Chapter 1

Chapter 1

A Chapter by Autumn

Adelaide is working when she receives a letter from a mysterious man.


A petite, blonde woman was standing at a gigantic wood-finished desk. She was endlessly scanning the mountain of books that had accumulated throughout the duration of the morning since opening. She pushed a strand of hair that had managed to escape from her messy bun away from her face. As she continued to scan the books, the woman absentmindedly slipped one of her feet out of her jet black heels and scratched the back of her other calf with it. Afterwards, she slid her foot easily back into the shoe. Anyone who might have been looking at her would not have had a clue as to what she was doing. The woman stacked all the books onto a grey, medium-sized cart for reshelving. I’ll do it when someone asked for help, she thought to herself.

The entire time she was checking in the returned and brand new books, the woman was craving to return to her own novel that was bursting with adventure that she had always wished her life to be ever since she was a young child. Unfortunately for her, as soon as she sat down and the words began to paint pictures in her mind, a man who appeared to be in his mid to late thirties approached the desk. Fortunately enough, the woman still had her back turned towards the man. She took the opportunity to roll her gorgeous grey eyes before turning around with a painfully obvious false smile pasted on her face. “Hello. Welcome to the library. Do you need help with anything?” she asked pleasantly while looking up at him, holding her book open in her lap.

The man scratched the back of his slightly balding head while looking at anything and everything but the petite woman. He even went as far as to staring up at the ceiling. “Yeah, I am looking for a book,” he answered, finally looking her in the face.

The immaculately irritated woman wordlessly sassed, No s**t Sherlock! This is a freaking library, dumbass! The woman looked back up at the man, shielding the hatred in her eyes from where she was still sitting. The entire time she talked to this man, she was constantly refraining herself from ripping her body from her chair and harshly thumping him on the head with her heavy book she had been attempting to read all day. Instead, she kept the smile plastered on her face and kindly asked, “What kind of book are you looking for, sir?”

“Maybe something sci-fi-ish?” he answered unsurely.

The woman slowly stood up, placing her bookmark back into its place between the comforting pages. Due to her extreme shortness, even with her three-inch heels, she was still forced to look up at the man as she politely informed, “Science fiction begins in aisle four.” She began to straighten a few stray papers, which were either trash or checklists for things to check up on after closing.

“Can you show me?”

The woman pointed a little bit to the right, past the man’s head. “It’s just over there. It’s the aisle across from the fern that is resting in front of the first row of computers.”

The man’s gaze followed the direction of where her finger was pointing. Despite her directions, the man asked, “I’m sorry, but I am really bad with directions. Can you please walk me over there?”

“Of course,” she answered with the corner of her mouth twitching slightly. She glanced over her should and eyed the cart packed full of different genres of literature. The woman put the BACK IN A MOMENT sigh on top of the reception desk before she grabbed the heavy grey cart. “I’m going to reshelf these books while I’m out and about if you don’t mind,” she said as she led the way from the desk and to the science fiction section of the library.

“It’s perfectly fine,” he needlessly answered.

The woman rolled her eyes once more after he began to follow her. I didn’t give you a choice. Even if I did, I sure as hell would not listen to you. She felt him staring at her. She inconspicuously glanced over her shoulder and caught the man intensely staring at her from head to toe. She barely managed to repress a shudder. Gross! That guy is practically my uncle! she thought, full of disgust. Her high heels’ distinct clicking sound became nearly incessant as she picked up her pace, eager to get away from the perverse man as soon as possible. “Here we are. Just ring the bell once if I’m not back at the desk,” she said.

The man looked at her name tag she was required to wear at all time during business hours and said, “Thank you Miss Way for walking all the way here.”

The woman nodded as she swiftly walked away, thinking, It’s not like I had a choice since you decided to play stupid. The woman walked up and down the numerous aisles, each one of different genres. The entirety of the time she spent reshelving, she purposely avoided that aisle, not to mention the surrounding ones, where was man was at, supposedly looking for a book. She weaved in and out of aisles, straightening and placing books into their rightful places.

Once her cart was nearly empty, the woman made her way back to the desk with the cart that had recently developed a horrible squeak if she pushed it too fast. She winced every single time it squeaked a little too loud for her liking. Not to mention, in the addition to the squeaking, the distinct clicking of her high heels combined with it whenever she took a step forward had to greatly annoy the people that found refuge in the nearly quiet solitude. She decided to walk as soft and slow as possible without making any nerve racking noises. I really wish that I would have worn my flats instead, she mentally groaned.

