Author's Notes: This is the first part of the first chapter of Believe in Things Unseen. I know its long, and I'm going to have to figure out a better way to upload the chapters since it seems that all of them are going to be this long, at least here on fictionpress. I'll figure out how to upload them in managable bites for my readers. The scond part will be uploaded soon and I'll make sure to title the chapters so its quick and easy to know where you are. Hope you enjoy.
Believe in Things Unseen
Bridget slammed her Finite mathematics book shut and leaned back in the plastic chair she had been sitting in for the last hour and a half. The university library was silent, basically devoid of life. Even the elderly librarian behind the circulation desk had scuttled off somewhere. Bridget sighed quietly and stood, gathering her papers and notebooks from where she had tossed them across the table and started to put them back in order.
"First math, literature, and reporting," she muttered softly, tossing the shoulder length black hair out of her face, "then speech, geology, and done."
She straightened as she snapped the clip on her messenger bag together and glanced around the study room she was in. Empty, as usual, except for her and a dove grey moth that fluttered against one of the stained glass windows. She watched it try to escape for a moment longer before heaving the bag onto her shoulder and moved towards the exit.
Bridget Kelley was a tall, heavyset girl of twenty. She moved with an exaggerated care that made her look graceful, but slightly awkward as walked. She jumped slightly as she caught her reflection in an old mirror that hung in the landing of the stairs and sighed, pushing the hair out of her face again.
She looked at her reflection in the mirror, her slate grey eyes moving over the round, tired looking face and the carelessly dawned B429 band tee-shirt she had found five minutes before class earlier that morning. She smirked as she looked at the self decorated blue jeans that she had created with her pen during speech a few hours ago, nodding in agreement with herself. The dragon on her thigh looked awesome.
"Fatty, fatty two-by-four, can't fit through that kitchen door," she sang, shaking her hips as she moved towards the stairs.
The old stairs echoed with her footsteps, the old wood creaking as she descended. Bridget smiled quietly and took in a deep breath as she usually did of the stale ink, paper, and pine scented floor cleaner filled air and chuckled. The library was her home away from her home-away-from-home.
As a sophomore and daughter of two influential alumni, Bridget knew the Sherriel B. Honeycut Memorial Library better than most of the people on the custodial staff, which made her feel comfortable staying in the old building long after the library officially closed. If she needed to, she could always duck down the rarely used tunnels that ran behind the bookshelves on the first floor, and escape any potential trouble. She let her hand rest lightly on the black oak railing that ran down the center of the main staircase.
When she reached the bottom of the she shifted the bag on her shoulder and reached up to run her fingers over the gold wing of the hawk in flight statue that was firmly attached to the banister. She looked at the statue for a moment and dusted her hand over the beak to knock a cobweb off and smiled.
"Still all alone," she said as she finished dusting the statue off and looked around the main lobby and sighed, moving towards the circulation desk. "As usual."
A light shone from under the closed door of the librarian's office as she moved to lean against the round desk. She frowned before ringing the little silver bell that was labeled 'ring for assistance'.
"Good night Mrs. Winchester," she called as she slid the books from the edge of the desk more towards the center so they wouldn't be knocked off. She started towards the double doors, not thrilled with the aspect of the long cold walk back to the dorm.
A small woman with close-cropped silver hair and a slight limp moved out of the office. "Oh, good, Bridget dear, I thought I had just missed you," she said with a lopsided smile as she moved over to the desk with a blue folder. "You really must have a look at this."
Bridget stopped and smiled as she slid back over to the little woman and leaned against the counter, "Another present for little old me, Mrs. W?"
The woman chuckled and climbed up on a three-legged stool that had been shoved under the lip of the desk, nodding quietly. "Ah, false innocence. You know it's a present for you, dear." She slid the folder over the Bridget as she continued. "Marge sent me these yesterday. She thought they'd be useful in that little project you've been working on."
Bridget was quickly flipping through the contents of the folder with a smile growing over her face, nodding as she tucked the folder safely under her arm.
