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.
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.