Ren moved up onto the second floor immideatly. Jake followed carefully, checking his meater and tempture. Jake unloded a small bag of salt and pulled his jacket off, revealing his gun. Ren, who knelt by the railing - glances up at him briefly.
"...are you planning on shooting the Lady?" Ren had a smile in his voice. Ren pulled his laptop out of his duffel and started it.
"...you planning on beating it with that?"
Ren pulled another pair of wiers out and did a few things Jake didn't know a computer could do. He then watched as Ren leand over the side, cliped some wiers together, and did some more things Jake didn't quite get. He stood with a flourish of acomplishment though, takning his own jacked off. Jake slowly raised his eyeborw. The brusing around Jake's nose seamed darker then it had before.
"I looped what was playing on the video." Ren explaned. When Jake didn't move, Ren sighed. "So that what we're doing isn't recorded."
I would have ripped the thing apart, Jake thought, then turned to get his stuff ready.
They split up. Jake did a sweep of the second floor whale Ren droped into the basement - both trying to find out something about librian 117. They met in the middle section on the first floor.
"Maybe it's letters." Ren offered. Jake was flipping through one of the books and chucked.
"What letters? A Q? K G? A A G? Who the hell cares?" Jake dropped the book on the floor and turned his eyes around the room. "Who gives a shit? All we need to do is whipe her sorry ass out."
Ren staggered. "Wha-"
"A ghost is a ghost. She's a nusance, and she needs to go. End of story."
Ren's words were trapped - cold thrilling down his spine - and with a women's shreak, the book case next to them creeks and leans, shadowing over them slowly. Jake had enought time to stumble back - Ren spent a moment to long in wonder of a waterfall of books coming at him to get out of the way properly.
Jake pulled his gun on air. The Lady was nowhere to be seen - but she knew they were they and, Jake guessed, she knew what they wanted. Ren called out from under the pile, and only after a moment did Jake holster his gun yank the shelves off of the other boy.
"Nasty bitch." Jake snarled, whipping the dust off his hands. Ren was coughing, dust in his noes - and puleld himself out from under the pile of anchent texts. Jake let it fall back to the floor once Ren was all the way out. There was a rattle and a moan - one that made both of them still - and Jake took off around the closest stack.
Ren pulled himself to his feet and staggered when he tried to take a step. Pain barked up his leg making Ren cursed softly. His knee hurt, and so did his pride - the sound of Jake's boots was getting further and further away. Ren called out, but there was a sudden humm on his skin - cold and forighen and Ren stopped breathing.
Jake was running - crap, he fucking knew this place! He read those floor plans more then enoght times - so why the fuck was this place turning into the fucking labyrinth?!
....Shit, it was getting colder.
Jake's name rang through the cave-like building, soft and forighen. Jake skidded to a hault and froze, to listen. Ren's voice echoed off the walls like the wind, whistling into nothing, and Jake turned on his heels and rand back the way he came.
Or the way he thought he had come.
Jake felt odd. A serge of something in his chest - making him run and making breathing hard. Jake shouted Ren's name when another shout rung out, closer this time. Jake took the next cornor, sliped his gun into it's holser on his sholder, and launched himself onto the closes book case. His foot caught easily, causing the case to whine, and he easily pulled himself up. It was easier to traverse the library on top of the cases - easer to see the small clearing under the balcony where Ren was.
Where Ren had been a minute ago.
Oh! Panic. That was the feeling.
"Ren!" Jake's voice was horse. It was getting colder. The stack that had fallen over remained down - its books scattered about - lacking a boy with mop-hair. Behind him, another shelf of books fell over - crashing, hitting the marble floor with a thud that resounded. Then, in front of him, another shelf fell - thick with books and force. Jake ran, sprited ontop of the racks toward the stairs. He felt the rack under him quiver a second before juming off and skidding to some sort of stop in the isle way - the stack of books falling after him. Jake felt something building - omnius and dark - from the other end of the isle. It was moving slowly toward him.
