by Myles Abroad
Libraries can be exciting places.
Silence reigns within the hallowed walls of our bibliological sanctum. Well, it's hardly that, just the town's public library, and it is quiet. Dead. Nobody reads anymore. There was a time...
I sigh, glancing at the clock. Ten and Harvey, security extraordinaire, is already snoring in his easy chair, plugged into his iPhone. The front door sweeps open with a blast of cold air, and my assistant waltzes in, bright-eyed, rosy-cheeked and reeking of cigarettes.
"Lose track of time again, Lorraine?"
"Mornin', Mrs. Scriptoria. I got caught in traffic..."
Lorraine laughs. "Don't be so negative. It'll pick up."
I roll my eyes at her youthful enthusiasm. "You can start checking in the returns..."
Two young couples, push through the entrance, give me a nod and disappear into the maze of bookshelves. Lorrain beams. "See."
Maybe there's hope yet...
Another rush of frigid air and my jaw drops as a teenaged-horde busts in, pushing, gaggling and yelling on their phones. Before I can react, they disappear into the literary bowels. A school project? Hissing my traditional, "SSHHH," I'm alarmed its ignored. Harvey snorts awake as a half-dozen kids mob the counter.
"Hey lady, you got Moby Dick?"
"Moby Dick!" reverberates from behind the shelves.
"How about Jamie Oliver?"
"Quiet down, I can show you the index..."
"Save the lecture. We ain't got time."
My stomach sinks, hearing the horror of books dropping, pages tearing. Of all things... Harvey's bleary eyes bulge as he turns up his iPhone.
"THE LUV-FM PUBLIC LIBRARY TREASURE HUNT. $100 BILLS BURIED IN BOOKS. THE CLUES SO FAR: A CLASSIC ABOUT A WHALE, A DO-GOODER BRITISH CHEF..."
I glare at Lorraine, her face, pasty white. "Ain't that your husband?"