Greta: The Librarian

 

Brown hair, styled in a French twist was a signature look for Greta Whitney. She wasn’t one to wear shockingly colorful clothes or flashy jewelry. Understated browns, blacks, muted grays, greens and blues were the only colors in her wardrobe. She owned a variety of eyeglasses, but all were either very Sarah Palin or classic librarian. 

She wasn’t adventurous in any way except one. Greta was a spy. Not a very good one, but she had her specialties. She was an expert at being invisible. 

No one paid her much mind. She was able to walk in and out of places with ease. It was a handy skill to have, especially for a spy, but not one she relished. In the back of her mind, in her very daydreams, she wanted to be seen, to be the one people goggled over, made a fuss over. She wanted just once to be important. Important enough to see. 

Greta Whitney was comfortable in her sanctuary of books. Even the computer terminals set out for students were a safe haven. But anything outside of the Library was foreign ground. At the end of a particularly long day, she wrapped a winter sweater around her shoulders and stepped out of the Brookfield Regional Library. It was a tad bit before five o’clock, but no one would notice. She was the only one left in the building. 

A large key ring attached to her purse jangled as she locked the front door. Her hands trembled as she shoved the keys back into her bag walking purposefully to her ice blue Mustang. It was the only car left in the parking lot.

She glanced at her cell phone. She only had a few minutes to make her connection with the contact.

The wind nearly blew the new red scarf off her shoulders as she jumped into the Mustang. She shivered and started the engine. It took five minutes to get the car going eating up precious time. Her automobile only worked when it wanted to.

She tore out of the library parking lot driving straight into town. She had a terrible sense of direction and everyone knew it, even her boss, Jaxx Sinclair. She squinted and pushed up her glasses as she checked the road signs against her GPS. Greta stopped the car on a side street three blocks from the center of town.

This had to be the place. It was a doorway between a coffee shop and a boutique. If she hadn’t been looking for it, she doubted she would have even noticed the single door. There was no business sign, but ancient books and antique maps greeted her as she entered. The room was filled with a thin layer of cigar smoke. Greta coughed a bit at the intensity of the smell.

“Hello, is anyone here?” she called out.

A boy with spiked black and green hair peeked his head around a bookshelf peering at her with curiosity. His nose ring glinted as he stepped into view. She could see he was wearing a band t-shirt and camo pants.

“Dad! Customer!” 

The contrast between son and father was shocking. Where the son was edging on grunge, the father was not. His starched shirt, herringbone jacket and sensible shoes shouted British. But what would a British man being doing in Brookfield?

“So, you’re Greta Whitney, I presume?” He spoke in an English accent. Her guess of British was right on the mark.

“Yes, sir. Mr. Sinclair sent me. He says you have a package you want delivered.”

The man gestured to a wooden chair in the corner positioned around a table.

“Jacob, could you please get Ms. Whitney a cup of tea?”

“Oh, I don’t want to be any trouble,” Greta said.

She spoke at the same time as Jacob who said, “Jace. My name is Jace.”

“Your name is Jacob and you will do as you’re told.” The man took off his glasses and cleaned them with a handkerchief. “Children these days don’t know their place.” He replaced the glasses on his nose and extended a hand. My name is Bailey Chase. That is my son Jacob.”

“Seems like a rebel,” she said.

“You have no idea.” Bailey reached beneath the table and pulled out a long document tube. “I believe this is what your employer requested.”

Greta’s eyes turned questioning. “I thought you were sending him something.”

“I am, it’s just something Mr. Sinclair ordered. It took me a while to locate it. But I think he’ll be pleased.”

Jace returned with the tray, probably made up by his mother or another staff member. He set it in front of them then disappeared back in the stacks.

“You been working for Jaxx long?” Bailey asked as he slipped his tea.

“No. I’m new.”

“You’ll pardon me if I say… you don’t seem the type for this sort of thing.”

Greta nodded. ‘You either. But you’ve got the whole James Bond thing going for you, so you’ve got an edge on me.”

“Years of practice, I assure you.”

She bit into the cucumber sandwich which was remarkably tasty and smiled at the man. 

“So, what do I do now? Just take the package and go?”

“Didn’t you go through the Orientation?” Bailey asked.

“Sorry, no. They were shorthanded at the Library that day. I missed the appointment.” 

Greta grabbed the document tube and shoved it under her arm. “I have to say, you were real accommodating for my first time. Being a spy kinda makes me nervous.” She whispered the word spy.

“You’re quite welcome. Good luck with it.”

Great nodded and exited out the front door.

“Poor girl, she won’t last a week,” Bailey whispered disappearing back into the stacks.

The End

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