Jake ran for the stairs. Wind followed, blowing pages in his wake. He followed it up the staircase, skidding to a stop at the top.
For one second, fear settled in Jake chest. It let him be afraid for a moment.
Ren was standing on the balconey ledge, grubby white shoes half way off the railing. The air on the second level seamed quiet – controlled - ready to snap. Ren's hands dangles carefully at his side. Jake stopped ast to not push anything - to not pull.
"Ren?" Jake said carefully. Ren's hand twitched. The smell of books and vinalla hit Jake hard, smacking into his chest. Carefully, Jake took a step foward. Ren didn't move – eyes wide, void, staring off toward the nothingness that hung heavy in the air. With a few more steps, Ren was simply an arms length away.
Ren and Jake moved at the same time. Ren took a deliberate and forceful step foward - Jake grabed the younger boy round the waste and pulled backwards, hard. Jake's kneese managed to hit the railing, giving him a litle more leway to push back with. Ren fell with the first tug - a shreak that wasn't his exploding from his mouth, shaking around his yell. They fell backwards - sidways, Jake rolling to get the extra force, any extra force to keep Ren from falling over the side. From the cornor of his eye, Jake watch a shadow fall in Ren's place - hair long and grey - dress white and flowing.
They crashed together on the floor - sickning cracks adding an extra echo to their landing. The air warmed immediately, tinged with a copper taste. Ren coughed in Jake's arms, shaking - bare skin cold and white. Jake's head hurt - not from the adrenlan no, but from hitting the floor with force. There was something warm on the side of his face. Ren shuttered and coughed as Jake moved away.
"Dude," Jake's breath was a shutter. "You really need to stop getting possessed..."
Ren laughed, eyes closed. His voice was scratchy and stuff. "Her names Alice."
"She misses him." He hissed softly.
Ren shook his head - oh, he was bleeding too - and took in another shakey breath. "I dont know, but she just kept saying 'i miss him' and 'where is he'..."
Jake sat slowly, leaving Ren on the floor - and stared down at him. "....she's-"
"A residual haunting." Ren said softly. "She's reliving something. It's not her messing things up, she’s just -"
There was a roaring from below - a ripping sound of books tearing and words falling apart. Shelves fell over - one after another - and slamed on the ground hard enoguht to rattle the books upstairs. Jake stumbled to his feet and peared over the railing - watched as the bookselves we blown into eachother. There was a figure at the front dest - black and dark and its presance made the hairs on Jake's arms raise. He suddenly felt sick.
"It's him." Ren said in a voice not all his own. Jake was happer this time - up here rather than down there.
"Ren, who is he?"
"Angus - the curator. He started the library..." Ren was talking throuhg clenched teath. He hadn't moved from the floor.
Jake was still for a moment. "...Dude, your going to have to tell me how you how this shit later...."
Jake then vaulted himself off of the second story railing into the mess below.
Ren felt like was was sufficating. There was a crusing feeling in his chest - like he was full and that he wasn't alone in his head. There were wispers and thoughts that didn't exactly belong to him. He remembered this feeling. This was the same feeling that he had in Minnesota. Possession - weaker, but he same.
The library was light - new and shining. The lighs were on - bright - the marble of the cealing perfect and pure. Everything looked new. Like it must have when the library first....
Ren sat up, carefully - watched his eyes and her's at the same time. They overlaped - little obscurities almsot slipping into place.
They stood carefully - she was shorter then he was, his arms were longer - but he cold do this. The feeling was awkward, but he could do it.
Jake hit the ground roaling, skidding over the books. Jake let his sholder grace one of the upheaved shelves to avoide falling into its immideat line. Jake rolled toward the nearest cover - topled over book shelves - aimed and fired.
His bullets whizzed right through the black mass. Jake cursed and ducked as books flew toward him, pushing himself as tightly as he couldto the toppled shelves. Slowly, the sound of voices rose over the sound of unnaturail wind - loud and everywhere.
