9th grade, Athens High School
The chilly October air blows the brown remains of the past year’s leaves across the parking lot of the Athens Public Library as my brother and I hurry forward. The inside of the library is warm, and we breathe a sigh of relief. Then we breathe in with anticipation. Today, I am not going to the library for the usual book perusal. Instead, I am going to the library to watch a movie. With Halloween at the end of the week, the library decided to host a movie day.
My brother and I slide into our seats as Frankenstein begins reeling. Within moments, Frankenstein has popped out of the dungeon and is strangling townspeople left and right. “Would you like some popcorn?” I am startled by the friendly librarian who appears next to me. “I brought my popcorn machine and several bags with me at the back table.” She is already off, dumping the kernels into the steel bowl. She leaves the room briefly to fetch some more cookies. Frankenstein comes closer and closer to the center of town. He’s at a pond now, talking to a little girl. The music begins to intensify, and in spite of the black-and-white old quality of the movie, I feel frightened for the girl. Run, run! The drums start beating in the movie, like they have for every death so far. Bong! Bong! Bong! Pop! Both my brother and I turn around suddenly at the unexpectedly loud sound. Then we gasp. Behind us, the popcorn machine is quickly overflowing. Popcorn spills over the edge of the bowl and onto the table, piling around the machine. Pop! Pop! POP! My brother and I look at each other, wondering if we should try to stop the machine ourselves. Pop, pop, pop, pop, POP! The pops are rising in a rapid crescendo, building up tension, and then– Silence. One or two more pops, and then there are suddenly no sounds left. There is absolutely no noise for a few moments. Then, behind us, Frankenstein breaks the silence as he throws the little girl into the pond. The librarian comes in, and stops as she sees the mess. “Oh.” We all look at each other. Then we burst out laughing. She walks over, scoops up the popcorn in the bowl, and gives my brother and me two giant bags of the buttery snack. This is perhaps my fondest memory of the Athens Public Library. The dark room, the melancholy Frankenstein, the nice librarian, and even the exploding popcorn. They all come together to make just one unique perspective of why the Athens Public Library is special in its own way.