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EF: Chapter Seven
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scissorkitty



Joined: 04 Mar 2008
Posts: 789
Location: Escaping the Hair Lair

Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:14 am    Post subject: EF: Chapter Seven  

Chapter Seven

I looked at the map, and groaned. It looked like the office was part of the city library, and from the looks of the town as we sped down it’s pockmarked pavements, the library wasn’t likely to be a whole bundle of laughs. Mold maybe, laughs no.

We pulled up to the building with well co-ordinated gasps of dismay. Ahead of us loomed a ramshackle grey stone building, it’s Doric inspired columns listing alarmingly to the left, while its windows - the few with whole panes of glass- tilted more to the right. The sight as a whole gave the impression that it was perhaps made of the nastiest cardboard box ever to be jury-rigged into serving as a municipal building. I took in the bi-partisan directions, and tried to say something uplifting and optimistic. We’d have to go into that mess no matter what, the apparent next step in our quest lay somewhere inside.

“Maybe it’s just unsure how to vote?”

The cement steps were seamed with cracks and ivy, and crumbled slightly as we approached the door. The once-polished wood was now scared with years of graffiti and love-hearts carved into it, the owners of whom were probably largely dead by this point. A hand-printed sign trembled on the door, attached by a strand of much-reused tape. “Books are Our Friends Come on In ”

Surprisingly, the door swung open with barely a shove, and we found ourselves in a semi-dark cavern, faced with an enormous old oak counter, and lit by what seemed to be a mix of camping lanterns and holiday lights. As we creaked across the ages floorboards, a shuffling sound became apparent amid the towering piles of dusty tomes. A whirlwind of discarded notepaper and non-computerized check out cards approached us, to reveal a stooped woman with a slightly mad smile firmly on her dusty cheeks.

“Well hello there! Books are our friends! Are you in need of some friends, today?” She cackled gleefully at this last statement, sending a cascading avalanche of the willies racing down my spine. I eyed our hostess carefully. Although I had originally pegged her as being a senior, my inspection revealed her to be much closer to my age, possibly in her later twenties. Her hair, under the coating of library dust and cobwebs, was a sturdy brown, and was twisted into twin buns held in place by number two pencils. She sported a rather cats-eyed style of black eyeliner, and this combined with her high waisted skirt and flouncey blouse made her look even more like a spinster librarian- perhaps with an evening job as a cigarette girl at the local cabaret. I put on my best college student smile.

“Hi! We’re actually looking for one.. um.. friend in particular. Do you have the county records handy?” I twinkled my incisors at her and blinked innocently. “I have a paper on past business ownerships in the area, and I just know you can help me! I hope you don’t mind if my sister and brother wander around a little.. I’m babysitting today.”

I kicked Davis gently with my toe, and made shooing motions behind my back. He and Bernice promptly scooted into the nearest book section, the better to find our goal and get the heck out.

The librarian beamed at me, and straightened a little, ineffectually dusting her blouse. “Well then! Let’s get to it, shall we? I’m Gladys but.. “ she tittered in an offbeat way that made me wary “.. You can call me Happy! Get it? GLADys? Happy?!” Her voice began to climb towards hysterical, so I made an effort to grin and hauled on her bony elbow.

“Oh, hilarious! Can you show me the records... Happy?”

* * * * *

After trudging through what seemed like miles of dusty library hallways, Happy eventually led me to a dim room lined with semi-collapsing shelves. She turned on a dusty green desk lamp, and waved grandly at an array of faded, leather bound binders. Somewhere in that mess, I surmised, lurked the elusive history of Incarna.. and hopefully clues to the even more elusive past of our newly deceased father. I sighed, grabbed a tome, and dug in.

* * * * *

The light was growing dimmer than ever, and I added my current reading material to the unsteady pile to my left. I had been leafing through binders for hours, my hands now sticky with old dust and what looked suspiciously like marmalade toast crumbs. I left myself a mental note to check Happy’s shirtfront for a match. It occurred to me, as I attempted to brush my hands clear on my jeans, that I hadn’t seen Davis or Bernice since they scattered at the front door.. and as I gazed out into the murky hallway beyond my little circle of light, I also realized that I had no idea how to get back to our starting point. I picked up the lamp in my hand, and spun slowly, taking in details of my current room that I had missed hours earlier.