Jake's heart beat was in his throat. His hand agains the shelves - and felt a carving udner his hand. Carved into the old wood was a pair of scripted letters - AG - an Jake had a moment of revelation before –
Ren was at the bottom of the stairs.
They made their way slowly down the stairs. In the center of the isle stood a man - dressed completly in black - a dark top hat. His skin was white - Ren's double vision left his face obscue. Her heart was beating fast - she had never done this before.
There was blinding rage in her - Ren could barley hold it back. His hands were shaking – hers – and he kept hearing ‘His fault, all of this is his fault’ and ‘destroying my library…’.
Ren saw the black mass getting closer - he was getting closer - and the wind in his ears was deffining. Ren could feel the cold, biting breeze - but her library was quiet and carefull. He drew the gun for her, and fired - quickly - in rapind succession into his chest.
A howl broke through the library - loud and feril. Someting pushed through Ren - ripped out and away - leaving him alone and very tired. His eyes shut before he hit the floor.
Jake watched, gun limp in his hands, as the shots Ren fired stopped within the black outline. It howled and broke apart - exploded - a buzzing sound made Jakes teeth hurt. Jake watches as a woman pulled herslef from Ren - pulled out, white and pale and dazzling. Ren fell without her there to hold him - but Jake was stunned with her beauty.
She landed softly on her feat - eyes white - and the bookshelfs around Jake picked themselves up. Jake fell back, sliding back agains the wall. The books fluttered like birds back into their proper position, like the last ten minuets unwoud itself - like this didn't happen at all.
She was in front of him before he had time to breath. Her hands were cold and on his face - smoothing away the blood. Her eyes were colorless - as was her hair - her breath soft and cold. She smelled like books, like vinalla. She said something, softly, her lips forming words that he couldn't heare. She smiled, then faded all together – taking his consciousness with her.
Jake woke up to Ren's voice.
"- no, we had a plesent time. He fell asleep while researching-"
Jake moved to tuck his gun into its holster - but his gun wasn't in his hand and he wasn't where he last remember being. Jake was staring up and the tile cealing. He was on the second floor - the railing was solid and cold agains his side. Ren's voice carrined carefully through library - careful. Jake turend and sat carefully - his head hurt. Ren had packed their shit up - his laptop bag close, Jakes bag cloed carefully. His jacket was under his head.
This was fucking weird.
"It went fine." Ren was saying. Jake just spotted his mop-head through the rails. "We got exactly what we were looking for. Thank you."
Ren stepped onto the second floor and stopped. He looked as bad as Jake felt. Jake sat carefully and rolled his stiff neck.
"It's 10." Ren said, something akine to irony in his eyes. "Lets go, lazy ass - we have work to do."
"Hey..." Ren said softly. He was fucking with his laptop - Jake was starting to fall into his bad mood again. "I found something."
"Well?" Jake asked.
"Alice Galsh. She was the first Liberian in this library - her and her husband opened it. He was a greedy man, apparently - this old paper says she committed suicide by-"
"-Jumping off the second story railing?"
Ren grinned, just a little. "Very good."
Jake wanted to smack him.
"That explains everything, I guess. The Man in Black, and the idea of the Lady."
"Why don't we find this shit out before hand?" Jake said. He hated Ren right now. Hated him.
Ren gave him a look - flat and pinched. "With what time?"
They didn't talk for five minuets.
Ren had a, ear peace cupped against his head. "Did she say something to you?"
"No." Jake lied. "Why?"
Ren screwed up his eyebrows, shrugged his shoulders, and put the ear peace down and moved to the bathroom.
"We're leaving in twenty, fairy. Hurry and powder your nose." Jake barked. Ren flicked a finger back at him and shut the door.
Jake all but dove toward the laptop - shoved the ear peace against his head and struggled to hit play. He could hear the end of the scuffle - the banishment was loud even over the recording. Jake waited, silence following. Then, static, as if said through a fan, a woman voice.
"Head east. All my luck to you."
Jake felt something cold settle in his chest.
They left in a rush, headed up into Utah.
~Man in black, Ladies in Brown, and flying books