They were always short-staffed at that particular branch of the Hopewell District Library, so it wasn’t unheard of for Mary to enter the building, alone, around 7:30am to open the place up. It was a three-day weekend, so in addition to no fellow staffers to help out at the library desk, no patrons were waiting by the door to be let in when it was unlocked.

Mary felt bad about what had happened the previous day, even though she kept on telling herself that she had no reason to. It was Adrian’s fault, after all, for invading her personal space. It was his fault for creeping on her and constantly pestering her for her work hours and requests for dates. She had nothing to feel bad about, she kept telling herself, but the feeling was still there, gnawing away, as she busied herself with checking in items from the overnight book drop.

“Are you familiar with the Egyptian book of the dead, Mary?”

Mary cried out and pushed back from the desk. It was Adrian; he must have quietly entered through the front doors despite not technically being allowed on the premises anymore. Mary wanted to do more than scream; she wanted to pick up the handset and dial the police.

The Glock 17 in an open-carry holster on Adrian’s belt dissuaded her.

“N-no,” she said. “I’m not.”

“Really? I’d expect a librarian to know those things.” Adrian was behind the desk now, approaching at an easy pace. “According to the Book of the Dead, or at least the version written on the walls inside of the Red Pyramid, the dead are forever dependent in the afterlife on their killers.”

Mary’s eyes widened. “What?”

“That’s right, Mary. I could take care of you forever; we’d always be together. I may not be able to give you what you need in this life, but surely I can in the next.”

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