Within The Library: The Inkwell Weekly Fiction Prompt #8


My name is Kelechi. And I love a good thriller.

Thrillers are the only genre that have the ability to capture and hold my attention. Be it movies or books. I enjoy the intrigue, the conspiracies, the actions and the suspense a good thriller provides. I just love how the characters battle evil with their wit and guile and always emerge victorious.

But I'm not a character in a novel. And I'm at my wit's end.

A strange man had dropped a cryptic message in our Community Library, here in Ikotun Lagos. It said there would be a hit tonight in a school field. I've racked my brain to the moon and back, and for the life of me, I couldn't figure out who the victim was and which field he would be killed on.

Now, the decoded message lay in front of me, staring at me just as I stared at it. I was no longer interested in the book I had been reading. It was just a story.

This was real life. And real life was more fun.

I looked around, everyone in the library was focused on their reading. Mrs. Rosa was busy with her laptop. I felt aloof, higher than them all. I knew a secret. Something big they didn't know about.

Not knowing what else to do, I decided to let this play out and watch it unfold.

Taking the Sidney Sheldon novel, I got up from my desk and returned it to the shelf, still with the message I had just decoded. I returned to my seat.

I we going to wait for the recipient of the message. Even if it took all day.

While waiting, I tried to focus on the Dan Brown novel before me, but I just couldn't. My eyes kept drifting to the door, keeping track of who was coming and going.

That's why the moment he entered about forty minutes later, I knew it. Just like his predecessor, he had the strange aura around him, looking like one who didn't belong in the library. He was also dressed in polo and jeans and he had a nose mask on. The mask covered almost half his face.

This guy didn't approach Mrs.Rosa, instead he went straight to the shelves and stopped at the one right beside me. Then after a short perusal, picked the Sidney Sheldon book I had just dropped.

I felt my heart skip a beat. He had gone there as if he knew what he had been looking for.

Trying to hide my curiosity and excitement, I peeked at him over the top of my book as he took a seat.

He didn't waste time at all. He simply went to the back of the book and found the page with the message. He didnt use Google like me, he obviously knew the entire alphabets of the Morse Code by heart.

In less than ten minutes, he was done. I saw him take out a phone and sent a text message. Then he took out a pencil eraser and cleaned off the message.

That was why it had been written in pencil not ink. To clean their tracks.

Finally done, the strange guy adjusted his nose mask and got up. Then with the same brisk movement, he returned the book to its slot in the shelf.

He began to walk out.

As he did, I tried to think clearly. What the hell was going on here? Did be know the particular school field? Did he know who the intended victim was?

He had to, these cryptic messages were made for a reason.

As he approached the door, I wondered what message he had sent earlier on his phone, I really wanted to know. I felt this indescribable urge to find out all I could about all this.

And so, before I could change my mind, I got up from my chair just as he walked through the doors. I didn't bother to put the Dan Brown back on the shelf as I hurried through the row of the shelves.

"Kelechi!" Mrs. Rosa called, surprise in her voice. "Are you going already?"

"No, I'm coming back soon." I told her, she knew my usual time to leaving the library was six pm in the evening. Just around the time they locked up for the night. "Just need to step outside for a bit."

"But..." Her words were lost as I tore through the doors, letting them swing shut behind me.

I was in the crowded city of Ikotun. Yellow commercial buses blared their horns, engines revved as traders advertised their wares using speakers and their voices. It was high noon, and the sun was beating down on Lagos really hard.

I didn't notice any of these things, I looked around, my eyes scanning the people walking to and fro, jostling for position on the crowded road.

Then I saw him. The strange guy I was looking for, walking towards the park.

I didn't think, I simply began to follow him. I had no idea where the determination was coming from. But I badly wanted to get to the root of the matter.

So the plan was to follow this strange man, even if it meant following him all the way to tomorrow.

So this story continues my previous post "Within The Pages" from last week's prompt. And i hope to continue it in next week's prompt as well.
Thank you for reading.

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