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Mystery of Congress by Doran Ball

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Something moved but the night guard just ignored it. I mean after all it probably was his imagination; he had worked here for 15 years, and had he ever seen anything interesting? No. Nothing, just a plain nothing.

The next morning we arrived at the Library of Congress; it was a blustery October day, library of congressthree days until Halloween. Everything seemed too normal. The fountains were flowing and the power was working, but something wasn’t right. I looked around. Maybe it was just me but the building was huge; it made me think it was made to make people like me feel small and unimportant, like an ant. As I walked by, every statue seemed to look down on me like they were more important and stronger than me. When they were people, they probably were. Nothing seemed to be small or plain; it all was big and fanciful with Greek columns and marble statues. Mosaics decorated the walls, floors, and ceiling with vibrant colors and shiny tiles.

The tour guide started to move, but something gleamed and caught the corner of my eye. I quickly spun around to find nothing, but I saw something move again. By that time the tour had moved on. I must have lost track of time because that was when the lights turned out. I looked out the closest window to see darkness and the full moon. Screeech, the sound of marble against marble got my attention as quickly as a dog to a bone.

“What are you doing here? Since when were children night guards?” something snickered.

“Where are you?” I shouted into the darkness.

“In front of you,” it answered. Then I saw it move and start to walk towards me. I started to walk backwards and then began picking up speed until I was running into a dark corridor. My lungs were heaving but I kept on running. I turned the corner to hear that evil and cruel laugh; I looked back to see nothing but the shadows. Maybe that was all I was running from, the shadows and fear. I ran for all I was worth sprinting down the steps and dashing beside the balcony. Then a beam of light cut through the darkness to find me. The night guard, I thought. Caught between two enemies, I jumped from the balcony to the floor. Landing hurt but I had got away.

Suddenly there was such light I thought the sun must have exploded; because after one hour of pure darkness the night guard’s flashlight had almost blinded me.

flashlight“You have done well, young demigod,” the figure explained.

“Demi- what?” I sputtered, anxious to hear the rest.

“Demigod, half human and half god” the figure boomed, as the light cleared, a woman, that reminded me of that Roman goddess Minerva mosaic on the stairway, emerged.

“Who are you?” I questioned.

“I am Hecate,” the woman answered

“You’re the Greek goddess of magic, right?”

“Time is short, but here take this.” While she said those words she threw an unknown object into my hands. It looked like a jack of hearts playing card, my favorite. “Throw it and it will come back into your hands as a sword.”

“Every sword has a name; what’s this one called?” I asked.

“Κleidi, Greek for key, it can slice through any not-magically-protected door, but I must go now. Go to Camp Half-blood in Long Island and then maybe we shall meet again.” Hecate advised, then after saying those words, she disappeared into the darkness.

Sixth grader Doran Ball, Central Middle School, Anne Arundel County, learned about the statues during a visit to the Library of Congress.