The Darkest Wishes of Melas, Chapter 4

“A hidden staircase?” Lisa exclaimed as the ancient-looking steps revealed themselves. She couldn’t help but gape at it- she had only seen things like that in the cinema!

“It came with the building,” Melanie shrugged it off as if this weren’t completely spectacular. “Come on.” Melanie gestured for her to follow, and Lisa felt slightly hesitant about that prospect. While Lisa didn’t believe that her new employer would lead her anywhere too ominous, she couldn’t imagine what good would have gotten stored in such a mysterious manner! Still, she didn’t come all that way only to back out now, so she took a deep breath and hoped for the best as she set foot in the passageway.

When they ascended to the second level, Lisa anticipated seeing some sort of truly magnificent treasure stashed away there, but a part of her feared that a sinister substance existed in these chambers! She would have dreaded listening to Lydia crow about being correct regarding the spooky nature of this town after witnessing a confirmation of the otherworldly activity occurring in there, and she felt tempted to cover her eyes and maintain her plausible deniability of this frightening reality! Her heart beat wildly as they entered into the space, and it truly stunned her to behold…

Books! Boxes and stacks of reading material lined most of the upper floor, and with such an elaborate entrance, Lisa sincerely expected more extraordinary paraphernalia than this! No wonder Melanie’s attitude was so blasé about it! Melanie informed Lisa, “This is the store room. We keep new material as well as items that need reviewing up here. This is also the front door to your new home.”

“It is?” Lisa hadn’t meant that to come across so rudely, but the ad for this job described this opportunity as one that included a studio above the library, and this was not what she had in mind! There were no amenities whatsoever! Lisa wasn’t about to sleep on crates, and she certainly wouldn’t live anywhere without a bathroom! It struck her as ironic that out of all of the scary possibilities that she would have guessed might have driven her out of Melas, a lack of accommodations wasn’t one of them!

“I left the door unlocked. Go ahead and explore it,” Melanie directed her. She indicated to what Lisa assumed was a small closet, and Lisa’s pessimism on her potential pad hadn’t ebbed an inch! In her head, she was already making plans to use the last of her savings to escape from this horrible hovel, but she still felt she needed to verify the facts completely before she hightailed it out of there, so she turned the knob…

Melanie hadn’t lied- Brigfell, indeed, contained a living quarter! It had the same round shape as the public sphere below them, but other than its quirky shape, it was really quite nice! On the right, there was a cushy bed underneath a window with a gorgeous view of the river, and within feet of that, there was a kitchenette complete with a stove, refrigerator, and even a microwave! The appliances seemed a tad outdated, but they were so well kept that she didn’t begrudge their presence at all! Actually, it sort of gave off a comfortable aura like she had returned to the best memories of her childhood! There was a little set of chairs and a dining room table adjacent to it, and on the far left, she saw a restroom with simple but very pleasant decor! It wasn’t huge, but it offered enough hospitalities to tide her over! “I like it!” Lisa declared.

Sounding very much relieved, Melanie responded, “Perfect! Now, there’s a private entrance over there next to the counter, and feel free to watch whatever you want on the tv by your bedside, but if it’s during business hours, remember not to blast it. You’ll start training tomorrow at nine. Since your commute is so short, I hope I won’t see a lot of tardiness to your shifts!”

Was that an attempt at humor? Lisa didn’t think Melanie had the capability to crack a joke! She considered shooting a comedic comment right back, but she was afraid of pushing her luck. She had already created a negative impression on her, and if she kidded around and accidentally offended her, she worried that she may never recover! In order to stay on the favorable side of her new boss slash landlord, she opted to simply smile at her instead. Melanie reached into her pocket and then handed Lisa a set of keys. “Thank you!” Lisa genially regarded her.

Melanie twitched her mouth into a quick grin, and then she briskly articulated, “See you in the morning!” Melanie swiftly swiveled to the exit, and then Lisa listened to her footsteps creaking down the stairwell.

Lisa soaked in her surroundings, and while it felt surreal to call this location home, she theorized that residing in Melas wouldn’t turn out too badly after all! Prior to her having the ability to fully relax, her cellphone pinged. She eagerly opened the home-screen since she suspected it stemmed from Lydia urgently wanting to contact her and ensure that she hadn’t been eaten by ghosts or something along those lines, but to her dismay, it was a social media alert about Tommy getting spotted with his new fiancée! “Ugh! How long are you gonna haunt me?” she huffed as she switched the app’s settings. She wanted to stew about that jerk’s persistent presence, but then she noticed that there was an unopened text from her cousin, so she decided to make better use of her time by addressing her family rather than her foe!

After positioning herself on the bed so that she got more of a panoramic scope of her riverview, she aimed her camera and clicked on the icon to get the photo. Suddenly, a cold draft unexpectedly filled the room! It danced across her skin and gave her pronounced goosebumps! She tightened up her sweater, and then she closed the curtain to keep out the chilliness. She felt a bit sad to say goodbye to such a beautiful sight, but she reasoned that she was going to be there for a while, so it would be there when the sun’s rays were more pronounced again. As she bragged about her waterfront property to Lydia, she happened to espy a white glare in her picture. She didn’t like that shot, but she didn’t want to let more frigidness in, so she let it slide and sent the message as is. 

