I was reading to the creature when it dragged itself out of the corner once again. I could hear its body scraping against the floor, the labored stretch of its legs trying to reach me. I didn’t turn around to look at it, not wanting to spook it, and continued on with the story. Eventually, the creature reached my side and perched on the floor next to me.
It reached for me with one of its front legs, tapping my hand gently, taking great care not to stab me with its sharpness. After a moment’s thought, I placed my hand on its furry body. I was incredibly cautious, trying to gauge its reaction. It appeared to like my attentions, so I began to stroke it. I was petting it almost like a dog, but it responded like a cat, a heavy, loud purr starting up deep in its belly.
That’s when I began to wonder if something was seriously wrong with our creature.
As the renovations continued, my mother gave me a new job – focus entirely on our library guardian.
She had to direct the renovations, of course, and supervise – that meant she had to be there for repainting the walls, tearing down the shelves and putting up new ones, painting a new mural on the back wall, installing a new front desk. Unfortunately, we could no longer leave the creature alone – it seemed to crave a kind of companionship, and it couldn’t stand to be left alone in the basement. If it was down there alone for too long, it would send up a mournful kind of screeching. If banshees existed, well, that’s the noise they’d make, let me tell you.