Refocused, Ted began to look at the broken down buildings around him: sagging roofs, broken windows, crumbling walls. He loved to pour over the detailed drawings he found at the central information bank. The solutions ancient generations invented to keep up with cellular evolution were inspiring by their practical simplicity. Even if they often were rather crude and not efficient. It was understandable to see how the earth’s resources could be plundered in only a few centuries.
Most of the houses Ted passed were deserted, all signs of a typical quarantined community. He knew there were Others though and hoped that he didn’t run into any this time around! Suddenly he came to an abrupt halt, inhaling sharply,
Wow! There standing in the middle of the town square stood an almost intact library!
Excitedly, he ran to the building. He paused to trace his fingers delicately along the corner stones.
Hmm, he thought, that’s odd. Solid, firm.
The building was a beauty of historic splendor and still in much better condition that all the surrounding buildings. That was peculiar.
Moving towards the door, Ted was surprised when it opened easily, as if just oiled yesterday. A dark, musty smell greeted him as he stuck his head in quickly. He was greeted with a surprising sight: polished windows, marble floors, dark ebony wood counters. Simple, quiet and luxurious.
Yet the entire immense circluar space was furnished with only a single wooden desk, next to which precariously leaned a tower of old books. Around the entire room where 5 doors and a pair of worn, but inviting leather chairs. At the solitary desk sat an ancient typewriter and an old woman who’s fingers never seemed to stop moving. clackity, clack, clack.
His mouth agape, Ted stood there longer than he realized for finally the woman stopped typing long enough to stare at him over her beveled reading glasses.
“Be sure to close that door behind you!” she stated matter of factly, smiling with tight lips.
Was she talking to me? he thought. Glancing around Ted saw no one else and so obediently closed the heavy wood door softly behind him. With each step he realized there was something very odd about this building. It wasn’t’ decaying at all!
In fact, it was, becoming more stable? Its shape flawless, every detail enhanced each time he glanced back at a previous spot. Questions ran somersaults across his mind: Why was this building here? Why was it quarantined? it was transitioning, in fact, even faster than he was!
Clickety-clack, clack. The typing stopped once again. Her lips pursed in a slight frown.
“The doors behind you?” she repeated more urgently as if he were late for an appointment. Ted nodded, walking towards the direction she pointed. The old woman called after him as he crossed the room.
“Go down the corridor, turn right, than another corridor to the end. Turn left and then left once again.”
Ah, thought Ted, Perhaps she needs some help retrieving books? Relieved at the familiar labyrinth layout of ancient libraries, he relished the thought of browsing his hand through actual paper books. The musty smell of decayed paper, the quiet shrrrp as each crisp page was turned, the words tumbled from the page and built entire worlds around him.