Thursday 25 May 2023

The Imaginary Librarian by P. A. Farrell, cold tea

 Brushing a stray hair above her ear into the severe bun she wears, she sits on her polished wooden chair by her plain wooden desk and busies herself straightening folders, shifting papers, and gazing at the boxes lining the walls up to the top of the imaginary ceiling.

Some of the bindings on the imaginary books may need a bit of tending, but that's not something she needs to worry about. She waits for the commands she knows will come, and when they do, she will be ready to rise and shuffle across the floor, in her sensible shoes.

An alarm rings and she shoots up the ladder to the top shelf to retrieve a bit of information needed by the reader. A creak greets every step. Snatching the bit, she scoots down and pushes it into the pneumatic tube. Task completed, she retreats to her desk and adjusts her green eyeshade. Her job is almost finished, but she refuses to think about it.

“Yes, yes, for a moment he almost seemed to come back as you asked him about that childhood memory. Funny how those things can be retrieved,” the man in the white physician’s coat mumbles to an intern as he hovers over the bed.

“It won’t be long now,” the physician continues.

The vigil is almost complete as ninety years of life begin slipping away in the quiet of the early morning light. The librarian’s job will be completed before the sun comes up fully and the sheet is drawn over the closed eyes.

About the author

P. A. Farrell is a psychologist and published author with McGraw-Hill, Springer Publishing, Cafe Lit, Ravens Perch, Humans of the World, and Scarlet Leaf Review, writes for, and has published self-help books. She lives on the East Coast of the US. 


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