The Future According to Marvin: Episode 7

Marion walks up to Alafry's door. She's mumbling slightly under her breath.

Marion: You will not babble. Yes, he is the illustrator of "Growing Up Sime". But that's no reason to think he will want to speak with you. So no babbling.

Marion starts to knock on the door with her knuckles, and stops.

Marion: Silly, silly. His wife is a Sime. No knocking.

Marion looks at the door, and sees the doorbell. She presses the bell and steps back a bit.

Alafry puts down his paintbrush, hastily wipes his hands on his smock, leaving new streaks of green among the rainbow already there, and takes the stairs a bit faster than he would have if his wife were home.

Alafry ~~ hopes ~~ that it's the repair person for the clothes washer, which is malfunctioning. He opens the door.

Alafry: Good afternoon.

Marion steps back another step as the door opens.

Marion: Uh, uh, hello.

Marion mentally slaps herself on the forehead. Babbling.

Marion: I mean, I'm Marion, the librarian of the local library.

Marion gives Alafry a tiny wave since she knows in-T people don't shake but didn't think to find out what would replace it.

Alafry: Oh. I don't suppose you know anything about repairing a washing machine?

Alafry has a ~~ whimsical ~~ look on his face. He otherwise looks a little rumpled, as he has a habit of running the handle of his paintbrush through his hair, and the much-streaked smock doesn't help.

Marion is a little taken a back. This is not the first thing she expected out of an illustrator.

Marion: Washing machines repair? Well, we did get a book into the library last week about it. I just glanced at it, but I could give it a try.

Marion does like to dabble in mechanical things.

Alafry sighs.

Alafry: That's tempting, but I should probably wait for the expert.

Alafry steps aside.

Alafry: Please, come in. You're the librarian, you said?

Marion: Yes, I am.

Marion steps though the door.

Marion: I suppose waiting for the expert is best.

Marion smiles, and looks around.

Alafry: As long as it's repaired before we're reduced to wearing rags.

Alafry: Would you like some tea?

Marion: You wouldn't have trin? I've always wanted to try it.

Alafry: Well, then, this is your chance.

Marion: Wonderful.

Alafry shows Marion into the living room, which is lined with bookcases.

Alafry: Make yourself at home while I brew it.

Marion stares at the bookcases.

Marion: I don't believe I'd ever seen this many bookcases in a home before. I have something I would like to ask you.

Alafry: Oh?

Marion pulls out a large catalog from her bag.

Marion: Yes. This is the latest catalog from a publisher here. If you look at this page.

Marion places the catalog on the table, and turns to a dog-eared page.

Marion: A book you illustrated, "Growing Up Sime" is coming out in English. I'm hoping to get a copy for our library.

Alafry: Is that what they decided to call it, then? The Simelan title translates as just "Growing Up", which is actually more accurate.

Marion: Hmm, well things lose and gain things in translation. The reason I'm here, is, well, I'm not sure our board will approve it.

Alafry: Oh? Whyever not?

Marion: The book has, well, pictures, that some parents would consider, uh...

Marion blushes, not sure how to tell Alafry some of his illustrations are considered by some to be in poor taste, to say the least.

Alafry blinks.

Marion: No, not by me!

Marion can feel a babble coming on.

Alafry: I assure you, it's a children's book. Here.

Marion: Yes, I know that. But others...

Alafry walks over to the bookcase, scans it a moment, then pulls out a slim, brightly colored volume. He hands it to Marion.

Alafry: See for yourself, while I make the tea.

Alafry leaves for the kitchen.

Marion takes the book, carefully turning pages.

Alafry returns shortly with a tea tray.

Marion: Beautiful. The detail on the tentacles. You can almost feel the laterals on your arms.

Marion closes the book.

Marion: And that's the problem. Too many parents will never let their children see this book, and we must have a copy in our library. The quality of books about changeover, well, it's pitiful.

Alafry: Really? I'd think there'd be plenty to choose from. If nothing else, the Tecton prints a lot of material, doesn't it?

Marion sighs, heavily.

Marion: Yes, but nothing that's allowed in the library. Too many children still don't have access to Tecton material. If only I could get permission.

Marion brightens.

Marion: But that why I thought of you when I saw this catalog and your book coming out in English. If you would, maybe talk to the board and explain about this really being a book for children.

Alafry: You do realize that this is a book for young children? It doesn't have the sort of detailed information that children require when they're reaching adulthood.

Marion: And yet it's still more detailed and better written than what's available in the schools right now. If we could get this one book to the children, it would help getting access to books for the older children.

Alafry: Really? My son Syrus said the changeover class he has to take is a waste of time, but I thought that was just adolescent grumbling.

Alafry is ~~ concerned ~~.

Marion nods.

Marion: You should listen to your son when it comes to this subject.

Alafry: I'll have to ask him to bring home some of the materials to show me.

Marion: That's a very good idea.

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