Curiosity and The Cat

Dallas Public Library

The library is a rather large building that extends two levels. Security gates at the entrance lead past a long rectangular circulation desk where patrons may check out or return books. Across from the circulation desk is large, archaic looking card catalogue beside which is a computer that is set up to locate books. Following the typical Dewey Decimal Classification System, the rows of shelves are laid out systematically, with large signs overhead so that patrons can find precisely what they are looking for. Study carols and tables line the walls, and one corner of the library is set aside for two separate lecture rooms that can booked for meetings.

The day is starting to wind down and there's only about an hour left until the library closes. Mischa can be found behind the desk, putting recently returned books onto a cart. There are very patrons around and there's a palpable air of silence in the establishment. The windows are all open and the sun hasn't gone down quite yet. There's a nice breeze blowing through the windows and all is perfectly calm.

Normally Penny likes to try and show up before closing time starts to wind along, because that's when people can get busy. When they're aching to go home and don't really want to take time out of their days and work schedules to talk to you. But with Juanita still getting her overhaul, Penny took the bus. And walked. And took another bus because she ended up getting lost. Stupid cities, she forgot what it's like to be new and lost. Still, she makes it, so she'll just have to make the best of it. "Excuse me," the Latina woman says as she approaches the desk, keeping her voice low. "I am looking for a Mister Alexandrov. He works here, I believe. I hope I haven't missed him; I know it's getting late."

"Hello!" Mischa calls out a little more exuberantly than he normally would. He seems to be in good spirits for whatever reason. He smiles over at Penny and finishes stacking the books that he has yet to put back on the shelves, turning towards her. "I'm Mischa Alexandrov. What can I do for you?" He asks, looking Penny up and down. She doesn't seem familiar to him, although there's a chance that he could be mistaken. Patiently, he waits for Penny to state her business, all while wearing a pleasant smile and moving to polish the library counter.

Evern though Penny considers herself the paradigm of pleasantness, Mischa's over-exuberant 'Hi!' catches her off-guard. Her large brown eyes blink a little, before she's able to return his look with a dimpled, girl-next-door kind of smile. "How very fortunate for me, Mr. Alexandrov. I'm Detective Garnez, with the Dallas PD." She flashes him some tin, discreetly however, before tucking the credentials away. "I was wondering if I might borrow you for a few minutes, and ask some questions."

Penny's mission statement brings a furrowed brow from Mischa, his smile diminishing just a little bit. "Sure. What's going on, officer?" Pause. "Err, detective." As an elderly woman moves to leave without any check-outs, Mischa nods to her and smiles before taking his cart and wheeling it out from behind the counter. "I hope you won't mind learning about the Dewey Decimal system while we talk. I have to close down soon."

Penny seems perfectly at ease. Relaxed. Almost conversational, as though anything being discussed were as easygoing as the weather. "No! Not at all. I'm sorry to be such an inconvenience. Normally I would have come by earlier, but my truck is in the shop and this is a very big city to an outsider like me." She smiles again, and moves to follow beside him. There is a difference now, however. Now, there is a little notebook and pen between her hands. "I'm just doing a few follow-ups on some recent dog attacks that have been in the news. I understand you have some knowledge of one."

"Intimate knowledge, I'm afraid." Mischa reaches up to absent-mindedly scratch at his chest. The wounds have long since healed, but the scars remain. "I'll help any way I can, but I don't think there are many more questions I can answer that I haven't already." Mischa moves toward the reference section and starts to stack there. College and high school kids getting ready for exams have been the primary demographic as of late. The spectacle'd librarian doesn't bother to ask Penny where she's from originally, merely waiting to hear what questions she'll have to ask him.

