Title: reading books and minds
Ella Madsen - February 17, 2010 10:08 PM (GMT)
OUTSIDE it was raining. From her desk in the Reference room, Ella Madsen gazed through the huge window panes of the library, watching the streams of water flow gently down the glass. It wasn't a heavy storm by any means, but it still made Ella sigh. Rain was her least favorite weather, which is ironic considering she grew up in new England and had lived in actual England for seven years now, two of the rainiest places one could think of. So he was accustomed to the rain, she supposed, but that didn't mean she had to like it. So, she sat there, quietly resenting the weather which would probably be like this for the rest of the week. April showers bring may flowers, blah blah blah. Why couldn't they just skip ahead to the flowers? Wishful thinking, of course. Ella could read minds, but she couldn't speed up time.
At least her telepathy was cooperating today. It felt easier than usual to block people's thoughts out of her own mind, and she was grateful for the peace and quiet. London was probably the worst place in the world for a burgeoning telepath to live, she knew. There were always so many people everywhere, awake and conscious and loud. Trying to learn to control it here was sort of like learning to drive at the Le Mans 24 hours, in a Ford Fiesta, while everyone else was driving souped up Audis and BMWs. Moving to the countryside might be her best option, but Ella really did love this city, which was probably the only reasons she was still here. London was home, in a way, and she had no intentions of leaving just yet. She was just going to have to grin and bear it, just like the rain. Who knew? Maybe if she pushed through this rough patch, everything would turn up roses. Yeah, right. If there was one thing Ella had learned in the past five years of her life, it was not to get one's hopes up. This ability or whatever was really more like a disability that she was going to have to learn to with it if she couldn't control it.
Someone walked into Ella's line of sight, snapping her out of her brief reverie. The fellowship librarian sat up straight and smiled at the patron who had stopped by her desk. It was an elderly gentleman whom, about an hour ago, she'd assisted with finding information on World War II. "All set then, Mister Dorety?" she asked him as he passed two large books to her. Returning books to their proper locations was just one of the many individual tasks that made up the whole occupation of being a librarian. The gentleman nodded to her, said thank you, and headed for the exit. Ella put up the "BE RIGHT BACK" sign on her desk and strolled over to the stacks where the two tomes belonged.
Tucking a strand of hair behind her ear, she let her guard down just a little, to see what she could hear. It was nosy, she knew, to listen in on people. And half the time she regretted it anyways. Sometimes, though, it could be helpful. As she slid the books into the empty spaces on the shelf, she heard a strand of a thought. A person, male she deduced, was looking for a book that they could not find. Ella knew exactly what volume it was and she knew why he couldn't find it. Quickly, she scurried back over to her desk and typed a few things into the computer. Just as she tought. The book was listed as being present because one of the volunteers had been only half-assing their duties and not actually returning things.
Ella shook her head, somewhat exasperated, but then an amused smile crossed her lips. Anyone who thought that being a librarian was boring clearly had no idea. It was a lot like being a detective, in her opinion, and this situation only supported that hypothesis. Ella walked over to the returns cart and quickly located the book in question. She then carried it over to a table where a young man sat, surrounded by notebooks and reference materials. She recognized him, now that she saw him up close, from previous visits to the library. "Looking for this?" she inquired, smirking as she held up the book for him to see. If he asked how she knew, she would only say she had a feeling. People tended to believe her when she said things like that.
David Gray - February 18, 2010 03:58 AM (GMT)
It was a rather lovely, rainy day. It wasn't storming, yet, but more like a steady downpour of rain, perfectly vertical streams which meant that there was little to no wind pushing it around. David tried his best not to step into any puddles on his way to the library, shielding himself from the rain from a rather large, black umbrella. He carried his shoulder bag with him, containing his things for school and some folders from the paper, including his assignment -- the reason for making a trip to the library. Rounding a corner, the library doorway was in sight and he took a dash for it allowing himself to become slightly more careless as to where he was stepping and immersed his right foot in a shallow puddle, splashing water all up his pant leg. Kicking his leg out to remove the excess water, he cursed under his breath before he closed his umbrella and entered the vast library.
