Practical Exercise

“Hi, Adara,” he said.  “Good to see you.  Are you recovered yet?”

“Pretty much,” I answered, pointing at the silk wrappings on my arms.

“Recovered?” The girl sitting just beyond him was short, dark-haired, and a bit on the chubby side. “Oh, hi,” she continued.  “I’m Prudence Whitaker.   I’m also club secretary, so I get to ask you your name and where you are living so we can send you meeting notices.”

“Adara,” Is said. “Adara Triskittenion. Tower Suite One, Knowlton Hall, Marbury Residences.”

“Adara?” She jotted down notes.  “Wait.  Adara Triskittenion?  You’re the girl who smashed the golem, aren’t you?”  Word of that event seemed to have gotten around campus rather quickly.

“And took down a  notorious combat duelist,” Ambrose added.

“That’s me,” I said.  “I prefer not to talk about it.  There’s now duelling attorneys and some of them want to sue me.”

“Sue you?” Prudence asked.  “How can they?”

“As I said, dueling attorneys, and I really am not supposed to talk about it,” I answered.  I actually hadn’t heard that from Heath yet, but sort of knew the answer without being told.

“Prudence? Are we expecting anyone else?”  The speaker was a fellow perhaps my age, sitting at the far end of the room, occupying the one chair that faced the length of the table.  His tunic was a featureless gray; he held in one hand a very small hammer of some orange-hued metal. Hearing no answer, he struck a gong once, twice, a third time.

There followed an extremely extended, and quite pointless discussion of paths to reorganizing the library shelves.  Apparently they’d recently tried petitioning the Board of Overseers, who were not interested, and the senior Faculty, who were actively hostile. I finally realized that they couldn’t even agree with each other as to how the library should be reorganized, with a division between people who wanted books in a single line, alphabetical order by author and then title, and people who wanted the order to be alphabetical order by book title and then author.

I couldn’t imagine how these people thought they would persuade anyone else to change how the books were stacked, not when they couldn’t even persuade each other.  I did see Prudence’s notes for her minutes.  This was the first meeting of the one hundred thirty-seven thousandth – and digits I couldn’t see clearly – year since the Society was organized, so Library Reform had been meeting for most of the years since the Library was founded. Finally, as the newcomer, I was asked how I thought a library should be organized.

About George Phillies

science fiction author -- researcher in polymer dynamics -- collector of board wargames -- President, National Fantasy Fan Federation
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply