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The Wæccan Book – Flash Fiction

A new day. Another day when nothing will happen and that is good. I could not wait to catalog the new book collections. My foot stopped just around the corner. A yellow police line taped up in front of the library. The door was gone and my boss was talking with a police officer.

She waved and called me. I took a deep breath and walked my body across the street. Nothing’s strange beside the front door. Why would someone break into a library? I could not recall anything valuable inside. “Alfonso. My only full-time staff.” She introduced me to the policeman, Jeff.

He explained to me that they found the library’s door splintered this morning and they tried to contact my boss and me. Apparently, my phone died and I thought I could charge it in the library. No witnesses and no footage in the area so they needed my help to check if something’s missing. My boss wouldn’t be able to help them indeed because she only comes into the library twice a month. Our interns finished their contract last week and don’t get me started on how weird the employment system is. Deep down, I’m glad that I bought snacks at two in the morning today. My alibi would prove me innocent.

I still tried to imagine why would someone bother to get into a library. Sure, our security was weak. We have almost nothing worth securing. Some books are expensive but it’s not easy money. I scanned the first floor and nothing’s missing or even moved. A secret chamber? The idea popped up. Impossible. The layout didn’t provide the possibility.

A plain leather book blended in the rows of books in one of the cabinet. Almost everyone would miss it except a bookworm who has worked here passionately for years. wæccan was written on the cover. The Old English word for ‘watch.

“Do you find anything’s strange?” Jeff caught up.

“Nope, nothing’s missing.” I slid the book into my bag.

My boss needed to fix the door so I was sent home and took a couple of days off. Jeff said he would contact us if he found any lead. I think it was the end of the investigation. I opened up the book as soon as I went home. Long Live the King, the first page said. The page was yellowish. Written by inks, graphite, and crayon. It didn’t match up with the symbols and Latin words.

“Older than the trees, younger than the mountains,” on the last page. I almost sing ‘growing like a breeze… country roads~’ before I stumble upon my full name at the bottom right of the page. Alfonso Edison Raffles. This book was meant for me. I would much appreciate it if they send it to me directly or put it in the library without breaking in. I’m lucky that I have a couple of days to translate them with my collection of dictionaries.

Photo by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash