The Librarian's Revenge ©

The Librarian's Revenge ©

An Odyssey Into The Wonderful World Of Words

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Exercise 18/5

EXERCISESPosted by Georgina Harris 19 May, 2009 04:41PM

Choose the first line and the last line of two famous novels (preferably ones you've never read.) Tie them together in a short story.

We were in study hall when the headmaster entered followed by a new boy not yet in school uniform and by the handyman carrying a large desk.*

He placed it down, tearing up an old strip of newspaper to support one of the legs which was evidently slightly shorter than the other. Turning towards the door the handyman left, leaving the rather glum-faced boy alone in the presence of the headmaster and a few hundred young pairs of eyes staring in his direction.

"Here you are, Matthews," the headmaster pointed. "Think of this as your new home." Without giving him so much as a friendly pat on the head he, too, retreated. The boy glanced around furtively before sinking into the angular chair. One by one, like faint candle flames, the eyes about him flickered away. Several moments passed.

"Psst," he whispered. I looked up. Nothing. "Psst," again. There he was, attempting to signal Roscoe Jenkins, the lizard-eyed prefect of 9G, with a small lateness card. "Psst,' he whispered, furiously wafting the petal-pink slip beneath his nose. Roscoe remained unmoved.

"Oi," he trembled. To my surprise it was this time directed at me. "Who do you give this to?" I stared blankly, trying to understand the urgency tattooed upon his beetling brows.

"To whom do I give this," snarled Roscoe, "To whom?"

In the large expanse of the hall, the "oom" reverberated around, its sinister "doom" like echo loitering above us. We both of us looked at him, the new boy and I, with a collective disdain.

"Give it to Phelps," I said, motioning with my pencil. "At the front. Give it to him." The new boy pushed his chair back with a sudden squeak. "Not now," I sighed. "This is study hall. Wait 'til later.

"Until later," came the faint murmurings of Roscoe.

At that moment, two more figures entered the room. Pausing, they surveyed it like ravenous owls scanning for mice. Then they turned on their heels and approached the house master at the lectern.

"It seems," said the First Supreme Prefect, deliberately stroking her honey hair, "that a fundamental rule has been broken." She spoke up for our benefit. She and her Second, a rat-faced Year Eleven, raised up the book they gripped together. They both looked at it, as if it were their lover.

And it seemed that the book in their hands knew what they were feeling, and gave it their support and confirmation.*^

* Madame Bovary

*^ Dr. Zhivago