The fog thickened as she walked down the road, so she used her device to light her path forward. It irked her that she had to perform this task at all, and she bitterly thought that people who riled up hungry people ought to get locked up! She eventually observed illumination in the distance, and she felt slightly mollified to reach a point where the finish was close! When she got near enough to the figure, she discerned the Wicked Fresh Pizza logo and knew she had stumbled into the correct person. “Are you Lisa Bassett?” he queried, which she nodded to. “Thank you for meeting me by the old courthouse! It’s a safety protocol, you know?”

“No, I don’t know!” Lisa couldn’t hold back her urge to snap a smidgen. “What is so unsafe about going to a library front?”

“Are you kidding me?” the pizza guy reacted in aghast. “That joint is brimming with unfriendly spirits!”

Lisa dismissed that concept, “I’ve been there for hours now, and I haven’t seen a single one!”

The pizza guy retorted, “That won’t last long! There’s not enough sage in the world to cleanse Brigfell!”

“Oh, come on! Just ‘cause it’s next to a graveyard doesn’t mean it’s possessed by anything scary!” Lisa argued.

Something went down there!” the pizza guy countered. “Whenever I went there, I started freezing, and then I had difficulty getting myself out of a depressed funk! That doesn’t occur anywhere else I go in this region!”

The iciness he described disturbed her slightly since it resembled a similar experience with her, but she still felt determined not to let him or anyone else shake her, so she stoutly stated, “I don’t believe in the supernatural!”

He insisted, “You will!” Lisa snatched her order from the pizza guy, and he gladly sped his bicycle away from the area! As Lisa headed back to her house, she got a prickly sensation throughout her limbs thinking about his prediction! She brushed it off and resolved to relax the rest of the night!

As Lisa took a shower, she heard the floorboards outside of the library entrance creaking. It startled her at first, but then she recalled that Melanie might have come to work early to get stuff done preceding the training of her new employee, and she exhaled a little easier. It would take a while for her to get used to having housemates that ran an enterprise beneath her feet!

It felt so strange to leave for her shift two minutes prior to its beginning, but she reckoned that this oddity would merely get added to the list of quirks that she would have to get accustomed to. While she dashed out the door, she spotted a piece of paper attached to her studio’s entrance. She read it outloud, “Lisa, I had some last minute things to do at my kids’ school, so Delron will train you today. See you soon!” She remembered the treading she detected earlier, and she figured that this explained it. She shrugged and went downstairs.

The shelves were devoid of any individuals, and upon an initial inspection, Lisa came up empty. She speculated that this Delron fellow may not have been aware of his added duty, and she fretted about being the sole employee present at this venue- she knew nothing of their standard procedures! She perceived the sound of a book falling behind her, so she presumed that her coworker’s proximity was there. When she turned around, she located the tome that perpetrated that noise, but no one appeared to be around! She felt perplexed by this, but she conceived that it had not gotten shelved properly and tumbled as a natural consequence to that. She put it away real fast and returned to her quest.

She caught a glimpse of a short man with curly, black hair outside of the building, and she hypothesized that this could have been him. She ventured outside, and she saw a scrawny, bespectacled dude around her age with a cigarette in his mouth, and as he shakily brought his lighter up to his jawline, he became aware of Lisa’s company and inquired, “Do you care if I smoke?”

“I have asthma,” Lisa replied.

“So do I,” the man admitted.

Lisa probed, “Then why are you smoking?”

The man took his newly lit smoke out and instantly snuffed it. “You’re right! I shouldn’t do it! And I did promise my husband I’d quit- I should stick to that! You have my full permission to yell at me if you see me doing it again!”

“Okay!” Lisa giggled. “I take it you’re Delron.”

“Oh, where are my manners? Delron Faulkner at your service!” Delron extended his hand to her, and Lisa gladly shook it. Finally, she met someone in this hamlet who wasn’t so dark and gloomy! “Pleasure to meet you, Lisa! I was just about to do the book drop. Join me!”

He strolled over to an old-fashioned, metal receptacle that Lisa initially supposed was a mailbox. He produced a key, and he educated Lisa, “We empty this every day at nine and again at four. Some of our customers prefer to return items here rather than go inside.”

Lisa opined, “I don’t understand why! It’s gorgeous in there!” Delron gave her a half grin, but he clearly decided not to remark on that statement. He retrieved a full bin and replaced it with an empty one, and then he motioned for her to accompany him into the library.

Delron instructed her, “Go through them one by one and check for damages or bugs or whatever.” That sounded painless enough, and sure enough, once she processed enough, she saw that it was! Her confidence on her capability to handle this position heightened tremendously! After several minutes of this, she was in the midst of feeling like she had reached a sanguine groove when Delron abruptly grabbed her wrist, and with his face as white as a sheet, he warned her, “Don’t move another muscle!”


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