Lily was singing again, Voi Che Sapete, from the marriage of Figaro. She liked to practice in the bathroom because the acoustics were better than her bedroom, but that put her right next to Kimber's bedroom. This was not the worst set up, assuming Lily didn't break into something particularly soprano- Faure's Apres un Reve or My White Night from the Music Man. Yeah, Kimber had Lily's entire repertoire down after their 2 years in the dorms together.
Conveniently, she didn't go soprano, opting instead for some alto pop music that Kimber wasn't sure about; maybe it was that british chick with the big hair? She was finally settling into a pattern, pages turning with notes changing, dynamics coinciding with with pertinent points. It was so soothing to Kimber, when life worked like this; it was so easy to get lost in her book, the decidedly not-for-her-capstone Gardens of the Moon. It was, after she had gotten six or seven chapters deep, that her concentration was broken by a particularly obnoxious yell from her housemates.
"Kimber. Kimbeer. Kiimbeerllyy! Come downstairs!"
The chorus was so jarring that she actually fell backwards in her precariously balanced chair, conveniently crashing against the end of the bed. She finally found a silver lining to having the small room. She shook herself and walked, slowly, to the door. No, she would not come downstairs, she explained, she had too much work to do.
"Kimberly Violet Harper, you haaavee to haang ouuut with usss."
That was Lily, singsonging her words like the music major she was. Kimber thought it was sweet that her housemates wanted to hang out with her, but holy crap could they be annoying.
"No guys, no, I can't come down. I need to finish some more articles for my Capstone. I need to get started on this paper."
The two of them sang her name to La Bamba, Let It Be and a slew of other songs. They were like sirens down there, trying to lure her off her safe boat into the rough waters where "Not Studying" met "Watching the SVU marathon" . She would plug her ears, even if it meant heading down to Club Milne and barricading herself in library. They were on "Gay or European" now, which was really not working out.
"Seriously girl, come downstairs or we're gonna come up there and pester you to death," Diana cried, her high-pitched voice extra-squealy.
"Fiiiiine," Kimber yelled down, tossing books her backpack and slipping on her sneakers.
She blew a raspberry at the two of them as she headed out the door; Diana spun around so fast to keep her eyes on Kimber that she wiped herself in the face with her long Kool-aid red hair. Kimber yelled a quick explanation about her workload and how she was needed in Club Milne, before dashing out the door as quick as her size 7 feet could carry her.
It was as she settled into her tiny 2nd floor cubicle, looking out over the space between Milne and the ISC, when she reached into her backpack and pulled out the book she had been looking for when she'd gone to Prof. Kappe's office hours the other day, a sleek, tiny book, torn dust jacket and golden lettering- Magical New York: Stories and Tales of the Paranormal in the Empire State. She cursed under her breath, flipping to the section with the dog-eared page specifically discussing Livingston county. She had hoped to ask if this was a credible source. There was a source here she couldn't track down, a supposedly small tome called "The History of the Village of Geneseo" that was apparently about magic in the process of building Geneseo village and university.
Since she wouldn't be able to talk to Prof. Kappe until after the weekend, he was notorious about having only two office hours a week, so he could work on his multitude of books, she decided to try to find this mystery book one more time. She went through Milne's online library for hours, primarily because she didn't want to rummage through the card catalog or worse, the physical texts. As the sun went down and it got closer to midnight, it was looking more and more likely that that was exactly what she was going to have to do.
It took nearly 30 minutes to convince herself get off her laptop, Facebook, StumbleUpon and her iTunes and start the rummaging. Being, not entirely into the whole processes, she started with the rickety shelves right behind her cubicle. Mostly books on Shakespeare or other old writers. Slowly, sliding her fingers over spines and shelving, barely attempting to conceal her discontent.
She'd moved to a more suitable area now, but it was getting close to 1. They'd kick her out soon and she still hadn't found anything, still hadn't managed to convince herself to care. She went back to her cubicle to gather up her things and, to her surprise, her book was gone again. She searched through her piles of paper, under her laptop, in her bag. The book was gone. It was like someone was playing a game with her, stealing her book and giving it back at random times. She face-palmed forcefully and held back another slew of curses.
"Seriously, whoever you are, you need to stop playing this game. I need that book. Like, I'll die if I don't get it back, okay?"
Out of the corner of her eye, a small black shape flew out of the corner cubicle toward the shelving. She turned to look at it and all she saw was a gnarled black claw gripping her "Magical New York" by the spine before slipping behind the bookshelf.