The idea was to write for ten minutes and then continue if I wanted to… Not sure if I want to. I also think that this is just long enough for a blog post. It made me think quite a bit. Oh yes, the assignment was basically to have a character try to get a book from a hardnose librarian. I think I was supposed to have my character eventually succeed, but I guess I just don’t write that fast anymore.
Sharona had forgotten her umbrella. She ducked into the library, shuddering water out of her hair. Her hands were shaking more than her smile. And her smile was anything but stable.
Raking her fingers through her wavy blonde hair, she tried not to think of the slowly growing puddle around her bright blue wellies. She only had twenty minutes. Get in, get the book, leave. A simple enough task. He never gave her hard ones.
But the difficulty was not an issue.
Sighing through chattering teeth, she headed for the front desk. She could have found the book on her own, but that would have meant wandering between the stacks. Books made her uneasy. They were worse than the people who read them.
As though conjured straight from her mind, the typical book-reader materialised behind the front desk. Sharona gave a start, then chided herself silently. True, the librarian fit her mental image perfectly–severe hairstyle, pinched face, horn-rimmed glasses–the woman had simply been kneeling out of sight. Probably picking something up.
“Excuse me, I need a copy of Beugeir’s Spirit Dictionary?”
“Are you asking me or telling me?”
The inflection in the middle-aged woman’s voice made Sharona think of razor blades. She resisted the urge to step away and instead put a hand on the desk and let raindrops slide down the yellow sleeve of her mac, onto the immaculate varnished wood. “Telling. I need that book.”
Clearly bothered by the wet pooling on her desk, the librariant picked up a ruler and tapped it lightly on the desk. First five inches from Sharona’s hand, then three. “I’m afraid we don’t carry anything occult.”
Sharona glanced over at the large display to her left. Not only did it feature a great deal of magical symbols that even she recognised, but the word “occult” was used with great frequency. “You do so,” she said, scooting her hand away from the approaching ruler.
The ruler tapped the back of her hand, in a bold move that she hadn’t quite expected, despite the lead up. She blinked at the librarian, too surprised even to move her hand.
“Please, I need that book.”
“Then look for it in a wizard’s shop. We don’t carry those… items.” Turning a withering look to the large display, the librarian added, “That monstrosity is to promote novels.”
Sharona considered asking the woman which of the two were the least deserving of approval, but bit her tongue. Asking anything would only delay her. She had fifteen minutes left.