Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash
The library parking lot was empty except for some small twigs and leaves. I left Betsy near the back of the lot because the faded lines would shout less about the truck’s size. I chuckled to myself, most ladies I know don’t want their size pointed out.
After shutting the truck off, the hairs on the back of my neck began to prickle. It felt like someone was watching. I looked around, but saw no one.
Once inside, I saw a lone librarian sitting behind the desk. When she didn’t look up, I cleared my throat. She slowly peered over the tops of her readers and offered no smile. “May I help you?”
My mouth had gone dry and palms sweaty. My mind continued playing tricks with me. “I need to use one of the private cubicles. Preferably one with an outlet. We don’t have power at home,” I stammered.
Her lips disappeared into a straight line as she silently extended her hand. I looked in the direction her hand seemed to point, but only saw the restrooms. She sighed, “Your library card.”
“Oh, right.” I handed it to her and began to feel the prickles on the back of my neck again. This time I refrained from looking around.
Several moments later, she handed me my card and a key. Then proceeded to drone monotonously about rules, emphasized the strict two-hour limit, and asked that I follow her. With great effort, she pushed herself to her feet and limped towards the back of the library.
The small windowless room was about twice the size of the old phone booths I remembered from childhood. It had its own light switch, a desk-high platform wedged between two walls, and an uncomfortable looking chair. The window on the door had a paper-thin shade that could be pulled for some privacy. Before leaving, she pressed a single finger to her lips and then held up two fingers.
While I waited for the laptop to power up, a shiver ran up my back. That’s when I pulled the shade because anyone who walked by could see my computer screen. Taking a deep breath, I inserted the SD card.
As it was scanned for viruses, I tapped the plastic case on the platform. The screen filled with folders titled with odd names like Nag, Brat, Tensile, Black Hole, and Beast. What could possibly so important?