The Forgotten Pleasures

“Really? Here?”

The male human’s fingers were already brushing against her hips, his knuckles sneaking their way underneath the fabric of her shirt. His nose was buried against her neck, as he guided her gently, pushing her backwards.

Both of them were unaware of the audience that was forced to watch their rendezvous.

“Baby, you know it’s always been my fantasy to shove you against a bookshelf and shake a few books off.”

She giggled—obnoxiously, It might add—though the sound was cut off in the form of a gasp when the female was suddenly pushed against the shelf. But not just any shelf. It’s shelf. A shelf that shook against the pinning, threatening the worst: It’s downfall, to live forever amongst the dirt and dust of the floor, ignored by those who should delight in what It had to offer them.

Though It would have happily been ignored by the lovers to the left.

Even when the moans began, poorly concealed, It could hear the muffled complaints from his friends, suddenly covered and suffocated by a hot pink tank top. Normally, It wold laugh, but this was the third hookup this week in their row.

A bit ridiculous.

“Stay strong, Carrie!” It called, knowing that she could hear him, despite the attempted suffocated by lace. The humans could, too, if they ever paused to consider the idea. And if they weren’t so…distracted.

Any chance of hearing her response was ruined when, after a very distinct grunt, the woman’s arm shot out from her side, trying to find purchase on anything that could steady her. She grabbed onto the shelf’s edge, oblivious to the books that she literally punched off as she fisted the edge, her mouth biting into his shirt in the effort to keep at least one of them quiet.

It watched, dismayed, as two of his friends fell onto the ground, screaming until they hit the floor. His spine bristled in anger as small specks of dust rose from the ground at their impact, covering their faces. Their screaming switched to coughing and his pages ruffled in sympathy to their pain.

“Why can’t they do this in the erotica section?” Misery complained, a few books down. The male’s hand was stationed above her, his knuckles curling against the metal shelf. A single slip and Misery would join Salem and Christine down to the graveyard below, ruining her pristine cover with dust and grime. “At least those paperbacks are used to getting sticky.”

Misery. Too.many.details.”

“What? It’s true.”

It thanked his luck once again that his pages were home to an a horror story and not something humans used to jerked off to when they were lonely.

“I don’t know what is more horrifying—this man’s performance or Misery’s fondness for sledgehammers,” Mr. Mercedes said dryly.

Beside him, Cujo snorted. It stared at Mercedes, incredulous, but his companion ignored him, glancing up at the couple, her muffled moans hard to ignore.

“She’s obviously faking it,” Mercedes continued.

“Though I am impressed he’s lasted longer than 30 seconds,” Cujo put in.

“That’s 30 seconds longer that the redhead from Monday!” Christine shouted from the floor, sending dust specs flying before they fell back onto her face.

It sighed. “All of you are ridiculous. I wouldn’t be surprised if you were starting to enjoy these…these…invasions into our row.”

“At least it’s some action,” Mercedes said.

Misery groaned and It was inclined to echo her.

“What? The double entendre too much?”

“I actually agree with Mercedes,” Cujo said. “Aside from the librarians who shut off the lights at night, we haven’t gotten this much attention in months.”

“Even if we aren’t getting attention, per se.”

It tried to ignore the uncomfortable feeling in his gut, wanting to pretend Mercedes and Cujo’s points didn’t ring true. But they did. Though It had no desire to be knocked off the shelf to join Salem and Christine below, It couldn’t remember the last time he was moved, let alone the last time he was read.

Did humans no longer understand what joy he could offer them? Well, perhaps not joy…certainly nightmares and a new fear of gutters, plus some memorable one liners. But he offered so much more than the experience of reading or the reaction to the story he homed. It had so much he could teach. He could be a talking point, an unspoken recommendation between strangers. He could be inspiration for a new story. He could be an escape from a rough day at work or a bad breakup. He could be a companion on the bus ride, to the park, during lunch or late at night curled up in bed. He had so much potential. He offered everything.

So why was it that the library had become a place only good for horny teenagers to hook up in?

The sudden melancholy mood stuck with him even as some of his companions cheered when the couple actually climaxed and snuck out of the library without being caught. Instead of being impressed that they got away with their escapade, the escape only served as another reminder of how empty the library was; how quiet; how no one noticed them anymore. How their stories remained hidden within their pages, just as stuck as they were stationary on the shelves, untold.

The others chatted about the latest tryst to invade their row while Christine and Salem complained about the dust bunnies that had become their new companions, but It had lost heart for any conversation. Instead, It stared out of the corner of a small, tinted window that could barely be made out past the bookshelf across from them. It watched as the light faded away, before being swallowed completely. Not soon after, the familiar shuffling of footsteps echoed, followed by the quick CLICK of the switch and the stacks were covered in darkness once more, the library closed.

The librarian didn’t even walk by and notice his friends had been discarded on the floor.

The disregard made him wonder: if those who were meant to care about them had forgotten, then what were the chances anyone else ever would?

I’m sure you can imagine his surprise when, not even a week later, It’s friends were cheering again, for an entirely different reason. It listened to their laughter echo as he was carried against the crook of an elbow, not even caring about the jeers from Mercedes and Cujo. What did he care that it was the redhead from Monday who failed to pleasure his girlfriend who had decided to pick him up? The human had even been kind enough to finally put Christine and Salem back in their proper places before removing It from the shelf and taking him to a place he once knew so fondly, but now seemed as foreign as the children’s section. The librarian at the circulation desk didn’t notice It’s glare, earned thanks to her negligence.

Chills went up his spine as It’s barcode was scanned and she handed It back to the redhead. Only a matter of hours passed before It was sending chills up the human’s spine with the line, We all float down here, Georgie, to which It was promptly thrown across the bed, as the human left to go turn on the light. It sighed against the sheets in what, he knew, was to the closest he’d ever experienced to pure bliss.

Oh, how It had missed having a purpose.

And the human hadn’t even gotten to the good part, yet.

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