Finding a table quickly near the front desk, he set down his things, still a little preoccupied with his soaking shoe and wet pant leg, he walked into the stacks and began his search for the books he needed in order to gain enough background information for his assignment. He brought back a couple books to his table and sat down reading diligently and making some notes, scribbling on some scratch papers that he had removed from his bag. Every so often, he would make a trip over to the open-access terminal to search for article numbers and then back into the stacks to procure each book, but encountered some trouble finding one in particular.
Bother....where is it?? It says it should be right here....how am I missing this? He thought as he glanced down at the article number one more time, saying it in his mind again before giving up and returning to his desk.
He flopped down into his chair and pulled one of the books closer to him and continued to read where he left off, and then continued to scribble a bit more down on another piece of paper (as he had filled the first three with notes already). A feminine voice broke his concentration and slightly jarred him, prompting him to look up and see the librarian in front of him holding out a book. Glancing at the cover, he realized it was the book he was looking for. His brow furrowed in confusion. Had he been speaking his frustrations aloud? He wasn't quite sure, but what he was sure of was that this librarian was good, damn good.
Almost instantly his brows returned to normal, if not revealing an expression of slight surprise. "Well, hello. Yes, I do believe this was what I was trying to find over there..." He said gesturing, again that confused look returning to his face. "I thought it wasn't there? I mean...I'd like to think that I'm not as daft as they tell me, but I could have sworn it wasn't there....how did you know I was looking for this?" He asked as he took the book from her and set it down on one of the books already on the desk he was at.
Ella Madsen - February 19, 2010 10:05 PM (GMT)
When she saw the confusion on his face, Ella felt a little bit bad about being so abrupt. Probably she should have gone over and asked the young man if he needed help, as if she hadn't overheard his thoughts. She'd just gotten so excited and, really, wasn't this way just a little more efficient? At any rate, he seemed pleased that the book had been found, and not angry, so she decided to keep the conversation rolling. Although she wasn't sure of his name, Ella had definitely seen him around before. Now, how to answer his question? Thinking quickly, she forced her brain to assemble something believable, but not too mundane.
"Oh, I'm telepathic," she finally replied with a silly smile, passing the book to him. Then, without waiting for a response, continued. "Just kidding. Think of it as librarian's intuition. I noticed you looking frustrated, and then remembered that our volunteer would rather text her friends for hours than actually return books. This was the only un-returned book from that shelf," she gestured towards where he'd been searching, "on the cart, so I deduced that it was the one you needed." Satisfied with her explanation, she pulled out a chair and sat down across from the researcher.
Not only was Ella incredibly talkative, but she was also as outgoing as one could be, and curious about other people's interests. She supposed that was part of the reason she wanted to become a librarian. It was a job for a people-person who liked information. Ella had read more books in her lifetime than she could remember, and so was an overwhelming well of information. This was the place where she could share all of those useless facts and no one would think she was a freak for it, because that was why library science had been invented.
"I'm Ella, by the way. I think I helped you out once a month or so ago. You wanted every single article the London Times had written about the Prime Minister." Which was quite a lot of articles, but the library had switched from microfiche to an electronic database, so it was easier to search. Of course, the Daily Mail articles were far more entertaining, but they weren't exactly a reliable resource. "So, what are you working on now? Anything else I can help you with?"
Ella hoped she wasn't bothering him... but she was astonishingly bored and in need of something to do that didn't involve cleaning up after her lazy volunteers. And focusing her thoughts on a conversation or a task made it so much easier to block out everyone's thoughts. Like those of the 14 year old boy sitting three tables over. Oh, she really wished she hadn't just heard that. She closed her eyes for a moment and pushed out the ten or so voices that were filtering into her consciousness. Then there was silence and she opened her eyes, once more smiling professionally at the patron.
