Not all the lights - just half of them. The ones on the other half of the aisle. The silence is sudden and deafening. I'm frozen, hand half on a book a century old, eyes wide staring at the shadows. The air is stagnant; not a person flips the page of their book, or types a word on their laptop. And there is that shadow at the end of the aisle. I keep watching it, afraid to look at my own shadow. For a second, I thought I heard someone say, "Hey, who turned out the lights?"
I'm in the library, looking for a book to read. I think I've finally cracked the system, and found where all the fiction has been hidden away. I have the call number of a potential author as reference. I find a book, and then, reveling in my newfound intelligence, decide to look for another book, all on my own. The author is British - Gaiman, Niel - so I head to the section marked 'English Literature.' I find last names close in the alphabet, and I turn down the aisle. I immediately notice something is wrong. The books here are all old and faded - Gaiman is a contemporary author. I glance next to me: the spine is ornate, and it is one of many volumes. The size is only that of an index card, and the print seems archaic, the spelling outdated. The system here shows the publication date in the call number, but I still can't believe what I see. I take the book off the shelf, and gently open to something resembling a copyright page. There it is, plain as day: 'Published 1802.'
I exit the library, books in hand, marveling at what I was able to find after wandering the labyrinth of the tower. I step out the door, and the wind hits me, almost pushing me back inside. It carries with it the strong scent of nicotine from all of the smokers banished to patio. For some reason, it seems like proximity to the library is enough to motivate ones self to do their work. The smell is sweet and toxic. I cough, and hurry on.
The sky is orange. Not the blood red orange of a burning city, nor the brilliant orange of a dazzling sunset, but the grey, electric orange of a street lamp on a highway. The sky is covered in clouds - unusual for this area of the world - and they trap all the light that usually escapes into the night sky, obliterating the stars. Two bright lights dance on the clouds - spotlights, for something downtown, no doubt. As I walk with the warm breeze, I come to the realization that night can never really fall in this city. Here, the dark sky is merely an illusion.