Some people are more curious than others.
For Mischa, Penny has a slightly brighter, more re-assuring smile. Trying to be conversational, trying to be easy-going and relaxing. This man is, after all, like so many others, a victim and he doesn't need to be any more concerned than he probably already is. "I understand you've gone through this already, Mr. Alexandrov, and I am deeply, deeply sorry to have to ask you to go through it again. I've read the files and…well like I said, I'm new in town. I was assigned to take another look at the circumstances, and I find that it is easier to understand when one gets the full picture straight from the horse's mouth, as it were. If you wouldn't mind going through what happened again with me?"

Mischa lets out something of a chuckle before giving a faint shrug of his shoulders. "Alright…" He says, walking a little ways to shelve some books. "I had just closed down here for the night and approached my car in the parking lot. It was a pretty normal night, nothing out of the ordinary." He pauses, giving a faint shrug of his shoulders before he continues. "I dropped my keys and bent down to pick them up. When I did, the wolf attacked me from behind."

There's a soft whisper of pencil on paper as Penny copies down what Mischa says, using some sort of Spanglish language abortion to take her notes. Good luck to anyone figuring out what those say, but that's what shorthand is for!
"Did you hear anything right before the attack? Smell something perhaps?"

"Smell anything?" Mischa seems perplexed by the question before he fights back a laugh and shakes his head. "No. It was all very quiet, very normal. Up until the wolf started trying to bite me. She got me good across the chest. I lost a lot of blood." Mischa moves onto another aisle as he sighs, shaking his head. "I fended her off by kicking her in the groin and stabbing her in the eye with my keys. While she was in pain, I took the opportunity to get in the car and drive away. That's about all I can tell you."

Penny dutifully copies things down in that little notebook, but she keeps her baby brown eyes on Mischa as much as possible. "It sounds like you did a very good job of fighting back. Did you see anything, as you were driving away? Perhaps get a look at the animal under the headlights of the car?"

Mischa shakes his head and starts on another shelf of books. "No, no. I looked in my rear view as I drove away, but it was already running off as best it could. I wish I could be of more assistance, but that's all I know. You're looking for a potentially one-eyed wolf." He smiles over at Penny pleasantly enough before looking to his wristwatch and then going back to his shelving. Never a dull day in the library.

Penny takes that watch-glance as a notice that he seems to need someplace to be. Well, that's fine. She doesn't want to bother the poor man much anyway. "Well I do appreciate your help, Mr. Alexandrov. And anything you remember is always helpful. Now, if you could just help me with one more thing. I'm told there's a place called Bloody Mary's - is that anywhere nearby here?"

"Bloody Mary's?" Mischa asks, furrowing his brows a bit. "No. It's near the Bean Scene Cafe, if you have any idea where that is. There are some maps up front. I'd be happy to pin point it for you." Mischa starts to shelf those

Penny shakes her head. "No no, that's quite alright. I'm sure I'll be fine. I'm just curious, just trying to get my bearings. Thanks again for helping me out, Mr. Alexandrov. If it's alright, I'd like to give you this." She slips him her card, a nice embossed little thing, plain white with blue lettering. "In case you remember anything else."

Mischa nods and takes the card, glancing to it over his glasses for a moment. "Of course. If I do happen to think of anything useful, I'll let you know. Other than that… all I can tell you is that the wolf was definitely a girl, and she has some eye trauma." He lets out a slightly regretful chuckle before shaking his head and pushing the mostly diminished cart down the aisle a little ways. "And you're most welcome. Anything I can do to make sure that this animal gets… rehabilitated." He clears his throat after that, knowing probably that the animal won't be rehabilitated, so much as it will put to sleep.

"Of course. And just take some precautions, too, if you can. Park as close as you can to the library, since you're likely one of the last ones out every day. Stay near the light, don't go out of well-populated areas in the dark if it can be avoided. Things like that make a big difference. But I'll see myself out." Penny tucks her notebook away, giving him that girl-next-door smile once again. "Have a good night, Mr. Alexandrov."

The librarian lifts a hand to Penny in parting. "I'll definitely try to be more careful. I don't want another hospital stay like that again. Thanks for coming by," Mischa says, smiling at the detective. "Be careful on the road."

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