"This better not be another waste of time," I muttered throwing the hot sand over my shoulder.
"I...cannot say that it won't be," She said shrugging. "But this feels right."
"You said that about the one in Alexandria."
"Well it’s supposed to be the Hidden Library of Alexandria!"
Of course she would say that, but when we found ourselves in a different antechamber beneath the sands she stated clearly that she expected the location to be a misnomer.
We bickered a little longer, but we saved our energy. In Egypt the sun is unlike any other. We knew from experience that if we dug a deep enough hole we could relax in the shade of the edge, at least until the sun was directly overhead.
Days passed. We worked back and forth between the tent and the hole. We had to set up the tent out of sight, yet close enough to where the Library was supposed to be. It wasn't difficult. We were near and oasis so tree clusters dotted the burning sea. We found one of the thickest sets of trees and built a low tent. It was practically invisible unless you walked right up to it, that was the benefit anyway. The resounding flaw was that it was the most uncomfortable sleep that one could experience, especially if you didn't properly secure your sleeping bag from the scorpions.
Hopefully this wouldn't be like Alexandria. We were chased by the police force for a long time before we finally got out. Trust me when I say digging in the sun is better than running in it, only a bit anyway.
It was day five and the hole was become more slanted. We had to fix that. No matter how solid the sand may seem, if it isn't rock, it’s going to collapse. We kept digging, already weak and aching, but we finally hit something.
I struck the ground with the spade and something cracked beneath the sand. It kept cracking and shattered completely. It was glass and we were standing right on top of it.
"Oh sh-" I began, but was cut off by my lack of breath and wheezed through the rest of my statement.
We fell through the gap, my arm getting cut by a stray piece of glass. We hit the top book shelf and were about slip off if we didn't clutch onto the edge. We hung there on one side of the book shelf. It was stone and in between each shelf were old papers and scrolls. There were even manuscripts held together by string. She gasped beside me and I turned to face the direction she was facing. It was massive. It was the biggest library I have ever seen and I've seen so many. Endless shelves carved out of sandstone and the shelves well stocked with ancient writing. Even the ground was covered in piles of papers. There weren’t even enough shelves to hold all the tomes.
Since the shelves were solid stone we climbed down as if it were a ladder and each shelf a rung.
When we reached bottom we were silent. We took as much of what we saw in. The fact was we didn't see the end of the library, there wasn't enough light. Even from the nearest scrolls I could spot an assortment of languages and styles of paper that ran through Egyptian, Roman and if Islamic.
"We found it," I said softly, surprised that we did.
"It's amazing..." She stated. Her wonder was clear as day, with wide eyes and a mouth playing the fish. "We can't tell anyone about it."
"But they have to know!" I said surprised and immediately arguing as I clutched my arm. It seemed no matter we go through and whether we succeed or not, this woman was intent on telling me what I didn't want to hear. "Everybody has been looking for the hidden library for so long. And now we've found it."
"I know, but the whole purpose of the library is to provide knowledge. You know the Egyptian government here will just claim it as their own and lock it away, breaking that purpose."
I was about to argue, but she made perfect sense. If they knew about it nobody will ever get the chance to read a single page. I stared into the darkness, imagining how far the library went. It would a long walk to even reach the least visible part. Even staring at it made it seem as if the library stretched to further escape my reach.
Her hand fell on my shoulder.
"It's time to wake up."
And so I did. I woke up and the Alexandrian police station on a hard bed while she lay on the bunk above me. The cell was just as hot as the library felt. I would never be able to confirm this. They were sending us back to America and told us to never return. Rubbing my eyes in mild frustration and tried my best to recall what I had seen. The endless expanse of shelves, the cut on my arm that felt so real. I could even remember the night the scorpion pinched her big toe.
I cursed my mind softly. How dare it tease me. I was so close, but I'm so far. However, that dream made me realize something. One, we could never release the library to the public and two; upon looking down at my arm I still had the fresh cut on my arm. The cut from the glass. The cut from the library. I pondered deeply how this was possible, perhaps it was a message from the spirits that guarded the library and they sent it via my dreams and a minor flesh wound or perhaps it was simply a cut I received in my sleep. Once more, it made no difference to what we did, but I felt secure in the knowledge that the library existed. I wish I could have passed this onto her as well, she desired finding it more than me, but it is better this way. Something so important must be hidden from man.