Alyssa was cuddled in her bed under the sheets, reading a book she had found at the library after school. It was called “Alyssa’s Secrets”, a title that had naturally roused her curiosity. To her delight, the story was about a girl close to her in age. As she got lost in the book, she became enthralled by each passage. One in particular held her rapt:
The trees hid all her secrets. But after the great storm, these trees had fallen. She was exposed now, afraid that someone would learn the truth.
“Hey, it’s time for bed.”
The voice hardly started her. Alyssa kept her eyes on the page as she answered her father.
“I’m almost done with this chapter.”
“I’ve heard that before. Lights out, okay?”
“Good night, Daddy.”
Alyssa’s dad smiled in defeat. As he closed the door, he slipped his hand back in and switched the light off. Alyssa groaned as she heard her dad chuckling to himself down the hall.
“Dork,” she muttered.
Too nestled to move from her reading spot, Alyssa turned on her phone’s flashlight and angled it towards her book. She continued…
How could I ever know you? When everything lies in disguise, how could I ever forget?
As Alyssa read, a deep voice interrupted her.
“Read it out loud…”
Alyssa froze in fear, and looked towards her window. There was no one there. Was it a real voice? Maybe she had imagined it. But as she continued to read, she heard it again… and it sounded even scarier this time.
“I said read it out loud!”
The wind behind her window swept eerily through the trees. Too afraid to move, Alyssa decided to appease the strange voice. She began to read the words shakily.
“How c-could I ever know you?”
Alyssa listened. There was only silence. But as soon as she looked back down at her book, she heard the sound of her own voice from behind the window.
“How could I ever know you?”
The voice shook her to her core… but after a few quiet moments, she felt strangely compelled to keep reading.
“When everything lies in disguise…”
Alyssa lay still, awaiting her voice again. She heard nothing and decided to just keep reading. Her hand trembled but she spoke clearer now.
“How could I ever forget?”
The silence continued. Alyssa turned off her phone flashlight and lay still. There was nothing. She stayed up for a while, waiting for the next sound. After a few hours like that, she was finally able to fall asleep.
When Alyssa awoke, she quickly got dressed and put the book in her backpack. She rushed out of the house, and took her bicycle straight to the library.
Alyssa stormed up to the library desk and placed the book on the counter. An elderly librarian smiled and asked, “Are you returning this?”
The librarian scanned the book barcode and looked up at Alyssa.
“I’m sorry, this book is not due at the moment.”
“Why does that matter? I’m done with it.”
The librarian looked intensely at Alyssa and slid the book back towards her.
“Because it’s not done with you.”
Alyssa let out a scream and bolted straight out of the library. The soft sound of a librarian’s shhh trailed behind her.
Thank you for reading and Happy Halloween!!