(This is an original piece written for IndiesUnlimited.com‘s Weekly Flash Fiction Contest. The prompt was Bridge.)
“Quiet!” hissed the librarian. Quinn’s eyes rolled synchronizing with a sigh and theatrical turn. She never liked the old troll at the Wolfcott High Library, always seeming to prowl beneath the books to ruin someone’s fun. “Diapers must be in her hundreds,” Quinn snarked, employing a typical sentiment and borrowing a brutal nickname from Jimmy Mckinney.
Quinn repelled to the deepest corner of the library where she buried herself in Steinbeck’s Of Mice And Men, leaving irritation on ground level. When Mr. Rosinthal assigned the book for an English report, Quinn was just relieved it was short. After starting it, however, every page she turned was a step into new land and a riveting story. She fell in love with Lennie and hoped quietly for a happy ending. It never came.
When the book concluded, it was as if she had crossed a bridge. The land she was on was different than the one she left. Still in the corner of the Wolfcott Library, Quinn felt changed, sobered by a new perspective. A tear rolled for Lennie as the intercom clicked on and echoed through her dazed mind, “The library will be closing in 15 minutes.”
With a pensive brow, and book clutched, Quinn drifted toward the exit. Upon passing the circulation desk, she curled a soft smile for the librarian and offered kind eyes.
“Good night, Ms. Von.”
“…Yep…” replied the librarian.
Etched into a copper sign at the exit read, “Every book is a bridge.”
Every bridge counts.