When the woman finally reached her reception desk after what felt like an eternity, there was an elderly man standing by the front of her desk. He appeared to be wearing a suit that had once belonged in the 1960s. The solid black looked stunning with the bright red tie and illuminating the white handkerchief that was neatly tucked into his front breast pocket. There was a matching black hat resting on top of, what she assumed, a hairless head. He had a pair of thick-framed, brown glasses perched on his nose. As the woman stared at the sharply dressed elderly man, she discovered that he had many wrinkles etched onto his face but very few of them gave away any hint of happiness. The rest of them appeared to have been caused by constant frowning or stern looks.

Despite the harsh look on his face that she could see from under the wide brim of the hat, the woman approached him the same way as she would with any other visitor nonetheless. She carefully shoved the cart back into its designated place behind the desk. Then, she walked over to the mysterious man while straightening her turquoise sweater that was being worn over her pale button down blouse, attempting to look as presentable as possible. “Hello. Is there anything you need help with?” she kindly asked, smiling slightly.

“I was looking for a young lady around the age of eighteen, but I think she found me first,” the elderly man responded after removing his hat and placing it on the counter. The woman tucked the same piece of stray blonde hair from earlier behind her lightly tanned ear. “Um, okay then. I will leave you to her then.”

The woman went to pick up her book and planned on sitting down afterwards, but the elderly man stopped her by saying, “I was talking about you.” He pointed a pale, bony finger towards her name tag. “Your name is Adelaide Way, is it not?”

The woman’s grey eyes became little moons on her face after her name passed through the old man’s pale, cracked lips. “Yes. May I ask why?”

“I have a letter for you, dear,” he answered while he reached into the side of his suit jacket. “The information in here is very important,” he said with seriousness dripping from his deep, gravelly voice as he practically glared at her from over the rim of his glasses.

Adelaide cautiously took the letter from him, constantly glancing from his transparent face to the letter. When her fingers accidentally brushed against the old man’s, she immediately became alarmed at how freezing the tips of his fingers were alone. What the f**k! His hands are practically ice cubes!

Adelaide examined the letter that was concealed in a brisk, white envelope. Her entire name was scrawled across the center on the front in miniscule, curvaceous handwriting. She flipped the envelope over, revealing the back of it to herself. The envelope was sealed simply with wax. It had some kind of crest stamped into it. She absentmindedly traced the blood red wax with her fingertips barely catching a hint of the smooth feeling.

When Adelaide finally looked back up towards the average-sized old man, he looked back at her with a light smirk unfamiliarly gracing his sharp features. “I suppose you are wondering who sent it to you?” he asked knowingly. The woman nodded as her grey eyes finally met his black ones for the first time. He casually waved his hand in the air. “The letter is from your great aunt Irma Adeline Barnhardt. My guess is, judging by your cluelessness, that you have not heard of her death.”

Adelaide shook her head after a moment of confusion. Why would she write and send a letter to me of all people? The last time I’ve either seen or talked to her was when I was barely three years old, she thought with her head swimming with questions.

“To my sorrow,” he began saying without a hint of any true remorse, “your great aunt left us. Before she had passed into the other world, she asked me of a favor, which was to deliver that letter to you.”

Adelaide tilted her head slightly to the side, looking similar to a confused puppy. “What’s in the letter?”

Before the mysterious, elderly deliverer could answer, a lady walked up to the left side of the desk. “Excuse me. Are you currently busy with someone?”

Adelaide turned her head to the left with a fake smile that she was always forced to wear while working. “Just one moment please,” she said. She returned her attention back to the elderly man standing in front of her. “Can you please just wait here for a couple minutes?”

The old man nodded. “Of course.”

Adelaide walked backwards a couple steps after she slipped the letter into her hidden pocket of her black knee-length skirt, half-convinced that all of this was some sort of pigment of her imagination. She turned back around and faced the lady standing at the desk. “How may I help you?” Adelaide asked, using every ounce of self-control she possessed not to look and see if the mysterious man had disappeared.

“I was using one of the computers, and it shut off on me without any warning. I was wondering if there was any way of getting all of it back,” she explained.