Small and damp, this room was utterly lacking in windows. The cement floor was carpeted with loose paper pages, pencil stubs, and mouse turds. The majority of the available floor space was hogged by my large wooden table, and the faded tapestry ottoman I had been perched on. The rest of the space was crowded with more piles of books, creating a maze that blocked my view of the two distant walls. Nearest to me was the wall with the doorway out into the hall, that wall being decorated with a huge world map and a crazed mess of pushpins and red thread. Beside me was the fourth wall, bearing the crooked shelves and the means of my current torture- decades and decades worth of badly filed municipal records. My sighs of frustration created little clouds of dust in the badly-lit air. I gripped my library lamp tighter.

It seemed there was a draft coming from somewhere in the distant corner, as my dust-clouds scooted across the floor. Now that I looked closer, I realized the corners of my impromptu paper carpet were wafting slightly in that direction. Definitely a breeze. The air smelled faintly of pot roast. I crept into the book maze.

(DP: Europa is in the book maze.. so here's a different type of DP. What are Davis and Bernice doing?)
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scissorkitty



Joined: 04 Mar 2008
Posts: 789
Location: Escaping the Hair Lair

Posted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 5:34 am    Post subject:  

BUMP! ((sorry, i need some responses here!))
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Smee



Joined: 16 Oct 2004
Posts: 5215
Location: UK

Posted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:01 pm    Post subject:  

Sorry Skitty... Man-flu took me down, it weren't pretty!

Will get to this ASAP. Just the tonic I need. :)
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Chinaren



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 8778
Location: http://www.NeilHarlteyBooks.com

Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:13 am    Post subject:  

It's nicely written SKitty, but it's been so long since I read the last chapter I've forgotten what they were looking for!
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scissorkitty



Joined: 04 Mar 2008
Posts: 789
Location: Escaping the Hair Lair

Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:43 am    Post subject:  

C-ren.. haa haa! Now, to save you the trouble of scrolling backwards.... the Gang is looking for the original ownership documents for Incarna, in the hopes of somehow tracking down the barkeep/or his family who originally cursed their father, Rolph. Rolph and all his offspring have been cursed with "bastard lives forever..." sort of thing, but Rolph got married and somehow nullified his own curse, resulting in his very immediate dust-becoming death. Europa is the only NON immortal still in the family, as she's not yet died/been killed.. so she's the only one left aging, the rest having become "stuck" at the ages they passed at. Euro's brother, Harrold, wants to maim/kill/vegify Euro so that she doesn't somehow inherit Rolph's rather sizable estate. (she being the only child who LOOKS like an age to be Rolphs child, but also of the age of majority to inherit.. plus, not being an Immortal, and so still able to be bloodtested for DNA)...

and now she's found a creepy passage.
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shy_blu_eyes



Joined: 15 May 2008
Posts: 299
Location: Away

Posted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 2:03 pm    Post subject:  

Wow

Glad this nominated for SGotM, It would have been a shame if I never read it!

Davis and Bernice have split up. She got the idea to check out old newspapers on microfische/microfilm for stories relating to the tavern. Davis, on the other hand got a little bored and is browsing through books on superstitions and voodoo.
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scissorkitty



Joined: 04 Mar 2008
Posts: 789
Location: Escaping the Hair Lair

Posted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:03 am    Post subject:  

good suggestions, Shy! This story needed a little revitalization!
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scissorkitty



Joined: 04 Mar 2008
Posts: 789
Location: Escaping the Hair Lair

Posted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 6:07 pm    Post subject:  

THANKS to all IFians who chose Eterna for SGOTM!!! It really means a lot to me, and I appreciate it.

On that note- Bernice, Davis and Euro are hanging on here, waiting for more DP suggestions! Get your choices in so we can poll, or else I'm winging it! I need at least two more suggestions to move forwards with, please!
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