Thanks for checking out Chapter 3 of The Librarian!
One of the librarian’s first trips after the accident transpired within a book about Simone de Beauvoir, the revered writer and existential philosopher. Isis accidentally dropped the book on the library floor. When she reached down to retrieve it, her form dissolved into the pages. Atoms vibrating and reassembling on page eighty, her scattered mind fixated with new purpose.
Isis joined a tour group and took on a new persona as if it were the most natural thing in the world to do. Appropriate European attire draped her slim frame. She carried a camel leather satchel (similar to a worn leather bag she purchased for eight dollars at a local thrift shop), equipped with a passport and enough credit cards to cover her expenses. This mysterious handbag of plenty became a mainstay of Isis’ travels onward. The tour paused at locales frequented by Simone and her long-time lover, Jean-Paul Sartre—places they met, lived, and were ultimately laid to rest. Isis never dreamed of taking such a trip when she was alive; now, it was a delightful journey with a glimpse inside the lives of two writers she deeply revered.
“Next, we will be breaking for lunch at a café the lovers once met for regular espressos and pastries,” the tour guide gushed, to the pleasure of the weary travellers. Isis surprised herself as she spoke ardently and fluently in any language with fellow tourists over strong coffees and savoury delights. She studied French previously, but discovered she knew many other dialects. A charming older couple from Spain enveloped her in conversation.
“Voltaire, darling, is the writer I most adore!” enthused Gabriella, brushing her thick black hair from her eyes, “He didn’t bow to any of the constraints of his time.”
“No, no, my dear, Shakespeare trumps all,” Mateo rolled his eyes, “How can you possibly think that?” and on the lively discussion continued the rest of the afternoon.
The librarian returned to her library under the cloak of nightfall, spectral body and mind vibrating with the new possibilities lying ahead amidst the resources she helped to build.
The curious rules and laws of book travel appeared to be etched upon Isis’s new consciousness. Objects and people could not accompany her back, including the satchel. She could only fondly remember the intriguing characters she encountered and learned to desire nothing more than lingering memories and knowledge retained. She was not to reveal her previous self and perpetually assumed a new identity every trip, similar to the experience of a reading a good book.
Between trips, back in the library, time elapsed slowly and seemed delayed. The leaves on the trees outside never fell. During daylight hours, Isis rested in another realm just outside the building, unable to wander the library. During this time, Isis lost consciousness, only rousing by evening when the roman numerals of the clock on the building across the street struck eight o’clock and the library closed. Time persisted in passing in spite of ceasing to proceed.
This new manner of travel did not come without its’ perils. Early on, Isis made the mistake of entering a children’s book about dinosaurs and was nearly eaten by a fierce Tyrannosaurus Rex. She sensed rather than heard the beast’s presence before realizing she had been spotted as its’ next meal. Standing in an open field, her neck became warm with the heat of its rotting breath.
“Oh my…” In the nick of time, Isis peered upward at fangs hanging above, saliva dripping down from the beast’s gaping mouth. Her body dissolved, transporting safely back into the haven of the library just as the creature lunged. She took great care in choosing books thereafter.
Stay tuned for Chapter 4…