69: Breaking ranks

The Borrowers are confused. They cannot hear each other anymore. Where once there was a hive mind of infinite complexity and possibility, now there is only a loose collection of gripes about poor service and a lack of gratitude.

Borrower who Leaves Pictures Torn Out Of Porn Magazines Inside The Children's Books feels the need to continue his work in the Young Readers section. Borrower Who Rips Out The Barcodes and Then Denies It scuttles away to the next aisle to tear the barcode from British Fighters of World War II. Borrower Who Complains about Blasphemous Books wants to resume perusing the books in the art section for profane content. Borrower Who Winks For No Reason winks uncontrollably. Borrower Who Brings Quality Street In At Christmas lies where he fell, quietly drowning in his own blood. Borrower who Cries, Silently, in the Science Fiction Section yearns to see if the new volume of Star Trek: The Next Generation has been added to the library collection even though he last checked two hours ago. Borrower Who Eats Scotch Eggs at the Computer feels pangs of hunger bloom in his stomach.

Where these disparate individuals once came together and become something more than Borrowers they are now, as before, just Borrowers. One by one they slip away from the Staff Only Area, away from the shrieking and the violence and smell of burnt hair, into to the dark corners of the library which are rarely visited.