December 7th, 1899


     In Georgia, in February of 1865, young Adelaide McCutcheon was deafened by her master shortly before she and her family were freed by Federal troops.

     Adelaide was a child of stunning intellect, and as she grew older, she matured into a beautiful woman. As Adelaide she traveled north, she found that while her heritage could be an issue, it was not always so.

     The most accepting town, she discovered, was Cross, and she settled there. She found work at the library, shelving and managing the library’s financial affairs.

     On December 7th, 1899, she was returning from a dinner out with Duncan Blood, her new suitor, when a commotion began near the restaurant.

     A young man carrying a haversack staggered up the street. His face was pale and set in a visage of pain. Others near him fell away, vomiting into the snow.

     Duncan clamped his hands over his own ears as he and Adelaide approached the young man. They watched as the stranger’s eyes rolled up and he pitched forward, the haversack opening and books spilling out onto the ground.

     Adelaide quickly swept them back into the bag, and together she and Duncan brought the books to his home. In the safety of his library, Duncan could hear the books whispering, and what they told him turned his stomach.

     A second, smaller library was soon built as an addition onto his home, and the books were placed within the safety of its soundproofed walls. Adelaide became the librarian of the whispering books and took the last name of Blood as she and Duncan were wed.

     There has been no other librarian since her death, and any who are invited into Duncan’s home are advised to stay away from the door.

     Beyond it, the soft whispers of madness can be heard.

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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