It is a hot mid-May day in Revery. Stormflies buzz in anticipation. The sun, having given up on penetrating the heavy cloud over the city, has settled for baking its inhabitants alive.
A balled-up piece of paper hits Keeley on her sweaty forehead.
From across the room, Thursday meets her eyes and grins.
The note passes in a quick volley between them, until a hand plucks it out of mid-air.
It’s Lesley. Or, as Keeley likes to call her, Staff Mum.
She sinks down further into her chair. She is so grounded.
Even the archives, usually cool, dark and aggressively de-humidified with five separate machines, have fallen prey to the heavy, sticky heat.
The damp leaches the last bit of glue on the tape holding a flyer to the wall, and it flutters to the floor.
Bartholomew, shirtsleeves rolled up and hair clinging to his scalp, straightens up from where he’s bent over the fifth de-humidifier. It’s still sputtering weakly, despite his best efforts.
He picks up the flyer, sneers at it. He balls it up, and chucks it into the wastepaper basket.
The de-humidifier coughs and dies.
He needs a drink.