David Gray - February 20, 2010 09:10 AM (GMT)
"Oh, I'm telepathic,"
The look of confusion that was intermixed with slight amusement completely vanished from his face as she mentioned this. Immediately a look of utter seriousness crossed his eyes and other features, and his lips parted slightly as if he were about to whisper "Really?". In this brief moment before she had continued, David felt funny. Like he had found someone like himself -- weird, and unexplainable, but as she quickly segued into the real reason she was able to procure his text, his seriousness faded to a look of "Ohhh, you got me." He watched her motions as she gestured over toward the cart where she had found the book and logically explained how her volunteer didn't return the book to the proper place. He grinned and nodded as a gesture of acceptance for her story and then noticed she was taking a seat at his table to continue the conversation, a behavior that he found very uncharacteristic of a librarian, but he felt like she was no ordinary librarian. Young, and pretty, though, he didn't really care much for her "type", he could still recognize beauty when he saw it. Feeling sort of amused with what was going on, David indulged her.
Seemingly full of surprises, his eyebrows shot up his forehead as she recalled with acute detail on their last meeting a month ago, something he had forgotten completely, OR, hadn't even committed to memory due to it being so mundane an interaction. "Oh yes...the Prime Minister..." he murmured as she mentioned his previous assignment. Then, inquiring about his current project, he looked down at the books that were littered around, all history books of London and the outlying areas, some on architecture, and some more on historical landmarks.
"Well, first off, pleasure to meet you, Ella. I'm David." He leaned forward over the table, extending a hand for her to shake and offering her a friendly smile. "Ehrrm, ahh, I'm working on something for the Sunday Times. I'm an intern over there, and I'm FINALLY getting my feet wet with this story. Its just a start, mind you, nothing huge like the Prime Minister or anything --which, that wasn't my story, I was researching for one of the journalists, but this one is mine. I'm not sure if you know where Admiral Creek is? Well, its more like a river in my opinion, but there's a really old bridge there that they're planning on demolishing and I think that that's a huge injustice. It should be salvaged as one of the town's historical landmarks. I mean, sure it's marginally unsafe to cross, but, just like all the other historical landmarks and buildings, they can repair it to make it crossable... and sustain it that way... maybe put up a sign...." He said distantly as he set his gaze off to her right letting his eyes fixate on one of the empty chairs at a vacant table behind her as he got lost in thought regarding his project. All of a sudden he felt his eyes become more sensitive to light, suggesting that his pupils just dilated rapidly, and the chair he had fixated on trembled slightly. Immediately he shut his eyes tight preparing to hold off the onset of a random manifestation.
The inside of his head filled with pressure and an inner sound that was like a deep, rolling wind which continuously blew and increased steadily in force. Scrunching his eyebrows up, the expression on his face was clearly pain as the inside of his head felt like it was going to explode. In a matter of seconds, he forced it away and opened his eyes, releasing the breath he had been holding at the same time, now looking dazed and relieved as if he had been holding up the world and just set it down after a hundred years. A small, slow trickle of blood presented itself under his left nostril bordering the edge of his upper lip.
He blinked and looked at her with wide eyes as he dabbed a finger at the blood, and then wiped it off all together with his hand. "Wow...I'm really sorry, I don't mean to worry you..." he said rifling through his bag for a tissue.
"Sometimes I get these headaches and nosebleeds..." He shrugged, trying to play it off. "...doctor says I'm....perfectly normal..." he said with a final wipe from his tissue, placing it in his bag to dispose of later. He looked back at Ella with an awkward smile that usually friends share after something strange happened and both parties didn't know exactly what to say on the matter.
"So...anyways, enough about my boring internship...You're from the United States, I take it...what brought you out to rainy old London?" He asked as if nothing had just happened.
