Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Adventures of Esmerelda

As promised, we bring you the first of several installments illuminating the backstory of Stitching in The Stacks. Read on for the thrilling adventures of Esmerelda Teacup, librarian, knitter, sensualist, inventor . . .

Chapter 1 – Bibliort 

Portrait of a reader * Brief disorientation * On the proper care of books * On the proper care of patrons * A clear warning

Picture our heroine, Esmerelda Teacup, ensconced in her favorite leather chair in the library at home. She reads in a pool of warm lamplight, bare feet tucked up, in a peignoir slit well up the leg (believing that one must always be ready for immediate action, Esme places a high value on garments that do not restrict freedom of movement), and revealing a glimpse of lacy garter.

Esmerelda’s beloved enters the room. Deep in her book, Esme does not notice B’s arrival until caressed by the familiar scents of bergamot and fresh scones.  The slight quiver in the air warns her of the Xorgian hypno-ray.  She dives to the floor, narrowly avoiding incineration as a pair of armored Xoons bursts through the door, firing wildly with white hot blast weapons.  She removes her garter as she rolls, using it first to garrote the nearest Xoon and then to mark her place in her book, freeing both hands for combat . . . Emerging, she smiles warmly, if somewhat hazily, at the tea tray and at B. Unhurriedly, she tucks her glasses into their Stereotypical case and stretches her legs, wiggling her toes experimentally, pleased at how nicely this displays thigh and garter. She holds her place with one hand and eases the garter off with the other. Carefully, she stretches the Bibelot around the book, slipping the thin ribbon between the pages to mark her place, and leaving the lacy nonsense displayed fetchingly against the red morocco cover.

As a librarian, Esme has seen many things used as bookmarks, which she has variously recycled, removed gingerly with tweezers and, in one embarrassing incident, dropped with a shriek (she maintains it was a shriek of indignation, and it is probably best to let the matter rest there). She has heard the legend of the piece of bacon found in a returned book, but is too disturbed by the waste of both book and bacon to credit it. Once, she found a particularly steamy love note, apparently written by a patron of her acquaintance (although not addressed in quite the expected direction). In a gesture both generous and cautionary, she tucked the note into a book being held for the woman.  Esme has not seen her since, and suspects she now frequents a different branch.

Esme is rather proud of her many Bibelots, quick to knit from nearly depleted skeins and easily kept close at hand in case of need. She pats this one fondly, looking at her beribboned book this way and that with the air of a pleased magpie, until folded arms and a tapping foot suggest it is high time she joined her beloved on the sofa to engage in the afternoon’s domestic rituals.

What fiendish new bibliort will Esme uncover next? Tune in to our next episode for the answers to this and other important questions.

1 comment:

charlie said...

i read this entry this way and that, and then this way again, finishing with the air of a pleased (and somewhat besotted) magpie.