As Bonnie went into the library, she didn’t pay much attention to the big banner that encouraged her to “Try Our Library Guide.”
But it was harder to avoid the librarian.
Bonnie headed straight for the fiction section, but she was stopped by a stereotypical librarian. She looked like a real-life version of Olive Oyl and smiled as she handed Bonnie a brochure. “My name is Miss Dewey. Here’s a guide for you.”
Bonnie had to laugh. ”Dewey: After the Decimal System.”
”Yes, it’s a most ingenious system of categorizing library books. It was developed in 1876 by Melvil Dewey…”
”Um, thanks, Miss Dewey; but I’ve been to the library before.”
“Yes, but never with a guide. Please follow me over here. This is the reference section.”
Bonnie looked over to where Miss Dewey had walked. Suddenly, she saw a huge computer. Its lights were flashing and a robotic voice spoke:
“Hello. I’m Volume II of the encyclopedia; Au through Bh. I can tell you about auburn hair, Axl Rose, Bhutan, and many other interesting things. Did you know that when Bandaids were first developed they were covered with crinoline?”
“Um, no; but that’s fascinating. Look, all I want is to pick up a few books for my weekend at the beach – and I know I can’t take out a reference book, so you couldn’t be the book I pick.”
”Point taken, Miss.”
The computer disappeared. Bonnie shook her head and headed back toward fiction. But Miss Dewey wasn’t finished. “Pardon me, but you didn’t look over there.”
”Here, in the travel section.”
”Look, Miss Dewey, I just want some stories I can enjoy at the beach.”
”But if it’s beaches you want, the travel section is full of them. Here’s one about the Caribbean.”
Suddenly, the library was filled with the sounds of steel drums and the smell of coconut oil. A handsome man with long dreadlocks smiled and greeted her:
“Yeah, mon, you could be soakin’ up the sun in Jamaica. Our beautiful white beaches and warm breezes will lull you into paradise, while you sip rum drinks and listen to the music. Just pick me and I’ll tell you all about it, mon.”
”Well, that’s great… mon. But I’m just headed over to Spruce Run today, and I’m not up for Jamaica.”
The handsome man waved and disappeared, but Miss Dewey was still regaling her.
“How about a biography? You could learn about an interesting person. Here’s one about Eleanor Roosevelt.”
Suddenly, the former first lady’s picture was displayed on a large screen, and a sonorous voice was talking:
“She was born in 1884 in New York City…”
“No thank you,” said Bonnie. The screen disappeared. Miss Dewey spoke again. ”Well, have you considered reading a mystery?”
”There’s nothing more enjoyable than a good mystery. Here; check out this anthology of short mystery stories.”
Seemingly from nowhere, a detective appeared. He had to be a detective; he had the rumpled trench coat and fedora.
“Excuse me, miss but I have a few questions for you. Can you explain the reason you chose a bright blue shirt with green shorts today?”
”What are you; the fashion police? It’s laundry day and I wore what was clean. Look, I just want a few books.”
“Are you sure that’s what you’re up to? Because the person we’re looking for has a penchant for blue and green. And she also has a habit of chewing peppermint gum, which I note you are doing.”
“I like peppermint gum – and I’ve already explained the outfit. Can I get my books now?”
“Well, all right. But don’t leave town.”
”I already explained I’m going to Spruce Run – and no hallucination is gonna stop me.”
”Well, I suppose not. But I’m keeping my eyes on you. Don’t think this is over.” And the detective disappeared.
Bonnie sighed and looked at the nearest display table. “Why don’t I just grab these and go? I just want to be on my way.”
Suddenly, Bonnie heard childish laughter, and smelled peanut butter and grape jelly. She heard a laughing voice say, “You chose our book. Please take a look. Here is a cat. Can you see that?”
“Oh, for Pete’s sake. I’ve grabbed something from the children’s section. Never mind; I’ll go to a bookstore on the way to the beach.”
“You chose our book. You had a look. Hip, hip, hooray! Have a good day!”
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