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Book Moll

The librarian sat behind the desk with a book spread on her knees. I envied the book. “What’s the name of the book, sister?”

“’Chomsky on Phonemes’.”

“’Chomsky on Phone Names’?”

A barely stifled giggle slid out between teeth whiter than a bald eagle’s pate. I pounced. “I like your giggle, girlie.”

She went icy on me. “The library does not encourage fraternization, Mr. –-“ “Marlowe.”

“—Marlowe,” she echoed. But the way she said it made my toes curl.

The moment I managed to uncurl them I turned my attention back to her. “How about taking an interest in another book. A book about a detective. A book titled: ‘M is for Marlowe.’”

She clapped her hands. “A semi-eponymous novel. Very good, indeed, Mr. Marlowe.”

I had never heard of that kind of novel, but I didn’t let it faze me. “Yeah, I was inspired by the surroundings,” I muttered. “We are in a library.”

“Not just any library – a librarian’s library.”

I winced at the idea, but covered it up. Something told me dumping on a library would go down with this cutie about as well as a river-stuffed stiff wearing helium booties. “What do you do when you’re finished book-sitting?” I glanced at the book on her knees again. “What’s this Chomsky got that I don’t?”

“He’s into words,” she said. “You’re into – whatever detectives are into.”

“This detective is not into, but onto – onto you, cookie. Somebody’s been dipping into the library’s book fines till. I’ve a hunch that somebody is you.”

She appeared stunned by my little speech. But only for a moment. She moved her hand toward the book on her knees. I didn’t give it a thought since I was concentrating on her knees and not the book. It was to cost me. She opened the cover of the book. The book was as hollow as a hooker’s heart when she discovers she’s been paid in funny money. She drew out a gun and pointed it straight at my ticker.

I played for time. “Why the waster?”

“You were coming on too strong, Mr. M. Re the till thing and re me. My head librarian warned me against types like you. But anybody so wonderfully alliterative can’t be all bad.”

“Alliterative?”

“’Why the waster?’. I’m a sucker for alliteration.”

I didn’t know what the hell she was talking about. But that never stopped me before. “I’m all for alliteration, angel.”

“You’re incorrigible,” she cooed, throwing herself over the desk and into my arms.

Luckily, the ‘Library open’ sign was within reach. I flipped it over so it read ‘Library closed.’

I was about to lift her and carry her to the librarian’s office in order to ruffle her pages when I found myself carrying – a book! She had turned into a book – no, not ‘Chomsky on Phone Names’ but something called ‘Great Expectations.’

She had realized the librarian’s ultimate fantasy and me a librarian ravisher’s ultimate nightmare.

Retracing my steps, I reflipped the sign to ‘Library open’ and placed ‘Great Expectations’ on the ‘Recommended’ shelf.

Recommended for someone else. Chomsky, maybe.

This story was written by Larry Lefkowitz. His humorous literary novel "The Novel, Kunzman, the Novel" available from Lulu.com.
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