May 3, 2016 by Lyn Thorne-Alder
Enrie looked down at her notepad, scribbled down a note, and then glanced up at Saydrie and Taikie. They were both frowning, their heads tilted towards the nearby treaties section. Why?
“…thought we’d found it all, but…” Oh. It was barely a whisper, but when her pen stopped moving, she could hear it. A woman’s voice.
“It can’t be here. I don’t care what rumors they’re spreading, they don’t have it.”
“I don’t know why such a thing was here in the first place, if it ever was. I mean, talk about keeping the knives in the nursery.”
“Did you hear someone nearby?” The man sounded far more nervous than the woman. They also sounded very familiar.
“It’s a library. There’s always someone around. Just keep your voice down and help me look.”
Enrie shared another look with both of her friends. She thought she knew the voices — they had to be the people who had pulled out the earlier references to the Coffee Treaty.
But what if they thought to go looking where the treaty actually was? They’d hide it from sight and nobody would ever know the whole story.
“Nothing here. I swear there were more books than that here…” the man muttered.
Enrie tilted her head towards the stairs. Saydrie nodded, and, frowning, Taikie nodded as well. Moving quietly, they began packing up their books.
“Maybe someone moved something to another section? Or some kid took one of the books home. You don’t think the Byitties already have it, do you?”
“If they already had it, we’d be hearing about it. There’d have been something, even just a pissed-off school administrator or the city governor complaining.” The woman tch’d. “You know how the Byitties get when they get their hands on anything.”
Enrie glanced at Saydrie. He was staring very intently at his books, his hands carefully wrapped around his largest textbook. Taikie was frowning, looking as if she was about to shout out something.
Enrie tucked the last of her books into her bag and helped Saydrie get his packed up. The conversation in the next section was moving in an out of her hearing range. She found, much as she wanted the information, she liked it better when she couldn’t hear them.
“…reference here in a book, but it’s all scribbled over with another color pen. What, did they think that would hide it?”
“…honestly, why they don’t just burn these things?”
She almost had to push Taikie physically to get her to move to the stairs. Flapping her hands quietly like she was moving chickens, Enrie got them headed towards the stairs.
The voices seemed to follow them, as the man raised his voice “…useless, that’s what all this stuff is. Useless and worse, dangerous. Like leaving rusty swords around infants.”
Enrie gritted her teeth and walked forward, hoping her friends would follow her, and hoping leaving was really the right idea.