The Wonders of the Library

Ramone walked through the front door of the library with a feeling of dread. He didn’t want the new job, but as the library was the only place to call him back with a job offer in over a year, he didn’t see any other choice. He walked through the rows trying to get a sense of the place when he heard a woman’s voice come from farther in the stacks. Stopping, he listened, trying to figure out what the woman was saying, but the voice was too faint for him to understand. 

He followed the sound of her voice weaving through the stacks, not even noticing the books on the shelves. As he stepped from the row, he noticed a single book sitting in a display case in the middle of the wide aisle. Walking closer, he noticed it was an old bible. It was open to an engraved page showing an image of one of the Bible stories he had loved as a child. “Weird,” he said. 

The woman’s voice came again. He still couldn’t understand what she was saying, but the sound intrigued him. So, turning away from the Bible, he followed the sound of her voice again. This time, he ignored the books, shelves, and statues as he walked.

In time, he was close enough to understand her words. “… going to be hard to convince. I don’t think he wants the job,” she was saying.

Ramone stopped to listen. 

There was a pause before she spoke again. “He took the job. That’s the first step. Now we just have to convince him to take the next step,” she said.

He smiled and stepped around the end of the stack. The woman stood in an alcove talking on an antique style telephone. She looked up as he moved closer. Lifting her hand to cover the mouthpiece, she spoke, “Hello, Ramone. I’ll be with you in just a moment.” She gave a nod.

He moved past her, walked to the end of the row, and sat at a table covered in books. He looked at the books on the table, running his fingers over the covers as he read them. It was a few minutes later when the woman stepped up to the side of the table. 

“Sorry about that. My boss needed to speak to me about some things. Are you ready for your first day?” She asked.

He looked up. “Yep,” he said, standing and extending his hand.

She took his hand and shook it once. “Name’s Katlyn Washington. I’m the head researcher here.” She said.

He blinked. “I thought you were a librarian here,” he said.

“No, that would be my boss’ boss. I’m just a researcher. But it is my job to train you in what you’ve been hired for,” she said.

“Just what is that?” He asked. 

She smiled. “Your job is to catalog the new acquisitions as they come in,” she said, leading him through the stacks to a door at the end of a hallway. She unlocked it and pushed it open. “This will be your office.”

Ramone stepped into the room. His eyes brightened at the sight of the room he would be occupied for the foreseeable future. The room was bright, lit by a set of wall sconces. There was a large desk sitting against the back wall with a little Tiffany style lamp in the corner. “Nice digs,” he said.

“Thanks. The paperwork will arrive at eight every morning and you need to have each of them documented before the end of the day,” she said.

“Thanks. Should I contact you if I have questions?” He asked.

She nodded. “Me or you can just call the head of your department. That would be Seven-One-Six on the phone. Do you have questions at the moment?” She asked.

He shook his head and moved over to his new desk as she walked away down the hall. He sat at the desk, looking at the thin stack of papers on the desk. As he scanned them, he noticed the information was simple, yet detailed. Turning his head, he noticed a laptop sitting on a small side table. There was a sticky note on it with his name written in a neat script. 

Ramone lifted the laptop and put it on the desk. He opened it, pushing the power button and waiting for it to boot up. As the computer booted, he looked at the art on the walls. There were paintings of Arthurian Legend on the walls. He had loved history, and this was his perfect little place now. The screen on the computer flashed as the software opened. It looked easy enough to use. He documented all the details on the stack of papers within two hours. When he closed the software, another window opened on the screen. It was a note addressed to him. 

– Ramone,

Once you have completed each day’s work, you are welcome to explore anywhere in the library. As someone working here, you have permission to go anywhere within the walls of the building. If you need anything, just dial Seven-One-Six and I will be more than happy to answer them. Enjoy your day.

– William Kerth

“Interesting,” he said to himself. Deciding to check out the library, he stood and wandered through the stacks again. Three rows of exploration later, he stood in front of a heavy wooden door carved with a knight fighting a dragon. The knight reminded him again of Arthur. Pushing the door open, his breath caught in his throat. The door opened onto what looked like a field of lavender. There appeared to be a castle on the far side of the field. He stepped through the doorway. He barely registered it closing behind him as he wandered toward the castle. It seemed there was more to the wonders of this library than he had ever imagined. 

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