– Continued from How to Borrow a Book from a Dragon (Part 2) –
Stay still. Pretend you’re a word on the page. The dragon is close, but hopefully he won’t choose to wander this aisle. Although…well, never mind. I was only going to mention that if he sees a book lying open on the floor, he’ll want to investigate. Courage, he’d have to notice it first.
Well, he’s noticed. He’s definitely noticed. He’s flying right toward us. Goodness, look at the arc of his wings. I’ve worked here for over a decade and I still haven’t grown accustomed to that magnificent sight.
Brace yourself. He’s going to land. Shhhh.
“What’s this?” Grar’s voice rumbles as he lands on all fours. He’s spotted something on the floor of the G aisle in the fiction section. Upon closer examination, he finds that something is a book. A book out of place. Mythical Monsters, by Charles Gould. He hisses and reaches out a claw to shut and replace the thick volume, wondering who would be reading such nonsense.
“Whatever could Grar Goldbrick be doing in the fiction section?” asks a girlish voice.
Grar pulls back his claw and swings his enormous head around to see the she-dragon. “Averell! Make some noise when you fly. The library may enforce silence, but some announcement of approach is courtesy.”
“I do plenty to get your attention, you just never notice.” Averell lands on her powerful feet and pulls in her wings. She slowly cocks her head. “What is it you’re reading? Mythical Monsters? I didn’t know you were interested in Gould’s work.”
“I’m not interested.” Grar pulls his head back, insulted. “I was merely investigating. The book was lying open when I got here.”
“So it leapt off the shelf and opened of its own accord?”
Grar growls deep in his throat, then says, “I’m saying someone else was reading it, which means there’s an agitator in the library.”
“Agitator? That’s a strong word. Can’t a dragon believe in humans if he or she wants to?”
“Yes. But that doesn’t make them any less of an idiot.”
“I suppose I’m an idiot then.” Averell lowers her head and half smiles up at him.
The yellow specks in Grar’s eyes glow as his expression darkens. “You shouldn’t advertise that.”
Averell shrugs demurely. “It isn’t as bad as you think, Grar. Lots of dragons believe in humans.”
“Not in this province.”
“You might be surprised.”
“And you’ve been talking to Prestor.”
“Maybe.” Averell looks over the shelves casually “He’s an intelligent professor.”
“He’s an agitator.”
“Agitator or not. He’s finding evidence.” She picks out a book. “There, I’ve made my selection. I’ll leave you to make yours. Or have you made it already?” She flicks her eyes at Mythical Monsters and then grins. “Good day, then. Don’t worry, I’ll make plenty of noise so that you’ll know I’m leaving,” she says the last word sweetly, rocking her head, then leaps up and flies away in a rush of wind.
Grar watches her round the corner at the end of the hall, then looks back down at the book on the floor.
The open book. Out of place.
For a split second, he thinks he sees a word move. His eyes narrow and he reaches out to shut the book, but a bright flash followed by blue smoke repels his claw. Startled, he steps back and coils slightly. Realizing the incident has shaken him more than he would ever admit, he leaps up and flies down the hall. He will alert the librarian that there is a book out of place. Yes, that’s the proper way to handle the situation. After all, it’s her job to put books back in their right order.
He’s gone. Quick, get down off the book. We won’t be able to read the missing chapter from Gould’s Mythical Monsters today, I’m afraid. It’s far to dangerous for that. At least we know it exists, which means Gould may have known how our worlds were separated, and how they might reunite.
Go, quickly! Back to the human world. I’ve put you in enough danger today. Go!