The Bookkeeper

See how the shelves are lined with books of every size and shape. They have no titles here, only names. Look, that shelf just to your right, on the lower shelf, it’s a small book. Red cover. Small words. Young Thomas Mann. Please, pick it up, take a look. No? It’s not to everybody’s taste. It was only written in a few days, not much thought went into it before the author finished.

Lets keep going, shall we?

You’ll notice some books are newer than others, some far thicker, some almost too thin to be a book at all. For a time we held a section entirely composed of leaflets, but we gave up the endeavor to catalogue our books by year, rather than length. Some things, you know, are just too predictable, and others are simply too constant. There will always be brief stories. And yet, they are sometimes the brightest, most sincere. However, as you may find as you look about, the lengths have been growing steadily longer for quite some time. The curator upstairs tend to think it’s a trend that’ll be reversing soon. We shall see.

In any case, what is your preference? Would you rather the vibrant ones, rich with detail and vivacious prose? They’re thrillers, in a way, strewn with velocity but sometimes lacking any genuine conflict. There are others, mind you, with a bit more wisdom, rather, a touch more timelessness: They may have softer covers, seem bound from a time before ours, the words dense with vicarious longing, drawn out and slow, a relaxed pace fit for nightly pleasures. Oh, look, just consider these two: Courtney Brown, a bright piece that’ll surely make you feel for her, and then Malcolm Jones, that might as well be a history if you make it through.

Still not piquing your fancy? Don’t worry, though, we’ll all end up on these shelves eventually–whether you want it or not, authorship is inevitable in the library of life.

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p. 162

The car rattles underneath me. Wedged between a dark woven seat belt and the child seat to my right. Plastic presses into flesh with the lust of Draculean fangs grown yellow from thirst.

Streaks of rain splatter across my window like comets across the stars. A meteor plows through, a cavalry leaving wet steps behind it amid the crosshatch of rain marks.

Gregory Maguire’s Lost lies open in my lap. I’m reading the fictional account of a writer recounting her own fiction, the embedded character referencing literature three layers of lies deep.

I spin lies easily. Fiction is the art of convincing the unbelieving to believe the unbelievable.

Maybe I’m another fiction. Maybe I’m just another character, four layers deep, and you’re reading my story.

NaNo 2014: Story 3

This story–inspired by JJ–came about with a simple prompt: an open field and a shopping cart. I stared at it for a long time, uncertain what to do with it (and inclined to stay away from stereotypical homeless stories), but finally I just sat down and started writing.

I’ve been reading Kafka’s Metamorphosis lately, and I think it certainly had a small influence on this story–in fact, the more I think of it, the more I realize how rich my writing has become since my fantasy literature class began a few months ago. It just proves the adage that if you want to write well, you must first read well.

The parking lot suddenly became an open field and Reynalda (Ms. Vicks to you) found herself, shopping cart and all, standing between a patch of tall grasses, each topped with a flourish of frilly seeds, and a thorny bush. She was certain she hadn’t parked quite this far from the store, but seeing as she hadn’t reached her car yet, she continued moving.

The children would be hungry if she didn’t arrive home soon, and she was certain they would all be eager to know what had taken her so long.

Inspire my next story by clicking here.

Headaches

I’ve read the same line
three times
and I’m still not sure
what any of the words are
my eyes scramble across the page
but somewhere
they lose sight of the meaning
and bounce along like little balls
in a children’s sing-a-long
except this background music
isn’t cheerful and smiling
but heavy and damp
a weight pressed on my skull
with the low hum
of muted electronics
overpowering my mind
as I try to read this line
for the fourth time.

Pro Life

I just sat down in the library after getting sunburned at the protest and I saw these girls nearby who had been outside. I tried to read but all I could hear was her whispering: He told her, “I cum every day, is that genocide?” and she said, “That’s so disrespectful, how could you say that?” So he said real slowly, “I ejaculate semen every day.” We’re all laughing now, and they know I’m listening—but I look back at my book and they keep talking: And then she tells us abuse is better than abortion, and I’ve been abused before, so I ask, “Have you ever been abused?” and she says, “Have you ever been aborted?” and I’m like, what the fuck, how do you even respond to that?