Checking In - By Brian Law

He stood waiting for the librarian to finish what she was doing. She looked a little young and pretty to be a librarian, but he still waited. He was looking for something special and she might be able to help, even if she wasn’t the real deal. 

“Yes, may I help you with something?” she finally asked him, her voice lisping slightly probably due to the tongue piercing. Sort of Drew Barrymooreish, in a way. 

“Yeah, I’m looking for a really good L.A. private detective novel. I thought you might have some ideas, some recommendations.” He wished he’d shaved before he left his apartment. Maybe he was too old for her, but you just never knew. 

“You guys kill me,” she replied. 

“Okay, that sounds good. Who’s the author?” 

“No, I’m just saying that you guys all come in here and ask questions like that thinking we know stuff right off the top of our heads. C’mon, give me a break,”  She looked at him with a slight smile that sort of took the edge off her attitude. 

“Right. Well, is there some sort of crime novel collection in the library, maybe?” 

“No, nothing like that. Ever think about a google search? We got computers you can use. You do know how to use a computer, don’t you?” There was that attitude again. 

“Sure.” He knew how, sort of. 

“But you’ll have to leave your gun with me if you want to enter the library, though,” she added. 

He didn’t think it showed. He looked at her with a slightly new respect. She was good, this one. 

“How’d you spot it?” he wondered. 

“My ex carried a piece. Smaller than yours, though. What is it, a thirty-eight?” 

“Unh-huh. How do we do the hand over? I mean, right out here in the open?” he asked. 

“No, just go over in the corner there and drop it in the slot.” 

He looked over at the slot in the corner. Should be big enough, he figured. 

“Okay, sounds good. So, you’re single, right?” 

“Yeah, today I am. Why?” 

“Just thinking about when I come back for my gun. Maybe we could talk some, get to know each other better. See where it goes.” 

She looked at him and her smile got a bit bigger. “You’re kinda cute in an older sort of way. You’re not a cop or anything like that, are you? I don’t like cops much.” 

“Me, a cop. No. So, you’re good with me coming back in a bit for a chat?” 

She looked down, shuffled some paperwork, and said, “Not really. You need any more help finding something?” 

He shook his head and looked past the desk and into the library proper. There was a kind of cute older woman browsing the stacks. Maybe she’d have some ideas on a good private detective novel set in L.A. 

His gun made a loud noise as it clunked through the slot and down the chute and into the adjoining room. The older woman heard it, looked up and smiled at him. 

The older ones usually don’t mind if he wasn’t clean shaven. He wondered at what age that changed as he turned and entered the library and smiled back at the older woman. 



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