Snowed in at the public library, the head librarian and his human resources manager find more to pass the time than reading. It’s cold outside, but it’s about to get hot in the stacks. And the office. And on the issues desk.
Trapped in the Stacks is the fantasy we’ve all had about a colleague, brought to steamy life. You’ll never look at your local librarian the same way again…
Trapped in the Stacks
“Thanks for the heads up, have a good day.”
I stared out the third-floor window at the city starting to get covered by a blanket of snow as I hung up my phone. In my late forties with a beard gone to silver and a figure that wasn’t jogging anymore, I looked the part of the respectable library director in my brown suit. I often wondered how the kid who played in a punk band and drank pot tea ended up here. It didn’t matter right now though.
The phone call had been the city manager. The schools were about to announce early closing, and the city didn’t have enough salt for the roads, so it was going to be bedlam out there. The snow was coming in faster and thicker than anyone expected. Within two hours tops the roads would be undrivable. That was all the excuse I needed. I took a certain adolescent joy in picking the phone back up and hitting the combination of buttons necessary to access the library’s overhead public address system.
“Attention, please. Due to inclement weather, the library will be closing in thirty minutes, at 2 PM. Please take your materials to the front desk to check out. Staff, initiate closing for today and all day tomorrow.”
At this point, I knew the staff would leap into action. Little motivates people like being able to get the hell out of work. That included me. In less than five minutes I saw the administration hallway start to empty. Finance was gone first, followed by IT. My circulation manager was off today so no one was directly managing the checking in and out of books. It was mostly part-timers, most of whom would need to grab a bus. Grabbing my suit jacket I walked down the hall and saw that my HR manager, was still in her office, shutting down her computer.
“Remember your circ training?” I had made everyone do basic training on things like checking books out.
“I think so.”
“Come on then, let’s take over and let the part-timers beat it.”
She had a soft voice, that by itself might make you think she was younger than her 29 years, but no one could doubt Mika was a woman when she stood up. I gave up not trying to look a long time ago and, thank goodness, she never seemed to mind. Sometimes when she wore skirts I could swear she crossed her legs just where I could see them and I did like to look. Mika filled out everything well. She was short and busty with hips made for grabbing a hold of, pale skin and long black hair. Her work clothes didn’t hide her curves no matter how loose she kept them. And some days, like today, she wore pants that hugged her voluptuous ass.
Mostly she was as conservative as her dress. She was sharp, professional, sympathetic to those with problems, and meticulous in keeping up with the Byzantine human resources regulations. She was a pleasure to work with and if I had to do something like manage the circulation desk, I’d rather do it with her, than some of the staff who seemed to go into public service because they wanted everyone else to be as miserable as they were.
In the elevator on the way down Mika looked at me. “Nice of you to let the part timers head out.”
I didn’t know what to say. “I figured they don’t get paid enough for the stress.”
She smiled at me. “Still, it’s nice. Letting your beard grow out?”
I ran my fingers through the silver strands. “Just haven’t trimmed it lately.”
Her smile turned into a grin. “Looks good long.” It was nice to know a younger woman wanted to flirt with me even if I was her boss.
“Really?” I ran my fingers through it. “I don’t look like an old hippie who wandered into the wrong closet?”
She grinned. “I was thinking you’re more Scott Ian.”
I grinned back. “Guitarist? Anthrax?” She nodded. “Wow, good taste.”
She bowed lightly. “Thank you.”
“I don’t think anyone is mistaking me for a skinny rock guitarist.”
She tapped a long fingernail against her lips and looked me up and down. “A few extra pounds isn’t a big deal. Dad bods are in, didn’t you know that?”