"Thanks a lot, and thank Ms Marge for me as well. They're perfect," she said nodding as she moved towards the door. "I've got to get going talk to you tomorrow?"
"Of course, dear, but don't forget tomorrows a half day for us," said the librarian nodding as she hopped down off of the stool and shoved it back into its place.
"Right," she said frowning slightly, she had already forgotten. "Guess I'll see you whenever I see you. Drive safely, its slick out there."
She chuckled and waved as she shouldered the door open and stepped into the cold and damp November night. She secured the folder in her left hand as she adjusted her shoulder strap and jumped down the steps that lead to the library and turned left towards the center of campus.
It had been raining for the last several weeks and the fall leaves were plastered on the slick concrete walkways and bronze statue that dotted the square. Bridget made it a point to step on every acorn she came across, taking delight in the sight of the yellow-orange smear the flesh of the seed left.
She passed the chapel, humming softly as she did. She glanced over at the stained glass saints. Bridget frowned as the figures glared down at her with black eyes, their cold eyes felt as if they were following her as she stopped in front of the figure of Saint Paul and looked up.
As she watched something passed behind the glass, a sudden flash of light that illuminated the glass from the inside. She took a step back, her hand gripped the strap of her bag as an all too familiar chill ghosted its way up her spine and across her skin.
"Too weird for tonight," she muttered and turned to leave. As she did she stepped on something soft that was connected to a yelp and a hand that grabbed her wrist as she tried to step back.
"Gah! Will you watch where you're going, Killer?" said the tall lean man with long, but obviously died, black hair as he adjusted his waistcoat.
Bridget didn't look at him as she knelt down and scrambled to gather the papers and pictures from the wet sidewalk. "Watch yourself, J.," she snapped.
The man sighed and knelt down to help her, the stones on his rings caught the light in a rainbow of cubic zirconium colors. "What's got your knickers in a twist, girl? You look," he said, as he handed her the last of the papers, "kind of wigged out."
She shook her head and sighed as she secured the papers and stood. "I've… just been stressed is all."
J. stood and tossed his hair over his shoulder and smiled as he shook his head, the white contacts that he wore gave him an unreal look. "The Killer, stressed? Now that is weird." He smiled and offered her his arm. "Shall I escort you to your abode?"
She smirked despite her annoyance and looped her arm through his and allowed him to lead her across the square and towards the residence halls.
"Weird is what I was going for, my friend. My question is, though, what are you doing out and about on such a lovely night?" she looked over at him as they walked.
J. shrugged and smirked as they waited to let a couple of cars pass the one way street that lead to one of the administration buildings. "Oh, prowling, you know. Hoping to bump into a lovely lady," he said with a falsely sweet tone. "Though I'm not even asking you what you were out doing at eleven at night without a chaperone."
Bridget shrugged and spoke at the same time as J as she said, "Just doing some school work."
"Am I that predictable?" she said looking over at him with a smirk.
"Yes," he said as he put an arm around her shoulders. "I know you like a book though, so you're only predictable to me."
"Glad I'm on your best seller's list," she said as she slid her arm around his waist and smirked as she saw some of the looks she was getting from the campus queens as they passed.
After a ten minute walk J. opened the door the Kennedy Hall, the girls' dormitory. "Home safe and sound, milady fair," he said as he kissed her hand lightly.
She smirked and held onto his hand, as she moved towards the stairs. "Do you want to come up?"
J. looked as if he might follow her into the building but stopped as he shook his head sighing. "I can't," he said looking regretful. "I've got to get some work done for my final paper. You know I'd love to though." He reached out and ran his hand through her hair quietly, as she looked disappointed.
"I understand," she said smiling as he caressed her cheek. "Maybe tomorrow afternoon?"
He nodded and kissed her on both cheeks as he moved down the stairs. "You should get some rest too, kid. You look like hell."
"And you look like a dandy," she snapped back as she jerked the door to the hall open. "See you tomorrow."
