The Librarians

(I’ve had this idea for a while now but couldn’t figure out how to make it into a story so I’m just going to do it as a flash fiction piece. 🙂 based on the knowledge that anyone who works in bookshops or libraries are seen as scrawny geeks but books are actually bloody heavy.)

The twins finally crept to the end of the tunnel that led out of the damp, musty catacombs, only a little more dishevelled than they had been before they went in. ‘Where even are we?’ said Ruby ‘How am I supposed to know?’ replied Hunter ‘Well it was your idea’ said Ruby peevishly, ‘Was not’ mumbled Hunter. Ruby’s inevitably acrid response was cut off by the sight of what was at the exit (or entrance, depending on how you looked at it.) ‘Oh my Gods’ she breathed, ‘It’s the library.‘ They had both stopped inches from the edge of the crumbling stone wall, only just hidden but with a perfect view of one of the most rare and sought after sights in the city: the University Library. ‘Look’ whispered Hunter, as they gaped, wide-eyed ‘librarians.’ The huge creatures lumbered around carrying impossibly high stacks of books as if they were merely made of feathers, their gilt edges glistening in the low light. But they were also surprisingly agile and flexible, with movements that were almost delicate as they reached the very top shelves to gently slide books back into their places, or remove them and set them almost reverently down on the piles they balanced on one hand. Despite their size and obvious strength, they could gracefully reach any of the shelves that stretched from the very floor beneath the twins feet right up to the highest shelf of the beautiful dark oak bookcases. One even squatted down in front of them to place a slim volume on the bottom shelf, moving like a ballet dancer executing a perfect full plie to do so. As they reached and stretched they were the picture of elegance, yet they still had a slightly clumsy tread when they walked normally, probably due to the weight of the books they carried and the muscles required to hold them. ‘I heard they have to wake up at 5am every morning for specialised yoga classes’ whispered Ruby ‘I heard they spend three years training as book ballerinas before they can even enter the library’ replied Hunter. ‘Actually it’s four years of both’ a deep rumbling voice said way above them to the left. Just around the corner, in the blind spot they didn’t even realised they had, a Librarian was standing with a bemused look on their face. Ordinarily when caught doing something they shouldn’t the twins had a healthy flight response that kept them out of the most trouble. But this time they were frozen in awe. The Librarian chuckled kindly ‘It’s ok little ones,’ they said ‘Obviously you just got a bit….. lost. So it would be remiss of me not to offer you the hospitality of our little corner of the university.’ They glanced at each other quickly, then emerged and each took a finger of the librarians’ outstretched hand, reaching up above their heads and slightly tripping over each other as they went. ‘Let’s get a hot chocolate from the cafe and you can tell me how you came to be here, hmmm?’ The librarian said. The twins grinned. They’d heard rumours about the library cafe hot chocolate; now they’d get to see if they were true….

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