Kimber stood at the end of the aisle of bookshelves, gawking at the floor. There was her book, laying right in the center of the floor, conveniently open to her dog-eared page. There was no shadow. There were no claws. There was just her book. And man, did she feel crazy now.
She scooped it up and hurried back to her cubicle. She packed up all her things, not even taking the time to properly shut down her laptop. She was watching the shadows more than anything, half expecting talons to spring at her from all sides. Her watch said it was 12:55. Just enough time to not get trapped in this place and be forced to spend the night hunting for ghosts through computer labs and piles of books. These were the kinds of things Kimber thought about when she got nervous. She did not think, as was logical, that she was just over-tired and needed to sleep. She did not remember that she had been awake for an 830 class this morning. She was worried only about not getting eaten. Kimber's brain functioned like that of a 5 year old when it got dark.
She flew down the library stairs and crashed out the door, clutching her backpack straps against her shoulders. The college walkways were sparsely lit and shadows were everywhere. One, over near the green, looked like a little a gnome or an elf or something, short and human-like and moving. By the corner of the ISC was a huge shadow, with large, thin wings stretched out across the building. She starting running, at this point, backpack smashing against her back. The hill wasn't too hard to take, her strides huge and frantic.
Crossing Main Street, the shadows were thicker, people and animals and demons and ghosts. There was a cohort of them surrounding the Bear Fountain. They were dancing and swaying and, for a minute, Kimber was too scared to walk up Center Street. She took a deep breath and counted to ten. And then she counted to ten again, and a third time. Then, finally, she bolted, crossed the street in a flash and made it to her little brown house in the center of Center Street. She busted open the door and spilled into the great room.
Diana was there, twirling her bright red hair in her fingers and staring intently at her computer screen. Kimber plopped down on the couch next to her, dropping her bag on the floor and clutching her chest with her hands. Diana chuckled.
"What happened to you? See a ghost?"
Kimber looked at her housemate with a completely blank stare and let out a deep sigh.
"Everything just looks so creepy tonight. I don't know what it is, but everything looks weird and library was so... I saw some weird shit in there."
"You, my dear, need to get some sleep, that's what it is. You've been studying too much. Go up to bed, silly," Diana giggled.
Her physics homework was sprawled across the coffee table, or at least whatever room on the coffee table was left not covered by her giant ASUS laptop. It was all mumbo-jumbo to Kimber, but focusing on it helped her to calm down a little. Reading over the greek letters and sprawls of numbers was calming.
"It just felt so spooky Diana. I had chills. It was like I was watching the veil fall down."
Now that she thought about it, Diana was most likely right. Her breathing came more steady now and she realized that it was nearly 130 in the morning. She ought to go to sleep.
"Sometimes I can't tell if you're being serious or you just speak like a Jane Austen novel."
"I hate Jane Austen," Kimber interrupted.
"Whatever," Diana said, laughing, "If you really felt all paranormal like, we'll run over to Practical Magick after Housemate Lunch on Saturday. And you can get a tarot card reading or some kind of psychic in-ter-actions. Y'know."
Kimber nodded. Now she just felt stupid. She should've stayed calm instead of freaking out like she did. It was only shadows, only a book that she'd dropped. Thank god for Diana being so helpful. Lily would've teased her, of that she was certain. Kimber leaned her head into Diana's shoulder and thanked her housemate, before explaining graciously that she did need to get to sleep. It had been a long time since she'd gotten to sleep.
"But really Kim, this is just an excuse to go to Practical Magick, so, Saturday, right?" Diana said with a wink.
"Get back to physics," Kimber said, blowing a raspberry and climbing the stairs to her small bedroom.
"It's Comp Sci!" Diana called after her.