Krystianna Lucianni - February 21, 2010 09:14 PM (GMT)
Krystianna opened the door to the library, shaking the rain off of her as much as she could. She sometimes regretted her decision to accept the full ride Cambridge had offered her, especially on days like today. It had been raining since she’d gotten up in the morning, and it hadn’t stopped yet. Nor did it look like it was going to. She missed the Colorado weather, because if you didn’t like, all you had to do was wait a few minutes and it would change. Not so in London, but at least she liked rain, she just wasn’t sure she liked how often and how consistently it rained.
She dumped her backpack on the floor next to an empty chair and shrugged out of her rain gear, letting it drop onto the floor. She plopped down and grabbed her backpack. She unzipped it and peered into it and then pulled out a notebook. She dropped the backpack and then flipped the notebook open to a sticky-noted page. She glanced down at the page and sighed. Research…, joy….. So much fun…. She definitely did not like essays.
She got up and set the notebook down on the chair. Walking over to the bookcases she glanced at the window; it was still raining. She briefly wondered if the weather in Colorado was pyshcotic or not before she started searching through to find the books she needed.
When she’d found four, she walked back, but stopped when she heard a guy ask, “You’re from the United States, I take it… what brought you out to rainy old London?”
She breathed a sigh of relief; finally, another American. Turning around to face them she asked, “Where in the U.S.? I’m sorry, I couldn’t help but overhear, and so far I have not met anyone else from the U.S.”
Ella Madsen - February 23, 2010 10:45 PM (GMT)
So absorbed in her talking points was Ella that she barely noticed David's strange reaction to the suggestion that she was telepath. Conversation tended to help her block out the thoughts of others, meaning she was not picking up his broadcast as clearly as she had been earlier. Which was too bad, because she'd been hoping for months now that she was not the only one out there who had extra "abilities," and hearing what that word ahd triggered in David's mind might have given her pause. For now, though, she still had no clue, and turned into listening mode once she had finished speaking to him.
He told her his name was David, and she decided that he was cute, but she could also tell that he was probably younger than her, like a college freshman or sophomore compared to her already graduated self. Ella met his hand with her own and gave it a solid shake like she'd been taught by Oxford's career advisers. Contact tended to improve clarity, and she caught a whiff of genuineness. He really was as friendly as his smile suggested. Then he launched into an explanation of his latest assignment, and Ella learned that he was an intern at The Times who had finally been given his own story. "No, never heard of it," she replied, referring to Admiral Creek. Her local geography was pretty poor, probably because she hadn't grown up anywhere near here. Even the boarding school she'd attended was out in the English countryside, no where near London. She would have to look it up, for actually really liked historical type things, whether they be books or museums, and it might be worth seeing if it was going to be destroyed soon.
David's voice trailed off and Ella furrowed her brow in momentary confusion. He seemed to be having a headache, and then a force hit her mind like brick. What was going on? She traced its path, and the pressure was emanating from David's mind. It was an extremely intense headache and her ability was picking up the feedback. And, then, as quickly as it had arrived, it disappeared. Never before had Ella been privy to someone's brain pain. How strange. Was it a migraine? Or something else? Ella wanted to ask, but she didn't want to give anything away. She even resisted the urge to rub her own temples, lest that seem odd to him. Instead, she put on a concerned face and pulled a bunch of tissues out of her pocket. She always kept a few with her, because going into the dusty, barely visited stacks usually meant that sneezing was inevitable. As it turned out, he had his own, but she awkwardly placed them on the table between them, in case he needed more.
He was remarkably composed considering what happened, and Ella felt like an idiot, sitting there speechless and worried about some young man she'd just met. When he smiled, she blinked, and then smiled slightly in return, telling herself to let it all go. It was probably nothing, after all, and she was about to make a mountain out of a molehill.
Ella shook her head and smiled a bigger, regaining her own composure quickly enough. The journalist-in-training asked her why she was in London. As usual, her accent had given her away. And then another voice chimed in, from a young lady who'd paused next to them, reiterating the question, and adding that she, too, was from the states. Ella picked up that she was relieved to have finally met another American, and Ella suppressed a giggle. If she hadn't met one, yet, then she was hanging out at all the wrong pubs. Then again, maybe she was too young for that? Well, Ella was sure she'd find out soon enough. What she did find out was that the girl was from Colorado. Oh, Ella was going to have fun with that.
