The Librarian (or Milkman #3) (1987)


The day was sunny and warm. It was in the middle of a class period and the halls of the high school were quiet. Spike strode down the hall with a bundle of colored papers in his hand. He was an odd sort of librarian; quiet and shy. He always dressed in white. Spike stopped at the first door and looked at the top sheet of paper he was carrying.

FIRST NOTICE.

The staple had been dipped in a slow acting nerve poison. Nothing to worry about. He knocked on the door and gave the note to the teacher. Whistling softly, he padded down the hall in his red-stained suede loafers. The Saxons had won again, he remarked to himself, looking at one of the hand-made posters hanging on the wall. His eyes lit up in delight.

He paused from his duties to talk with the hall monitor. Spike always made her laugh with his little jokes and small surprises. From out of a pocket, he produced a shiny red apple. Spike knew she absolutely loved apples and it made his heart positively sing as she took the gift. She was so happy, thought Spike as he continued down the hall, she probably won’t notice the pins until it is too late.

Spike smiled as he came to the next door. He passed out seventeen notices with a mild look of reproach. It was a freshman English class and he was sure the tardiness was from a project they had been assigned. Spike wondered what it could be.

He turned a corner and knocked on another door. This one had large red letters made out of construction paper. It proclaimed “SAXONS #1!”. Spike positively beamed as he gave the girl at the door a FINAL NOTICE written with special ink made from red phosphorus. Spike liked to use phosphorous. It made a very colorful flame and was deliciously unpredictable in its results.

A few more doors and a few more slips. Spike strolled past a darkened room with a bullet hole in the glass window beside the locked door. Spike slipped a PLEASE RETURN slip underneath the door; just to make sure.

On his way back to the library, Spike noticed a custodian cleaning out someone’s locker. He took note of the number: 2703. It was an awfully large number which meant it had belonged to someone with a name near the end of the alphabet. Perhaps someone like Arthur Vernon. Spike watched as the custodian took out the school books and placed them in a large cardboard box. Personal effects went into another box. The remaining papers were just thrown away. A rather unpleasant smell was filling the hallway. Spike wrinkled his nose and smiled. It reminded him of his days at the Cramer Dairy back in Maine.

The custodian began to fill the locker with sawdust to soak up the stench. He only paused once more to throw out one last scrap of paper that had lay unnoticed on the bottom of the locker.

RESTRICTED LIST.

Spike looked through the glass doors of the library and could see some trouble brewing. A tall boy was talking – out loud – to a thin girl with blond hair. Well, boys will be boys, Spike thought, giving his .357 Magnum a reassuring pat. He opened the doors and stepped onto the drab carpeting with a smile that positively lit the room.

The sun was rising higher in the sky. The demoralized softball players slowly marched towards the locker room. They heard a crack of thunder and looked up, expecting rain to pour down on their heads any second. But something was wrong. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

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