"It would appear the rumors are true folks!-"
The man on the little rectangular radio announced with great excitement. He almost sounded out of breath. The sound of a massive and colorful crowd roared behind him.
"The League of Librarians- *huff* -have discovered a new continent!"
Elias was sitting under a tree with the radio beside his feet. He was with Kristen, who was lounging in the grass on the other side of it, working on her unfinished homework. Both of them jumped a little at the announcement.
Elias raised his back off the tree's trunk and grabbed the frail little radio. Its innards clunking together as he inadvertently shook it.
"You heard that, Kristen?" Elias said as he turned around, radio still in hand.
"Sure did.." she said, though she had a pause before continuing.
"Hmph.. I'm willing to bet that they knew about this place for years- before even saying anything!"
Kristen sat herself up to face Elias. She found him staring at her with a grave look of disdain. In return, Kristen gave Elias a smirk and punched him on the shoulder, her force almost knocking him back.
"Im joking man! Gah.."
Elias loosened his face but didn't say anything. 'She was probably serious' he thought as he rolled his eyes and turned back to the radio. She always believed in those incredibly silly Librarian conspiracy theories.
The radio was silent, except for a few moments of static screeching. Elias fiddled with the base of the antenna but to no avail.
"Oh great." he said as he stuffed the rickety old thing into his backpack.
Kristen peeked her head over Elias's shoulder
"That piece of junk is on its last wings, man. Why don't we head down to the Skyport and see the Librarians for ourselves?"
"No no that's okay" Elias replied
"I can't handle crowds well... so you can go without me"
A short moment of silence washed over them, and Kristen could tell Elias was getting very upset about something. 'It definitely wasn't the radio..'
Kristen tried to study the reason for his sulk, but in the process, an idea popped into her head.
“Hey Elias! I’ve been wanting to show you something for a while!” She said as she stood up.
Elias wobbled to his feet and looked off into the distance, as if he had somewhere to be.
“Uh.. Cant it wait til’ tomorrow?” he protested
She grabbed his hand and began running. Elias was jolted by her strength and he ended up running too.
They sped past the bustling marketplace, full of vendors trying to sell them street food. They bumped into pedestrians, guards- Kristen was so excited about this!
“Sorry!- Im sorry!- Excuse us!” Elias humbly pardoned as many as he could, but Kristen couldn’t care less.
They arrived at a thin-looking wall. A massive hole was bore through it, but it was covered by a rigid, flat sheet of tin. It looked like construction began here, but was abandoned for whatever reason.
“Is this the surprise? An unfinished wall?” Elias asked sarcastically.
“Its a walled up alley. I found something inside- Something you would love.” Kristen replied.
Upon touching the sheet of tin or metal, it was flabby, almost paper-like. Elias pushed it inwards to let it fall over. A long alley was found at the other side. It was cold and dark, even when there had been no roof, and the blue afternoon sky could be seen above. At the end of the hall, was a trap-door on the ground. Dust and grime polluted it, yet Elias had the sense that it had been recently made.
“Well!? Go on!” Kristen said as she shoved him in even further.
The cool air and musky scent took over him, and they both headed towards the trap-door. Kristen broke into a sprint to reach it before him. She crouched over and began to pull without hesitation.
As she struggled to get it open, she tried to break the silence and confusion with an explanation.
“I found this- hng- a while back… I wanted to save it for your birthday… but-”
The door opened with an overwhelming crack. Almost like it had been destroyed. Dust scattered across and clouded the area. Kristen fell back and sat beside it, accomplished.
“I figured- Why wait?” Kristen huffed
Elias approached the hole quietly. As he got closer, the object came into view. It was a book… a book that had intricate designs and writings. The spelling was off as it was written in an old version of their language- Old Sprei. As he got closer he made out all the mold and cracks that had been done over the years. It was an extremely old book; the cover seemed to be turning into dirt itself.
“By the Spine…It can’t be!”
Elias reached in and lifted up the heavy book. It felt much more intact than how it looked. He unlatched the cover and opened it up. Dust flew across his face, but he didn’t care
“It’s a Maj-Compendium!”
The book was scribbled with seemingly abundant information of the world and the creatures that lived on it. Some pages had things that have never been known about- by the public at least! Elias grabbed a heap of pages to reach the end quicker, but what he found were empty pages. He flipped back a few to find strange and cryptic symbols, and even further back he found a chapter name.
“Spells and Rituals…” Elias whispered loud enough for Kristen to hear.
“Magic isn’t real though.. Right?”
Elias and Kristen stared deeply at the page for a few moments before Kristen broke the silence. “So how old is this thing anyway?”
“Well in history we learned that these books were all burned during the great cataclysm...like 300 years ago.. Its weird that you were able to find one out here like this.”
They stared again at the book. How unusual- something this old should have been decomposed to dust by now.
Suddenly a voice called out from the other side.
“Hey! You two! You’re not supposed to be in here!”
It was a guardswoman! Elias quickly stuffed the book into his pack and hurried out.
“Sorry, ma’am! Won’t happen again” Elias pleaded as they wobbled out of the wall's hole.
"Teens.." the woman growled to herself
"You guys find the weirdest places to do it..."
Elias and Kristen headed back to the tree, but before they turned the corridor, Kristen halted him.
"Oh, almost forgot! I'm going to the Skyport, coming?"
"That's alright ill just go home." Elias replied
"Suit yourself, man"
She rolled her eyes and trotted off into the other direction
"Oh uh- Thanks for the book!" Elias yelled, just a bit too late. Kristen was gone.
Elias stood there in the campus alone for a moment. He debated if he should go to the Skyport. But his fear of crowds got to the better of him. The fear that stopped him from being with his best friend almost every time.
He ran home.