"Oh, hello." She smiled at the girl in what she hoped was a welcoming way. "I'm from Boston, Massachusetts, actually, but I've lived in England since I was 14. Parents shipped me off to school in Gloucester. Which is funny to me," she added, "because we have a Gloucester in Mass, as well." She shrugged, a little embarrassed, for she wasn't sure if other people ever found her random facts as interesting as she did. Then, to answer David's question more specifically, she said, "I got into Oxford, graduated last spring, and now I work here, because I'm a huge nerd." Ella laughed, to let them know that she was just being self-deprecating.
"What about you, David? And-", she paused to look at the girl and pretend to study her for a moment, "you're from somewhere mountainous, aren't you? And I'd wager you're both university students." Ella leaned forward on the table, waiting with baited breath for their reactions. It was a party trick, nothing more, but it tended to amuse people and break the ice.
David Gray - February 25, 2010 08:31 AM (GMT)
He hoped that his quick dismissal of what had just happened to him wouldn't raise any questions or red flags to the young librarian. He didn't relish the fact that he had basically feigned an aneurysm in front of someone, though he'd rather pretend that he had some kind of brain disease than allow his psychic ability to manifest and launch a chair across the room. Perhaps he had ought to at least pretend that he was in a little bit more pain, after all, since it had passed he had completely changed face and moved on into pleasant conversation. In retrospect, the notion flickered through his mind and seemed like a better idea, an idea that he would have to remember in the event of a future freak out in front of someone else.
Right...remember to prolong the pained look. He thought as he eyed a girl that had just passed by, but stopped abruptly as soon as he had finished asking Ella where she was from. The girl didn't even give her a chance to respond to David's query, instead, she rudely interrupted and jumped into the conversation without so much as an introduction. David's eyes darted up to the young girl standing just a couple of feet from them, clutching a quartet of books.
Without thinking it over first, David blurted out "You know, it's quite rude to just jump into a conversation without properly introducing ones' self..." He said with a disdainful tone accompanied by a disapproving frown. Usually, David was not the type to speak his mind so liberally, but, today felt strange...something was in the air.
He felt a bit bad for being snarky with the new girl after Ella had taken such a bright and cheery disposition with the new arrival. Maybe he had been a bit rude to the new girl for being rude, and he knew that two wrongs do not make a right, so he thought to repeal his unfriendly first impression.
He made note that Ella said she was from Boston and had been in England since she was fourteen. He wondered exactly how old she was at the mention of age. His brother had been through Boston, and reported back that it was quite a charming place reminiscent of England in its own respect. According to Anthony, at least. Something else that he made note of was the peculiar fact that Ella had the uncanny ability to just seem to know things about people. The way that she "ascertained" the new girl's origins was odd to him and he would make sure to ask her about that later. His eyebrows rose up on his forehead as she revealed another fact that he compared as a commonality between Ella and himself ; Oxford. Though, he didn't go to Oxford, his father had been really pushing David in that direction. As an Oxford Alumnus, David's father Richard had wanted all three of his offspring to attend Oxford. He had succeeded with Olivia, but Anthony and David seemed far too willful and individual to adhere to their father's alma mater. Anthony chose to attend college in the United States, whereas David, torn between Oxford and London, chose the latter.
Again, Ella seemed to be able to know that both of them (at least as far as David was concerned) that they were University students. He narrowed his eyes at her as a recent memory repeated in his mind.
"Oh, I'm telepathic,"
Maybe she was? It wasn't so far fetched. He could move things with his mind, so why was it so preposterous that someone could read minds? But then, he also thought how it was pretty natural to assume young people went to uni. Instead of leering at her like a suspected criminal, David shifted his face quickly to that of amusement. He nodded his head in agreement of her "educated guess" and then spoke.
