Thank you, I think, for the entertainment. This was the perfect excuse for procrastination.
I enjoyed creating it, and maybe you'll enjoy reading it!
The Unemployed Librarian
Zero hours, the advertisement claimed.
“Beggars can’t be choosers,” he spoke aloud to himself, secretly imagining that he was understood by Calvary, the only other occupant of the room.
Calvary the goldfish wasn’t actually a goldfish, rather a guppy, and his given name wasn’t Calvary either, rather it was Ichthys, but while explaining the onomatology to his mother, she had taken one look at his bloated form through the refractive glass of the bowl and proclaimed that the guppy resembled a fat seahorse, and — she continued — with such a name, a dyslexic fat seahorse.
Feeling rather clever, he thereafter adopted the moniker Calvary for his only friend.
“What do you think, Cal?”
The fish bug-eyed him, and opened its mouth in a lazy ‘O’.
He cycled into town, locked his bicycle to the library’s railings, and approached the hallowed glass doors. As a boy, the doors were sorcery; life’s first analogy of a window to fantasy, a journey to places where good defeated evil.
Still good, but thoroughly beaten, he pushed open one wing, and the bookscent broiled. Musty turbulence sculpted an image of The Old Man’s skiff, high on a wave; he saw the hot dust from the road outside the courthouse in summer as Atticus arrived; felt the sand in his throat from the dune where Frank watched his brother toll his bell; and peered fearfully into the misty mountain forests, hoping for elves.
“Come for the janitor’s job?”
He nodded, helpless.
“Go past CDs, DVDs, eBooks and then the toilets. Superintendent’s in his office behind the legacy book section.”
“Em, am I allowed to bring fish with me to work?”
“You know, goldfish, in a bowl.”
“Lord, no. This is a library, for heaven’s sake. Nothing real allowed. ‘Gone digital, see?
Well, hurry up then.”