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The book case

by Practicer 

Posted: 01 September 2020
Word Count: 912
Summary: For the autumn event challenge. It is a detective story, sort of.

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Doctor Jones wrote the sick note out for the commencing period of two weeks and handed it to Hans.

Hans had already been on a leave of absence for at least a year  due to a muscle fatigue condition. The terms and conditions  of absence had seemed long ground in stone.  Whether the office of active training for labour force would accept  another sicknote was an immediate cause for Hans to panic.

Doctor Jones had reassured Hans that this was a deferred sick note for stress. Hans was showing extreme signs of high anxiety. Doctor Jones had strongly advised Hans to chill out. To have a period of no work. The sick note would still entitle him to receive financial support.

Hans took the note and as soon as he got home, got his carer to handle the stress of contacting the office and explain the situation. As Hans had feared, it was not a straight forward case. The office had to see the evidence. The note must be scanned through E mail before acceptance.

This left Hans feeling even more stressed.

Hans who spent most of his life dreaming about books had a growing sense that his situation was turning into a Nightmare.  With too much time to think of every possible consequence that made him spiral into negativity, He decided the best solution was to head on down to his local library, where he had volunteered quite happily for many years in the midst of the bliss of books. This was Han´s one escape from reality and the one true dream of being in the moment of his imagination to let off steam. After all it there was no heavy lifting involved, as he would spend most of his time clearing up the Junior library. The junior books were lighter and brighter. picking these types of books off the floor was similar to gently sweeping autumn leaves, or even fruit gathering for a harvest festival. It also happened to be the Children´s autumn half term holiday. There was bound to be some light duties that didn´t involve any front line customer computer service.  Hans knew the libraries reference number code for shelving non fiction books. Hans could treat the reference ordering as focused awareness of attention. This could de- stress Hans quite a bit, after all what could possibly go wrong.  As a place to go, when the  junior library was lively it could very much resemble a seaside holiday resort.

Benji  was never bored in the library. He was an active reader. Of course, he had a constructive imagination.  He always spent a bit of time with the large building blocks designing the buildings of the future. However, he soon moved onto find something to read. Benji was even more excited, when his mum Alice told him that as it was half term he could take a handful of books to borrow. Alice, however, always had to remind Benji to check with her first before going to the borrowing machines. Benji had agreed to do this. With enthusiasm and excitement, Benji began to claw many books from the shelves and the display boxes. Alice noticing his desire to read ,  had one eye on him and the other on her hand bag, rummaging  around inside for her phone.

Hans strolled into the library foyer. As he wasn´t a front line volunteer, just a book caretaker of sorts, he looked around to see if anything needed tidying. As Hans had expected, the junior library was soon strewn with books.  Hans so accustomed to clearing up the books, as if they had a life of their own. It was as if the books in the junior section would magically transport themselves from one point on the floor to another without any human interference. So without giving it a second thought, Hans almost automaton like began shuffling the books to their designate place of order.  Hans was relieved that it was clearing up nicely without too much problem solving, that he almost had finished and could sit down somewhere in the Adult library and at least read a few blurbs. 

It also had been a successful day for Benji. On his best behaviour , he had shown Alice which book he would like to take home and read first. He neatly put it down onto a table. However, he was now on to choosing another book to borrow that Alice said might contain even more words than pictures.

 Hans  was beginning to tire, noticed a solitary book neatly positioned on the table. As it was a picture book, it would be no trouble to put it back on the picture book shelf. Hans picked it up and noticed a whole load of books strewn on the floor by the picture shelf. Without thinking, Hans put Benji´s borrowed book on the shelf and covered it with all the others.

Hans was just about to leave when Alice said to him,

"My son´s just borrowed a book, but  he can´t find it."

´´Oh!´´ replied Hans. "if you have the library ticket, the machine will prevent it from being borrowed by somebody else , as it has been recorded. We have got three weeks at least".

Alice retrieved the ticket

´´Is it non fiction? I can instantly find it with the dewey decimal", Hans Said, trying to ignore the inevitable.

Alice shook her head.

"Whoops", muttered Hans. "Erm! What did the book look like,then?"


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Comments by other Members

michwo at 15:42 on 01 September 2020  Report this post
Yes, this certainly qualifies as 'an event in autumn', Robert.
Poor Hans! Poor Benji if it comes to that, I suppose, but I can't imagine him being particularly bothered somehow.
I must compliment you on your always painstaking attention to detail.
I stumbled at bit over 'automaton like'. Would it be better to put: Hans, almost like an automaton, began to shuffle the books...
Thanks for this commendable early effort on your part.

euclid at 22:19 on 03 September 2020  Report this post
The makings of a good story, here.

It needs a stronger ending, i think.



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