Chapter One

Jenkins sat tall on his stool at his desk, his quill scratching quietly against the paper of the record book he was cataloging new artifacts the Librarians brought back.

Between recovering old and ancient artifacts and discovering newly-formed ones, the Clipping Book was keeping the Librarians on their toes, which, in turn, kept Jenkins on his toes.

More than on his toes, in fact.

Some days, he was run absolutely ragged and he would go to bed late into the night (or in the very early morning) utterly exhausted. It was a good exhaustion, granted; exhausted from hard work among friends. But it was exhaustion nevertheless.

Across the room, Eve and Flynn poured over a tome about some lost civilization or other at their desk.

Stone was up in the "smoke house" with the El Chupacabra.

Ezekiel was off in some unknown corner, hiding from doing actual work.

Cassandra worked at the long table in front of the Back Door.

The Clipping book had not gone off all day.

A soft knocking sounded from the front door, breaking the relative quiet and peace of the Annex Card Catalog.


Thea Anne McKendrick stood in front of a door (looked an awful lot like some kind of maintenance door) on the side of a bridge in Portland, Oregon. She stood in front of the door, nerves on edge and invitation in hand.

Yes, she had been "invited" to interview for a "prestigious position at the Metropolitan Library, Portland Branch." A second smaller card in the large white envelope told her how to get there.

"There" – a bridge - was not what Thea had pictured for a local branch of a library. However, the address was correct; she had double, triple, then quadruple checked it.

So, she raised her hand and knocked on the patina-tinted door.