Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Past Due (Parts 8 & 9)

Double header!

It is this image of Iconine Iconine you must conjure, leading her empty cart back to the Desk to report Item 839-T's disappearance, her swinging lantern playing havoc with shadows and candlelight, the benighted library mimicking the true night without, when she first heard the voice. Her solitude suddenly snatched away, her lantern's halo of meager orange was without warning besieged by darkness now home to some unseen speaker. The voice, prissy, feminine, swollen with sham authority, was at once familiar and unrecognizable; having never met the speaker, she would recognize the Library's brand of hauteur from a thousand paces.

...three summers in my Father's conservatory...” the voice recalls, echoing off stone walls and stone shelves. If the speaker makes any more cryptic comment about nine months spent amongst her Father's greenery, Iconine Iconine cannot discern over the distance. With lantern in hand, she probes only the smallest perimeter around her cart and, upon discovering nothing untoward, ventures a quavering “Hello?” This entirely reasonable word echoes much the same as the speaker's nonsensical phrase, and even a polite, if half-hearted, “Can I help you?” elicits no response; only the faintest grinding of metal-on-metal and a subsequent silence.

I'm thinking another paragraph until the end of the section? Come back tomorrow for more!


  1. Thanks!

    It was written while deliriously carsick (with the help of my lovely amanuensis) on the bus between San Fran and LA, so I'm glad it actually translates...