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A Collection Of Short Tales

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3 - Smoke in the rafters

She walked into the library, without a care in the world. And left it knowing more than what she bargained for.

It was Sunday, and it was raining outside. Perfect weather to snuggle up in the library and read a good book. So that’s what Casey did. She went out after lunch, grabbing a coffee for the way. The library was always open, and she knew the old woman who ran it very well. Her name was Mrs. Wood, and she always made cookies that she gave to you when you borrowed a book.

''Good afternoon, Mrs. Wood!'' greeted Casey, walking through the doors.

''Oh, hello dear.'' She smiled.

''Borrowing something again? We just got a new delivery.''

Casey nodded, ecstatic to be one of the first to read the new books.

’’They’re upstairs, Kevin put them there. I swear that boy wants me to work out more. Not as if I need it right?’’ she winked, grabbing her walking stick.

’’Oh, there’s no need, Mrs. Wood, I won’t steal your books. I’ll find one I like and then bring it down.’’ Mrs. Wood nodded and sat back down.

Casey ran up the stairs and shot towards the boxes in the corner. Everyone called it the upstairs, but it was more like an attic, meaning you could see the rafters. The circular windows were open, so Casey quickly shut them.

''Ok, let’s see what we have this month,'' she whispered under her breath, opening the first box. Dust rose from it, making her cough. ’Yay, dust,’ she muttered, looking through the box.

She grabbed the first book and opened it. And water shot out of it! Slamming it shut, she moved her soaking-wet hair out of her face. She sat there for a good five seconds confused. Books don’t do that. Cracking it open just slightly, she got a squirt of water in her eye. Growling at the book she put it next to her and took another one.

When she opened it, sunlight shot through the pages, blinding her for a minute.

''Faex Cunne!'' she shouted rubbing her eyes.

''Language!'' came the warning voice of Mrs. Wood from downstairs. Casey grunted and slammed the book on top of the water. Was it the fact that she got blinded by a book or that there was the sun coming out of a book that made her think it was getting harder to see? Honestly, she thought she was going mad.

''Ok, last book and it better not be a death ray,'' she whispered, nervously reaching for a third book. She rested it on the floor, opening the pages along the middle. All she could do was stare. There, right in between the two pages, was a small green fire. She rubbed her eyes a couple of times, trying to figure out if it was real.

After a few seconds, she noticed A LOT of smoke coming from the fire, so she closed it. Funnily enough, the room didn’t smell like smoke. It smelt strangely of apple pie and chocolate, making her very hungry. She glanced at the windows, seeing some sun peeking through the smoke in the rafters.

''Wait...smoke in the rafters?!'' She looked up and indeed there was thick smoke hanging around up there. And it looked like there were words written in cursive slicing through it.

''Nothing is real.''

Casey rubbed her eyes, wanting to find out if it was real, however, when she once again opened her eyes, there was sun, peaking through the open windows, the boxes weren’t opened yet and the rain had stopped. She could hear Mrs Wood’s teapot whistling downstairs. Grabbing the first book from the pile in the third box, she ran downstairs.

’’I’ll take this book, please,’’ Casey said in a hurry.

Mrs. Wood dawdled over to the counter.

’’Take a cookie while I do this, dear.’’

Mrs. Wood looked at the book’s title and smiled. ‘Ah yes, she’ll like this one.’ She thought.

It was labeled ‘The language of flowers, pajamas and secrets’

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