The Art of Remaining Invisible (open)

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The Art of Remaining Invisible (open)

Post  Meredith Rice on Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:27 am

Avoiding attention was a exhausting and time-consuming thing, but after many years of practice, Meredith Rice felt that she had the basic techniques down fairly well. The first thing was how you were dressed. The trick was to not be too fashionable or too unfashionable. It was a delicate balance to be sure, but clothing that was too old, too baggy, or too dully-colored was going to attract just as much attention as the new, well-tailored, and brightly-colored variety. Only, the attention wouldn't be quite as positive.

So, when choosing her clothing for the day, Meredith selected a pair of blue jeans that weren't so faded that they looked ancient, but also weren't brand-new, first-day-of-school-jeans blue either; a dusty pink blouse with a white tank top underneath; and a worn-in, but not worn out pair of grey canvass sneakers. Her hair was brushed enough so that no one would be able to say it looked like a bird's nest, but she didn't put any further effort into it. No braid, no bun, not even a ponytail. Some of her hair fell into her face, and that was fine too. She wore no makeup except a little lip balm, and no jewelry. Once she was satisfied that she wouldn't stand out too much, she headed out.

Naturally, she found herself in the library. In such a new place, being surrounded by the stacks of books made her feel calmer, as though the pages could insulate her from everyone else. If she could live in a library, she would. Books demanded nothing, and passed no judgments.

After letting the calm wash over her for a moment, and taking care not to make any audible sighs of relief, she wandered the shelves. She wasn't looking for anything in particular, she just wanted to get a feel for what kind of library this was. Some libraries were made for people who enjoyed reading, and were pretty fiction heavy, especially the classics. Some were meant to be used for homework and research and had a lot of reference and non-fiction. Some were filled with popular books and were little more than bookstores for people who couldn't afford or couldn't be bothered to spend money on books. This one, noted Meredith with some pleasure, was a fair mix of the first two types. It had, as could be expected of a school library, quite a few reference and non-fiction books on many subjects, as well as a decent amount of non-fiction.

As it so happened, before she really knew it, she found herself in the familiar niche between books on etiquette, and books about language. Folklore, myth, and fairy tales. She ignored the books about urban legends and monsters and focused on a copy of Grimm's. Taking it back to a reading area, she sat, and opened it. She knew most of the stories already, and had a copy of Grimm's at home, dog-eared and lovingly tattered from a multitude of readings. The familiarity only served to make it all the more comforting, however, and she settled in to her chair almost happily, as though the book were an old friend. In a way, it kind of was.
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Re: The Art of Remaining Invisible (open)

Post  Rueben Westwood on Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:01 pm

Ugh. The library. Rueben wrinkled his nose in distaste at the building, partly because it was boring and full of books, and partly because it invoked in him that deep, dizzying confusion that sometimes surrounded things here. It was like a double exposed photo drifting in front of his eyes. Hadn't there once been something else there? The vague sound of hymns and prayers still echoed around it, making his head hurt, making him want to turn tail and run back to the stables. You're being stupid. Just go inside. It had begun to rain again a few minutes ago, and though this time the rain was warmer and more spring-like, he still didn't want to be out in it. The library was the first building he'd come to, and he figured he could hide out there until the rain let up and then walk to more interesting parts of Highgrove; he hadn't anticipated the headache and the ghosts of whispered prayers that emanated so overwhelmingly from the building.

Entering the library and brushing his hair from his forehead, Rueben sighed. Ew. He'd never spent much time in libraries, mostly because nothing ever happened in them. Just a bunch of rotting paper and still, silent people paying far too much attention to the little black words on the pages that they obsessively flipped. Boring. His eyes wandered the room, looking for a place to sit, someone to talk to, something to do besides read. His eyes settled on a blonde girl sitting alone, doing what else but reading a book that looked like it would take him the better part of three years to complete. It didn't matter; bookish girls sometimes turned out to be the craziest. There was no way to tell just by looking, especially not from across the room. Sauntering over to her without another thought and leaning over the back of the girl's chair, his face inches from the back of her head, Rueben asked,

"What are you reading?" He squinted at the words, but they didn't hold his attention for long. Instead, he looked at her hair, which was pretty and long. Maybe not as nice as Beth's, but still attractive. Up close, she was cute in a quiet, homeschooled kind of way, and he would bet anyone five bucks that his talking to her would make her nervous in some capacity. Rueben had conquered his share of nervous dispositions and disabled his share of fearful personalities with his smile, but there were some anxieties he didn't have the talent or the patience to override. He hoped that this girl wasn't one of those overly anxious people. Today was a day for an easy, fun conversation, not one for trying to cajole a nervous rabbit into a snare.
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