George meets Dream on a cold winter day in the middle of a raging war.
George strolled past the towering shelves filled to the brim with books, eyes scanning the tall and sleek mahogany wood housing the hundreds of paperbound knowledge. His steps echo across the almost barren walls, every click of his heel reverberated in his ear.
No one visits the library that often anymore, not ever since the war started anyways.
He closes off to a section by the end of the aisle for kids' books. He takes in a deep inhale, the comforting scent of worn paper and something familiar to grass, filling his nose as it soothes the aching muscles in his body, the tension leaving his bones.
He doesn't get why people don't go here anymore.
Sure, people have found their own ways of coping during this heinous time. He's seen men at street corners downing bottles of whiskey, to avoid the fact that their sons are getting bombed outside the border of their land. He pretends not to notice the women gouging themselves in their houses as they seek each other's company whilst their husbands drink their sorrows. He watches the children run about in the center, blissfully unaware of everything around them.
Everyone has their way of getting through the war.
George didn't have one at first. For the past year and a half after it started- he's just been holding himself in his house, reading the same well-worn bookshelf until he memorized the words to heart. It wasn't until he decided that reading Ernest Hemingway's 'Farewell To Arms' for the umpteenth time was sickening.
So, he puts on one of his coats, bracing himself for the cold autumn winds, and ventures out into the decaying world.
The library was a homey place, almost quaint in its size. Even after all the abominations performed outside of the safe town he resided in that happened, it stood tall and welcoming for all to indulge in its comfort.
He finally finessed his way to the more poetry and miscellaneous section of the library. Closed off and secluded from the rest of its counterparts- this one was just a high shelf that held a measly ten to twelve books.
George stared at the high self, it was a head taller than what George could reach.
He held in the urge to scoff. It's almost ironic how the scene plays out. There's this one book- soft pink with small gold accents swirling the neck. The title is some foreign language he can't understand, but ultimately, it intrigues him more. It's the only book of its kind so far.
He stands there, slightly irritated- mostly disappointed. As a heavy exhale escapes his lips.
He stands there, glaring at the top shelf as if it had cursed the world. Before he shuffles his feet to the side and begins to walk away.
"Do you need something from there?"
George snaps his head so fast that he gets whiplash. The sudden voice in the barren library was enough to startle his nerves, sending shivers down his spine as his eyes flash to the source of the voice.
"Woah-" a man, he notes, a man with blonde hair wearing a thick woollen coat says. He raises his hands in mock surrender as a surprised look forms on his face. "Jumpy much?"
This time he rolls his eyes. George then proceeds to glare at the stranger, who's one hand is holding a book. He rolls his eyes and continues his walk towards the exit of the library.
"You looked like that shelf had a personal vendetta against you." The stranger chides again. George has promptly decided at that moment that he officially hates him, right then and there. One for ruining the quiet ambience of the library, and second for subtle calling out of his debilitating height.
YOU ARE READING
"I promise you. I promise I'll come back." He promises, George thinks wistfully. He promises such a thing- to offer George with his word on something, to uphold it. It's as if he's saying that he'll give the world to him, just for him. But somewhere...