Hawk Eyes — Part one.

Not dissimilar to seagulls at the seaside, I find listening to the faint creaking sound of each weathered brown Chesterfield strangely therapeutic. Watching random visitors intermittently take a seat to recline and read, each sound breaking long periods of silence to declare that a ‘sitting’ has taken place and rest is underway. Now there’s a fragrance that should be bottled, Chesterfield, the cologne of modern antiquity. Definitely one of the draw cards of this library, what with its lavish seating arrangements not to mention it’s ‘patented silence’. All libraries are supposed to be silent I know, but this one’s different. It’s not the absence of noise that makes this victorian hall a quiet retreat, it’s not even the silence that’s silent. There’s a silence of uneasiness here. The lofty ceilings, cold, grey stone walls and large paneled windows are possible contributors, reinforced by the ornate Wilton cut pile carpet that lines the worn timber floors. Understandably bringing legitimacy to the ‘no eating and drinking’ sign in the lobby. Nevertheless, I’m not opposed to smuggling in a small hip flask of coffee. I would probably need a straw to drink it as one tends to burn ones lips on the stainless steel rim. A standard thermos wont work, trust me, Hawk Eyes over there will find you and when she does everybody will know about it. At least with a hip flask I may be able to pass as a graduate professor with a moonshine dependency.

Hawk Eyes has been here forever. Always wearing the same 1930’s style midnight blue house dress with small white buttons and a large angular white collar, her dark red earrings hang like Christmas ornaments that match her shiny red heeled pumps. She draws her eyebrows on, I can tell and I still question the need for a hair net in a library. Everyone says she wears her mother’s clothes and quite frankly, I agree. Her mother worked here before she was born and before that her grandfather spent countless hours organizing the returned books after he lost his hearing during the war. He never quite recovered from the shell shock and found solace in alphabetizing. You could say it’s a family business but no library is a family business. There’s a reason why Hawk Eyes patrols this hall and there’s a reason for its depth of silence…

[click here to read part two]

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