*Note to self, whatever you do, don't show the crazy lady Fluff. Bad things happen.
Not wanting to get on her bad side, I decided against pushing to find the mouth watering food. I regretted my words as soon as I said them.
"Okay, okay, forget it," I said, silently cursing the rumble in my stomach.
"You promise?" she demanded. She pulled me close enough to smell her breath. It smelled of dusty books.
My nose crinkled up. "Yes. Yes, I promise."
She dropped my shirt collar. "Good, you better keep that promise."
I wondered if there was a polite way to tell her that she needed to brush her teeth. I closed my mouth as soon as I opened it. Better not.
"You smell of roses," she snapped, motioning me forward and away from the sweet smell of cheeseburgers.
Like a child that didn't want to leave the candy store, I shuffled forward.
"Is that a bad thing?" I said, my mind still spinning at the thought of food.
She came to a halt and I ran into her.
"There are people here that consider the smell of roses to be a part of the story."
"It's an old bedtime story. A bunch of childish nonsense. But," she said, waving off-handedly. "There are still people who take it literally. They just don't get it," she sighed. "There's no hope for people like us," she said, pointing at me.
"How'd you graduate college so daft?" She grabbed my hand and led me forward.
I tried worming out of her grip--to no avail. She had the grip of a bear trap.
"College graduates, adults, the ones that can see the zombies. Not everyone can. We're just the lucky ones"
I felt a tap through my bag--Fluff. That reminded me, I just needed answers, I didn't need to continue traveling on the crazy train. I took a deep breath and smiled. I could still smell the food. After I got answers I'd backtrack and grab some.
"So, I've got a lot of questions..."
My companion spun around. "I've got answers."
"Whoa, okay," I said. "Let's start with names--"
"Alice," she said, shaking my hand, vigorously like she was sawing a board in half.
"My name is..." my voice trailed off. "My name is..." my voice became shrill. I felt hysterical. "My, my name is..."
Alice patted my back. "Don't worry about it. This place does this to you. Your name will come back in time. Until then I'll call you Cora."
The name settled over me like a giant security blanket. Cora. It had a nice ring to it.
"How'd you get here," I said, dusting the cobwebs of hysteria out of my voice.
"My damn curiosity." She swiped up a book and pushed it in my face. "Now, I only rely on facts."
I sneezed at the dust on the book, it took flight in all directions.
"You rely on dust?"
"No!" For a split second, I thought she was going to hit me.
She lowered the book. "No," she said, a little gentler. "I adhere to books and research. That's why I'm here in The Great Library chasing after some mutant with my map home."
"The creature took a map?"
Alice nodded, her shoulders slumped. "Yes, which is why we need to get the book that'll decode the map. It'll probably be our only chance of catching the hairball."
I pursed my lips. "What would you do, if we ran into the critter again?" I started to open my pack. Now seemed like the perfect chance to introduce the two of them and have them make nice.
"Kill it and eat it," said Alice, without skipping a beat.
Alright big eye in the sky, I need your help! Write down in the comments which option I should do. I'll do the one with the most votes!
Introduce Alice to Fluff, consequences be damned! It'll work itself out, right?
Better not. I'll save that for another time.