Hopeless

By , Tampa, FL
This was hopeless.

The pile of books in front of him, the mediocre web search, even whatever lay in the fiction section, was horribly, horribly hopeless. Or was useless a better word? Useless useless useless - that's what the all the books and Internet resources in the library were, it's what the empty library was, and that was how Marty felt. Yes, there is nothing that could describe his mood more perfect than useless. "How in the name of written languages is there not a book out there that's actually USEFUL in controlling super powers?," he thought to himself as he read the last book he picked up, Keeping Myself from Exploding, with more attention than he gave to his first period language arts class (although that wasn't hard to do). Admittedly, it was an autobiography written by an anonymous empowered being who could shoot lasers out of his eyes, but it still was better than nothing. After reading up to chapter 4 on Anonymous' skull crushingly boring childhood, Marty just threw the book down with the rest of the pile he accumulated over the course of his stay. "I got here at 3, right?," he thought. He rubbed his eyes, burning from all the semi-useless books and banter and looked towards the clock on the wall. "...and it's almost closing time, whoopie." Groaning, he let his body collapse onto the densely carpeted floor. Two whole hours he had been at the library, looking how to help his dad, and nothing told him anything he didn't already know. He groaned again, but this time it was slightly muffled by the carpet. "I'm just going to lay here for a bit," he though, letting his body go limp.

In the distance, Marty could hear someone gently put their book on a hard surface. Whoever it was started to move, their footsteps lightly bouncing off the carpet. It was clear that a few seconds later, those footsteps were heading towards him, getting louder every beat. Flinching as the person's feet came to a stop next to his body, Marty didn't move any further. "Maybe if I just lay here and don't move, they'll go away..."

"Can I help you?," the person - a male - said.

"Dammit, must be the librarian...," he let out another groan.

"....That's not a no," the librarian said with slight irritation.

Marty whipped himself up so that he was kneeling on his knees, and looked at the man with discontent and the carpet fiber patterns stamped on his face. "Uh, I don't know..." he said bitterly.
Th librarian, while looking no older than his early twenties, was wearing an outfit that must have been straight from the early 60's. It was a brightly patterned shirt with a white dress jacket and slacks, and looked quite out of touch from the modern era. The big rose colored sunglasses masking his eyes didn't help at all, nor did his Beatle-like hairstyle his light brown hair was in the style of. He was slightly bent towards Marty, and must have been a little over six feet all together. A little over six feet of mildly annoyed time traveling librarian. Huh. But Marty reminded himself that he's seen weirder, and kept quiet about it.

The librarian rolled his eyes and extended his hand towards Marty. "At least let me help you up," he spoke yet again in his mildly annoyed voice. With some hesitation, Marty let himself be helped up by the time traveler and dusted himself off.

"You feel ok?," the librarian ask, showing some amusement and concern in his voice.

"Yes, yes, I'm fine, I'm..." Marty responded, looking at the mess he made, "I'm going to have to put all these books back."

The librarian waved his hand dismissively, and said with a tinge of bitterness, "don't bother, the last person who said they do that ended up getting human biology books in the cooking section."

"Oh."

A short pause came between them, until suddenly the librarian started to pick up the small molehill left over from Marty's rampage. "Training for Heros, Accepting Superpowers, Keeping Myself from Exploding...?," he read off the books, with a concerned look on his face, "are you-?"

"My dad," he jumped in quickly and looked down.

"Ah. So he's developing blue hair too?"

"Yes- wait, what?!," Marty's checks reddened at the question, "Uh, no! His hair was already blue, it's, it's genetic."

The corners of the his mouth went into a small smirk, "Ok, ok, don't freak out on me..."

Marty just crossed his arms in response, and the librarian leaned on one of the shelves for backup.

"So what does your old man have?," he pressed further, "flight, invisibility... flamethrower hands?" His grin curved further on the last one.

Marty bit his lip. "Er, kind of hard to describe..."

Mod man raised an eyebrow.

"Well, he seems to be getting new powers ever since his 41st birthday. Not that he had any before, but, for some reason, he's getting them now. It's really weird. Yesterday, he could levitate up to 10 feet off the ground, and the day before that, he could shoot lasers out of his eyes. ...it's not fun getting your dad out of a tree he levitated himself into, or explaining to you teacher that your dad's heat vision burned a hole in your homework."

The librarian covered his mouth, and then finished up his train of though, "So you came here to see if anything would help your problem?"

"Pretty much."

The librerian's face seemed to relax itself into a smile, but the hand over his face made it hard to tell. "Well," he said, bending over to pick up a few more books, "I actually might have a book you might want to see, and I think it's actually useful in your situation. If you wait at the checkout over there while I finish this up, I'll let you check it out as long as you need. Savvy?"

"Uh, yeah," Marty nodded, "Thanks."

"Don't mention it."

After about a minute, Marty was giving his card to Mod man, who held the book Locking Potential in one hand and the scanner in the other. "Martin H. Mallory?," he asked as the scanner beeped! his card in.

"Everyone calls me Marty though," he responded.

"What does the H stand for?"

"Hobo."

The librarian just smiled, and extended the library card & book out towards him, "Mr. Pigeon."

Grabbing the two, Marty thanked Mr. Pigeon again and waved good bye as he started the twelve minute walk home.

"Come back anytime!"

Now alone, Marty flipped the book open. The first page text read this: Locking Potential, the book to guide those with overactive powers. Huh. Just what he needed. Oddly enough, the first page also read on a rectangular sticker, West Boise Library, Idaho. Three state away from Iowa.

Now alone, Mr. Pigeon let his head fall onto the counter. "So she married the one man she shouldn't have reproduced with. Great." And it was his turn to groan in agony





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