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The Cataloguer

by Gillian Turner


Published by Gillian Turner at Smashwords

Copyright 2012 Gillian Turner

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Prologue


He stood at the centre desk, a crumpled up, yellowing paper in his fist. Another list. More had passed through his hands over the years, and more would continue to pass through them for decades more. It was his job, after all. He held no particular emotion about what he had to do – a blessing, really. Others might question the purpose or the justice of his actions, but he didn't care. He simply waited -- a little impatiently for he had plans with friends later that evening – he waited for the librarian to bring him the documents on his list.

The woman had half rolled her eyes when he'd said it was for research. A university course he was teaching. She wasn't what most people would stereotypically think of a librarian to be: her long hair was down in soft dark waves and her green eyes glistened as if she were in on a joke no one else knew about. The young woman click click clicked across the inner desk area in irresponsibly high heels, and kept adjusting her short black skirt and fitted emerald blouse. It made him a little less impatient. She smiled slightly in all that she did. He wondered if five years from now would make her age twenty.

The library itself was massive and echo-y in the main chamber. There were no carpets here, but tile work and hardwood dating back to the pre-Victorian age. Around the circular centre desk there was a rim of brass which made him think of an old pub. The dull light emanating from the Tiffany lamps certainly fit with that sort of atmosphere. Probably not Tiffany lamps... probably knock-offs. Or some of them, anyway. High above, on the ceiling of the chamber, was evidence of the Gothic Revival period done in carved wood and plaster, more suitable for chamber music than a library. What idiot decided on the architectural style of the building was beyond him. At least the reading rooms were more suitable to quiet study.

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