Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What a crock of flash

















Few things are more magical than words.

The trouble with me is that I never realise how deep in the shit I am until I'm choking on the stuff.
Praise be to fifteen centuries of kings and queens that the flavour rolling over my tongue wasn't fecal matter, but blood.

My blood.

Not much of an improvement? When you've been struck with a virulent plague of sticky notes and gluey tabs polluting text after returned text, you live with the consequences of invisible, no doubt dangerous retaliation. Oh sure, combing through the musty, cobwebbed crypt of a repository did wonders for my respiratory system, but when the rumours proved their whispered veracity and that infamous, sepia-coloured cover, a disturbingly wan hue of ancient skin, was glaring back, in here of all places, I knew whatever pain befell me would be worth this grim endeavour.

Believe me, even I questioned such a fantastical sentiment after a whirling dervish of tomes, tumbling out of the rank air from nowhere I could discern, nearly buried me alive between the stacks, those grey steel walls lording and laughing over my bruised form prone in the valley below. But after I somehow wormed my way home to patch myself up, I turned on the telly and smiled.

Scotland Yard was baffled.

Death by a thousand cuts was no longer a mere phrase.

21 comments:

sunshine said...

Are these paper cuts?? Hahaha!

At first I thought it said, "Death by a thousand cunts"!
I was just about to get up on my high horse when I noticed my error!
Where IS my mind these days????

That was a good short story! I enjoyed... :)

((Hugs))
Laura

Übermilf said...

I don't understand why Scotland Yard was baffled. Did somebody die? The protaganist didn't die, because he "wormed his way home" and patched himself up.

I don't understand why Scotland Yard was called to the scene. Did someone else die?

Also, of all the profanity you've ever used, I don't recall you using "cunt." Maybe when you rewrite your story so that it makes more sense, you could include that word somewhere. Not about me, because that would be too easy.

susan said...

The tale of the librarian's revenge is sweet. Death by a thousand paper cuts is too kind for those who leave their sticky bookmarks inside tome tombs. Or did I miss the needle sharp point of your wit entirely?

La Belette Rouge said...

I, for one, highly enjoy finding letters, notes and other ephemera people leave in library books. But I do it is an amateur; as a professional, I imagine it is highly annoying.

Tengrain said...

Graves, you swine!

You sir, are no Rupert Giles. But I am beginning to understand your career choice: you want to "coach" a hot, young, nubile Slayer.

It's so obvious to me now.

Regards,

Tengrain

PS - Eat at Ray's!

Holte Ender said...

Scotland Yard and a Librarian's work is never done.

Demeur said...

Time to cleanse the cerebral pallet with a bottle of Jack and a reality show, no?

PipeTobacco said...

Ouch! The imagery of the torn flesh is shocking, but well done! I very much like reading your pieces because they take a very different slant and perspective (most times) from my own, and I enjoy how your writing stretches my thoughts.

I have thought about trying to classify your genre but do not know a phrase for it. Do you have a style type you like to use for naming your writing?

PipeTobacco
http://frumpyprofessor.blogspot.com

Randal Graves said...

sunshine, you didn't enjoy it, you think it should have had more gratuitous sex. ;-)

übermilf, you're just riled up 'cause of Cubbieubbies. Or cuntycuntycunts.

susan, no, you got it, and we actually put messages in certain problem patrons so we know to remind them to please remove their crap before dropping the books off. Unsurprisingly, the culprits are usually profs.

LBR, the ephemera is fine, even the occasional sticky tab. But when it's 30, 40, 50 per book, and I ain't joking, it's annoying.

tengrain, um, duh. Hot, young, nubile witches are fine, too, but they always bat for the other team.

holte, I assume they encounter a few more corpses than we do. All we've got is a plastic skeleton.

demeur, now that's one reality show I'd actually watch, The Angry Librarian.

PT, um, Whatever Dribbles Out Of My Brain? I think out of all these FFFs, I've only been serious once or twice. Usually it's just half-baked snark.

Beach Bum said...

Now that you mentioned it we dug a poor soul out of one of the subbasement room one time at work who had become entombed in a collapsed pile of ancient medical records from the 1970's.

The poor lady was never the same again but we found Jimmy Hoffa.

David Barber said...

I liked that one Randal, but winced when I read paper cuts. I'd rather have a finger chopped off than one of those little bastards. :-)

Sue H said...

Ha! Librarian's revenge.....

Mind you, I will be thinking about this story when I go to work (library) tomorrow - I've a morning in the stacks to look forward to - maybe I've volunteer to cover the counter instead!

A quirky read - but then I'm still getting used to your style, RG!

Demeur said...

Just can't get enough half baked snark because who wants burnt snark?

As Tengrain would say "Eat at Ray's"!

Tom Harper said...

"the flavour rolling over my tongue wasn't fecal matter, but blood."

Whew!

S.W. Anderson said...

So you were walking between stacks and some books fell on you?

Wear a hard hat and get over it. ;)

Randal Graves said...

BB, was Jimmy found with a stash of long-forgotten loot, and if so, did you use the loot to buy some very expensive booze?

david, about the only thing worse than a nasty paper cut is getting kicked in the nuts. ;-)

sue h, another library type? You all think we should form a militia to patriotically save America from the Kindle?

demeur, if I serve snark, it's certainly not snark well done.

tom, I'm sure such imagery will be in Scooter Libby's next book.

SWA, they were really big books!

Sue H said...

Actually, Randal, I patrol a UK library - never mind Kindles, we (my cohorts and I) are about to have a self-service system implemented (that should read : Imposed!) in our library, so that eventally it will be run by robots! I despair - and intend to retire fairly soon!

Randal Graves said...

We have a self-checkout machine here, and trust me, despite the proliferation of internets facebookery and twitterations, patrons will always need a live human being.

Paul D. Brazill said...

It's the quiet once you've got to watch out for. nicely nasty.

Sue H said...

Randal - sorry to digress from the main subject here (your FFF) - self-service machines are being brought into Warwickshire libraries partly because they need to reduce the staffing budget, and partly as a self-promotion whim of the senior managers.

With apologies to any here who are bracketed as 'senior managers' - the view from the coal-face is: the higher they climb, the more rarified the air and thus less oxygen to the brain.

I rest my case!

Dr. Zaius said...

I like the part about the the musty, cobwebbed crypt. That, and the television. ;o)