Things That Go Zoom in the Night (Tulane University - New Orleans)

The night air was slowly cooling, but the oppressive humidity that seemed to ooze up from the Gulf was thick enough to actually be felt in her clothes. Here in the city, only the brightest stars could be seen on such a hazy, muggy night. “No, dumbass,” Jaiden had once teased her. “Those are planets, all riding the plane of the ecliptic. See how they kinda line up? Mercury…Saturn there……Jupiter’s always brightest, and Mars. Hard to tell with all this light pollution, but when you get to see it on a clear night, it actually looks red.”

Jaiden. A guy from her floor. He’d been nice enough. Unlike the frat house rejects who haunted the hallways, Jaiden had never laid a hand on her, never catcalled. When he looked at her, she never felt threat or lust in those eyes. Sometimes, she found herself wondering why. Maybe she’d ask him, if he turned up.

The skateboard’s bearings sang their song as Catbite kicked on more speed. “Ten minutes til close,” she fretted. The library was still two blocks distant. At this pace, she’d have to hit the steps at a dead run to slip inside and return the “borrowed” books. Ms. Mar’s gonna barbecue my ass, she thought ruefully of the librarian who ruled the fourth floor stacks and its’ special collections as if she were the general who commanded Fort Knox.

To save time, Kat had avoided the brightly lit public walkways that fed the Commons. Instead, she’d taken an old sidewalk that was frequently obscured by trees and hedgerows, precisely the sort of shadowy route that rape counselors told her to forever shun. As she sailed through the darkness, Catbite found no fear in this place. She knew better. When she’d been taken, the location was brightly lit, considered by all to be safe…as safe as her rapist was trusted by all. Compared to that betrayal, the darkness would never hold fear again.

With five minutes to spare, she kicked the skateboard upward, deftly catching and tucking it beneath one arm as she bounded up the stairs. “We ‘bout tah close…oh, Miss Kat’rine,” the aging security guard recognized the woman who sprinted into the elevator lobby. “You gon’ be late, baby girl!”

“I got this!” she shouted over her shoulder before taking the stairs, two at a time. Her Doc Martens echoed in the lofty stairwell as Catbite pounded her way up and around, up and around. If I duck right when I get there, she thought, “I can slip three books right back into place…then go and eat my shit sandwich with Ms. Mar for just the one…[/i]

It seemed a good plan. The book she’d have to confess to removing was in the process of being registered into the library system. A little honesty on her part would get her chewed out, but hopefully not dismissed….

Her plot was interrupted by the sound of a man’s voice, raised in anger. Curiosity now overcoming her fear of being caught, Catbite followed the bellowing to its’ source. There, at the center desk, sat Ms. Mar, arms folded and glasses at half mast down her nose as she weathered the verbal assault from a towering man, possibly in his forties, as his voice advanced toward shouting at the nonplussed librarian. She had to do something, before this guy lost control.

And so, Catbite did the one thing she thought best for an out of control confrontation. She pulled out her phone, and began to record the man's outburst.

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