Library Trip

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.

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Stars twinkle in the somewhat clear sky of the evening though they can hardly be seen with the harsh city lighting. The library is open late throughout the summer so as to allow the vampire clients entry. This also suits Dr. Brooks just fine. As someone who spends the majority of her days with patients, she rarely has time to get to the library to find books for light reading.

Returning the most recently borrowed tome, she reaches into her purse. A small paper is drawn out with a list of other titles that she is interested in. Before wandering the stacks she situates herself at one of the computers. Typing the book titles in so as to see what their availability is like.


Todd is not nearly as organized in his approach to the library as Bethany. Instead, he wanders here and there, picking out random books to flip through them, only to set them back on the shelf, probably not even where they belong. The books eventually lose Todd's interest, once he discovers the magazine stand near the front of the library. That seems to be more his speed, as he picks one up to flip through, then happily sits down with it to read. Unfortunately, he doesn't bother moving to a reading area. He just sits on the floor right next to the stand.


Noting that they do have a copy of Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying", Bethany logs out of the computer card catalog and deigns to wander further into the library. Turning to do just that she nearly trips over the man sitting in front of the magazines.

Her balance is corrected by clutching onto a standing rack of young adult fiction novels that the library keeps near the front.

Setting the rack to rights and dusting her hands down her skirt, she peers at the man for a moment. Once she has him placed her expression falters.

"Pardon me. I should be much more careful when I traverse the library."


Todd jumps as he's tripped over, giving a little startled noise that inspires a chorus of 'shhhhh's from the more catty library patrons. He looks up, wide eyed, but then gives a self-conscious little smile. "No…It's fine. Sorry, I didn't mean to get in the way," he offers, and scrambles to pick up his magazine and hop to his feet. "You aren't hurt are you?"


Bethany, who is generally so very calm and graceful, has to struggle with biting back a remark. It has been a long day, and one that has left her irritable. Some fool of a chit made an appointment to see if she was a vampire in a past life.

"No," she says quite calmly once she sets aside her irritation. "I would be more concerned with you. My shoes," she adds, "are pointed." Though she was very careful not to actually fall, she seems uncertain as to whether she kicked him in the process of righting herself on the rack or not.

"I did not disturb your reading, did I?"


Todd shrugs a shoulder a little, but seems to be perfectly fine. He smiles, oblivious to her irritability, and responds, "Well, they must not be pointed enough. I feel fine." He glances down at the magazine, with a puzzled little smile, but shakes his head. "I don't think so. It doesn't look terribly deep, does it?"


"Not entirely," Bethany offers with a patient smile. "Though I do believe that is the point of most magazine publications. To be light and fluffy so that the content can be enjoyed in small doses." The magazine is one that she has seen at the offices, though she can't recall the topic matter.

Chancing a glance at the list in her hand she looks for the Dewey Decimal number that she jot down. Eyeing the white squares above the shelves she locates the section she needs to head to.

"Have you managed to return to the aquarium?"


Todd nods a little, but sets the magazine back on the stand. He follows her gaze to the white squares, curiously, and looks at that while he responds to her question. "Oh, I don't know. Maybe. Anything is possible, right? Aquariums sound fun, so I bet I have. I'm the kind of guy that likes fun things."


The doctor's gaze shifts back to the man, her look almost quizzical. "Quite right. Anything is possible."

Bethany adjusts the scarf around her neck and clears her throat. "You did seem to be having fun with your friend."

When the magazine is replaced, she catches the name of the publication. One of those she wouldn't normally read but good for the waiting room.

"I apologize for my distraction. I was just trying to locate the shelf that holds the book I am currently looking for."


Todd nods a little, and shoves his hands in his pockets. "Really? That's nice… Maybe my friend and I will have a chance to go again. It sounds fun." He glances back to Bethany, curiously. "Really? What book are you looking for?" he wonders. "I mean, I might be a librarian. You never know, anything is possible."


"I do not thi…" Bethany gives a little sigh, then decides to go with it. She has seen many like Todd in her office over the years. While they are not patients she focuses on so much, she does know that sometimes allowing them the fantasy is better momentarily.

"William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying." The earlier glance means she knows where it is. "If you were a librarian," she points out cautiously, "You would likely be wearing a name tag."


Todd smiles openly at Bethany. "Never heard of it," he admits, "And if I were a librarian, I'd probably have heard of it. Sorry. Guess I can't help after all. Are you a librarian, then?" he wonders, curiously.


"A doctor," she offers without going into great detail. Chances are he won't recall this conversation later. Beyond that, she does not wish to set him off again.

"I think I will be able to locate the book. If you look here," she says tilting the paper with the title and numbers on it toward him, "You can see that all the books in here are classified by a number. So if you know which number it is, you match it to the numeric listing on those little white plaques at the top of the shelves and then match the numbers on the books."

After showing Todd the slip of paper and explaining it, she adds, "In fact, I should likely go find it now." With a friendly wave Bethany wanders toward the stacks to locate the book she came for.

All without setting Todd off on another episode.

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