Write about: burning the midnight oil.
Bakery was oddly slow today. Was left with a lot of loaves for the freezer. As in, more than I care to remember (I tallied the various types but did not make a mental note as to the grand total). And the weather was quite reasonable outside, so that wasn't the problem.
I guess we shall see how things go tomorrow.
Tomorrow, aka my wife's birthday!
The Head Librarian strode across the study hall, taking in the bent backs and hunched shoulders of the late night students toiling away at their homework and exam preparations by the light of a hundred torches in sconces attached to the walls and columns above their desks. A faint smile played across his lips as he remembered his days in their shoes.
Oh, the stress he thought he was under back then. As if he even knew what the word meant.
He knew now though. He fully understood the meaning of the word stress all too well. It seemed to haunt his every step, as though it had shoved aside his shadow and taken its place.
Last month's budget meetings had not gone well, as far as the library was concerned. Cutbacks to supplies and staff. Insistence that worn and fading books continue to be used instead of being replaced with newer versions. Even the out of date texts were to remain in circulation.
Which was all well and good, he had decided, as long as both the students and their professors were working with the same misinformation. It wasn't like the outside world would ever test their knowledge in those areas.
He reached the eastern edge of the library and turned left, making his way past bookshelves bursting with books in dire need of a good dusting. No staff for that, though. Not anymore.
Would his job be the next to go? Would the men and women writing the cheques decide that the library would continue to run just fine, thank you very much, in his absence?
If so, he thought as that ghostly smile appeared once more, they would find themselves very much mistaken.
At the end of the row he glanced behind him to verify that no one had followed him before triggering the hidden switch he'd had installed beneath a painting of two dragons sleeping in a forest glade. A door swung open and he stepped inside, quickly closing the entrance behind him.
He paused for a few moments, allowing his vision to adjust to the darkness. Once he could see well enough to navigate without bumping into any of the barrels (or tripping over the hoses attached to them) filling the room, he made his way to the far wall. He examined the control panel there, confirming that all readings were in the acceptable range, then checked the time.
Satisfied that all was as it should be, he turned the large black dial in the middle of the panel, moving its arrow from pointing toward a twinkling sun to aim instead toward a shimmering moon.
It was time to burn the midnight oil.