Chapter 20Mature

With his first stop being the library, he found a spot close to the front doors and parked. Shutting off the engine but not stepping off his ride yet, he opened the visor and looked around. The number of people coming in and out of the building was rather small; a total of three over a few minutes. Figuring that was from lunchtime downtime, Alex headed inside, his nose and eyes at the ready.

Inside, the intercom radio was playing a local country station at low volume. Low enough that he could hear the copying machines a good distance away making copies over parts of it. With a few sniffs of the air inside the airlock doors, he found a faint cologne scent among the sea of aging paper. The latter collection of scents grew more intense as the second door opened, this time including several body sprays and toner.

Glancing at the ground, Alex hoped that he wouldn’t have to crouch down and try sniffing at the floor to find that one scent. Imagining it made him shudder some, along with imagining what someone would think of him if they caught him doing it.

At the front, two librarians, neither of whom where his mother, were checking out books to a family of three. A student about his age was right behind them. Foot traffic elsewhere in the library looked slim; a good sign. Looking around some more, he stepped over to a news display nearby, sniffing the air as often as he could.

“Can we help you find something?” asked one of the librarians.

Looking in her direction, Alex shook his head. “No, thanks. I’m just browsing for the moment.”

“OK. Let us know if you need something.”

Nodding to them, Alex pivoted and headed for the audiobooks section on the closest aisle, passing by the student with a nod to him. He smelled more of aged and used cotton thanks to the large T-shirt he was wearing. Hints of the deodorant he had used were also there, but no others stood out.

Down the audiobooks aisle, the air was still once again, meaning only the most recent airborne scents were floating near his nose. None stood out or matched ones he knew, making him crouch to double check. He could smell old plastic from the cassette cases, but not the one he wanted to find.

Getting back to his feet, he looked towards the check-out counter. Recalling the distance he had stood from Catherine’s work spot yesterday, he saw no possible way this guy could track his mother. No physical objects offered an eyes-free way of picking up scents from where the librarians worked.

However, another possibility crossed his mind. One side of the counter was out of the way of much of the foot traffic. Sitting nearby might let him catch scents from behind it. With that possibility in mind for later, Alex resumed walking the library.

The End

0 comments about this story Feed