Sci-Fi story that Me and Kylie are writing in our spare time. Just a rough draft.
The library was empty. That is to say, empty of children, but definitely not lacking in informational, enlightening, wonderful, forgotten books. The librarian, Ms. Sanchez, was playing a game of pinball on her cell phone, whiling away her time.
The ancient fluorescent light above her desk flickered and once again, went out. She sighed. Everything in the library was nearly 500 years old, kept in good condition by the librarians who guarded it. Ms. Sanchez put down her ancient iPhone and stared at the darkened light. She took her Fix It Book out from its ready position beside her desk and put on her glasses, thumbing through the pages carefully. She found the page she was looking for and slammed her book on the desk with a smack.
She leaned over, her white hair brushing the pages, staring intently at the instructions as if it held the secret of life and death. She then stood shakily on her cushioned rolly chair. Taking out her pocket knife, she fiddled through it until she found the screwdriver. Hands shaking, she removed the tiny screws, clutching them tightly so they would not be lost. She then removed the huge plastic sheet concealing the darkened bulbs.
She stumbled off the chair, putting the screws on the desk and placing the plastic sheet on the floor. No store carried anything of the like of these ancient bulbs, and only Ms. Sanchez, the mysterious, old, and a little nutty librarian of Maple Hill Elementary knew how to fix them. She removed the bulbs from the ceiling and delicately sorted through wires, adjusting things and working her ‘magic’.
“Mmm-hmmm!” She muttered, standing on her chair once again.
It was at that moment when Casey, the sweet little girl with short, stick black hair and a face illuminated with excitement bounced into the room. Ms. Sanchez paid her little mind as she flounced by, stopped at the desk and said, “Good afternoon Ms. Sanchez! Got any good books for me to read?”
Ms. Sanchez glanced down at the little girl quickly, and then replied with an elusive, “Mmm.” Casey waited a moment and then sighed.
“Ms. Sanchez,” she said, loudly and articulately, “Do you know of any books that might spark my interest.” Ms. Sanchez replaced the lights and stepped down off her chair as the dim counter was suddenly illuminated.
“MS. SANCHEZ DO YOU...” Casey began.
“Alright child. I hear you.” The librarian croaked, scowling. “Just look for some book about physics,” She said with a vague wave of her hand. “There is bound to be one somewhere, and you’ll definitely like it, whatever it is.” Casey beamed.
“Excellent idea! You always have the best book recommendations!” The Kindergartener skipped happily over to the reference aisle and began searching for a book. Ms. Sanchez looked fondly at the little girl. At least there was one child, however small, who opened herself up to the wonders of a substantial book.
Casey skimmed the shelves, her fingers brushing the spine of every book. Dust accumulated on her fingertips, leaving streaks in the gray residue. She finally came to the one she was looking for, a thick, leather-bound volume entitled Physics of the Universe. A smile of satisfaction spread across her face as she secured her hand around it. It was then when another hand from the other side of the shelf shot out and grabbed the other end of the book. Casey saw two green eyes peer from a curtain of red hair through the opening in the shelf.
Casey’s eyes narrowed as she glared at the girl opposite to her. She gripped the book firmly and tugged, only to feel the other girl tug even harder. This went on and on, each girl red in the face and grunting quietly. The other girl’s hair fell in front of one of her eyes, and she brushed it away. At that moment, Casey had given a strong yank, and when the girl removed one of her hands, the book slipped and Casey flew backward, slamming into the shelf behind her.
Now, this shelf was very ancient, having remained in the Maple Hill Elementary library for almost 500 years. It was preserved using a spray that prevented rotting wood. However, that did not mean the the shelves were sturdy in any respect, on the contrary, it was quite brittle. Casey was small for her age, and didn’t weigh very much. However, The impact of her fall slammed the shelf with such force that The wood split and the shelf toppled over with a loud crash, into the one behind it.
You might have heard of something called a domino effect? Or a Ruth Goldberg contraption, in which one action causes another. Well, this such incident would be a perfect example of one of those, for when the shelf fell, It crashed into the one behind it, which fell as well, and the one behind that, and the one behind that... These ancient books, the ones that the shelves contained, were also very delicate. Of course, not so delicate that one who wanted to read them could not, but delicate enough that the force of the shelves caused the books to fall apart in a flutter of yellowing paper. Casey and the girl stood, staring at the damage that had been done, mouths agape.
The second to last shelf crashed down, somehow managing to just tap the last shelf. The shelf closest to Ms. Sanchez’s desk teetered, the large globe precariously sitting on top of it. Finally, the shelf fell, the globe flying through the air and landing on Ms. Sanchez’s desk. It rolled up to the occupied librarian (She had resumed her pinball game and was enthralled in it). The globe just touched her wrist and rolled back, falling off the desk with a thud. This slight tap was enough to gain the librarian’s attention. She glanced upward and gasped in horror at the scene before her. The only sound that could be heard was her iPhone, landing on her desk with a thud as Ms. Sanchez shakily stood.
