Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Tattoo Book 6.19

Posted by harmony0stars on June 7, 2010

The nearest door was shut and the light was out, but the next door sat open. She followed Scott into the room where the oldest woman she’d ever seen sat like a fragile wrinkled doll at a tiny desk. “Professor Scott,” the secretary said in a dry and rasping voice. “Dr Blackwood…”

As if waiting for her to say his name, an imposing figure strode into the room from the office beyond. The doctor was tall and gaunt with dark unruly hair and moist eyes that sat in cavernous sockets like pools of water. For all that there wasn’t a fleck of gray in his hair, she had the impression that he was older than Professor Scott. His dark eyes flicked Glory up and down without giving anything away as to his feelings. “Professor, if I could have a word with you please?”

Looking slightly surprised and embarrassed, Scott said, “Ms Lewin, this shouldn’t take long. Feel free to examine the books while you wait.”

Glory nodded and walked back to the books she’d seen from the elevator. She couldn’t help but feel she was the topic of conversation, but staying in the secretary’s antechamber in the hope of catching a word or two would only make the old woman suspicious. The nearest shelves sat behind the elevator and were sandwiched between two sets of stairs.  There were more books on cryptozoology than she would have expected for such a speculative subject. While it was a fascinating subject, she had more specific interests in mind.

Several more rows of books followed the far wall. The third floor seemed to be for the more speculative subjects in general. Philosophy gave way to more religions than she had ever known existed. She perused the shelves, well aware that religion often mingled with magic, especially in ancient times. It seemed as if she’d only just come to the last two rows of books and discovered they were all dedicated to the occult, when Scott was hurrying across the room. Dr Blackwood followed at what seemed a leisurely pace, his long stride eating up space between them.

“I see you found the occult section. Apparently that was your father’s favorite area as well,” Blackwood said without preamble.

Glory blinked in confusion. “I’m sorry? What?”

Blackwood stood as if waiting for a more specific answer, while Professor Scott continued to look uneasy. “Were you aware that your father attended Miskatonic University?”

“Honestly, I couldn’t even tell you my father’s first name. My mother always got upset when I asked about him, so I just let it drop. And, well, now she‘s dead. I couldn‘t ask her about him if I was even still interested.”

“So you’re not in contact with him at all?” the librarian demanded.

“No, I told you. I don’t know his name or even what he looks like. What is this about?”

“Since your sister’s visit, Dr Blackwood has been doing some digging into your family‘s history. Your father was a student here at one time.” Glory scowled at mention of her sister and considering the connotation, she didn’t imagine she was going to like whatever they had to say about her father either.

“Did your father leave any of his things at your home?”

“If he did, they burned up in the fire. Look, what is this about?”

“Your father’s grandfather was a benefactor of the University. Many of the books in our Special Collections were left to us in his will. Because of this, when your father came here as a student, he was allowed unrestricted access to them. He left school abruptly and never returned. Soon after he disappeared, it was discovered that many of books he’d examined in the Vault were either outright forgeries or missing altogether.”

“Are you… do you want me to pay for them or something?” she asked, still a little confused as to what they were getting at.

Blackwood looked a little startled, and Scott actually smiled in amusement. “No,” said the librarian in a less confrontational voice. The offer to pay for the books seemed to satisfy both men, as if it were such a patently absurd suggestion that she couldn‘t possibly have any ulterior motives for her visit. “The missing books are irreplaceable, priceless. I had merely hoped that you had them or knew where you father might be contacted.”

Somehow she didn’t think that was what he had hoped at all, but she didn’t call him on it. She was fairly certain he’d been on the verge of accusing her of having them in her possession. “I’m sorry. If I ever met the man, I don’t remember it, and if you’re looking for a thief, you have the wrong sister.”

Blackwood nodded. “I met your sister when she came here. She seemed to know more about your family’s history than you do. At least she knew that your great grandfather had left some books to the University. That’s how I found out about your father. Of course, she tried to claim ownership of them, seemingly unaware that your father had already taken them.”

“Well, I don’t know how she would have found out something like that, but then I talked to her as little as possible, even before she went psychotic. I don‘t plan on taking any of your books. If it‘s any consolation, she stole a book from me.” Feeling more than a little irritated by their interrogation, she was on the verge of telling them to take their Necronomicon and shove it somewhere nasty.

“I’d heard about that,” Blackwood replied. “If you manage to retrieve it, I hope you’ll consider leaving it to the library some day.”

“I plan on burning it,” she replied heatedly. “As Professor Scott recently pointed out to me, there are some books that are too dangerous to exist. I knew Lori wanted it. I should have destroyed it the first time she tried to steal it and kept everything in my head where it was safe from her.”

If possible, Scott looked even more embarrassed as if he expected a tongue lashing from Blackwood for suggesting any book should be destroyed. The doctor was a hard cookie to crumble though. He made a nonjudgmental sound in the back of his throat. “Shall we go to the basement then?” he asked as if he hadn’t just given her the third degree. She followed the men to the elevator, unsure of whether she still wanted to examine their book.

to Book 6, page 20

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2 Responses to “Tattoo Book 6.19”

  1. here2read said

    oh family dirt… lol

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