Saturday, March 10, 2012

Miss O'Brian's Library, Chapter 4... and More!

   I was looking through my blog to catch up reading what I wrote so far in Miss O'Brian's library, and I realized something. It's kind of a b!tch to do. So, I took what chapters I have so far and tossed them into another blog to make them easier to find. Think of it as a blog book. You can take a look at Miss O'Brian's Library and see for yourself. Since it still posts in reverse-chronological order, I recommend clicking on the chapter you want in the table of contents, and going through the individual pages.

   There isn't a lot there in the way of graphics- it's very plain -but I might end up adding pictures some time later. Who knows? Anyway, it's still under construction.

Miss O'Brian's Library: Chapter 4

Tracy was dumbstruck. It was true, of course. She knew before she set foot in the door that her job would be dangerous. Evelynne had made a sort of mixed reputation for herself in the nearby town. It was a delightful little chunk of mountains that was home to history, hippies, bikers, and good old boys. Add to it a city council that closely resembled a family tree, and you got a lot of people who wanted to know what the next guy was all about....   and a lot of next guys who didn't want anyone to find out. The place teetered on the brink of wanting to use Evelynne to their advantage, and wanting to run her out of town before she causes any more trouble. Naturally anyone who attached themselves to Evelynne was walking into the same kind of trouble.

That didn't deter Tracy in the slightest. She was young enough to still be invincible, and "trouble" directly translated to "adventure" in her head. In other words, she was asking for it.

What really caught her off guard was how quickly Evelynne saw through her. It wasn't her words alone (though, the casually direct way she ran on through her speech detailing the safety procedures was a bit eerie. Wait, you want me to wear what under my blouse?!) but the way she seemed to answer Tracy's questions before they were even asked, and make guesses as if they were deduced from years of having known her habits and quirks. She was good..  but an entirely different kind of good than Tracy had expected. It was almost as if reciting the safety protocol was merely a pretense--  something she was using to keep the girl's attention while she read her like a book.

"That's pretty good, Kiddo. You catch on quickly." Evelynne's voice changed pace out of nowhere to say; instantly snapping Tracy out of her daydream-like wondering. "Just remember that's an easy one, and I'm not the only one who can do it by a long-shot. So your best bet is to keep your eyes open.. stay alert. Always... remember.. to... focus......." Her voice trailed off as her eyes wandered to something far behind Tracy, and squinted to focus into the distance. Tracy turned to see one of a row of little red LED lights burning bright on a panel on the wall.

"What does that one mean?" Tracy asked

"Means someone is coming up on the property from the southwest side.. that's out of the woods, not through the gate." Evelynne kicked into gear, sliding around the table, and heading for the door. On her way through it, she grabbed the antique-looking rifle hanging on the wall that Tracy just now realized wasn't just for show.

Tracy grabbed a fork. She didn't know why, or what good a fork would do if there was a real goon out there, but in her split-second frantic grabbiness it felt better than being empty-handed. She scrambled to keep up with Evelynne, who was already halfway up the outer staircase that wrapped around the building.

The view from the roof was interesting. Tracy could see, now, that the property had been set up so that anyone standing on the roof could see anyone who came close to approaching it. The land was clear of tall trees, and the roads were cleverly bordered so that there were only two paths by which a vehicle could get close to the building. Even the steps in front of the building were a subtle defense designed to force visitors to approach on foot. Tracy was sure that if she got the chance to look hard enough, some certain off-pattern patches of land would prove to be booby traps or pitfalls to catch any intruders who made it past the initial deterrents. God! this woman must be paranoid as hell..

There was no time to look for booby traps now, though, as Tracy quickly swept her eyes to the southwest. Here, the trees crept onto the property closer to the building than any other place, leaving only a short expanse of plain grass and a ten-foot drop-off between the wooded area and the porch. A figure with a mass of yellow hair on top of its head, wearing a big blue hoodie and basketball shorts stumbled out of the trees.

"Don't take another step." Evelynne's voice rang out....  but her lips didn't move. The sound was coming from a speaker about twenty feet to their right. Tracy spied her boss click a button on a remote up her sleeve. "You're on private property. I've called the Police. (The click-clack of a shotgun played over the speaker) And if I were you I'd behave 'till they got here."

The figure put its hands in the air, as if to surrender, and turned to face the speaker. As it did, the yellow mop tumbled away from its face, revealing a buck-toothed, boyish face with more freckles than was good for it. He stood up straight, a runty little thing that couldn't have been more than eleven years old. He huffed and puffed, and his voice coughed out the words as if his lungs were full of dust. "Geez, lady!! Hck..  Ya coulda' just gone with 'Damn kids git off my lawn!'"

Evelynne rolled her eyes like a teenager, as she slumped her shoulders, and handed off the rifle to Tracy to get it out of the way. Tracy took it awkwardly, pointing it out of the way, and absentmindedly trading her the fork. Evelynne slipped silently down from the porch, fork in hand, to approach the boy. "Then Dammit, Kid," She shouted in annoyance, brandishing the fork like an old crank, "Git off my lawn!"

Seeing that the "shotgun" was nowhere to be found, the boy to a brave step forward, with his hands still in the air. "Hold on a minute, I thought this was a book store." He protested, once he caught his breath, "That's public, ain't it?"

"Not on this side it ain't," Evelynne asserted, pointing with her oh-so-menacing fork for emphasis, "You come in through the front driveway, and enter the front shop, or else you're trespassing on my personal property."

"Is that.. is that a fork?" The boy took a couple more steps forward, reaching out to tag the dinky little piece of silverware. Evelynne dismissively tossed it away, and caught him by the ear. "A'right ya little wise ass state your business. Does your mother know you're here?"

He squirmed and twisted. "Ow.. OW! Hey! Is this how you treat a paying customer?!"

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