Moments in Magical Modernity: IX


IX.

The public library is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The Night Librarian is a woman named Lydia Dumont and everyone knows that there is no one better-suited for the job. She is knowledgeable on just about every subject the library holds within its walls; after all, she has lived out the necessary centuries in order to be thusly educated, as well as quite proficient.

Lydia is a statuesque woman with piercing grey eyes that look up at you (or down at you, depending on the sort of question you have just asked her) over cunning cat-eye framed glasses. She always wears a ruby-red lip and impeccably manicured nails to match, as if she has decided that the ’50s and its styles rightfully belong on her person. And, of course, they do. You will ever find her in hourglass-hugging pencil skirts and sheath dresses, kitten-sharp high heels, and hear her declare Calvin Klein a “darling” for his everlastingly vintage vision in dress designs. Oh, her hair, you ask? That is…well…Shakespeare would say “whatever color it please God” (Much Ado About Nothing, 2.3.30). Or rather, in this case, whatever color it please Lydia. Blonde, brunette, redhead, silver fox, ebony-tressed…one can only imagine how they will find the Night Librarian from night to night.

The library is Lydia’s domain, a kingdom all her own. Everyone knows that she rules absolutely here when night falls and the midnight oil burns late. University students spend many a night here, the Librarian’s expertise frequently a lifeline for them. Yes, she is often referred to simply by her profession and in hushed, respectful tones. There are stories of her ire and wrath for those who disrespect the sanctity of her domain and her complete authority within it. There are whispered tales of unsavory behaviour–an excessively foolish set of kits and cubs literally foxing first-edition volumes, for example–resulting in said individuals or even whole coteries never seen in or near the library ever again.  And fines? Return her precious texts late? Let’s not even joke about such a thing. Raucous behaviour is one thing; the loss or, in her mind, theft of a priceless reliquary of knowledge? You had best set your affairs in order and make yourself right with your faith.

Do not, Sirs and Madames, mess with the Librarian. Or you may come to fear the shadow of her citadel.

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