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The Results of the Night Vale Mini-Fic Party (August 11, 2015)

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Cosleia said:  Write a mini-fic about Carlos going to the library ;)


 

Carlos adjusted the strap of his messenger bag so that it was taut against his chest, the bag itself clinging tightly to his side. It contained several very important scientific instruments that were crucial to the completion of his mission.

His cell phone buzzed in his labcoat pocket, and he pulled it out to see a text from Cecil.

Cecil: Pls dont do this books r not worth it

It was followed by an emoji of a monkey hiding its face behind his hands. Carlos had tried to tell Cecil that that was “See no evil” on numerous occasions, but Cecil never listened.

Carlos quickly tapped back a response.

Carlos: I’ll be fine. A scientist is always fine.

Cecil didn’t respond to that

Carlos stared up at the library building. The facade was crumbling from years of what was essentially abandonment- no Night Vale citizen dared to go in the building (Miss Tamika Flynn excluded, naturally)- and the storm clouds gathering overhead did nothing to make the library more inviting.

Carlos took a deep breath. It was now or never.

And besides, he had nothing to be worried about; he’d had journalism and literature major friends in college- his roommate had been one!- and they’d had to go in libraries, and a little over half of them had survived! Those were relatively great odds! It was just a library. It just held books. They were just librarians. Nothing to be afraid of.

He pushed the old wooden door open, stepping inside.

No turning back now.

The floor was covered in books, that was the first thing Carlos noticed. A lot of the floor-books were biographies of Helen Hunt, but there were a few copies of To Kill a Mockingbird scattered about (Carlos was sure it was the Night Valian version, which Cecil had explained to him was a non-fiction how-to guide for killing mockingbirds that had mocked you just enough to push you over the edge.)

“Hello?” Carlos called out. He could hear footsteps near the reference desk.

“Is there a librarian in here?” he asked. “I could really use some help.” The librarian hopped up on top of the reference desk, staring him down.

Carlos could feel his whole body go tense and limp at the same time, despite how oxymoronic that may seem.

He plunged his hand into his bag, closing his fist around one of the ultra-scientific instruments he’d brought with him. The librarian inched closer to him. He pulled the instrument out- a blue rubber bone he’d decided Cecil’s dog, Sobaka, could live without. He threw it over the reference desk, and the librarian chased after it.

Carlos heard a telltale squeak, and then he could see the librarian bounding toward him. It stopped short just before it reached him, dropping the bone at his feet.

“You’re not as scary as everyone thinks you are, huh?” Carlos asked, cautiously sticking his hand out. The librarian sniffed it, then decided that it would allow Carlos to pet it.

“You’re just lonely, aren’t you?” he went on, scratching behind the beast’s ears. “You just want someone to play with you and look for books, right?”

The librarian made a noise that Carlos could only describe as a purr. It pushed its head deeper into Carlos’ hand.

“Can you help me find a book?” Carlos grinned, and the librarian took off running.