The Keeper (pt17)

I wondered why they did it. Why now. I sat down on the swing next to the boy, our tears as silent as each other’s. All I could think about was our last conversations. Was it the talk about the Official? The mention of doing something? Something that none of us could do? All the power they had left, with all of the power contained within their magic, seemed to be the power to make sure their father wasn’t caught harbouring magicians and their tomes.

Or was it that? Was it the slow drain of their very being, caused by their incarceration, necessitated for their own safety. From the fear of what would happen if they were discovered.

The boy eventually left. I tried to make it so it didn’t look like I had been crying when I finally went home. I would have to do this for many months.

The Keeper (pt16)

My thoughts filled with the Keeper. Only them. “But what about them?”

The boy still didn’t look at me, but as he wiped his face with his sleeve I knew the answer. Why we couldn’t go together. Why no one could go anymore.

The Keeper had closed the way. No one to get in or out. Not even them.

I wondered if they were still playing their pocket pet, or if it was already too late. The Librarian’s avoidance seemed to be my memory causing me direct pain. Of course it was. If it wasn’t…

No, if the Keeper closed the way, there would be nothing the Librarian could do. This I was certain of. He wouldn’t have let them do that. All I could imagine was that it happened while the Official was there, because he would have stopped them otherwise. With the Official there… a death sentence, not only for the Keeper, but for everyone. For the library. For the tomes that the Keeper sealed.

The Keeper (pt15)

I followed him to the park, hearing him sniffle without seeing it. When I thought about it, his eyes had looked rather red.

We arrived at the park before too long and he ran over to the abandoned, swing set, jumping onto one of the seats and letting the motion carry him back and forth. “We can’t go together anymore.”

His words made no sense. “What?”

“No one can go anymore. It’s closed off.”

I stared at him, understanding not nearing as one might think it would. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“They closed everything off.” His words came closer to home and I suddenly realized what he might be referring to. “So we can’t go together anymore.”

The Librarian’s hollow eyes.

Looking for Shachaf

“I’m looking for my brother.”

The man on the bench stared at Zamir as though he were speaking another language. If Zamir hadn’t seen him speaking and listening in this language just the day before, he would have thought he’d gotten the wrong man. For man it was, despite the feathers which grew from his skull in place of hair.

“Shachaf. I know you worked with him. I’ve seen you talk before.”

The standstill held a moment longer, before the avian man broke out in a wide grin. His teeth were impossibly crooked. “Looking for the person who does the looking?”

Zamir sighed. Why had Shachaf dealt with such people all the time?