“You are going to be late,” the clock chimed.

Harper L. Vandergloom, skeleton, looked up from her book in annoyance. “Nooo!” Sigh. Bookmark. Grab cloak, stuff everything into satchel, run out the door. Black Rose Blooming in Darkest Space would have to wait.

“Made it,” Harper exhaled gulped breaths, mostly out of habit, as she signed her name into the log book at the Peyroux Public Phantastmal Library. “Barely, but I made it.”

The day passed sluggishly. A vampire came in looking for advice on trap building, a sprite needed help browsing the fungus catalogs (actual fungi preserved in glass vials and stored in a special cave), mummies came in for a workshop on rewrapping techniques.

Lunch! Coffee, a blue ham sandwich with the perfect blends of slime and cheese — and time to read. “Are we damned, my love? To wander these stars, lost and…” All too soon, time to return to work.

“PAPER CLIPS AND CUTS!” Harper swore, planting the bookmark. She returned to the circulation desk and helped the waiting patrons with magical scrolls, training lock picks, and samples of grave dirt.

A purple rabbit paw sat down on the counter, then another, before being joined by a lime green rabbit. Sweet, knowing black eyes spoke volumes to Harper, who bent down and kissed the rabbit’s head. “Put it back,” Harper said. The rabbit stuck out its tongue and returned her coin purse, wand, and the counter’s service request bell.

Small, sticky bunny paws.

“You help me today and I’ll conjure snacks up later.” Ah, the negotiations were open!

A few minutes later and they pair agreed upon: shared snacks, snuggling while Harper finished her book, one act of mischief, and she would walk home with the rabbit on her head as if it were a hat. They shook skeletal claw and rabbit paw, sealing the deal.

The long day finally wound down.

Red Kelp, dryad, came in and checked out 10,000 Poems Under the Sea. “You are going to love it,” Harper offered with a conspirator’s whisper. Red grinned, “I’ve read it three times already.” At this, the green rabbit jumped up on the counter and nuzzled Red’s hand. The dryad gave the rabbit a small treat with one hand and retrieved her pocket watch from its grasp with her other. Sticky bun paws indeed.

Anna Logarithm came to the circulation desk, laden with arm loads of books. “I’d like to check out — AHH!”

The rabbit, having slept most of the afternoon away and therefore many mischief opportunities, seized the last opening at hand and leapt at the villain. Harper, Red Kelp, and a handful of other patrons burst into laughter.

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