"Absolutely. You know, you're awefully perceptive...are you sure you're not telepathic?" He said with a grin to Ella and then set his gaze back at the younger girl standing before them. "Hey, listen, I didn't mean to be so rude a minute ago...I dunno what came over me. Please, have a seat if you'd like." He offered, pointing to the seat opposite from him with his pencil.
Krystianna Lucianni - February 26, 2010 02:34 AM (GMT)
Krystianna shrugged, "Yep, Colorado. The weather's so weird here compared to Colorado, it actually stays the same for more than five minutes, in fact, I'm pretty sure it's been raining this entire month. I'm Krystianna by the way."
The guys accusation that she'd been rude, while true, definitely had irked her a bit, but whatever, she shrugged it off and sat down anyway, setting her books on the table before doing so. "Thanks."
She looked at both of them, the girl did seem pretty perceptive, after all, she knew she was from somewhere mountainous before she'd even said where she was from. "It's possible, my brother was telepathic," She told the guy.
Ella Madsen - February 26, 2010 05:34 PM (GMT)
When Ella heard David denounce the new girl for interrupting them, she raised her eyebrows in mild surprise. True, the girl had been thoughtless, but Ella was well trained to smile through customer rudeness of any type. Considering the circumstances, though, she could hardly blame him. If she was feeling only a little bit of the feedback from his headache, she couldn't imagine how intense the pain had been for him. She would certainly be easily irritated if she were in his shoes. So, Ella let it slide, and hoped that the new girl wouldn't hold it against him or initiate an argument.ooc: you two can keep it going if you want. I feel like Ella would get spooked by all that though ^^
At the conclusion of her predictions, David grinned at her and asked if she was sure she wasn't telepathic. Ella couldn't help but smile, though something in her started to worry. Perhaps she had taken it too far. Me and my big mouth. She would have to repair this and quickly. Not that either of them would believe her if she told them the truth, but she didn't think the middle of a public library was the right place to share something she'd kept secret this long.
The girl confirmed that she was from Colorado, but Ella already knew that. David then apologized to the girl for his snark, and she took the seat she'd been offered. Crisis averted. For a moment, anyways. The girl's name turned out to be Krystianna- pretty, Ella thought, if a bit decadent- and she wasn't about to let the telepathy a matter drop so easily. She told them her brother had been a telepath, which Ella thought strange. She didn't seem to be joking, but she had to be, right? Maybe she just had an extremely dry sense of humor.
After a moment of blinking and thinking of how to reply, Ella laughed out loud. "Oh, you're funny," she said to Krys, keeping an amused smirk on her face. "I consider myself Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's biggest American fan. I've read the Sherlock Holmes stories more times than I can count, and picked up a few things." It was a plausible explanation, but she still didn't really answer David's question. Not with a yes or a no. She would have felt bad about lying to him, but she still wasn't sure he was the one she should be telling.
"You're both in the exact age range for University, and we get a lot of undergrads in here anyways, more so than teens. So, that was a logical conclusion." Even if that wasn't exactly how she'd figured it out, the facts were true. "As for you being from Colorado," she continued, gesturing towards Krystianna, "I know my accents. You didn't have a southern one, or a midwestern one, or a texas drawl. And you definitely don't sound like you're from New England. Which left me with any place west of Kansas. And, well, basically all of the states out west are mountainous, some are just more mountainous than others. Notice I didn't give a specific state, but my asumption would have worked if you'd been from, say, Nevada or Washington."
Ella shrugged. "Maybe I could find work as a telephone psychic?" She giggled and then stood up from her chair. She didn't want to talk about it anymore, and she could only hope that her thorough explanation would satisfy them. Plus, she didn't want to get reprimanded by her supervisor for slacking off. "Well, it was nice to meet you both. You know where to find me if you need any research help." With that, she gave them a wave, and then returned to her desk, where a handful of patrons were already waiting for her help.