The moment of silence stretched on for what seemed like forever. Like a teardrop, clinging to the ceiling, desperately trying not to fall. Ms. Sanchez glanced at the girls, and then at the ruined library, the girls, and the ruined library. The drop fell from the ceiling, with a piercing scream from Ms. Sanchez. She sprinted over to the shelves with a burst of speed. Casey never knew the old woman could run so fast. She knelt on her knees, desperately fingering through the loose pages, trying to put them in order. Casey looked at the girl with a wide eyed, petrified glance. The girl looked back at her with a glance that seemed to say, “Uh-oh. It’s the 3rd week of Kindergarten, and we’ve already destroyed a library!” They stood, trembling, staring at the desperate Ms. Sanchez.
She seemed to have forgotten their existence. She was sobbing uncontrollably saying something about how she’d let the children’s education down. Finally, she collapsed on the ground wailing.
“Girls!” She sobbed. “Leave my library at once!” Casey and the other girl looked at the librarian and then at each other, and began to make the long, hard walk to the exit. Casey made trudging steps over papers and chunks of the shelf. She made a WIDE loop around the upset lady and then walked quickly out the door. The other girl followed her path. They trudged slowly down the hallway, ashamed and guilty, praying that Ms. Sanchez would not alert the principal of their extreme disruption of the ancient library. Casey glanced back at the sign on the library door, which said, This library is a priceless preserved specimen of the past. Please treat everything in this room with utmost delicacy! She felt tears sting her eyes, but she quickly wiped them away. The other girl walked up beside her.
“Hi.” She said, her eyes locked on the floor, her flame colored hair dangling in her face so that the only thing that Casey could see was her eyes, that flicked nervously to the floor and then Casey’s face, the floor and then Casey’s face. “My name is Ingrid.” Casey nodded nervously, fidgeting with her sleeve.
“Oh.” she said, not exactly knowing how to respond. “Uhhh... Cool.”
Ingrid stared at her expectantly. “Ummm,” Casey said, kneading her sleeve fiercely.
“So..” Ingrid finally said. “What’s yours?” Casey wrinkled her brow.She looked at Ingrid inquisitively.
“My what?” She said awkwardly. A smile played at Ingrid’s lips.
“Your name, silly!” She said, giggling and pushing Casey lightly. Upon the shove, Casey looked at the girl, wide eyes, keeping her distance now. Ingrid’s smile disappeared.
“Oh.” Casey said, guarded. “My name.” Ingrid nodded.
“Yeah.” She said.
“Why do you want to know my name?” Casey finally said. Her eyes were on the floor and flicked up to Ingrid suspiciously for a second before slamming right back down to the floor. Ingrid raised her eyebrows.
“Why not? It’s not like I’m a secret spy or anything. Anyway, I told you my name, so you have to tell me yours.”
“No I don’t.” Casey muttered. “I don’t have to tell you anything.” Ingrid glared.
“Yes you do!” She said, louder now. “You have to tell me! Or else I’ll-- I’ll-- Well... You just have to!” Casey glared right back at her.
“I don’t have to do anything. You are not the boss of me.”
Ingrid sputtered with rage. “Then.... Then....”
Now, you may have expected two ingenious Kindergarteners who read physics books in their free time to know how to behave in a mature manner. Unfortunately, you cannot expect Kindergarteners to be courteous and gracious and debonair. Asking Kindergarteners not to fight is like asking a bird not to fly. It doesn’t quite work that way. Especially when Ingrid, a stubborn, rebellious, and somewhat ill-tempered girl met up with the socially awkward, misgiving Casey.
Ingrid stamped her foot. “Tell me your name!!!” She shouted, furious. Casey crossed her arms over her chest and stuck her chin up in the air.
“No.” She said, snootily, looking down at Ingrid with the slits of her eyes.
Ingrid had never met someone quite as difficult as this. Every person she had ever met told her their name upon meeting her. She didn’t quite know what to do. So, she did what any normal Kindergartener would have done in that instance.
Ingrid stomped her feet. She screamed at the top of her lungs. She began kicking the wall over and over and over again.
“TELL ME YOUR NAME!” She shrieked. It was at that moment when an announcement came over the loudspeaker.
“Ingrid Lestrange and Casey Tomeoni, please report to the principal’s office at once. Ingrid Lestrange and Casey Tomeoni to the principals office.” Ingrid froze. She slowly turned to look at Casey. Casey looked at her.
“Ah ha!” Ingrid said, grinning evilly. “Your name is CASEY!” Casey glared at Ingrid.
“Fine.” She muttered. Then, the weight of the situation began to sink in. Ingrid’s smile disappeared. Her gaze lowered to the ground. Casey felt a sense of doom settle in. They shuffled gloomily towards the main office.