He waved in response and smirked as he bowed and turned towards The Hill, where his own dormitory could be seen positioned at the top of the hill.
Bridget moved into the lobby of the residence hall and looked around quietly. The sitting area was abandoned and the television off, a defiantly odd sight. There was always at least one person hiding down there to catch the midnight airing of one show or another. She moved towards the elevator and punched the call button as she looked down the hall, where two freshmen girls were cackling as they moved from the kitchen to their room with a bowl of popcorn and some sodas. She shook her head and gratefully stepped into the elevator just as the doors opened and punched the button again to close them and take her to the fifth floor.
When the doors opened again she was greeted by the mixed sounds of too loud music, video games, and the telltale sign that one of her neighbors had brought her latest boy toy home.
"Thank you Daddy for the private room," she muttered as she put the purple and black painted key into the lock of the door that had the name Bridget Teresa Kelley displayed above the door and sighed.
She stuck her hand in to feel for the light switch and her small room came into view. There were books and notebooks scattered across the floor and any other surface she had been able to put them on, clothes stuck out of the dresser drawers, and the closet wouldn't close properly because of the boxes piled up inside. Across from the door, in front of the window was a laptop that hummed in the silence of the room. She threw her bag onto the bed and leaned against the chair as she opened the screen as a soft tone came from the speakers to alert her to the new message she had just received.
There were five new e-mails, three private messages, and a reminder for her to download the latest updates for her computer. Bridget sighed and shook her head as she closed the screen on her lap top and moved back towards the over stuffed chest of drawers to pull out underwear and her favorite Tinker Bell pajamas, and proceeded to the bathroom. She locked both doors leading into the bathroom, though she was pretty sure her bathroom-mate wouldn't need it any time soon by the sound of what was going on in the room next door.
She turned the water on to let it warm up, the old pipes rattled and whined as she stripped down and climbed in, grabbing a wash cloth from her side of the towel caddy. She smiled slightly as she felt the hot water pour over her, and pressed her forehead to the cool tiles, she enjoyed the sight sting of the cold ceramic as she closed her eyes and relaxed there for a few minutes.
The day had been long and not enjoyable for her. The failed sociology test. An overly excited teacher who had decided that they didn't need to turn in their final projects (which she had been working on since the start of the term) because he had been given another job at a bigger university. And another bout of public humiliation had been the high points of her day.
Bridget sighed and pushed herself away from the wall and finished her shower quickly. She shut off the water, toweled off and dressed, unlocked the neighbor's door an locked her own as she moved back into her room making a 3 pointer with her dirty clothes and towel as she made a clean basket with her laundry hamper. She grabbed her messenger bag and dragged it over to her desk, along with the folder that Mrs. Winchester had given her, and stared at the little square of hardware perfectly centered on her desk.
She sighed as the sound of a bird squawking signaled she had another new email. Instead of pulling the screen up and immediately checking it, like she usually would she sighed and threw the folder down onto the computer and shut off the external speakers she had hooked up to it. "Check it later," she muttered as she looked up through her faux bay window.
A very much in demand view of the old Dogwood Park, a large oval area that in the spring had flowerbeds full of wildflowers and roses. A few concrete benches were circled around a fountain that was turned off for the winter.
The park had once been the center of town back when the town had first been established. The school had built around it to give the students a place to play and a place to visit with their family when they were given the oh-so-loved break in classes and school activities. Bridget had seen pictures of the park on one of the field days and though the park was beautiful now, it had been amazingly gorgeous back at the turn of the century.
Bridget took another look out over the park and reached up to pull the cord to let her blinds down. She paused, her hand on the cord and frowned as a shadow moved across the park. Whoever it was vaulted over the low wall and moved down the gentle slow towards the chapel. She frowned watching as they disappeared, shoving a strand of wet hair out of her face.
"Late night run?" she frowned and shrugged, letting the blind fall and tumbled into her bed, hiding under a mountain of pillows and blankets, muttering quietly to herself as she settled into sleep.