“Did you save it at any point and time of working?” the librarian asked. The lady, who appeared to be a little bit older than Adelaide, shook her head no. “If you would give me another moment, I will glad to help you after I finish with him first, if that’s okay?”

The lady nodded. “That’s fine. I’ll wait here.”

Adelaide turned around and grabbed her desk chair. She maneuvered it out from behind the grand desk and rolled it until it was resting beside the lady. “You’re more than welcome to sit here if you would like. I don’t know how long it is going to take,” she offered.

“I don’t want to impose,” the lady replied dejectedly.

Adelaide smiled and nudged the chair questionably. The leather, once a rich brown color, was slightly peeling around the edges. It was slightly tilted to the side, whenever someone attempted to roll it, it extremely moved to the left when trying to go straight if it was your first time using it.

The lady’s questioning glance did not go unnoticed by Adelaide. “I promise this chair is completely safe despite the frightening way it appears,” she promised. She then ironically thought, Talk about not judging a book by its cover.

The lady hesitantly sat in the chair nonetheless. She politely thanked Adelaide before she walked away.

Adelaide returned to the mysterious, elderly gentleman. “Sorry, that took longer than I expected. That lady has a stubborn streak when it comes to sitting in rickety, old chairs,” she replied immediately after they were face to face.

The man responded by nodding. “It is quite alright. You are only doing your job.”

Adelaide looked over her shoulder towards the lady who was now fiddling with her dark, tan thumbs. Adelaide worried her bottom lip between her teeth. Even though I do not particularly enjoy being a librarian and all, it doesn’t mean I should put my issues before the visitors, she selfless thought. She looked back at the mysterious, old man who was dressed like he was from a different generation, almost like he had time traveled. He was standing in front of her with the thick desk being the only thing separating them. “Do you mind waiting here a few more minutes, just enough for me to take care of business?” she asked, attempting to rub some warmth back into her hands.

The mysterious man answered, “Go do your job. I’ll be fine.” He waved his hand in the air dismissively as he said this.

Adelaide said, “Thank you so much.” She turned around and began to walk over to the lady, but before she finally reached her, Adelaide spared one last glance at the man. He was looking down, but she could see a hint of a perplexing smirk under the wide-brimmed hat he was wearing again. Almost instantaneously after she discovered it, the creepy, old man looked up and the smirk was erased from his face. His unforgiving, seemingly soulless, cold stare bore into her, causing her to be overcome by the feeling of standing naked in front of an immense crowd. Adelaide repressed a shudder before she finished clicking her way towards the sitting lady.

“Sorry about the wait,” Adelaide greeted while attempting to ignore the feeling the mysterious man created by boring his eyes into her soul.

The lady stood up and smoothed her vibrant red dress incase and wrinkles might have occurred while sitting. “That’s okay. There is only one of you running the entire city library at the moment, so I don’t mind to wait. Also, you let me sit in your chair. That must be a once in a lifetime opportunity,” the lady joked.

Adelaide leat out a forced giggle at the light joke as she pushed the chair back behind the reception desk. She took the opportunity to glance out the corner of her eye to check if he was still there. From what she could see, the mystery man was searching for something inside of his suit jacket. She walked back over to the lady. “Can you show me what computer you were at, Miss…” she trailed off.

The lady graciously, filled in, “Deanna, but everyone calls me Anna.” She held out her hand for Adelaide to shake.

Adelaide politely took it, shielding her grimace with a small smile. Who would have thought becoming a librarian involved so much human interaction? she thought as she shook her hand. “Lead the way Miss Anna,” Adelaide replied, not bothering to offer her name since it was on her name tag in think, bold lettering that was ridiculously enormously. I guess you have to make sure the old people can see it, she rudely thought.

Anna led her to the computer farthest away from the reception desk, the last one in the row.

Adelaide pushed the button for power and waited for it to turn on, but nothing happened. She turned her head slightly to the left where Anna was standing. She asked, “You said it randomly turned off, correct?”

Anna nodded. “Yeah, I was typing and all I did was barely move my foot. Next thing I know, the screen suddenly goes black,” she explained, complete with hand motions.

