CASE LOG #78. FILED UNDER: “NON-STANDARD PHENOMENA: NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION.”
CALL TO ACTION: “gilmore. we’ve received a stream of complaints about the Library’s atmosphere. this would not be a concern of ours were they not complaints from highly trusted patrons. if they say something’s going down, something is Up, dude. please stop by at our earliest convenience.” -The Twins
BEGIN LOG TRANSCRIPT.
Today, Frank and I visited the Wyrd Library, which is in itself a paradoxical proclamation. In the Wyrd Library, there is no true today, or tomorrow, or yesterday. There are only books. Eons and eons of books.
When I tried explaining this to Frank on our way there, he threw someone’s newspaper at me.
It made me laugh. Not because I thought it was a clever response (It Was Not), but because it reminded me of something. Someone I knew, once. Someone whose face I can no longer picture, like how the details of Frank’s face often blur at the edges, like a dream. Sometimes, I can see for an instant, but—it’s like grasping at clouds. I’ve been having that feeling often, lately. Teetering at the cliff of a memory. If I could only see over the edge…
In any case, the Library. We must have arrived exactly on time, because the Twins were waiting at the door to let us in. I introduced them to Frank, and they each gave me the strangest look—a little sad, a little hopeful. But all their looks are strange, so I moved on and asked where they wanted me to look first.
Diana directed us directly to the Archives in the vaults beneath the central “building,” despite Apollo’s proposal we begin in the “G” section. That, she said, could have taken all month. Apollo argued that we had all the time in the universe, here. Diana said that could be less time than we thought.
They kept arguing like that for a while, as they led us easily through rows of tall shelves piled with paper and words. The shelves moved by faster, with the Twins there to keep them in line, so we could just catch glimpses of the subject placards—Trolls, Botany, Wisdom Teeth, Frasier Series 1-4,837. Frank and I shared a look of concern. Well, my look was concerned. His look was concerning.
Before I could do anything about it, the Twins bustled us down some stairs. Diana opened a huge vault door, and we ducked into the Archives.
It was not so exciting as to deserve capitalization. Just filling cabinets tucked away beneath their dust. A lot of dust. A lot of filing cabinets.
“We’ll leave you to it,” said the Twins. “Just ring us when you find something.” They gestured to an old, small, brass bell on the wall with the inscription [REDACTED]. And they did not so much disappear as they forgot to continue to be there.
I looked across the endless rows of filing cabinets, took off my hat, and rolled up my shirtsleeves. “You take that half of the room,” I said to Frank. “I’ll take this other half."
No such thing as half of infinity, he signed back, then, when I ignored him, drifted off.
It did not take me long to find what I was looking for, mostly because I’m fairly certain it was looking for me, first.
In order to maintain Order, the Wyrd Library is meticulously and militantly organized, which is why, when I saw an unlabeled drawer, I immediately drew my flashlight from my briefcase. “Frank!” Despite wearing my glasses, I couldn’t see him. No matter. I’d done this on my own for years, I could do it without him now.
Though hopefully he’d return quickly. Not that I was worried, of course.
I creaked open the drawer, and…
Nothing happened. It was just some papers. After a thorough examination (I poked them with my flashlight a little), I took out the first file, attempted to read the first page. There were words, but they were fuzzy and in no language I’d ever seen before—that is, if I were able to recognize them as letters at all. It was like every time I tried to focus on them, they slipped just out of my grasp. In fact, it felt a lot like when I tried to focus on the details of Frank’s face.
I squinted hard at the words, and immediately passed out.
When I came to, it was to a cold hand on my cheek—not because it was comforting, but because it had just finished slapping me. I saw that the hand belonged to Frank, hovering over me. And, shortly afterwards, I heard his voice for the first time. The first thing I ever heard him say was—[STATIC].
END OF TRANSCRIPT.