Fiction Thursday

Unreleased: Part 1

Natalia slowly made her way down each aisle of the library that afternoon just as she has once a week for the past fifteen months. Row after row she ran her fingers along the spines of each book tiptoeing so her petite frame didn’t miss a single title on the dusty top shelves. Thousands upon thousands of books were stacked in neat rows in the large historic city library. She loved how the books were arranged side by side so that their insides could not be judged by their covers knowing that each book held its own world of wonders waiting to be visited. Although Natalia was an avid reader, she had her mind set on a specific book, one that she has been waiting to get her hands on for almost a year and a half. The book she was searching for was the fourth and final installment of her favorite series. She stumbled across the first three books a few years ago when she worked part time at a small inner-city bookstore that has since closed down. Two years ago, the fourth book was released but in such limited quantities that it has been impossible for Natalia to find. Countless hours have been spent searching the internet with no such luck. She wasn’t sure what captivated her interest more the story itself or the fact that the author, EJS and the books had no online footprint whatsoever. In this day in age that was almost unheard of even her grandmother had Facebook, liking every single photo of Natalia that was posted and commenting such things like, “It’s chilly you should have a jacket on.” She was surprised to find out the book was listed at the city’s largest library as checked out in which she immediately added herself to the wait list. That was fifteen long months ago as it was never returned. Natalia stopped in once a week to search for the long overdue book hopeful that the perpetrator felt so guilty about having kept the book for so long that they slipped it back onto a shelf without checking it in. Her roommate, Lorelai, would often tease her as she walked out the door on Tuesdays to head to the library. “You know there are like a billion other books out there, Nat. Let’s do something fun and get lunch or better yet day drinks!” Lorelai was Natalia’s best friend and always looking for a chance to celebrate life. After years of being captivated by the story and invested in the characters she couldn’t give up just yet.  

As she made her way down the coveted book’s assigned aisle her heart began to quicken with the possibility that today could be the day she finds it. Her mind wandered off imagining the many possibilities the book held for the loved character’s fate. The dystopian series follows a young woman named Lois determined to uncover the truth of what had happened to the world that once was. Lois was born and raised in a domed city that had everything. With a population of one million people the city was full of possibilities. There was no poverty and everything you could hope for was available to you. As a child she was taught that the world ended at the glass dome, but she always felt like there was more out there. One day she discovers an old globe in her grandfather’s attic and immediately begins to ask questions about what lies beyond the thick glass pane. Her inquiries are immediately shut down and she is told to never speak of this again. Behind her family’s back Lois is able to hack the system and uncover breathtaking pictures on the dark web of what the rest of the world looks like. After months of planning she makes an escape one night only to find miles and miles of emptiness. As she continues to walk on, she is surrounded by only blackness. Lost and alone she passes out from exhaustion and is later awoken up by a handsome man in a desolate city. Surrounded by war and destruction she is determined to uncover the truth even though her life is in danger now by those wanting to keep her quiet. The last book ended leaving the reader in suspense not knowing if Lois was dead or alive and if the handsome man who she was now falling in love with was really on her side or not.

“Good morning, Miss Popchanka.” Natalia’s daydreaming was interrupted by the soft stern voice of the librarian, Ms. Evelyn. Ms. Evelyn stood before Natalia, her brown inquisitive eyes were full of wisdom and playful youth despite the deep lines that adorned the dark skin of her face. “Good morning, Ms. Evelyn,” she said tucking her chin length dirty blonde hair behind her ear. “You know we will call you if the book is returned to us,” Evelyn said matter-of-factly with a hint of concern in her voice. Natalia laughed assuring the woman that she understands and is fine but would still like to continue looking. Shaking her head, the librarian shrugged and began to walk away. “Excuse me, Ms. Evelyn. I don’t suppose you could give me the name of the person who last checked the book out, could you?” she said with a hint of hope in her voice even though she knew what the answer was going to be. The old woman frowned, “Natalia, we have gone over this before. I can’t give that information out. We have tried to reach out many times as well. At this point it is unlikely that the book will be returned.” Much like the character in her favorite book, Natalia wasn’t going to accept no for an answer. She wished Evelyn a nice day and continued making her way up and down each aisle of the library for the next couple of hours before exiting the large mahogany doors that led to the streets of Philadelphia. As she made her way towards her car she texted Lorelai.

Natalia: Dinner tonight at Zavino?

Lorelai: I’m in! I get done class at 4:30. Any luck?

Natalia: Not today.

Lorelai: Bummer. This calls for some wine tonight!

Stay tuned every Thursday for a new chapter. Hope you enjoyed! Welcome to suggestions and opinions.