A lightbulb lit up over Adelaide’s head. She snapped her fingers and practically shouted, “I got it!” She looked around bashfully when she promptly remembered that she was still working, all the blood rushing to her cheeks. “Damnit!” she cursed under her breath. “Sorry I got excited,” she whispered to everyone who was intently staring at her. Aren’t I a magnificent librarian! Adelaide returned her attention back towards the lady standing next to her. “I think I know what you did wrong.”

“What did I do?” Anna asked, curiously.

“I think you hit the main switch that turns every computer off in here automatically with the exception of mine. Unfortunately for you, the only way it can be turned on is if I get under all of the tables a computer is on, unplug and plug in every chord. Unfortunately before I plug everything back in, I’ll have to go to the basement and flip the switch before I plug everything back in. Honestly, it will more than likely take me at least an hour and a half, if not more, to accomplish all of that on my own. The library’s technology is set up really weird,” Adelaide explained thoroughly.

“So I can’t get any of my work back?” Anna asked a little worriedly. Adelaide shook her head. “I’m sorry. It will take too long for me to be able to leave the desk unsupervised.” She thought for a moment before she came up with a helpful idea. “Although I can do it tonight after I close around five. You can come by around seven and pick it up then if I retrieve it if you want,” she offered.

“That would be great!” she quietly replied.

“You’re welcome,” Adelaide replied.

Anna apologized, “I’m sincerely sorry for making you stay later to fix the mess I made.”

Adelaide shrugged. “It’s no big deal. I was planning on staying late anyway since tomorrow I’m off. Also every now and then, the computers need to be reset and dusted off from the inside out. Anyway, do you mind helping me put out the OUT OF ORDER signs on computer please?”

“Yeah, sure,” she answered.

Adelaide handed her half the signs while she carried the other half after she took them out of a nearby locked drawer. They quickly laid them in front of numerous keyboards. The women walked back to the reception desk. Adelaide slid behind the desk. “Do you need any more help?”

            Anna shook her head. “No. You’ve done more than enough. Thank you for all the help.”

            “As I said, it’s no problem.”

            “I got to go anyway. See you later then Adelaide.”

“Remember seven o’clock!” she called as Anna walked out the door.

Adelaide turned around to where the man was supposed to be standing. She whipped her head back and forth, trying to catch a glimpse of the black 1960’s suit. She swiftly exited from behind the desk and ran towards the entrance like a mad person. Sadly, he was nowhere to be seen. Adelaide slowly sulked back to her large desk.

When she got close, she saw something lying on the desk where the man had been standing. She walked over and saw that there was two completely different keys with a note resting on top of them. Now I know these were not here before! she mentally exclaimed. Adelaide looked around once more, searching desperately for the mysterious man again, she came up empty.

Adelaide picked up one of the keys. It appeared to be entirely made out of iron. The colossal key was considerably heavy as she lifted it up to her face for a closer look. It was nearly as big as both of her hands put together! The top of it was full of swirls meeting, overlapping, and intertwining each other like branches in an ancient, desolate forest. The bottom of it had two large prongs sticking out from the side of it. Adelaide traced her fingertips where it had appeared to be welded together. After she set the key back down onto the desk, there was a thin, black residue left on where the key had been touching her.

Adelaide picked up the smaller key that looked relatively normal. It fit into the palm of her hand. The key appeared to be made entirely out of gold and brand new. It had three numbers and a letter carved on top of it. She guess that it had to belong to some kind of safe or room.

Lastly, Adelaide traded out the second key for the small notes that was originally resting on top of the keys. It appeared that it had been written in a hurry due to the scratchy handwriting. Guess he really did not want to explain anything to me, that f****r, she thought a little furiously mixed in with her somber mood.

After a few seconds of deciphering, the note read, ‘Hope to see you soon, Ms. Way.’

“That’s not creepy at all,” she sarcastically muttered under her breath, as she shoved the keys along with the useless note into the opposite pocked the letter was concealed in.

Adelaide sat down in her old chair and pulled out the letter. She started at her full name written across it. She traced the tiny, curly letter of her entire name once again. Right as she went to break the blood red wax, another visitor walked up to the desk, seeking assistance. Adelaide slid the letter back into her pocket, thinking, Thankfully there’s more to the “curiosity killed a cat” phrase.

© 2018 Autumn

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Added on January 3, 2018
Last Updated on January 3, 2018
Tags: library, teenager, book, angels, demons, supernatural, inheritance, introduction, beginning, chapter