Story A Day May: Holly Works Her Magic

Holly Works Her Magic

Holly Jahangiri, High Head Librarian of the Council City Earth Text Living Library on the planet Llannonn, was seldom called out of town on business.

So, when she answered a visicall from the Meadow of Flowers Rural Branch, she was surprised to find it was a call for help.

The Rural Librarian, Jobahb Prattyman, wore a dark green tunic with a yellow shoulder sash embroidered with his family crest of two crossed hayseeds.

“We need your help,” he said eschewing the rural dialect for the more formal Llannonninn of the city and of upper class rurals.

“Of course,” said Holly, for a Librarian is always helpful. “What can I do?”

“We need you on the spot,” said rural librarian Jobahb. “Will you oblige us?”

Now that he had made it a matter of courtesy, Holly could not refuse, so she agreed to come the next day.


The Rural Librarian met Holly’s hovercar at the door of his magnificent three-story home, the bottom two stories of which he had graciously turned into a library and dormitory for the Living Books, the upper story of which he had reserved for himself.

As soon as courtesy would allow after Holly had refreshed herself, the Rural Librarian got right to the point.

“Three men showed up at the library together. All of them had read a massive book called Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. Each of them claimed he had read it first and the others had copied off him. We have neither the funds nor the room for three copies of any book, so we turned them all away. Complaints have come in from all over town. They fight everywhere. They steal print books from one another. They call one another charlatan. They claim to be magicians and try to curse one another.”

“That sounds dreadful!” said Holly, who had experienced much worse.

“The whole town has the fidgets. We don’t want them. We don’t even want one of them. What are we to do?”

Although Holly had what she was sure was a solution, she pretended to think. It would have been discourteous to have a quick answer to a problem someone else had claimed was baffling.

“I’d like to speak to them,” she said.


They found them outside a book shop, all trying to get through the door at the same time.

Holly proposed her solution. They all grumbled but agreed.

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell was a book in three volumes. The prospective books would come back to Council City with Holly, where they would each audition and each be assigned one of the volumes to recite.

Rural Librarian Jobahb Prattyman pronounced himself eternally grateful.

The three men quarreled all the way back to Council City over who would do the best job on which volume.

Holly only smiled. They would fit right in.

MY PROMPT FOR TODAY: Listening to the audio book of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell


I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Story A Day May: Holly Works Her Magic

  1. Dan Antion

    May 21, 2023 at 12:49pm

    Excellent! Way to go Holly. I like that she pretended to have to think about it – nice touch.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Holly Jahangiri

      May 21, 2023 at 3:45pm

      It is incumbent upon the High Head Librarian to be the soul of diplomacy, discretion, and courtesy in all things. Some days, it is a mighty struggle…

      Marian, dear, is my title a euphemism for “She Who Has Her Head in the Clouds Half the Time?” Or have I been dipping into your alter ego’s ‘shrooms? šŸ˜‰

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author
  2. John Hric

    May 25, 2023 at 9:09am

    Hmm pretending to think must be high on the list. Right after listening…

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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