still continued to gaze out of the window toward the cold and harsh night. Nothing could surprise him because he was the one who had called for these events.
The students below were not only frightened from the quick disappearance of the light, but also from the sudden disappearance of their teacher. To them it seemed as if he had vanished, but to the being in the study it was as if he hadn’t transitioned to this new world.
A steady rain began to fall from the sky and a sinister smile suddenly appeared on the being’s face. That previously empty expression was replaced with a cruel and mischievous expression. He threw open the windows in time for the sound of an earth-shattering thunder.
“The teacher’s role has already been fulfilled and the main stage has been set!” he screamed to the dark heavens. Was this sudden transformation his real personality or merely another one of his inhuman aspects?
The entity reveled in the replacing of the human world by this new world of darkness. An immense pleasure coursed through his veins and he shouted again. Yet another shout that none could hear, not even the students only two floors below. The rain and wind slammed against his body and soaked the carpet of that defenseless study.
“Everything has been gathered, and now I shall disappear until it is time for my role to be fulfilled!”
Thunder shook the world and in the moment that it did: the being vanished, the windows slammed shut, and a book appeared on the desk of the study. In this new dark world that had been described as a stage with actors, some sort of game was surely being played. And now was the time for that game…