Everything buckled and shook for a few moments. I heard the distant pop, pop, pop of books falling off the shelves upstairs and striking the wooden floor. The wood of the building creaked and groaned, unaccustomed to the violence the shaking was putting it through.
The knife in my stomach bounced in its wound feeling... well... like a knife in my stomach. An altogether unpleasant feeling that I shall avoid in the future if I am given the choice, I decided.
Caleb put his hands out as if he were balancing on a ship. He took a step backward and nearly slipped in Darling’s blood but maintained an upright position.
The floor beneath us buckled. Had the pine been fresh and been cut in this century it may have lasted the beating, but reaching nearly a century it began to crack and splinter at the joints. I watched as the main floor of the library bulged and rippled before breaking in one long crack down the center.
The board of directors wasted no time getting out of the way. I watched as a few of them dragged Natalie clear and under one of the small tables of the children’s area. None of them went near their fallen leader, Carol Anne Kinney. The black split that ripped through the main floor and into the basement swallowed her.
A cables were exposed and strained, a few breaking loose and causing loose sparks as they touched the cold iron of the pipes. I could see insulation and and heating ducts breaking loose and spraying who knows what up in a fine mist.
Then it was over. A few books continued to fall, but the shelving seemed stable. Caleb still had the revolver trained on the board members and even though I was pretty sure the gun contained no more bullets they made no move to leave.
It would not have mattered if they had. During the quake their hoods had fallen and each of their faces was exposed. There was not doubt and between Caleb and I we could send each of these prominant citizens to jail right now. The question came, though, who would take them?
Captain Stein and Detective Parker, the most prominent administrative and investigative members of the police force had both been shot by Darling earlier tonight. I had assumed at the time they had been circumstance shootings; they had tried to stop him and he had reacted. But now, as I lay on the library floor with a knife in my gut, I wondered if they were targets. I wondered if this whole night had been a plan engineered for some goofy ritual thing the intention of which seemed, well, my dad would say it’s all damn goofy.
Course, that quake had scared the crap out of everybody. If they had expected that, they did not act like it.
“Caleb?” I asked.
“You call the police before you came here?”
“Well, where the hell...”
Then the world went black.