Daphne’s pen tapped irritably against the notebook. Tap. Tap. Tap. She scowled at the blank page, as if it were to blame for the writer’s block she was suffering from. She’d been at the library since noon, and that was nine hours ago. The sun had given way to the moon some time before, and the soft orange glow of the table lamps illuminated a mostly vacant library. It was quiet…too quiet.
How will I ever get this essay done? Daphne thought with worry. There were only three more hours left in the before the assignment was due. She was supposed to write a thesis on violence in society and why it was more prominent than ever before, but her mind was blank.
She looked up from the page, towards the beautiful stain glass windows the lined the east side of the university library. The rain pelted against the panels, streaming down and leaving trails of water in each droplets wake. The red panels looked as if they were bleeding.
All Daphne could think about lately was blood; blood and gore. The campus was riddled with violence. Someone lurked in the shadows, hunting young female students like herself, waiting for opportunities just like this one.
The sound of a heavy textbook slamming shut startled Daphne, and she looked around the library. The shelves, filled with books upon books on any and every subject, seemed to be her only companions. She looked towards the receptionist desk, but it too was vacant. She had no idea where the librarian had gone, but surely she must be around somewhere? Maybe in a break room?
Daphne scanned the expanse of the large, old library once more. As far as her pretty hazel eyes could tell…there was nobody around. The last person had just left through the main doors, she could see it swinging back slowly.
Coldness trailed down her spine, almost as if a bucket of cold water had been dumped upon Daphne’s head. Don’t be foolish, she told herself, haughtily tossing her hair behind her shoulder and peering back down at the blank pages in front of her.
She started to write; words that didn’t make sense, but at least it was a start. It was progress. Daphne wrote for what seemed like hours, but was really only minutes. The scraping of a chair against the hardwood floor alarmed her, and her eyes snapped up.
A guy with wavy dark hair, dark eyes, and sunkissed skin sat down in the chair across from her. He was magnifying, and Daphne was suddenly very aware that she’d dressed in yoga pants and a baggy sweater with the university name in bold letters across her chest. Her hair was a little stringy, and she could definitely use a wash.
“Hey,” he said with a charming grin as he eyed her up and down. “What are you doing here so late?”
“Late? It’s only nine o’clock,” Daphne frowned, the line between her eyebrows creasing.
“It’s not safe for women to be out at this hour,” he said, leaning forward.
Daphne’s eyes, which had been hungrily assessing her new, cute neighbor – hardened at his words. She snorted. “I wager it’s not safe for you either.”
“Oh?” he arched a brow, enchanted by her. “Why is that?”
“Because, you might say something stupid and sexist and end up bludgeoned to death with a text book,” Daphne smiled sweetly, though the hardness did not leave her eyes.
He was quiet for a moment before he burst out into a laughter so rich and inviting, it made desire pool in Daphne’s lower abdomen. Daphne had never been turned on by someone’s laugh before, that was a first. She wasn’t sure how she felt about it, either; or her new companion. He was dark, handsome, brooding – all the things she’d normally go for. But he also seemed…mysterious.
Daphne didn’t know if she liked mysterious.
“I wager you’re right. Sorry if that was sexist,” he apologized, shrugging his shoulders. He didn’t seem very sincere. “So far, there haven’t been any reports of male students being attacked and bludgeoned to death with a text book.”
“Yet,” Daphne muttered, unable to hide her smile. She peered around the empty library once more. “You know…there are plenty of vacant seats here.”
“I know,” he said, never breaking eye contact with her. “I chose this one for a reason.”
“Why’s that?” she whispered. The way he was looking at her made her heart stumble in her chest, before increasing in a steady tempo. Thud-dum-thud-dum-thud-dum, thud-dum-thud-dum-thud-dum. It was all she could hear and feel. Mysterious.
There was a dangerous edge to his dark eyes now, and it made Daphne feel light headed and wary.
“Because, you’re here,” he finally replied, leaning back in his seat with a sinister smile. “You, and nobody else.”
Today’s writing prompt from the lovely Sarah Selecky was “write a scene that involves a library and a stained glass window“. I wrote this in ten minutes, while I sipped my coffee.
I really enjoy doing writing prompts and Sarah has some good ones! It’s a great exercise for writers and those who love to write. If you want to receive Sarah’s daily writing prompts, sign up!