Chapter 1: Moldy Books in the Woods

The refrigerator door slammed shut a few times before Chloe sighed and stood to leave her bedroom. It was the sign that her mother needed to head to bed, before she started searching the rest of the kitchen for knives. Hesitating one moment more, Chloe clicked her tongue and watched a fat beagle saunter into view.

“Alright, you ready to go out, boy?”

“Oh, Bitty, no no! Please don’t take Walter out tonight, it’s raining,” Chloe Hurting’s mother pleaded while pacing the room.

“We’ll only be gone about five minutes! Plus, I’ve already got him excited about it,” Walter’s tail seemed to wag even harder as Chloe took his leash off of a shelf.

“Oh, dear, oh, dear, oh, dear, oh, dear,”

“Mum, it’s time for your vitamins anyway. Don’t worry we’ll be back in five minutes!”

“It’s eight o’clock?”

“It’s eight o’clock,” Chloe reassured her.

“Alright, Bitty, but it’s no good in a storm like this, no good at all.” Her daughter thrust a glass of water and three oddly shaped pills into her hands.

“Let me see them all gone,” reluctantly, Chloe’s mother swallowed, “now lie down, I’ll just be five minutes.”

“Yes, dear, five minutes,” her mother sleepily shuffled over to her bed and flopped down on it, snoring immediately.

Chloe then grabbed Walter’s leash and practically ran out of the building into the storm. The storm turned out to be a bit of light rain. Lying to her mother like that bothered Chloe, but Amelia Hurting refused to take sleeping pills. That wasn’t the only lie, though; Chloe planned on spending almost the whole night out. Walter danced in place waiting for the signal to cross the street.

“Okay! Let’s go, Walter!”

The two friends ran across the street and into the entrance of West Token Woods. The beagle put his nose to the ground and led his companion deeper and deeper into the empty woods, only stopping once to do his business. Peeking around a bush, Walter shot off as fast as his fat, old legs could carry him. Chloe ran to catch up, whistling Walter in the right direction.

It wasn’t long before the trees thinned and a dark,┬ádilapidated building came into view. Ivy had crept its way up the dark walls, hiding the old brick. Even the old sign was split in half, hanging like a ghost over the front doors. It only read “We- -n Lib-y”, but it once was the city library. Now it was broken and had been condemned years ago. No one had read out of books for decades, so libraries quickly went out of style. Well, physical ones anyway.

Chloe shoved Walter through a broken window to the left of the doors before jumping in herself. But as she looked around, she noticed something wasn’t right.

“Walter?” there was no bark, but some distant whining in the Science Fiction section. Chloe headed towards it. “Walter? What’s the matter, boy?”

“Nothing’s wrong with Walter, Chloe, but we definitely have a problem.” Chloe stared at the boy in front of her; it was Edwin, her best friend. “Dog’s aren’t allowed in the library.”

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