Lost in the Library

This takes place after Scatterbrained, but should stand on its own, too, as flash goes.

The girl pausing to look at the old council hall clockwork ticking away in its glass case caught the librarian’s eye—her signal orange cycling helmet was hard to miss. After a few seconds of looking around and flicking the leaves of the green plants around the reading corner, she started prowling the shelves.

It was almost half an hour later when the librarian spotted her again, helmet still clinging to her head. The girl bit her lip and looked around, nervous and confused, so the librarian walked up to her.

“Hello. Can I help you?”

“There are too many things.”

The librarian frowned when she saw that there was a book lying on the sisal carpeting in the corridor the girl had come from.

“What are you looking for?”

The girl turned her head from side to side a few times, face screwing up to a distressed grimace. “I forgot.”

“Now, don’t worry…” The librarian trailed off.

The girl had raised her hands to wipe her eyes, and looked at them in wonder. “LIBRARY” was scrawled in big letters across the back of her left wrist and hand. The child looked at her palms. The left said “Do not forget: Go to the LIBRARY.” The right palm was more puzzling. She twisted her hand around, as if to see if the writing was upside down, but got distracted, ending up looking over her right shoulder towards the shaft of light leading up to the skylight over the stairwell, and holding her right hand loosely in front of her, palm up.

The librarian leaned forward and tried to read the scrawl, but couldn’t decypher it. “Are you all right? Would you like to phone home?”

“I, no? I know the way. Yes, I do.”

Her puzzled frown turned into a wide grin when she glanced at her right hand again. “Oh, ANGEL!”


“Yes, I think my angel is in trouble, it’s why I forget stuff and can’t sit still! Can you help me?”


Written by request of Lyn Thorne-Alder


That's got to be scary — it's usually the other way around, the angel helps out the person! I suppose there has to be more to this, what book is in the library that will help?

Having spent the afternoon calming my senile grandfather who'd forgotten his family was alive, the first half of this put me on edge. There's still a lovely vein of nonsense and play, particularly in the teasing closing line, but if only I'd had another frame of mind to read it in.