46: Today Is Not A Good Day To Die

Garry can’t see anything. All he can do is feel his way along the walls, trying to get away from the banshee. He ran at first, but now he’s shuffling along, hoping there is another Way Out. It took him a while to realise the walls were not walls. It took him longer than it would probably take anyone else to realise, because his antibacterial hand gel is upstairs somewhere, and he didn’t want to come into contact with anything for very long if he could help it. In the end, it wasn’t the lack of uniform shapes or the feel of the things that revealed their true nature. No, it was the smell, that musty old scent of years and years of knowledge and age old ink that told Garry that these walls were made of books, and lots of them.

Garry is 91% anxiety now. He would feel better if he knew the books were covered in cling-film, if there was only some kind of barrier between him and them. He tries to convince himself they have been stored in a protective covering, but when he reaches out his hand, there is only paper.

There have been so many twists and turns on his run that he imagines he’s in some kind of maze. He has no sense of where he is at all. He wishes the music would start again. He knows he would be okay if the music was there. The music made him invincible. Now, he thinks, he is going to die down there. He wonders will he ever be found, or will he just be another name in a list of missing persons? He can’t go on. He doesn’t know which way is forward, which way is back. He can’t even see his own hand in front of his face. The darkness settles on him and pushes him further into himself, into his despair.

Garry thinks about the baked potato he was going to eat by the side of the river, on the bench he was going to cover with cling-film. He thinks about his heart. Today, his heart has been all sizes. He thinks how it started out this morning as a withered thing, something that was beyond all hope. And then it swelled when the music came, and nearly burst out of his chest. Garry imagines all the white blood cells doing a repair job inside him, inside the chambers of his heart. He knows they were there. He knows his heart is a stronger heart than the one that entered the library earlier that day. Thinking these thoughts brings his anxiety down to 73%.

Garry decides that he will not die today. He decides he will face his fears and try to find his way out of the book-maze. He feels his heart bumping quickly in his chest. By just thinking about the music, Garry has harnessed its power and made himself brave again. All that matters to him now is finding his way back to the monitors and getting the power back on. He has never been part of a team before, but he likes it a lot. He likes the feeling of working for the greater good. He will fix the power for the greater good of all his new workmates. Even though he had no intention of changing jobs when he awoke that morning. He only went to the library to do research on his ailing heart. But now Garry feels that working in this library is something he was born to do. He doesn’t even mind that he has to be called Garry from now on. He didn’t like his old name much anyway. Reaching his hands out to touch both walls of books, he shakes his head like a lion and strides back in the direction he came. He is 51% pure adrenaline.

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