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Literary Corner: The Most Beautiful Library

| May 1, 2017 | 0 Comments

It really was the most beautiful library. Since its groundbreaking and controversial 27 Your Nextrenovation, every wall had turned from stone to glass, which meant the entire city block glowed from sunset until closing. The adjudicator approached the building from the northeast corner of the intersection, crossing with the light and carrying a hardcover volume of Ezra Pound tucked under his arm.

But as he threaded through the line of parked cars to the sidewalk, he noticed caution tape looping several young saplings and iron support beams into a square. Inside lay the body of a woman, not young but young-seeming, blonde but with gray roots. The red liquid pooling around her gave the illusion that her vermillion dress had melted in the summer heat and spilled itself onto the pavement.

He recognized her. She was the American defense attaché to Panama who’d recently been caught up in some sort of scandal, the news said.

The adjudicator’s eyes followed the yellow evidence markers past her body to the book laying open just beyond her slack fingers. A half-torn page with the words ‘you’re next’ scrawled in black Sharpie across it flapped limply in the breeze from passing cars.

He shook off the image as he pushed through the library door into the voluminous entryway. He took the sculpted stairs rather than the elevator to the third floor, and walked through the grand reading room to the stacks. He then shelved the book he’d been carrying. This was against library policy, but it hardly mattered since the book didn’t belong to the library anyway.

He slid a finger down its spine and smiled as he walked away, thinking of the half-torn page inside with the words ‘you’re next’ scrawled across it—this time in red.

Mary Elizabeth Summer is the author of the young-adult Trust Me mystery series. She lives in Beaverton with her wife, their daughter, their dog, and their evil overlor—er, cats.

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Category: Beaverton Voice, Literary Corner

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